CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Administrators at Coastal Carolina University announced they have made the “difficult decision” to cancel all education abroad programs for the spring 2021 semester due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic.
According to information from CCU’s Office of the Provost, this includes semester abroad programs, international internships, and faculty travel with students for research, competition or conferences.
“Due to the uncertainty of the timing of the institution moving to Phase 2, we have also made the difficult decision to not offer faculty-led programs for the Spring and Summer 2021 time frame,” an Oct. 6 letter to faculty, staff and students stated.
CCU officials said they are reaching out to the Global Engagement Committee to recommend the process by which programs that had intended to travel in 2019-20 but were canceled, and those that were proposed for travel in 2020-21 should be considered moving forward.
According to the Office of the Provost, the university will also be placing on hold international visiting scholar request processing until Dec. 1. At that point, administrators will review conditions to determine if they support those scholars and departments “for which we have received interest for Spring 2021.”
“We continue to remain committed to raising global perspective among our students,” the letter stated. “Therefore, as we continue to monitor conditions, we will also be announcing an initiative to support scholarships for CCU students to participate in virtual international internships in the Spring and Summer 2021 cycle.”
According to information from CCU, there are approximately 133 visa-holding international students enrolled at the university. Of those, 102 are in the U.S. either taking courses this semester or completing their optional practice training after graduation. The remainder are outside the country, many taking online courses through CCU, staff said.
The university has almost 200 non-U.S. citizens enrolled, and they come from more than 60 countries, according to CCU.
According to administrators, CCU does not have any exchange students from partner institutions attending the university this fall, but several have deferred to the spring.
CCU has already received applications from students from partners in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain, and a limited number of new students have applied to come to CCU in the spring, officials said.
The university anticipates less than a dozen exchange students from partners in the spring, “given conditions as they stand,” and likely no more than 20 new international students to begin at CCU in the spring, pending immigration regulations and university reopening plans, according to information from CCU.