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Penn State Cancels Spring 2021 Study Abroad Programs

Penn State has canceled its spring semester study abroad programs due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an email sent to students Wednesday.

The university said a number of factors weighed into the decision, including a potential second wave of virus cases in the coming months. Limited travel opportunities, complicated logistics surrounding leaving the United States, and financial and academic issues impacted the measure as well.

Students’ received email also said the university was concerned students who left the country could have trouble returning home.

“With sufficient concern surrounding the global pandemic and on-going disruption around the world, this decision was not made quickly or lightly. Our decision is rooted in the profound current uncertainties about travel out of the United States, mobility in host locations, and the ability to even return to one’s home country,” Brian Brubaker, director of Education Abroad in Global Programs, said. “We, in good conscience, cannot provide programs with so many unknown issues.”

Penn State specifically stated study abroad’s cancellation doesn’t affect the university’s plans for instruction at University Park next spring. It already said it will continue offering both in-person and remote instruction next semester due to the pandemic.

Penn State said it will deactivate its study abroad application for the spring and not charge its $250 study abroad administrative fee. To avoid a charge, students are implored to reach out to their study abroad representatives.

Students who now face challenges graduating on time or meeting degree requirements can file requests for academic exceptions, according to the email. They’re encouraged to reach out to their advisers for more information.

Penn State previously canceled fall 2020 study abroad trips in June and pulled students out of their programs when the coronavirus pandemic escalated in March.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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