June 5, 2020
Dear Members of the HWS Community,
Earlier today, a message was sent to students who were registered to study abroad this fall and their academic advisors to let them know that after much deliberation, the Colleges have made the difficult decision to suspend all fall study abroad programs. This decision was made in consideration of the ongoing health and safety challenges around the world related to COVID-19. We considered a wide range of issues in coming to this difficult decision, including the status of viral outbreaks in the areas where we have study abroad programs, potential increased rates of infection, the framework and access to health care, as well as the travel restrictions currently in place in many countries.
Affected students, their families and advisers have been sent extensive communications that detail the many variables that students must take into consideration as they plan for future abroad opportunities. In addition, Amy Teel, the Center for Global Education’s Programs Operations Manager, has set aside the week of June 22 to answer questions and work with students on a one-on-one basis.
Fortunately, we had anticipated earlier this semester that we may be forced to make this decision, so all students planning to go abroad in the fall also registered for classes on campus. We also set aside housing for them.
This decision does not impact upcoming J-Term or Spring 2021 study abroad programs. Preparations for those programs are underway and we will continue to monitor conditions in all of our many program locations.
Although we aren’t sending students abroad this fall, the Colleges remain deeply dedicated to our global education program and to the value of global citizenship in the Hobart and William Smith education. We will not waver in that commitment.
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Dean for Global Education