Kip Lynch ’22
In an email sent to the student body Thursday, Oct. 15, Acting Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sonia Cardenas announced that the College had made the decision to suspend study away programs for Spring 2021.
She described how “global study and engagement are key aspects of a Trinity education” before acknowledging that “as the pandemic restricts our travel this year, it likely will come as no surprise that we have decided to suspend study away programs for spring 2021.” The administration’s decision will apply to both Trinity-administered programs and external programs, both domestic and abroad.
Cardenas emphasized that “we are prioritizing your health and safety, guided by ongoing global advisories and travel restrictions. Please know that as soon as we can, we will resume study-away experiences, including short-term global programs.” She extolled students to “continue taking globally engaged courses this spring, included by studying other languages and cultures.”
The Tripod reached out to Director of the Office of Study Away Jennifer Summerhays, who stated that in order for the College to lift the suspension on study away, “the travel advisories issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department would need to be lifted, host country restrictions eliminated, and unpredictable circumstances such as uncertain airline schedules, challenges returning home, and challenges accessing health care would need to be mitigated.”
Trinity College previously suspended all study away programs in March in response to the COVID-19 and the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the outbreak a pandemic as well as the U.S. Department of State’s issuance of a global health advisory.
Summerhays also stressed that the College will “maintain a general suspension until standards are met worldwide.”
As to whether the College would be adapting existing recommendations so that current juniors will have additional opportunities to study abroad in their senior year, Summerhays indicated that “individual students should work with their academic advisors to review their major progress and understand their study away options for their senior year.”