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Fall 2020 Study Away Program Suspension

Posted by:
June 8, 2020

Dear Fall Semester Study Away Program participants,

On behalf of the Wang Center for Global and Community Engaged 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)
smithba@plu.edu (preferred method of communication)
Cell: 253-549-3765

Holly Peterson (Featured/Approved Programs)
Cell: 503-530-0717

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 (css@plu.edu).

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 holly.peterson@plu.edu.

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