ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has canceled undergraduate study abroad programs for the school’s upcoming winter term due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus, continuing travel restrictions and planning time needed for students.
Nearly every country is under a University of Michigan travel restriction, Associate Vice Provost and Director of Global Engagement Amy Conger said Monday in a news release.
It’s also difficult to do an accurate risk assessment of COVID-19 conditions, predict entry and exit bans, and confirm the availability of quarantine housing and other safety measures at all of the study sites, Conger added.
It can take nine months to a year to plan a program and "most of our students usually have to make financial commitments at least three or four months before travel,” Conger said. “We’re trying to make careful decisions that are in everybody’s best interest. Because there’s still uncertainty, we just don’t want to put the students at risk.”
Typically, the university offers programs in more than 80 countries.
“This is just not a typical year,” Conger said. “We used to tell study abroad students that unexpected things could arise during their travels. Well, COVID-19 is not unexpected anymore. COVID-19 is a very real possibility.”
The school is offering a mix of in-person, hybrid and remote courses for the current academic year.