Dean’s September 18, 2020 Message re: Spring 2021 Study Abroad Suspension:
Dear PC Spring Study Abroad Students,
I hope that this email finds you well and that you and your families are keeping in good health.
PC takes study abroad student health and safety very seriously, and the CGE staff in conjunction with College administration have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. We regret to inform you that the College has made the difficult decision to suspend all Spring 2021 study abroad programs. A task force comprised of PC faculty, staff, and administrators considered the following factors, which informed the College’s decision:
- There is a high level of uncertainty related to the dynamic COVID-19 pandemic and desire to mitigate risk to study abroad students in terms of their health and safety, academics, and finances.
- Department of State Level 3 (reconsider travel) and CDC Level 3 (COVID-19 risk is high) alerts/guidelines remain in effect for most countries where PC students study abroad. These alerts/guidelines are likely to remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
- There are currently significant delays in passport processing for students who don’t have a passport, and student visa processing is also currently delayed/compromised.
- Study abroad students will soon need to make non-refundable financial commitments for spring 2021 study abroad programs – flights, visas, program deposits, etc.
- Host country conditions/restrictions such as quarantine upon entry and full/partial lockdowns may create hardships for students while abroad and negatively impact their overall experience.
The Spring 2021 suspension includes all international programs, virtual or in-person, and the College will not grant special dispensation through waiver forms.
We will be in touch in the upcoming weeks with more information. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Please do not contact Residence Life at this time regarding housing for spring 2021. Residence Life will be reaching out to all affected students in early October.
We strongly believe that study abroad is a powerful and transformative experience, which makes this decision very difficult. However, health and safety are paramount to us.
Christian F. Wilwohl, Ed.D.
Dean of Global Education
Dean’s June 2, 2020 Message re: Fall 2020 Study Abroad Suspension:
Dear PC Fall Study Abroad Students,
I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. We regret to inform you that the College has made the difficult decision to suspend all Fall 2020 study abroad activities. Over the past several months, a task force has been closely monitoring updates from risk management and global health partners as well as governmental and supranational organizations including the CDC, Dept. of State, and foreign consulates. Having considered the varying public health advice in different host countries, the current domestic and international travel restrictions, and the uncertainty as to when such restrictions will be lifted, it is clear that it is neither feasible nor safe for PC students to plan their abroad activities adequately. The Fall 2020 suspension policy includes all international programs, virtual or in-person, and the College will not grant special dispensation through waiver forms.
As you’re aware, Providence College implemented contingency planning in April where Fall 2020 study abroad candidates were required to register for Fall coursework at PC. Similarly, the Office of Residence Life has been collaborative in guaranteeing housing for Fall study abroad candidates who will now be impacted by the suspension.
We request Fall students notify the Center for Global Education (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your decision to either 1) withdraw from study abroad entirely or 2) defer your participation to the Spring 2021 semester. The CGE will contact your study abroad provider to let them know of your decision to withdraw or defer to spring. The College continues to support Spring 2021 study abroad. The CGE and other campus stakeholders will of course continue to monitor health and safety surrounding the Spring semester in the months ahead. For those who decide to withdraw entirely, the $500 study abroad deposit will be credited to your Fall bill.
We also ask impacted Fall students to contact the Office of Residence Life to begin dialogue regarding Fall on-campus housing. Students may reach out to Kevin Hillery, Associate Director of Residence Life & Housing, at email@example.com.
Providence College has always been led by the conviction that crossing borders creates opportunities. It is, therefore, with heavy hearts that we came to this decision. Student health and academic continuity must take priority at this historic time.
Dean’s May 1, 2020 Message re: Fall 2020 Study Abroad including Deposit Extensions:
We hope this message finds you well. Please note that the Center for Global Education has extended the Study Abroad Deposit Deadline for Fall and Spring 2020-21 as follows:
- Fall 2020 Semester Deposit Deadline: June 1
- Spring 2021 Semester Deposit Deadline: August 15
In order to confirm your participation in study abroad, you will need to submit a $500 deposit to Cyberfriar by the appropriate above date. As a reminder, this deposit contributes towards the $1,000 study abroad fee assessed to all semester/year abroad students. In the event you withdraw from, or the College suspends, study abroad due to COVID-19 you will be entitled to a full deposit refund. You will need to consult with your program regarding provider deposits, fees, and withdrawal penalties. It should be noted that many abroad partners are revising their cancellation penalties to provide refunds on account of COVID-19.
