Dear Students Planning for Fall 2020 Study Abroad,

We hope you are all doing well during these summer months. The past semester was a challenge for all of us, and we greatly admire the resilience you demonstrated following spring break. Sadly, we write today to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to cancel our international study abroad programs for the Fall 2020 semester. This decision applies to both Wake Forest-sponsored and Affiliate (non-WFU) programs.

Given the uncertain trajectory and ongoing global situation surrounding COVID-19, the challenges and risks are simply too great to proceed this fall. This decision was a painful one to make, based on the following considerations:

  • Minimizing risk to your health and safety
  • U.S. State Department/CDC Travel Warning levels
  • Significant delays in passport/visa processing
  • Travel restrictions in and out of various countries
  • Possible second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Potential in-country quarantines
  • Risk of academic disruptions and mandatory evacuations
  • Uncertainties of conditions/health care systems and facilities in various countries
  • Restrictions on independent travel while participating in a study abroad program
  • Need to give students time to make preparations for the upcoming semester

Though fall study abroad programs have been cancelled, we do intend to offer study abroad opportunities during the Spring 2021 semester if circumstances allow. As such, study abroad advisors will be available throughout the summer and fall to discuss your plans. Also, for certain study abroad programs you may be able to defer your fall acceptance until the spring semester. Contact by August 1 to inquire about deferral options. Likewise, it is advisable that you confer with your academic adviser(s) to discuss the feasibility of studying abroad during the Spring 2021 semester.

For those students accepted to a Wake Forest-sponsored program who choose not to or are unable to defer, your acceptance deposit will be refunded. For students accepted to Affiliate programs, you will need to inquire directly with your program provider about any deposit refund.

Because you had planned to be away from campus this fall, we know you will likely have questions about course registration and housing. The Office of the University Registrar will contact students to provide information about updated registration processes before July 15. Undergraduate students will be able to build or adjust their fall schedules. Please consult your academic adviser(s) if you have any questions about registration for your fall courses. Also, as additional information regarding plans for Wake Forest’s fall semester are announced at the end of the month, you will receive communication directly from the Office of Residence Life and Housing concerning the fall housing selection process.

We realize you have been looking forward to studying abroad and the news we are sharing will be a great disappointment; however, your health and safety are of utmost importance to all of us, as are the depth and quality of your international study experience. The Center for Global Programs & Studies remains fully committed to the value of study abroad and will continue to provide support and resources to make these opportunities a part of your Wake Forest experience in the future. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Dr. J. Kline Harrison
Associate Provost for Global Affairs