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University resumes select study abroad experiences, announces new programs

| Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Study abroad students are able once more to travel to international destinations this semester, but they are faced with new changes, restrictions and regulations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every study abroad location is different, in both experiences offered and in COVID-19 regulations, senior director of global education Hong Zhu said.

“We developed COVID-19 policies and guidelines for all of the gateways and centers where we have study abroad programs this semester and the guidelines are country and location-specific,” Zhu said.

Zhu said the diversity of regulations stems from a desire to respect the policies and procedures of each host nation. As a result, he said it is important for students to do their research regarding the state of the pandemic in their desired destinations. Upon arrival, study abroad students are asked to limit their travel to within their host nation.

While study abroad has returned as an available option, certain study abroad programs remain canceled, including those in Australia and France. Reasons for cancelations vary: Students are unable to travel to Chile due to closed borders, and programs in China were halted due to the country’s travel restrictions. For the University’s program in Nagoya, Japan, courses are being taught entirely through remote instruction.

Despite current complications, most spring 2022 programs are expected to resume, Zhu said.

“The University is moving forward with spring 2022 study abroad, and we are optimistic that we will be able to operate the majority of the programs,” Zhu said.

But considering the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, Zhu and the global engagement team ask that students follow given instructions and guidelines as they plan for the spring semester.

The 2022-2023 academic year offers four new study abroad programs that students can look forward to, including Durham, United Kingdom; Lviv, Ukraine; Tel Aviv, Israel and Leuven, Belgium. Summer programs have also been added, Zhu said.

“We have also added several new summer programs, some in locations where we didn’t have summer programs before, such as Uganda, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand,” Zhu said.

The University also now offers new programs within existing locations, such as in Beijing, Jerusalem and Rome. Information regarding these new programs, as well as the existing programs, can be found online at the Notre Dame study abroad website. Students wishing to study abroad for the 2022-2023 academic year can begin the application process now.

Although the pandemic has led to major changes in operation across the study abroad experience, Zhu said he hopes students understand the importance of the University’s ongoing safety precautions. As the opportunity to study abroad is an important aspect of what Notre Dame has to offer, students being receptive to changing circumstances is critical for maintaining this experience, he said.

“The situation is constantly changing and evolving, and [students] should be prepared to adapt and stay flexible,” Zhu said. “We trust that students will still have a very meaningful experience, even with limited travel.”

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