Boston College canceled all of its study abroad programs for the Spring 2020 semester on Monday, according to an email sent to students scheduled to study abroad next semester from Office of International Programs Director Nick Gozik.
Though some partner universities and external programs had already canceled their spring programs, BC had yet to announce a final decision on study abroad for the spring semester before Monday.
Gozik cited continued travel restrictions, State Department and Centers for Disease Control recommendations against international travel, challenges in securing student visas, and the presence and resurgence of COVID-19 in many countries as factors in the decision.
“Moreover, it has become increasingly difficult to imagine being able to provide you with a truly immersive experience, with many universities still relying heavily on online teaching, limits in terms of housing and activities, and strict rules around travel between and within countries,” Gozik said. “Additionally, a number of our partner universities have already cancelled their exchange programs.”
Other schools such as Harvard University, Brown University, and Princeton University canceled their Spring 2021 study abroad programs in early October, citing the ever-changing nature of COVID-19 and the increased likelihood of its spread with travel.
Gozik’s email said that Spring 2020 abroad students will receive first priority in the Fall 2021 semester for the same programs they planned to participate in this spring, where possible. Students who were originally scheduled to study abroad this semester were also promised first priority in their programs for the fall of 2021 when BC announced the cancellation of fall study abroad over the summer.
Gozik suggested in the email that students consider applying for a study abroad program for the summer of 2021. He said that students who planned to go abroad and have questions about on-campus housing should contact the Office of Residential Life.
Gozik did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Heights, and he will be out of the office until Wednesday, according to an automated email response.
Greg Jones, director of Housing Operations, and George Arey, associate vice president of Residential Life, did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Heights.
Gozik expressed regret for the cancellation in the email but said that the University wanted to make the decision now to give students the ability to make alternative plans.
“We certainly wish that we had a different decision,” Gozik wrote. “However, we wanted to make sure that you have all of the information as soon as possible so that you can make alternative plans. Do not hesitate to reach out to your OIP advisor with any questions you might have.”
Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor