Following the University’s recent announcement of the cancellation of all study abroad programs for the Spring 2021 semester, the Office of Off-Campus Study organized a presentation to introduce juniors to potential new opportunities for off-campus study. The event, held over Zoom, was designed to give new options and guidance to students who were denied the experience of going abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Associate Director of Off-Campus Study Casimer (Cas) Sowa, the primary organizer of this event which took place on Tuesday, Oct. 27, outlined a number of ways that juniors could still study abroad during their remaining time at Colgate. The University is currently offering four extended studies next semester — to Ghana, Greece and Rome, New York City or Poland — and Colgate study groups for the Fall 2021 semester are expected to be posted on Colgate’s Off-Campus Study website by the end of January 2021.
Additionally, applications for approved programs for the Fall 2021 semester are currently being completed by students across campus. However, due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, these programs can still potentially be suspended.
“OCS is currently in the application cycle for Spring 2021 Extended Study programs and Fall ‘21/Spring ‘22 Study Groups, and we want students to know the process for applying to these programs,” Sowa said.
Alternatively, Sowa encouraged students to begin considering options not offered through the University.
“The session also gave information for Summer ‘21 transfer credit options, and some possible options through the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships — future Fulbright, Watsons, etc. — or even summer internship/research possibilities through Career Services,” Sowa said.
The continuation of study abroad and approved programming for the year of 2021 is still uncertain, as it is dependent on COVID-19 restrictions. However, the University is still ensuring that students in both the Class of 2022 and 2023 have a multitude of off-campus study options to choose from. The University also may potentially add more Fall 2021 programs to fit members of the Class of 2022.
“Students need to be flexible in knowing that future programs may still be impacted by the pandemic, but we don’t really know what these impacts may entail just yet,” Sowa said. “We recommend that students select the best options for them, keep in touch with the Office of Off-Campus Study and with faculty directors if working with a Colgate program or with the program provider if applying to an external program.”
Junior Emily Cope, who was supposed to study in Vienna, Austria this semester on an approved program, said that the event was quite helpful in many ways.
“It’s been really hard for juniors, myself included, to accept that we will not get the study abroad experience that has been impactful to so many Colgate students, but it was exciting to hear about ways we could still have a global experience!” Cope said.
Junior Emily Kraus, also attended Tuesday’s event, and she expressed similar feelings to Cope about the cancellation of study abroad programs. Kraus was planning to study on a Colgate Study Group in Wales, England for the upcoming spring semester.
“Although I wasn’t really surprised that study abroad programs were cancelled, I was still definitely disappointed to hear the official news. I am sure many of my peers have been excited about studying abroad for a while so it was upsetting to hear that it couldn’t happen,” Kraus said.
Nonetheless, Kraus was grateful for the opportunity to hear about more study abroad options.
“I appreciate that Cas Sowa and the Office of Off-Campus Study had a meeting about abroad options for seniors because it was helpful to hear about what abroad options might still be possible,” Kraus said. “I really appreciate that he took the time to explain possible options going forward.”