University suspends study abroad through spring term

The+Estuary+of+Bilbao+flows+through+Bilbao%2C+Spain+in+the+spring.+Spain+is+a+popular+study+abroad+destination+for+Illinois+students.

Ellen Barczak

The Estuary of Bilbao flows through Bilbao, Spain in the spring. Spain is a popular study abroad destination for Illinois students.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

The University of Illinois has extended the suspension of study abroad programs through May 2021, the Office of International Safety and Security announced on Thursday on its blog.

“The University values the study abroad experience, and University staff have been exploring opportunities for resuming study abroad,” the office wrote. “However, the rate of COVID-19 transmission and continued uncertainty suggest that it is not yet appropriate to resume study abroad.”

For students who submitted study applications for the spring, the University said it will waive or refund the $100 application fee.

All programs, including exchange, direct enrollment, provider programs, faculty-led trips and study abroad by petition are included in the suspension.

UI trips departing in June 2021 “will be evaluated in early spring,” the announcement said.

“The University will not permit any waivers or exceptions for Spring 2021 study abroad, including for those programs with delayed start dates in March or April,” the announcement stated. “Participants choosing to study abroad will have no University connection or support, including access to study abroad options through the University, international insurance, and pre-articulation of course credit.”

On March 10, the University sent a message to all students studying abroad in Europe, which “strongly advised” them to return to the U.S. as soon as possible.

The next day, the University announced the cancellation of all study abroad programs effective March 14, ordering all students to return immediately.

Then, on April 22, all fall and winter study abroad programs were suspended through Jan. 15, 2021.

The University said all students who applied for spring study abroad have been notified of this decision.

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