On behalf of the education abroad team, it is with sadness I announce the cancellation of J-term and Spring 2021 education abroad programming.
The J-term programs that most UNH students select are Faculty-led courses with one to three weeks of international travel. Typically, these educational and cultural experiences with a faculty member involve specific course topics, exploring cultures, and visiting places of interest. Because of a two-week quarantine requirement in most countries, restrictions on U.S. travelers, and the State Department rating most countries at the highest risk levels, J-term travel is unrealistic and unsafe.
It is unlikely that circumstances related to international travel for January through May will change. Due to the recent worldwide upward trend of COVID-19 cases and the unlikelihood of a vaccine in the next six months, traveling will remain unsafe and limited in the foreseeable future. Other barriers to education abroad are border closures to U.S. travelers and an increased risk of contracting the virus when traveling.
For the Spring semester, there may be extenuating circumstances in which study abroad experiences could be an option. In these cases, a student or unit (program director) may petition to the International Travel Risk Review Committee (ITRRC) for prior approval. Examples of possible exceptions are travel to a country that permits entry for study or internships and exchanges accepting U.S. students. All cases must be thoroughly assessed for risk and deemed to be acceptable irrespective of the country’s State Department rated risk level. Please contact your College’s education abroad advisor for information on the petition process.
Start planning for future study abroad experiences. It is never too soon to start conversations with your academic advisor and your education abroad advisor about all the different international educational experiences that are available, attend a virtual education abroad information session, and visit the website https://www.unh.edu/global/education-abroad
While waiting to travel internationally, have you thought about exploring North America? Study Away in the U.S.A. https://www.unh.edu/nse or the Semester in the City program https://collegeforsocialinnovation.org/
Kerryellen Vroman, Ph.D. OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Vice Provost for International Programs
University of New Hampshire