Students and faculty participating in international Immersive Term trips received an email Aug. 20 from Kristin Flora, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, relaying the message that all of their upcoming study away courses have been canceled.
“Given the continued global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically, the classification of many international destinations as a Level Four travel warning, Franklin College has made the difficult decision to suspend all international Immersive Term Study Away courses traveling in January 2022,” Flora wrote.
Level Four travel warnings are issued by the U.S. Department of State for a number of reasons, some being COVID-19, crime, war and natural disasters.
While national travel to areas of high COVID-19 positivity is discouraged, Franklin College has not canceled trips within the United States at this time.
Flora expressed sympathy and disappointment on the college’s behalf to students, especially seniors, but shared hopes that they would have an alternate travel opportunity through the college in the spring.
The Director of Global Education, Jenny Cataldi, said the college is still too early in the planning stages to provide more details but they hope to release more concrete information after Fall Break.
“If the world situation allows for safe and stable overseas travel, our hope is to offer an opportunity for international travel for our senior students who are once again unable to take part in an Immersive Term study away course,” Cataldi said.
Students in need of international credit to graduate in the spring were encouraged to reach out to academic advisors and or the college’s registrar, Lisa Mahan. Full refunds will be issued by the business office in the same method they were received. Flora wrote that anyone with additional questions and concerns should contact Cataldi.
“Franklin College prides itself on offering study away courses that fully immerse students in a different environment,” Flora said. “As the college cannot guarantee safe and immersive opportunities off-campus, all international courses have been canceled.”