Education abroad programs continue despite COVID-19 surge

Melina Durham poses at Le’ahi in North Shore Ohau, Hawaii during her study abroad program with UD’s sister school, Chaminade Univeristy. Photo courtesy Durham. 

William Riesenberg | Contributing Writer

After suspending the University of Dayton’s Education Abroad program for the entirety of the 2020-21 school year, the program’s domestic and international travel experiences resumed for the fall semester.

The university’s Path Forward Travel Group has been following guidelines that allow students to travel individually both in and out of the United States as of July 30, with group travel only being permitted domestically. While students that wish to study abroad must have a high-risk travel waiver approved, the Path Forward Travel Group insists that UD students are still safe to travel, as the current plan aligns with all high-risk travel guidelines, according to the statement. 

UD Education Abroad offers multiple programs that students can participate in, including summer and winter courses, integrated learning programs, cross-cultural experiences and semester-long programs.

Third-year UD student Melina Durham still thoroughly enjoyed her time participating in the program this semester, despite traveling in the high-risk state that the United States is experiencing. She has made the most of her time studying in Hawaii at Chaminade University of Honolulu as a part of a semester-long study abroad program.

Courtesy of Durham.

“I haven’t really had any concerns [with COVID] myself because I have been vaccinated since March,” said Durham in an interview with Flyer News, even though cases are currently rising in Hawaii. “I am afraid my family won’t be able to come and visit me for Thanksgiving, but hopefully things will be better by then.” 

With the current pandemic changing every day, the university plans to reevaluate the current plan this month for students wishing to be a part of the Education Abroad program over winter break and in the spring semester, according to a statement from the Path Forward Travel Group.

Other campuses around UD have also returned to offering study abroad programs like Xavier University, Wright State University, and Miami University. All currently offer traveling programs beginning in the spring 2022 semester, allowing scholars to be educated through experiences both inside and outside the classroom.

“It is going to be one of my favorite experiences as a college student,” Durham said. 

Even though the Education Abroad program has taken a cautious approach with students traveling,  she believes that “seeing and experiencing how people live in a completely different place has been 10 times more beneficial than what any textbook could teach.”

UD students can apply for a number of study abroad programs here.

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