PLU Study Away
Last updated August 4
J-Term 2021 Study Away Program Postponement - August 4
Dear J-Term 2021 Study Away Program participants,
On behalf of the Wang Center for Global Education, I write to inform you that, due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 locally and globally, we have made the difficult decision to postpone January Term 2021 study away programs to Summer 2021 Term I or II.
In partnership with university officials, the Wang Center has been monitoring developments of the COVID 19 global pandemic with special attention to notifications and updates from standard points of reference (US State Department, CDC, WHO, among others) as well as on the ground sources including US Embassy and public health notifications in locations where you had planned to study and acknowledges the current ban on US travelers to many parts of the world.
Based on the information we have gathered and the ongoing concerns that unpredictable surges of COVID 19 would compromise student safety and wellbeing, J-Term 2021 programs have been rescheduled and we are hopeful that conditions will improve by June/July 2021.
In order to support you through this change in plans and to aid you in navigating next steps, we have prepared answers to what we anticipate will be your most frequently asked questions.
1. Which programs are rescheduled and which are cancelled?
|Program Name||Status||Summer Term I or II|
|Bahamas | Tropical Marine Biology (BIOL 369)||Rescheduled||Term I *|
|England | Children's Literature from a Golden Age to a New Millenium (ENGL 235) LT / (IHON 257) H2||Rescheduled||Term I *|
|England | Psychology of Expertise: London as a case study (PSYC 483)||Rescheduled||Term I *|
|Greece | Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean (RELI 213) RG||Rescheduled||Term I|
|Namibia | Comparative Education (EDUC 385) C||Rescheduled||Term I *|
|Northern Ireland | Non-Profit Internships in Northern Ireland (AICE 476) or (SOCI 495)||Cancelled||n/a|
|Rwanda | Genocide Memorialization and the Future of Rwanda (HGST 387)||Rescheduled||Term I|
|Tobago | Social, Educational & Health Services in Tobago (SOCW 325) C||Rescheduled||Term II *|
|Trinidad | Music of Trinidad Carnival (MUSI 120) AR, C or (MUSI 491)||Rescheduled||Pending (Term II, most likely)|
|Washington D.C. | The Presidency (POLS 287)||Rescheduled||Term I|
2. What are the Summer Term 2021 dates?
Term I: Monday, June 7 – Friday, July 2
Term II: Tuesday, July 6 – Friday, July 30
Note: Actual travel dates may vary by program. For the programs marked with an (*) it’s likely that the program departure date will occur earlier than the official Term start date and/or the program return date will occur after the official Term end date. More information regarding program itineraries will be shared in the coming months.
3. What is the deadline to decline my participation in Summer Term?
Please login to your Terra Dotta application to respond as soon as possible, but no later than September 15th, to decline your participation.
4. By when do I need to commit to Summer Term?
Please login to your Terra Dotta application to respond as soon as possible, but no later than September 15th, to confirm your participation. You will need to complete the ‘PLU Summer Term 2021 Notice of Acceptance’, ‘Study Away Policies’, and ‘$300 Commitment Forfeiture Fee’ requirements. Should you later withdraw from your program after the “Call Date,” the $300 Commitment Forfeiture Fee will take effect (see FAQ #7, below).
5. Will the application fee I already paid for J-Term 2021 transfer toward Summer Term?
Yes. Students who choose to participate in Summer Term will not need to pay another application fee. Students who choose to withdraw their J-Term 2021 application and apply to study away during Fall 2021 or later will need to start a new application and pay a new application fee. The application for study away programs occurring during the 2021-2022 academic year will open in November 2020. J-Term 2022 study away courses will be announced in January 2021.
NOTE: new applicants for Summer Term 2021 will be required to complete the ‘$50 Non-Refundable Application Fee (Charged to your student account)’ as part of their study away application.
6. If I decline to participate in the Summer Term program will my J-Term 2021 study away application fee be refunded?
7. By when will PLU know if Summer Term 2021 programs will run or be cancelled?
PLU will make Summer Term 2021 program decisions by no later than November 1st, 2020. Specific program decisions and alterations may occur at varying times before November 1st, 2020 based on host community situations/regulations, program logistics, itinerary dates, student enrollment, and other factors.
8. If I am expecting to graduate in Spring 2021 and this course/these credits are required for my degree completion, can I participate in Summer Term 2021 study away and still participate in May 2021 commencement?
A graduating senior is defined as any student planning to earn their degree in May or August of 2021. According to PLU Registrar, Kelly Poth, it is likely that, for the majority of graduating seniors taking a Summer Term study away course to complete requirements for their degree, this change will not impact their ability to participate in the spring commencement ceremony but will delay their award of their degree by one term, that is, from spring to summer term. Please meet with your academic/faculty advisor to make an informed decision about pursuing the Summer Term study away option.
9. If I am expecting to graduate in Spring 2021 and this course is not required for my degree completion, can I participate in Summer Term 2021 study away and still participate in May 2021 commencement?
Yes. Students will be able to participate in Summer Term 2021 study away programs and may still participate in the spring commencement ceremony. Please meet with your academic/faculty advisor to make an informed decision about pursuing the Summer Term study away option.
10. Can I switch to a different Summer Term study away course?
Applications can be considered for a new program and acceptance decisions are at the discretion of each program faculty leader. Please contact Megan Grover at email@example.com if you are interested in switching to a different program.
11. If I am currently on the waitlist for a J-Term 2021 study away program, when will I find out if I’ve been accepted for a Summer Term program?
Waitlist decisions will be made on a rolling basis.
12. Will any programs re-open to accept new applications?
For some programs, the Wang Center may reopen the application cycle for Summer Term courses with an October 15th extended deadline (rolling admission, space available basis only). Check the Wang Center website and social media for updates.
13. Will the fee for my Summer Term study away course change from the originally stated J-Term 2021 program fee?
While the Wang Center must reprice programs based on the schedule change, it remains committed to keeping programs affordable. Please note that no tuition will be charged for these Summer Term study away courses. We anticipate having final program fees posted by September 1st. At this time, here are the estimated program fee ranges for each program:
|Program Name||Summer Term Study Away
Estimated Program Fee Ranges
|Bahamas | Tropical Marine Biology||$4,100 - $4,200|
|England | Children's Literature from a Golden Age to a New Millenium||$4,400 - $4,800|
|England | Psychology of Expertise: London as a case study||$4,900 - $5,200|
|Greece | Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean||$5,500 - $5,600|
|Namibia | Comparative Education||$6,800 - $7,000 (4 week option)
$7,200 - $7,400 (8 week option)
|Rwanda | Genocide Memorialization and the Future of Rwanda||$5,000 - $5,200|
|Tobago | Social, Educational & Health Services in Tobago||$3,800 - $4,200|
|Trinidad | Music of Trinidad Carnival||$3,500 - $3,900|
|Washington D.C. | The Presidency||$2,900 - $3,000|
14. When will my student account be charged for my Summer Term study away program fee and when is final payment due?
Student accounts will be billed on approximately May 3, 2021. Final payment is due May 25, 2021. Students may work with Student Financial Services regarding payment planning. Please note that no PLU monthly payment plan will be available for this term.
15. How will flights work?
Our standard mode of air transportation includes group flights departing from SeaTac airport. We realize that not all students will be able to depart from SeaTac during the June and July months. Students may need to travel independently to the program site if they are not able to depart with their class from SeaTac. The Wang Center will provide more instruction regarding
flight options at a later time.
16. What is the status of my Global Scholar Award application?
Decisions for Global Scholar Awards have been previously announced. Global Scholar Awards that were approved for J-Term 2021 will be moved automatically to Summer 2021. Students who choose not to participate in Summer 2021 will not be eligible for an award and it will be rescinded. Global Scholar Awards will disburse in May 2021 to reduce the program fee.
The Wang Center will register confirmed students for Summer Term in April 2021.
18. What are my next steps?
On August 4th, the Wang Center changed the status of all ‘Confirmed’ applicants back to ‘Accepted’. By September 15th, please complete the following:
- Login to change your study away status according to your plans. You have the option to ‘Commit’ or you may ‘Decline’ your participation in Summer Term study away.
- For students who choose to ‘Commit’,
- Read and digitally sign the ‘$300 Commitment Forfeiture Fee’ document
- Read and digitally sign the ‘Study Away Policies’ document
- Read and digitally sign the ‘PLU Summer Term 2021 Notice of Acceptance’ document
- Waitlist decisions will be made on a rolling basis. If a student is accepted from a waitlist or has applied and been accepted to a program that has just reopened, their confirmation timeline may be adjusted.
