Good afternoon. I come to you today as the bearer of bad news. After meeting with the Provost and Lander’s Covid-19 Task Force, I am afraid that, due to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions on international travel, Lander must suspend all Fall 2020 Study Abroad programs.

Please know that this decision was not taken lightly. Because your health, safety, and wellbeing does remain our first concern, we have consulted multiple sources. Both the US Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control still strongly advise against international travel. Many of our partner institutions abroad (especially the University of Winchester and other schools in the UK) report continued quarantines, closed airports, limitations on local travel, and more.

Rather than delay this decision any longer, I want to let you know now so that you may focus on making appropriate plans for the Fall 2020 semester including contacting your academic advisor and financial aid, and making arrangements for housing.

I would have loved to spend time this summer helping you prepare for your time abroad. It saddens us all to see your dreams delayed. I hope that Lander will be able to resume Study Abroad and Study Tour programs for the Spring 2021 semester and still get you abroad this next academic year. We plan to announce decisions about Spring programs no later than 1 November.

If you have any questions on this message or any topic related to Study Abroad, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Carlos Mentley
Director of Study Abroad

 

FAQs

How is Lander monitoring the COVID-19 situation worldwide?
A team of university officials, including the Director of Study Abroad, the Provost’s Office, Student Health Services, and the Covid-19 Task Force, are monitoring the pandemic worldwide. To assess risks related to Study Abroad, Lander consults a number of resources, including governmental agencies, news reports, professional health and security organizations, and other program providers.

 

What changes has Lander made to its study abroad programs due to the Covid-19 outbreak?
Lander University has suspended all University student travel through the end of Fall semester of 2020. We will make determinations for the Spring 2021 semester by 1 November.

 

How will Lander make the decision about spring 2021 Study Abroad programming?
Lander takes guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the US Department of State (DOS), and the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control. When making decisions about specific programs, we consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners. By Lander policy, student travel is not sanctioned to countries or regions that are subject to a DOS Level 3 or 4 Advisory or a CDC Level 3 Advisory.

 

What are the current DOS and CDC travel advisories?
Currently, there is a worldwide DOS Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) advisory and a worldwide CDC Level 3 (“Avoid Nonessential Travel”) advisory in place. This means that the US Government is urging all US citizens to avoid international travel.

 

I would like to study abroad next spring. What should I be doing?
For students who would like to study abroad in the spring 2021 semester, Lander recommends that you prepare for two scenarios: (1) that Study Abroad programming will resume in the spring 2021 semester, and (2) that Study Abroad programming may be cancelled. We recommend that you complete Study Abroad-related applications with the Study Abroad Office and your program. We also recommend that you work with your academic advisor to register for on-campus classes at Lander to ensure you can continue your academic progress if spring Study Abroad programming is ultimately cancelled. We strongly recommend against committing any non-refundable funds to your study abroad experience before the November decision, including housing payments in your host country and airfare.

 

Who can I contact about Study Abroad and the Covid-19 situation?
For health and medical-related questions and concerns, please contact Student Health Services. For logistical and programmatic questions and concerns, please contact the Study Abroad Office.