UNC students are continuing to apply to study abroad programs despite the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the limited program options for spring 2021.
The University has received 227 study abroad program applications for the spring 2021 semester as of Sept. 25, 2020 – in contrast to more than 400 students who studied abroad in spring 2020, Heather Ward, associate dean of study abroad and international exchanges, said in an email.
Ward said students have applied to study in 27 countries, rather than the typical 360 programs in 70 countries, as the office has removed programs in many countries that have limited the entry of U.S. travelers.
For fall 2020, the University restricted study abroad travel outside North Carolina with exceptions granted by the Chancellor, and plans to keep the same model for spring 2021, she said.
“Study abroad advisers have been advising students who have applied to study in the spring 2021 semester to fully consider the implications of studying abroad during a global pandemic,” Ward said in an email.
UNC’s partner universities and organizations abroad, which host UNC students, have put together health and safety protocols in compliance with local guidelines. The University will also provide pre-departure COVID-19 orientation sessions for spring semester abroad students and their families, Ward said.
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Undergraduate Global Programs Office has received more than 50 applications for their programs, Ward said.
Emily Dawson, a junior in the Kenan-Flagler Business school, is a part of the three-semester Globe Scholar program, traveling from UNC to the Chinese University of Hong Kong to the University of Copenhagen.