The University of Idaho will not provide study abroad opportunities for students this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to pause international travel through Dec. 31 was announced in an email to staff, faculty and students sent on Monday. It takes into account information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of State’s Level 4 health advisory, which advises citizens to avoid all international travel.

“Your student experience is comprised of rich and diverse opportunities. One of the most wonderful, life changing opportunities is to study abroad for a period of time as a part of your education,” said Vice Provost Dean Kahler in the email. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the safety of these programs to be significantly compromised. We do not feel that it is safe for a student to study abroad during the fall semester.”

If a student does choose to go abroad this fall, it will no longer be considered a university-affiliated excursion. Those who had plans to study abroad are encouraged to email Education Abroad in the International Programs Office at abroad@uidaho.edu to amend their plans.

“We will restore the study abroad program as soon as we believe the risk has subsided and the safety of our students is reasonably protected,” said Kahler. “We look forward to resuming opportunities to our Vandals to explore the world in a safe manner.”

International travel for faculty and staff is also not recommended at this time.

Those who have international travel plans deemed “mission critical” need to get approval from their college dean, a vice provost, or someone ranking higher, and the trip needs to be registered through the Chrome River and the International Travel Registry.

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