For many college students, going abroad is the highlight of their college career. Whether it’s for study or an internship, the experience offers invaluable personal and intercultural learning no textbook could ever provide. It also tends to set off a lifelong appreciation for travel, culture, world events, and adventure.
So, when CIEE made the difficult decision to suspend all of its spring ’20 programs around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew full well that heartbreak and disappointment would be the reaction from hundreds of students currently on program. At a recent worldwide meeting with CIEE staff, President and CEO Jim Pellow stressed the need to “put the safety and wellbeing of our students above all other concerns.”
- Students returning to the U.S. have been given thorough guidance regarding COVID-19 prevention, procedures for self-quarantine, and important instructions should they feel sick.
- Many will be able to continue their coursework online and earn academic credits toward their degree as planned.
- CIEE will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and assess the local situation at each of our 50+ sites.
- Study abroad and internship programs will resume once we get a positive assessment for each CIEE site from our health, safety and security team.
Until then …
- Heed CDC recommendations for thorough hand washing and “social distancing.” Doing so will help to slow the spread of the disease and help bring this pandemic to an end.
- Keep the faith. This will pass. The world has weathered many difficult times, and if we can stay mindful of what’s important and look out for one another (at a distance) we will come out stronger.
- Take care of yourself. Breathing, meditation, exercise, healthy meals, and solid sleep are all practical ways to keep your immune system strong and your mind positive.
A big, hearty, THANK YOU to all CIEE students for their patience, courage, and understanding as together, we navigated through this global health crisis. Your grace and maturity shined even as we made the difficult decision to move, cancel, or suspend programs.
This pandemic highlights the importance of working together as a global community to solve challenges like COVID-19. We believe that international education breaks the barriers of “you” versus “me” and strengthens the collective “we.” We look forward to welcoming you back to our programs around the globe and continuing our mission to make the world a better place through study abroad.