Despite student and faculty optimism for study abroad opportunities to reopen for the fall 2021 semester, LMU will not be offering the program for the rest of 2021.
In an email to students on Apr. 5, Director of Study Abroad Lisa Loberg, Ed.D., and Study Abroad staff related the reasons behind the cancellation.
“While conditions in the United States may be improving with the recent rollout of vaccines, we are mindful of current situations in other locations around the world,” they said. Of particular concern are the “Level 3 travel warnings” still issued by the U.S. Department of State for “most countries."
According to the U.S. Department of State travel advisory system, a Level 3 risk rating encourages individuals to reconsider travel due to “serious risks to safety and security.” Countries currently under this risk rating include Germany, Spain, Greece and China.
The suspension of the program is also in acknowledgement of the “country-imposed travel restrictions [that] are still very much in place for travelers coming from the United States.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated international travel information, people are still asked to postpone travel until fully vaccinated so as to prevent the contraction and spread of COVID-19 variants. However, even fully vaccinated travelers are subject to limitations still in place for specific destinations.
“We will focus on the positive return to campus in fall and shift study abroad programming to spring 2022,” said Loberg and the Study Abroad staff.
The Study Abroad Office also stated that they are “developing several new programs abroad for spring and summer 2022 that will be tailored specifically to graduating seniors ... ” Such programs may be tailored to specific majors “serving as a faculty-led capstone experience” or on the premise of an “internationally-based internship.”
For students who had been planning on studying abroad in the fall, “Your program advisor will be following up with you about your plans,” they said.