COVID-19 Impacts Students’ Study Abroad Plans

*BREAKING* Klein Global Opportunities announced Thursday afternoon that it is cancelling all summer programs

As campus clears out, many Temple students are focused on returning home and staying safe. 

Yet, with growing public health concerns, many with study abroad plans are worried their programs will be postponed or cancelled. 

Temple Education Abroad announced Tuesday that it will be extending its Rome Fall 2020 application deadline one month to May 1. 

Last week the office also announced in an email to applicants that the Rome Summer I program has been cancelled. 

Italy is currently on a nationwide lockdown as the number of cases and deaths continue to rise as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Despite these uneasy signs, Sophomore Jennie Sheffer explained she is cautious, but has no plans to cancel her semester abroad at Temple’s Rome campus in the fall. 

“I’m in the final stages of submitting my application,” she said. “I’m treating it as if I can go until they tell me I can’t. 

Yet some students have taken a more drastic approach, canceling their plans entirely. 

Sophomore Keegan McLane initially planned on studying abroad in Tokyo this fall, before her father, a pediatrician, forced her to withdraw her application, fearing the spread of COVID-19 will not end anytime soon. 

“There’s also the possibility that they’ll get the programs back up and running, send everyone back to the Education Abroad Programs in the fall and it just gets bad again, and people are called back,” she said. 

If these programs do end up getting cancelled, a primary concern for McLane is housing. 

“I depend on student housing,” McLane said. “But I’m not sure if I can secure my spot this late.” 

Temple University’s admission deadline for on-campus housing for the 2020-21 academic year is May 1. For more information, visit the University Housing and Residential Life website.

If programs are cancelled after the beginning of the semester, students abroad may run into more issues when they arrive back on campus. At that point, the rest of the student population will have already settled into their apartments or residence halls both on and off campus. 

Students returning may have to fight for vacancies in residence halls on campus, or find a last-minute sublet off-campus. 

Despite the uncertainty surrounding study abroad programs, students are still encouraged to apply for fall programs around the world as previously scheduled. While the Rome deadline has changed, Education Abroad is currently maintaining their April 1 deadline for other programs around the world. 

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