USD Study Abroad program on pause
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USD Study Abroad program on pause

USD’s study abroad program doesn’t have a clear view of what summer 2021 will look like. Travel has been restricted due to the pandemic.

Virginija Wilcox is the director of the USD program located in the Gallagher Center.

International travel affiliated with USD is suspended. Decisions on summer 2021 for traveling are indefinite, Wilcox said.

“Once those decisions are made and communicated with us, we will share the news with the students accordingly,” Wilcox said.

There is still hope international travel will resume for the summer. Most programs need early registration, so the Gallagher Center is encouraging students to continue looking for future opportunities to travel abroad, Wilcox said.

Jessica Winterringer, the Study Abroad advisor, said, “Students’ attitudes are positive toward study abroad and we don’t think that will change anytime soon. It’s still seen as a life changing experience with lasting benefits.” 

Opportunities to get involved are provided even with the suspended travel.A Study Abroad Expo will be hosted by The Gallagher Center on February 3rd 10 AM-2 PM at the MUC Ballroom Wilcox said.

Those involved with the Gallagher Center and study abroad program are preparing for the future.

“Our team has worked on establishing various safety and health-related protocols,” Wilcox said. 

The COVID-19 Group Travel Protocol is one of these protocols. The travel protocol follows CDC guidelines including wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and watching personal health status for signs of sickness, said Holger Oswald the Faculty Led Coordinator for the Gallagher center.

“The partnerships we have established with our international direct exchange partners as well as program providers here in the U.S. give an additional layer of safety assurance for our students,” Wilcox said. “These partners have safety measures and assistance established all around the world, so USD students can rest assured that the on-site assistance will always be provided.”

Participation for students is still possible and highly encouraged.

“While international activity is currently restricted, USD students can participate in domestic exchanges through the National Student Exchange to institutions within the United States and we’ve seen an increase in student numbers through this program,” Winterringer said.

Advising appointments are hosted by the study abroad advisor who can be reached through Coyote Connections or email ([email protected]).