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An update on the future of study abroad

Amid the pandemic, UW students seeking to study abroad have been forced to scrap their plans at the last minute or in the near future. All fall 2020 classes were canceled earlier in the year, and it seems that by extension this also applies to winter programs.

Several trips are being planned for the next school year, however, on the UW Tacoma study abroad website, they feature destinations for fall 2021 study abroad in Ireland as well as in China and Spain for the summer of 2021.

Courtney Kroll, UWT’s study abroad manager, answered some of our questions about the future of study abroad. Regarding students whose plans have been canceled and upcoming international travel plans, Kroll said:

“As you may know, the study abroad programs for spring, summer and fall 2020 have all been canceled, but none of the students who had planned to participate have had to pay the fees. UWT study abroad fees due to these cancellations.”

Kroll discussed the protections in place for the next batch of students planning to study abroad.

“If a study abroad program is canceled due to COVID-19, students will also not be charged a UW Tacoma fee. Additionally, we make sure to make decisions on the feasibility of study abroad programs with enough time for students to enroll in alternative courses should a program be cancelled.

It should be noted that despite the website stating that they hope to resume in the spring, no location has been announced as of this writing.

With new updates coming in frequently from medical officials in the United States and abroad, all post-spring plans should be taken with a grain of salt as the situation surrounding COVID-19 is still delicate.

Finally, Kroll reminded us of other opportunities offered by the Global Affairs Office.

“The Office of Global Affairs also offers other global learning opportunities that students can participate in without having to travel overseas. I encourage students to look into our Global Ambassadors program (aims to foster camaraderie and belonging on our virtual campus by facilitating conversations about global and local issues) which partners with UW Tea Time during the term of autumn. Students can also participate in Japanese or Arabic lessons as well as research opportunities to participate in international collaborative online learning courses.

If you are interested in pursuing a degree abroad, check the UW Tacoma website for updates regarding application deadlines and more information and if you have any questions, check out their FAQs.