On Tuesday Sept. 22 Associate Vice Provost for International Programs Kerryellen Vroman announced via email to University of New Hampshire (UNH) students the official cancellation of J-term and spring 2021 education abroad programming. 

The J-term study abroad programs are typically one to three weeks of international travel led by UNH faculty, but have been deemed unsafe by UNH for the upcoming winter, as international travel is not expected to become safer for students by then.  

In the email to students, Vroman said “Typically, these educational and cultural experiences with a faculty member involve specific course topics, exploring cultures, and visiting places of interest. Because of a two-week quarantine requirement in most countries, restrictions on U.S. travelers, and the State Department rating most countries at the highest risk levels, J-term travel is unrealistic and unsafe.”  

Vroman continued, “Circumstances related to international travel for January through May will change. Due to the recent worldwide upward trend of COVID-19 cases and the unlikelihood of a vaccine in the next six months, traveling will remain unsafe and limited in the foreseeable future. Other barriers to education abroad are border closures to U.S. travelers and an increased risk of contracting the virus when traveling.” 

However if a student is not discouraged by the risk of traveling internationally and possible risk of exposure to the coronavirus they can petition to UNH to go abroad during the spring semester with a possible extenuating circumstance. Vroman said, “in these cases, a student or unit (program director) may petition to the International Travel Risk Review Committee (ITRRC) for prior approval. Examples of possible exceptions are travel to a country that permits entry for study or internships and exchanges accepting U.S. students. All cases must be thoroughly assessed for risk and deemed to be acceptable irrespective of the country’s State Department rated risk level. Please contact your College’s education abroad advisor for information on the petition process.” 

Vroman encouraged students that are unable to travel abroad internationally to look into programs that UNH offers within the U.S., such as Study Away in the U.S.A. or the Semester in the City program. 

“Start planning for future study abroad experiences,” Vroman said. “It is never too soon to start conversations with your academic advisor and your education abroad advisor about all the different international educational experiences that are available, attend a virtual education abroad information session, and visit the website https://www.unh.edu/global/education-abroad.”