Please note that a Task Force has been appointed to assess Fall Study Abroad at the College where an institutional decision will be shared with the campus community by June 1. This group is closely monitoring, among many things, Dept. of State, CDC, and WHO guidelines and travel advisories, the operational services of consulates both here and abroad, as well as the contingency planning of our overseas partners.
Thank you for your time and continued patience and please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Global Education should you have additional questions.
Dean’s April 13, 2020 Message re: Spring 2020 P/F Policy:
Dear Spring Study Abroad Students,
Following Provost Hugh Lena’s April 9 announcement regarding the new Spring 2020 pass/fail policy, I would like to provide details as to how this relates to Spring 2020 study abroad. Please note that full-time status students who participated in Spring study abroad can also elect the pass/fail option for any or all courses this spring. Students will determine a course’s status as follows:
- Study abroad students can exercise the pass/fail option once the Center for Global Education receives the provider institution transcript. This typically takes place during the summer and fall months and, thus, study abroad students have an extension past the June 1 deadline. Once grades have been posted, students will simply fill out a form notifying the College which courses they elect to take as P/F.
- If your provider institution has already implemented, or is offering, its own pass/fail option you have permission to select the provider P/F policy should you choose. Please note that students can still elect to have any letters grades revised to P/F once the study abroad transcript arrives at PC (see above paragraph).
We believe this to be an equitable approach in line with the Faculty Senate legislation. To echo part of Provost Lena’s message, however, there may be some restrictions on taking courses pass/fail due to standards of external accrediting bodies or pre-existing department/program policies. Should you have questions related to such a restriction, I urge you to consult with your academic advisor.
Thank you for your time.
Dean’s March 26, 2020 Message to Fall 2020 Study Abroad Students:
Dear Fall 2020 Study Abroad Students,
We hope this message finds you safe and well. The Providence College Center for Global Education continues to closely monitor the unprecedented spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The U.S. Dept. of State recently issued a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Worldwide Travel Advisory and the CDC has elevated many countries to a Level 3 (Avoid Non-Essential Travel). These changes have prompted the College to cancel all Summer 2020 study abroad programs.
At this point the College continues to support Fall 2020 study abroad. The fluidity of the evolving situation as highlighted above, however, may warrant your personal decision to withdraw from Fall study abroad in the weeks/months ahead or may dictate the College suspends Fall study abroad entirely. We wanted to provide important details related to the Fall 2020 semester and your status as a member of the Friar Family.
Students who withdraw from Fall study abroad after April 7 are still guaranteed on-campus housing at Providence College. In this scenario, you may not receive your housing “preference” for the Fall semester; however, the College will accommodate you on-campus. In the Spring 2021 semester, you will move into your selected housing placement. Additional housing questions can be sent to Kevin Hillery via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given the unique circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we are requesting that all Fall 2020 study abroad students register for PC Fall classes via Cyberfriar for contingency purposes (the Registrar will send out Fall Registration dates in the near future). In the event that you withdraw or the College suspends Fall study abroad, you will still have a full course load to fall back on to ensure that you are making steady progress towards Spring 2022 graduation. Additional registration questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Should you (and the College) continue to move forward with Fall study abroad, we will adjust your Fall registration by revising your PC course registrations to “JYA,” the PC acronym for semester/year study abroad, prior to your departure.
Deposit, Fees, and Next Steps
In order to confirm your participation in Fall study abroad, you will need to submit a $500 deposit to Cyberfriar by May 1st. This deposit contributes towards the $1,000 study abroad fee assessed to all semester/year abroad students. In the event you withdraw from, or the College suspends, Fall study abroad due to COVID-19 you will be entitled to a full deposit refund. You will need to consult with your program regarding provider deposits, fees, and withdrawal penalties. It should be noted that many abroad partners are revising their cancellation penalties to provide refunds on account of COVID-19.
