Studying abroad has once again become a possibility for students for the spring 2022 semester. While there are still COVID-19 restrictions in place, Lehigh’s Study Abroad Office is working with students on developing itineraries for the spring 2022 semester.
Katie Welsh Radande, director of study abroad, said during the spring semester, only about 100 students are studying abroad, which is a notable decrease from past semesters.
Despite the volume of study abroad participants subsiding for the spring semester, Welsh said she thinks programming will remain in demand.
“I don’t think it is deterring students from studying abroad entirely,” Welsh said. “There are a large number of students studying abroad for the winter, spring and summer.”
Welsh Radande said the study abroad office is working hard to ensure that all students participating in their abroad programs feel safe and secure.
She said the office has conducted an ongoing review of every country and partner it may potentially work with, and not all countries are approved by Lehigh for travel based on the COVID-19 conditions and medical care offered at each site.
Students can choose from over 250 programs in more than 60 countries, according to the Study Abroad website.
As travel disruptions are still a possibility, Lehigh is keeping track of rules and guidelines in place abroad, Welsh Radande. This includes a list of entry and exit requirements, host country and local regulations, financial and travel considerations, program modifications, and independent and personal travel restrictions.
Julia Marx, ‘23, plans on taking her education to Florence, Italy, in the spring. She said she had trouble deciding where she wanted to study due to the fear of not being able to leave the country she is studying in because of COVID-19.
She said she wanted a place where there was a lot to do and she could feel comfortable, and Florence checked her boxes.
“COVID reduced my desire to go abroad because I felt like I missed out on so much time at Lehigh as a college student here, but ultimately, I decided that it was still an experience I wanted to have throughout college,” Marx said. “Trying new foods, going to new places, meeting new people and just immersing yourself in an entirely new culture for so long is all really exciting to me.”
Sean Lockwood, ‘23, decided to abstain from studying abroad following the pandemic.
“After missing much of my time at Lehigh, I would like to stay on campus for my junior and senior year,” Lockwood said. “I am going to focus on my classes while looking into future internship and job opportunities.”