Fall 2020 Study Away update

Please see the important message below from the international risk management group regarding study abroad and domestic study for the fall 2020 semester. 

Fall 2020 Study Away update

June 19, 2020

This message was sent to all students who had started an educational leave approval checklist in the Amherst College Travel Registry for the fall 2020 semester.

Dear Student,

I hope that you are doing well, or as well as can be expected, and that your summer is off to a good start.

The global health situation is rapidly changing and the Office of Global Education, in close consultation with internal and external resources, has been closely following how programs and countries are responding to the pandemic. We were hopeful that students would be able to safely study away this fall; however, we have determined that there are too many risks associated with study away at this time. The College has made the difficult decision to cancel study away for the fall 2020 semester based the following factors:

  • The College’s travel policy, which prohibits travel to countries with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning Level 4 “Do Not Travel” and a Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Level 3 “Avoid Non-Essential Travel”
  • Health risks associated with travel, predicted surges in coronavirus cases, and potential quarantine if required or recommended
  • Financial risks associated with study away, e.g., airfare costs, limited (or lack of) refunds for program fees if fall programs are disrupted
  • Travel restrictions and possible evacuations and the College’s limited ability to assist students with travel arrangements
  • Passport and visa processing delays
  • Significant modifications to programs, e.g., limited course options, restricted personal travel, minimizing immersion by reducing contact with locals

We know this is disappointing news and we hope that you will be able to participate in a study abroad or domestic study program in the future when it is safer to do so. Many programs are permitting fall students to defer to spring 2021, should that be of interest to you. (We are assuming that spring 2021 programs will move forward as planned.)

Please be in touch with any questions you may have. You can make an appointment with a GEO adviser here or reply to this email.

Best wishes for the summer,

Janna Behrens, on behalf of the International Risk Management Group:

Catherine Epstein, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Karu Kozuma, Chief Student Affair Officer
Austin Sarat, Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty
Bett Schumacher, Chief of Staff/Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Janna Behrens, Director of the Office of Global Education
Hanna Bliss, Director of the Center for International Student Engagement
Caroline Hanna, Director of Media Communications
Matt Hart, Director of Emergency Management