An update on the future of study abroad

Amid the pandemic, UW students looking to study abroad were forced to uproot their plans at the last minute or for the near future. All autumn 2020 courses were cancelled earlier in the year, and it appears that by extension this applies to the winter programs as well. 

Several trips are in the planning stages for the next school year, however, on the UW Tacoma study abroad website, they present destinations for the autumn 2021 study abroad in Ireland as well as both China and Spain for summer of 2021. 

Courtney Kroll, UWT study abroad manager, answered some of our questions regarding the future of study abroad. In regard to the students whose plans were cancelled and the upcoming plans for international travel, Kroll said this:

“As you may know, study abroad programs for spring, summer and autumn 2020 were all cancelled, but none of the students who had planned to participate were charged the UWT study abroad fees because of those cancellations.” 

Kroll touched on protections put in place for the next batch of students planning to study abroad.

“If a study abroad program is cancelled due to COVID-19, students similarly would not be charged any UW Tacoma fees. Also, we make sure to make decisions about the feasibility of study abroad programs with enough lead time so students can enroll in alternative classes should a program need to be cancelled.”

It is worth noting that despite the website stating they hope to resume come spring, no location has been announced as of the publishing of this article.

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

Lastly, Kroll reminded us of other opportunities provided by the office of global affairs.

“The Office of Global Affairs also offers other global learning opportunities that students can engage with without having to travel abroad. I would 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 is partnering with UW Tea Time during autumn quarter. Students can also participate in either Japanese or Arabic language lessons as well as research opportunities to participate in Collaborative Online International Learning classes.”

If you are interested in pursuing study abroad, check out UW Tacoma’s website for updates regarding application due dates and more information and if you have any questions check out their FAQs.