The following email was sent to students considering studying abroad in spring 2021 on November 13, 2020.
We are writing with an update for spring 2021 study abroad. As noted in our update from September 25, Lehigh will not approve student travel to countries with a State Department alert level 4 or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alert level 3. The CDC continues to recommend against non-essential travel to most countries, and the CDC alert level for a majority of countries worldwide remains at “Level 3: COVID-19 Risk is High”. The US Department of State travel advisories for most countries indicate travelers should “Reconsider travel”. Visa and immigration restrictions worldwide present a barrier as well. Based on a review of these and other sources, it does not appear that the situation will improve quickly enough to allow for travel to any of the programs on our Spring 2021 provider list. All of these programs are located in a country that remains listed at CDC Level 3: COVID-19 Risk is high; therefore, at this time, we must cancel your application for Spring 2021. We encourage all students to pursue study abroad in a future term, if possible, and your study abroad advisor is prepared to assist you.
Although most travel is suspended, Lehigh Study Abroad and College of Arts and Sciences is working to create a hybrid academic program, offering lab science courses and Lehigh remote courses at our partner research station, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). BIOS is in a location rated as No Travel Health Notice: COVID-19 Risk is Very Low. This academic program will focus on lab courses, and participant selection will favor students with demonstrated interest in a science field and/or student need for lab science credit.
We are also finalizing details for January and spring term virtual internships. We will share that information with you in the coming days. Your study abroad advisor remains available to discuss options with you for potentially deferring your study abroad plans to a future semester or pursuing virtual opportunities that offer intercultural and professional experiences. We encourage you to also update your academic advisor about your change of plans and ensure that your spring registration for Lehigh courses fits your path toward graduation. Please reach out to your study abroad advisor with any questions or concerns.
Director, LU Study Abroad