The UWG summer 2022 study abroad trip to Vienna, Austria has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The cancellation affects credit hours and graduation plans for many students. UWG’s German department is offering classes over the summer in replace of the trip to accommodate students’ needs. The trip was planned to help students gain cultural awareness of the culture and improve language skills.
“All decisions are made with the students’ health and safety in mind, it is our number one priority,” says Dr. Anne Gaquere, the Director of Education Abroad for UWG. “It is hard to predict how the situation will evolve and we constantly have to look at data and trends.”
Since 2020, The University of West Georgia’s Office of Education Abroad has been faced with program cancellations.
Universities are trying their best to adapt to these occurrences in order to help students meet their needs. The Office of Education Abroad at The University of West Georgia implemented new ideas to allow students to still be involved, including virtual study abroad options. This includes virtual tours and communicating to partners from overseas.
“These partnerships are continuing for the benefit of all,” says Dr. Gaquere.
Although this may not be the ideal image of study abroad, the ability to acquire a knowledge of new cultures and ways of thinking is still able to be offered to the students.
Fortunately, some study abroad programs remain. UWG is still tentatively offering trips for 2022 including South Korea, Italy, London and France through the UWG Richards College of Business.
Students are required to follow procedures before entering European countries. Some countries mandate up-to-date vaccinations while others require a quarantine for unvaccinated visitors. In addition, all students must produce a negative test before entering the country.
Dr. Gaquere feels optimistic about the future of study abroad programs and hopes the program can return in 2023.