Emory cancels fall study abroad programs due to pandemic

In addition to cutting the spring semester short at Emory University, the coronavirus pandemic has now led to a cancellation of all in-person summer programs and fall study abroad programs.

In an announcement today, Jan Love, Emory interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said, “To protect public health and minimize risks for disruption, Emory University will offer only summer programming that can be completed off-campus and in remote learning formats.”

She also said, “University-sponsored study abroad for undergraduate students in fall 2020 is canceled. We have made this difficult and disappointing decision based on the health and safety concerns associated with global and domestic travel and the uncertainty of conditions in various countries abroad. These considerations are also combined with concerns about the stability and resilience of the sponsoring organizations responsible for providing a quality experience that would allow students to achieve their academic and personal goals.”

Emory is ahead of the collegiate pack with its decision to cancel; many campuses are still considering what to do about fall study abroad programs. Emory was the first school in Georgia to announce it was closing its campus, including dorms, and moving all instruction online for the rest of the semester in response to the coronavirus.

“As for our fall study abroad programs, there is no update at this time,” said a spokesman for the University System of Georgia, which oversees the state’s 26 public campuses.

directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not speak directly to fall programs, but does caution, "The COVID-19 situation is dynamic. Given the speed of spread and the number of countries experiencing community transmission, Institutes of Higher Education should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to maintain programs abroad and take the appropriate proactive measures. IHEs that continue to maintain programs abroad should monitor COVID-19 for additional information."