Thank you for your patience under these unprecedented circumstances and, once again, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns.
Assistant Director and Short-Term Study Away Program Manager
Wang Center for Global Education
Pacific Lutheran University
email@example.com | www.plu.edu/wang-center | www.plu.edu/studyaway/
Fall 2020 Study Away Program Suspension - June 8
Dear Fall Semester Study Away Program participants,
On behalf of the Wang Center for Global Education, we write to inform you that, due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 locally and globally, we have made the difficult decision to suspend participation for all fall study away programs.
In partnership with university officials, the Wang Center has been monitoring developments of the COVID 19 global pandemic with special attention to notifications and updates from standard points of reference (US State Department, CDC, WHO, international insurance providers, local US Embassy alerts, among others), as well as on the ground sources including US Embassy and public health notifications in locations where you had planned to study. Based on the information we have gathered, it is highly unlikely that travel restrictions and U.S. State Department travel advisories will be lifted in time for a fall start. Most importantly, there is ongoing concern that unpredictable surges of COVID 19 would compromise student safety and well-being abroad.
We understand that this news, while not entirely surprising, will be a disappointment to many of you. In order to support you through this change in plans and to aid you in navigating next steps, we have prepared answers to what we anticipate will be your most frequently asked questions. Finally, we remain committed to working with each of you to explore study away options in the future. To that end, we encourage you to sign up for an individual Zoom planning meeting with a Wang Center staff member by using this link or contact a Wang Center staff member at:
Brynn Smith (Gateway Programs)
firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred method of communication)
Holly Peterson (Featured/Approved Programs)
If I want to defer to spring 2021, how would I do that?
Contact Holly (Featured/Approved) or Brynn (Gateway) via email by June 19th. Both can help you navigate your individual next steps. Emails are provided above.
What will happen to my Global Scholar Award?
Eligibility for the Global Scholar Award is contingent upon participation in an eligible study away program for the designated 2020-21 school year only. In the event that a Fall 2020 student elects to change to Spring 2021 participation, the Wang Center will move all eligible awards to that term. In the case that a student is not able to study away during the designated 2020-21 school year, the award will be rescinded. Students must reapply for consideration for Global Scholar Awards for 2021-22 programs. Applications will open in November 2020, and eligibility will be based on 2021-22 FAFSA.
What should I do to ensure I am prepared for on-campus coursework in the fall?
Per Wang Center instruction, Fall Study Away 2020 students were asked to sign up for on-campus PLU courses as a contingency option. We have learned that the overwhelming majority of students did follow this instruction. Thank you for your diligence! At this point, please review the courses you have enrolled in through your Banner account. Ask yourself: (1) By taking these classes will I stay on track with my academic plan? (2) If I want to study away for a semester later on, how might I plan my fall 2020 on-campus courses in order to take advantage of the classes that would only be available to me on a study away program?
If you did not register for PLU fall courses, be sure to do so as soon as you are able. If you have questions regarding on-campus course registration for fall 2020, contact your academic advisor or the Center for Student Success (email@example.com).
What do I do if I would like to live on-campus Fall 2020?
If you haven’t already applied to live on campus, you can do so using this link. The
sooner you sign up for the housing, the more likely you’ll be able to secure your top
What should I do if I am considering studying away in a future semester?
As indicated above, we recommend you schedule a planning meeting with a Wang Center staff member. You can sign up for a time here or contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I have to pay another application fee if I choose to study away for another term in the future?
Students who choose to defer to Spring 2021 will not need to pay another application fee. Students that choose to withdraw their Fall 2020 application and apply for Summer or Fall 2021 or later will need to start a new application and pay a new application fee. The application for Summer 2021, Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 will open in November 2020.
If I am expecting to graduate in Spring 2021, could I defer to study away in Spring 2021 during my final semester?
