Return of study abroad programs at UCCS depends on COVID-19 restrictions

Isaac Werner

iwerner@uccs.edu  

 Students wanting to study abroad might not be able to travel this spring, but an opportunity to do so in the future is not out of the question. UCCS is working to ensure the right policies and safety measures are in place to resume study abroad programs for students.  

     In November 2020, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) announced that all Spring 2021 semester programs abroad and student international travel abroad had been suspended.  

     The International Affairs: Education Abroad program has been available to students right up until the start of COVID-19 restrictions on the state, nation and world. The impacts of the global pandemic have affected this program. 

     When considering student safety and health, UCCS follows the advisory from the U.S. Department Travel Advisory and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning level alerts. 

     As stated on the International Affairs website, “if a country or city is below a U.S. Department of State Level 3 and a CDC warning Level of 2, it’s normally well within UCCS’ risk tolerance for student travel abroad.” El Paso County is currently at a warning Level Yellow, or Level 3.    

     “Any elevation in advisory levels indicates a change in condition, prompting us to review the situation in detail to assess impact on our students and evaluate whether we can maintain our programs,” according to the International Affairs website.  

     The International Affairs: Education Abroad program urges students to take COVID-19 restrictions into consideration, per the CDC regulations and federal regulations.  

     “The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind all travelers that beginning Jan. 26, all air passengers two years of age or older arriving to the United States must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding. This order applies to both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens.” 

     “UCCS students should reconsider non-essential travel as this global pandemic continues to evolve,” the Education Abroad program stated on their website.   

     The program presents scenarios such as not being able to access a COVID-19 test, testing positive, being asymptomatic and not being able to finance medical care as reasons for students to reconsider traveling abroad.  

     International Affairs continues to host Abroad 101 sessions for students interested in traveling internationally through UCCS. Students are encouraged to come learn about the program, receive application information and more, via Microsoft Teams.  

     Signups can be made through Mountain Lion Connect, with the next session taking place on Feb. 23 at 4 p.m.  

     The International Affairs: Education Abroad program also has other live sessions pertaining to studying and living abroad. The sessions span from completing an education application to completing international taxes.  

     The study-abroad program still makes itself known and is present for students who are interested in traveling during their time at UCCS.  

Photo courtesy of Andrew Stutesman and Unsplash.com