NYU says post-pandemic study away is a tentative go
Uncertainty about vaccination timelines and the course of the pandemic has complicated the study away application process, leaving students excited and confused.
Mar 10, 2021
NYU’s Office of Global Programs opened the Fall 2021 Study Away Application to students on March 1, despite continued uncertainty about the feasibility of normal study away programs next semester.
Along with plans to return to in-person instruction at the New York City campus, NYU also plans to reopen most global sites to all students. The Office of Global Programs opened the Fall 2021 application to students on March 1.
After NYU suspended its study away programs in March 2020, students studying abroad were asked to return home and shift to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. All global sites offered in-person instruction last fall to nearby students as part of the Go Local program, which continued this spring.
“There continue to be many unknowns regarding study away opportunities for Fall 2021,” the Office of Global programs wrote in an email to students. “The Office of Global Programs is closely following international travel and immigration guidelines, as well as country-specific health and safety conditions and protocols, as they will all impact NYU’s study away options.”
According to Malcolm Semple, the director of NYU Sydney, the site will remain fully remote for the fall semester due to Australia’s continued border closures and local restrictions.
“Because there have not been clear indications that Australia’s borders will be opening fully anytime soon, many Australian universities are planning for their international students to be fully remote this year,” Semple wrote in an email to WSN. “So, consistent with that direction, and given the significant likelihood of ongoing restrictions, we thought it was best not to get students’ hopes up for spending their fall semesters in Sydney.”
Semple does not believe that the closure will significantly impact the NYU students who currently attend classes at the Sydney campus through the Go Local program.
“We believe that our Go Local students will be returning to their home campuses or graduating,” Semple added. “That being said, I would expect that if travel and immigration-related issues persist, the University would look to continue supporting students in any way possible, including by extending the Go Local program.”
For many students — particularly those who will be starting their senior year — this coming semester is their last opportunity to study abroad. Stern junior Nicholas Holden currently attends classes remotely in Dallas and expects to graduate next spring.
“Eight months from now, I think the world is going to be a very different place,” Holden said. “I’d be happy to buy a $300 ticket to study away in London or Los Angeles next fall.”
LS sophomore Aurora Russell said that being vaccinated would play a large role in determining whether or not she would study away.
“I would like to get vaccinated before I go,” she said.
Holden thinks that more detailed information about course offerings, vaccination requirements and housing would help students decide whether they want to study away. Although he is hopeful, he is also concerned about what would happen if study away sites were unable to reopen or unexpectedly shifted to remote learning.
“In cases where it is not possible to attend any preferred location due to health and travel restrictions, students will have the option to enroll at their home campus or potentially enroll in courses remotely,” the Office of Global Programs states on their website.
While Russell sees that NYU is making an effort to offer study away programs, she’s not sure how well the university can hold up to its promises.
“NYU is hoping it’ll be a normal semester, but I don’t think it will be,” Russell said.
Email Arnav Binaykia at [email protected]