Per PLU study away policies, students may study away during their senior year. Keep in mind, however, that due to the timeline of when PLU receives transcripts from study away, graduation would likely be delayed to either summer or fall 2021. If you intend to graduate upon completion of a study away program in Spring 2021, you would need to apply to graduate by the March 1st, 2021 deadline as well as demonstrate to the registrar how study away coursework meets your final requirements. This is normally done by using your Assignment of Credit form. Regardless of your graduation date plan, we strongly recommend that you confirm with your academic advisor that you are able to participate in a study abroad experience and stay on track to graduate.
Thank you for your patience under these unprecedented circumstances and, once again, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.
Tamara R. Williams
Beginning in January, and aligned with best practices in the field, the Wang Center began monitoring the development of COVID-19 in programs worldwide guided by standard points of reference including, but not limited to: the US State Department Travel Advisories, Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, John Hopkins CCSE, international insurance providers, country-specific US Embassy alerts, and public health notifications. Based on the directives provided by these sources over the course of the semester and the university’s increased concern regarding travel disruptions, all spring short-term programs are now cancelled and all semester programs are now suspended. By suspended, we mean that semester study away students are returning home but will continue their coursework online and will receive credits for their semester abroad. PLU has its own staff and partner program staff on the ground supporting our Lutes away during this very difficult and unprecedented global event.
The Wang Center staff has also been working hard on the back end supporting students with ticketing and guidance for travel home including what to expect in air travel and health guidelines for those returning from impacted areas. As has been the case for PLU students at home, involuntary suspension of programs has created upheaval for our Lutes away and traveling home, especially, has been a challenge. The Wang Center is aware of this, as are many of the impacted students, our staff on the ground, and families. Together we are working to make their return as smooth as possible given these unprecedented circumstances.
PLU’s 24/7 Europ Assistance
As a reminder to students currently studying abroad, PLU’s 24/7 Europ Assistance travel insurance is available for a referral to medical care, mental health support, or regional travel advisories at:
In early January, the Wang Center, in partnership with university officials, formed a Crisis Management Team dedicated to the COVID-19 outbreak and its implications for the safety of students, faculty, and staff participating in programs abroad and locally. The team has been closely monitoring the outbreak and making changes to existing programs as warranted. To determine location safety, the team relies on notifications and updates from standard points of reference including, but not limited to: the US State Department Travel Advisories, Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, John Hopkins CCSE, international insurance providers, country-specific US Embassy alerts, and public health notifications in all PLU Gateway, Featured, Approved, and short-term program locations.
Should the status of the illness change in one of PLU’s program locations and develop the potential to compromise the safety of students, faculty, and staff, the Wang Center will inform participants of any contingency plans and coordinate with program leaders or providers to implement those plans expeditiously.
Aligned with on-campus strategies to contain the disease, study away participants have been strongly encouraged to engage in proactive practices that are recognized as preventing the spread of viruses, including the flu. This is a list of recommended practices published by the CDC. Moreover, due to the rapidly changing landscape of the disease, the university acknowledges the potential for quarantine in both its study away locations, and upon return to the university. In an abundance of caution, program leaders and students are receiving training for this scenario.
In the context of a very fluid and quickly evolving disease outbreak, the risk of contracting and spreading the disease, or facing prolonged quarantine, increases with travel. For this reason the Wang Center strongly recommends that program participants do not travel to cities or regions where COVID-19 is known to be present. Moreover, per PLU policy (see page 15 of Study Away Policies).
PLU students may not travel to locations with a CDC and/or US State Department risk-level of 3 or above. Up-to-date CDC Travel Health Notices, risk levels, and recommendations can be searched by country at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/. US State Department Advisories can be searched by country at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html.
Finally, PLU’s Health Center encourages all students and staff experiencing flu-like symptoms to see a health provider on site. As a reminder to students currently studying abroad, PLU’s 24/7 Europ Assistance travel insurance is available for a referral to medical care, mental health support, or regional travel advisories at:
- +1 240-330-1551 (if outside the U.S. or Canada)
- 855-901-6712 (if within the U.S. or Canada)
- Email: email@example.com
Additionally, students are encouraged to call upon the support of their Faculty Site-Director or program provider staff should they need support locating a provider and making an appointment.
Applications for summer, fall, and J-Term 2021 programs are open. Students are advised, however, that given the fluid and unpredictable nature of the outbreak, the university will continue to assess risk levels and may suspend and relocate programs if warranted. Should such a change take place, program participants will be notified promptly and informed of alternatives options if available.