This message was sent on March 17.
Dear WFU Study Abroad/Away Applicants for Fall 2020,
As COVID-19 continues to impact many aspects of our daily lives, we know that you also have questions about its impact on your Fall 2020 abroad/away programs. With that in mind, this email is intended to provide you an update on where things currently stand.
Out of an abundance of caution, on March 13, 2020, Wake Forest announced restrictions on non-essential university-affiliated travel until June 30, 2020. Given that all Fall 2020 WFU study abroad/away programs do not start until after that date, we have time to continue monitoring the situation. We will use the information presented over the weeks ahead to make informed and responsible decisions for all study abroad/away offerings. Please know that decisions will be made with the best interest of our students’ and faculty members’ health and safety as the primary consideration.
For reference, in order to assess risks related to the operation of study abroad/away programs, Wake Forest takes guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO), institutional partners abroad, and local and international health officials. Going forward, the university will continue to rely on these sources of information as we monitor and review risk in each location where we operate programs.
As of today (03/17/20), all Fall 2020 programs (Wake Forest-sponsored and Affiliate) are running as planned. Final decisions on the viability of WFU-sponsored programs will be made approximately eight weeks in advance of the program’s intended start-date. Affiliate programs will communicate their timelines directly to students.
For students applying to Fall 2020 study abroad/away programs:
- Please proceed with the next steps as outlined in your WakeAbroad account and in the emails you have received from your study abroad advisor, resident professor, and/or program provider.
- If you have been accepted to a program and you are still interested in studying abroad/away, then you should submit your deposit and any required commitment forms (e.g. Final Registration for Study Abroad form in your WakeAbroad file, Intent to Participate Form for WFU programs, etc.) by the due dates indicated. If you have concerns, speak with your study abroad advisor, resident professor, and/or program provider.
- Do not purchase airfare or make travel plans at this time. If you do, we strongly suggest that you purchase fully refundable airline tickets and/or trip cancellation insurance (i.e. cancel for any reason coverage) and ensure that the policy covers cancellation due to pandemic. WFU assumes no responsibility for losses or penalties due to program cancellation or student withdrawal.
- If your study abroad/away program is canceled, then WFU will assist you in registering for Reynolda Campus courses.
- If the WFU Center for Global Programs & Studies (GPS) makes any changes to your program, then we will reach out to you directly via email. Please check your WFU email account and WakeAbroad account regularly.
- For all Fall 2020 WFU-administered programs, if WFU determines that we cannot safely operate a program due to COVID-19 and GPS cancels the program, then you will not be charged any program-related fees and will have your program deposits refunded. If WFU programs remain operational and you withdraw from your program, then you will be bound by the withdrawal policy outlined in your Intent to Participate Form.
- For all Fall 2020 Affiliate programs (i.e. non-WFU), you are encouraged to speak directly to your program about cancellation policies. Should the Affiliate program cancel your study abroad program, then you will not be charged the required WFU Study Abroad Enrollment Fee. Should the program remain in operation and you elect to withdraw, then you will be subject to the Reynolda Campus withdrawal policy for the Study Abroad Enrollment Fee and the Affiliate program’s refund policy.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this time of uncertainty. We will provide updates as circumstances change or new information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions/concerns, please contact Jessica Francis (Director of Global Abroad Programs) at email@example.com or 336.758.3890.
With all best wishes,
David F. Taylor