In the light of uncertainty due to the global pandemic, colleges and universities across the United States have called off events and programs that involve international travel for the rest of spring semester and all summer sessions. Some institutions are going even further to suspend study abroad programs scheduled for this fall.
Trinity University in Antonio, Texas, announced last week that this fall semester's study abroad programs, including those in Spain, Mexico, and South Africa, will not proceed as planned. Students looking to participate in programs abroad will now have to register for housing and schedule their courses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yet to directly address fall programs, but it has advised schools and students to exercise caution.
"The COVID-19 situation is dynamic. Given the speed of spread and the number of countries experiencing community transmission, Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to maintain programs abroad and take the appropriate proactive measures," the CDC said in a directive in early March. "IHEs that continue to maintain programs abroad should monitor COVID-19 for additional information."
The U.S. Department of State, however, has warned citizens that decide to stay abroad that they may have trouble returning to the United States when or if they need to.