Thank you for your time and please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Global Education should you have additional questions. The Center will provide frequent updates to our Fall 2020 study abroad cohort in the days and weeks ahead so please be on the lookout.
Joseph F. Stanley
Dean of Global Education
Dean’s March 23, 2020 Message to Spring 2020 Study Abroad Students:
Dear PC Spring Study Abroad Students,
I hope this message finds you safe and well. When conducting last December’s pre-departure orientation, I could never have imagined that we would be where we are today. The COVID-19 pandemic has irrevocably changed life as we know it and drastically interrupted your semester abroad. At the expense of sounding patronizing, I cannot begin to thank you all for your collective patience, flexibility, and overall resolve this past month. The Center for Global Education has been working diligently to ensure the safe return of all of our Spring semester abroad students and I have been constantly reminded of the fortitude displayed by the Friar Family. Thank you.
As many of you are engaged in remote learning with your program provider to finish out the semester, I wanted to reemphasize that Providence College will accept all coursework that is completed remotely. All of your Spring courses will appear on your Providence College transcript and all grades will impact your cumulative GPA, with the exception of pass/fail courses (guidelines for which have been communicated to you by the CGE and are available here).
In accordance with CDC guidelines, I would like to once again remind all recently returned study abroad students who feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing to stay home, avoid contact with others, and immediately seek medical attention. Students who feel symptomatic should also contact PC Director of Health Services, Kathy Kelleher, at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
Thank you again and please let the Center for Global Education know if you have any questions.
Dean’s March 19, 2020 Message re: Maymester/Summer 2020 Study Abroad Programming:
Please note that Providence College has resolved to cancel all Maymester and Summer 2020 study abroad programming. COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to impact international travel and global affairs where many of our academic partners are suspending operations through the summer. The College also took the Department of State’s Worldwide Level 4 Travel Advisory and the CDC’s March 9 “Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education with Students Participating in International Travel or Study Abroad Programs” into consideration when deciding on this matter. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are paramount.
We hope you consider partaking in future global learning opportunities sponsored by Providence College or one of our many academic partners worldwide. Be safe and well and please let the Center for Global Education know if you have any questions.
Dean of Global Education
Dean’s March 12, 2020 Message to Spring Study Abroad Students (Europe):
Following the White House Presidential Proclamation restricting travel from Europe for 30 days beginning at midnight this Friday, coupled with the CDC Level 3 elevation for Europe, Providence College has resolved to require all students in Europe, including the U.K. and Ireland, to return home. While some European countries are not included in this proclamation or under CDC Level 3 status, we feel that further restrictions on travel and other disruptions are imminent. As a reminder, please note that it is not possible to return to Providence College’s Residence Life accommodations for the Spring semester.
Many of our academic partners in the past 16 hours have begun requiring the same “return home” policy and have articulated a provision for finishing semester credits remotely. For those who do not currently have that remote coursework provision, or remain unsure, we will work with you, your program provider, and PC to ensure that you receive the necessary credits to graduate on time (Spring 2021).
We will send more details in the upcoming days and weeks. In the meantime, we ask that you 1) begin booking your flight home immediately and 2) notify your program provider that you will be departing with travel details. The proclamation does not prohibit the reentry of U.S. citizens and legal residents during the 30-day period but we advise you to book your return flight at your earliest convenience and record your return details using this online form. If you have difficulty getting a flight to the U.S., you may consider flying to the U.K./Ireland and booking a connection. Most airlines are waiving change fees.
We are deeply sorry that your semester abroad experience has been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand your disappointment and we sincerely appreciate your continued resiliency as we navigate this terrain together.
