By Madison McKenzie
KU has canceled its summer international exchange programs for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university is “not supporting international exchange programs this summer,” said Carole Wells, the university’s interim provost and vice president for student affairs, in an email. “As health protocols improve in other countries, we anticipate this will change in the very near future.”
This cancellation includes all of the faculty-led study abroad programs as well as the school-to-school foreign exchange programs. Students and staff said they understand the decision but were disappointed nonetheless.
“It’s definitely heartbreaking,” said Andrew Vogel, an English professor at KU and an instructor for KU’s Ireland Summer Program. While Vogel was disappointed by the news, he said he understands the university’s decision.
Students who had signed up for the program both in 2020 and 2021 found themselves feeling similarly.
Madelaine Kane, an English major at KU, stated she too was disappointed by the news. She had been signed up for the 2020 program that was canceled due to COVID-19 and had reapplied for the 2021 program.
Other students like Kane had reapplied for the program after it was first canceled in the summer of 2020.
Jessie Ziolkowski, a senior set to graduate this fall with a degree in library science, said she, like Kane, reapplied to go on the 2021 program after the 2020 program was canceled. For Ziolkowski, though, the opportunity to apply for any future programs is an impossibility.
Some students chose not to reapply after their 2020 program had been canceled.
Spencer Ford, a public relations major, said she chose not to reapply due to uncertainty around the pandemic.
Plans are for the Ireland program to be renewed for the summer of 2022, according to Vogel.
Along with the Ireland program, international exchange programs, whether they are faculty-led or third-party sponsored, are being planned and could hopefully resume sooner than the summer of 2022, according to Wells.