Editor's Note: Eileen Pomeroy is The Collegian's newsletter director.
The University of Richmond Office of International Education is unable to offer some study abroad programs to students in the fall of 2021, Ellen Sayles, associate dean and director of education abroad, wrote in an email to The Collegian on March 3.
The OIE did not offer programs for the fall in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba or Russia because the countries have a level 4 Travel Advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State, Sayles wrote. UR prevents travel to countries at this level, she wrote.
Additionally, the OIE's partners in Australia and New Zealand will not allow students from U.S. universities to enter the countries in time for the start of their semester, which would have began in July, Sayles wrote.
Sophomore Claire Koonsman said she applied to two programs in Sydney, Australia. Koonsman said the programs were canceled three days before the applications were due.
"It was frustrating because I didn't really know where else I wanted to go, and so I had to come up with that really quickly," she said. "I was very excited about it and I wish I was told earlier that it wasn't going to work out."
Koonsman applied to study abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and was accepted to the program, she said.
The fall program in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Sciences Po program in Paris, France, also canceled their fall exchange programs, Sayles wrote.
Eileen Pomeroy, a sophomore, was supposed to study abroad in Cape Town, she said. Pomeroy was notified that the Cape Town program was canceled on March 2, three days before the OIE notified students of their program placement, she said.
"I was under the impression that no one would be canceling their programs until May," she said. "I applied when the outlook was very different [during] the end of January."
Pomeroy decided to defer her application to Cape Town for the spring of 2022 or the fall of her senior year, she said.
Sayles wrote that the OIE assessed health and safety in individual countries, as well as vaccine distribution and regulations in countries where students may be able to study abroad.
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"Our hope is that we will be able to send our students to engage with the world under more normal conditions in the fall, and to be able to have all of our international students with us here on campus," Sayles wrote.
A chart of information about entry and exit policies, as well as other COVID-related details by program and country, can be found at this link provided by the OIE.
Contact investigative editor Morgan Howland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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