With respect and gratitude,
Joe Stanley Grace Cleary Steve Sears
Dean of Global Education Ass’t Dean, Global Education. Dean of Students
Dean’s March 11, 2020 Message to Spring Study Abroad Students:
Dear PC Study Abroad Students,
I hope this message finds you safe and well abroad. The Providence College Center for Global Education continues to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The fluidity of the past few weeks has been unprecedented and we sincerely appreciate your collective patience and flexibility in navigating this terrain from your abroad location.
Given the circumstances, many of PC’s program providers, academic centers, and university partners abroad have been working on contingency plans to enable students to continue their academics remotely from home. It is important to note that not every program can facilitate courses remotely, particularly those that are taken at direct enroll universities. Nevertheless, many of you have, or soon will have, the option to continue your coursework remotely should you choose. As Dean, I wanted to underscore that Providence College will accept all coursework that is finished remotely by our study abroad population this semester. The College also fully supports your decision to stay at your abroad location or depart early to engage in remote coursework from home (should the latter option be presented). It is important to solicit the advice of your family and program provider in making this decision and we ask that you notify the Center for Global Education should you decide to return home early by completing this online form.
Pursuant to the College’s emergency protocol, please be reminded that in the event the CDC and Department of State elevates a country/region to a Level 3 or above, the College may require the immediate departure of students from that location to return home. Students departing early from their study abroad location should also note that they cannot return to PC’s Res Life accommodation for the Spring semester and should strictly follow CDC travel guidelines.
Thank you for your time and please let us know if you have any questions.
Dean of Global Education
Dean’s March 10, 2020 Message to Summer Study Abroad Candidates:
Dear Summer Study Abroad Students,
We hope this message finds you well. As of March 10, Providence College is committed to allowing students to participate in Summer 2020 Study Abroad with overseas program providers, academic centers, and university partners. Please note, however, that the PC Center for Global Education will continue to closely monitor worldwide developments, particularly in regards to the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). We ask all of our Summer 2020 candidates to closely follow governmental and College stakeholders for updates and announcements on Summer 2020 travel. In particular, a student’s summer program may be cancelled as a result of:
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevates a country/region to Level 3 and/or the U.S. Department of State elevates a country/region to Levels 3 or 4. Study in countries/regions at these levels are prohibited by the College.
- The Providence College Emergency Team deliberates to prohibit PC international travel through Summer 2020.
- Your program provider, academic center, or university partner suspends the program.
Please be mindful of provider withdrawal fees and cancellation policies. While some overseas partners have committed to providing refunds if a program is cancelled because of COVID-19, it is imperative that students contact their provider directly to fully understand these policies. Thank you for your time and please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Global Education with questions.
Dean of Global Education
Dean’s March 2, 2020 Message to Spring Study Abroad Students:
Dear PC Study Abroad Students,
We understand that your study abroad experience has undoubtedly been impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The Center for Global Education is here to assist you in navigating these challenges and help guide you as you make decisions about your academic program this semester. As you know, this is an evolving situation worldwide, with facts that continue to unfold. The CGE closely monitors the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has established specific travel advisories for locations impacted by the virus.
On March 1, the CDC issued a statement encouraging institutions of higher education to consider postponing study abroad and exchange programming. It is not a directive. After careful consideration of multiple variables, the Providence College Emergency Management Team came to the following resolution: If the CDC has NOT issued a “Level 3” travel health notice for the country in which you are studying, and your respective program or university continues to be in operation, we encourage you to stay with your program provider and adhere to the recommendations that it provides as this situation evolves.
Several of our students continue to enroll (and reside) in academic programs in Italy which is currently listed at a CDC: “Level 3.” We are working with these students on a case-by-case basis, particularly as their study abroad institution has provided the option to remain enrolled in their Italian coursework remotely.
The COVID-19 situation remains fluid and we understand that many families and students are concerned about the impact on program sites as the virus continues to expand globally. The Providence College Emergency Team is actively monitoring information about travel restrictions and health policies in the countries where we send students and will continually apprise students and families of these updates and/or PC policy changes.
We encourage students to reach out to the Center for Global Education if you have questions or if you need support, and refer to the special site for regular updates from the College as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak.
Dean of Global Education