UMD cancels all fall study abroad programs amid global pandemic

The University of Maryland has canceled all study abroad programs for the fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, Education Abroad Director Leeanne Dunsmore wrote in an email Tuesday evening to students who had applied to a program.

The decision came after discussions with this university’s international risk management committee and university administrators about the feasibility of continuing programs in the fall, Dunsmore wrote. Students who had applied to a program this fall were offered the opportunity to transfer their application to the spring or fall 2021 semester.

“We are committed to your ongoing global learning, in whatever form it takes, to prepare you for a world that requires globally competent professionals and citizens,” Dunsmore wrote. “We will continue to share opportunities with you as they evolve in the weeks ahead.”

In late January, the university canceled its study abroad programs in China. It announced the early end to all of its programs almost two months later, soon after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. The University System of Maryland is planning to resume at least some in-person instruction in the fall, and officials are set to share plans for the fall semester by the end of this month.

The Education Abroad office is developing virtual opportunities, Dunsmore wrote, and she encouraged students to stay globally engaged through summer internships and courses, as well as Global Classrooms — classes taught in conjunction with partner international universities.

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