Study Abroad during the pandemic
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 and its variants has implications for health and safety and for travel. MCGI staff, along with the College's Travel Emergency Response Team, continue to closely monitor updates from a variety of sources. These include 5 College Risk Management as well the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices, the CDC COVID Travel Notices, local conditions and input from our study abroad partners and universities. Mount Holyoke had to make the difficult decisions to cancel study abroad for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. However, with the distribution of effective vaccines in process worldwide, we are optimistic about the ability to offer study abroad programs in the fall 2021 semester--at least in some locations pending local conditions, ability to obtain a visa, etc--and we are supporting students to apply to the study abroad program for which they have been approved.
Currently, Mount Holyoke College is not allowing any sponsored travel beyond 100 miles from the College (with some specific exceptions for summer Lynk). The College is reviewing the travel policy and students approved for fall 2021 semester study abroad can expect more information no later than late June.
For the fall 2021 semester, students should plan to be on their abroad program, and also plan to be at Mount Holyoke in the event that their program is suspended or study abroad is not possible. Please be sure to keep MCGI updated if your plans change, and with any questions or concerns.
In the meantime, students should:
- Identify the date you can withdraw from your program without financial penalty
- Consult your program on when to apply for your student visa (if needed)
- Monitor airfare, but do not purchase or make significant financial investments until you heard definitely whether your program will be able to run AND that the College will support study abroad in your destination
- Review/inquire about your program’s COVID-19 plans and protocols, including quarantine/isolation, testing frequency, housing, in-country and out-of-country travel, academic continuity plans in case of disruption, etc.
- Review the Study Abroad Moodle
Study abroad offers a powerful personal and intellectual experience to advance your academics and build global competence, a must for citizenship and careers in the 21st century.
Whether you are interested in language immersion, field studies, or a traditional classroom-based experience, there is a program that is right for you: Mount Holyoke students may choose from more than 150 programs in 50 countries.
- Study abroad provides a unique opportunity to explore your academic interests from a new perspective.
- Living and learning in another country encourages you to engage across difference, expand your understanding of global challenges, and question your assumptions about yourself and your place in the world.
- Study abroad provides tools and experiences that equip you to confidently pursue career and life goals. In many programs, you can choose an academic course, approved for credit by Mount Holyoke, that incorporates an internship, community-based learning, or independent research.
- Effective marketing of your education abroad experience can help you stand out in a competitive job market. Many employers highly value the competencies and skills that students typically develop and sharpen through studying abroad.