Dear Students Planning for Spring 2021 Study Abroad,

Following a thorough review and careful consideration of the many health, safety, and logistical factors associated with study abroad next semester, the difficult decision has been made to cancel international study abroad programs for the Spring 2021 semester. This decision applies to both Wake Forest-sponsored and Affiliate (non-WFU) study abroad programs. (NOTE: The decision does not apply to the Wake Washington domestic program).

As noted above, this decision is based on a number of complex factors that include the following considerations:

  • Minimizing overall risk to your health and safety
  • U.S. State Department/CDC Travel Warning levels that still recommended against “non-essential” international travel
  • Public health forecasts of a possible COVID-19 second wave during the winter months
  • Travel restrictions in and out of various host countries
  • Passport processing times and continued delays
  • Availability of regular international flights and routes
  • Visa entry requirements and processing uncertainty, including possible prohibitions on entry if parents/guardians needed to travel to host countries
  • Quarantine mandates upon entry for certain countries
  • Risk of academic disruptions, lockdowns, and/or mandatory evacuations
  • Uncertainties of conditions/health care systems and facilities in various countries
  • Significant alterations to programs that would necessitate restrictions on fundamental academic and cultural elements, as well limitations on independent travel

Of course, we know that many of you have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to study in an overseas setting and that therefore, this news will come as a significant disappointment. However, the University’s top priority continues to be your health and safety and ensuring that you have an outstanding academic experience. Similarly, we are making this decision now in order for you to have sufficient time to plan for next semester (i.e. academic advising, course registration, housing, etc). All necessary information in this regard will be communicated directly to you by the University and/or appropriate offices.

If you have been accepted to a Wake Forest-sponsored program, then any acceptance deposits will be refunded or credited to your student account. For students accepted to Affiliate programs, you should inquire directly with your program provider about any deposit refunds.

While Spring 2021 study abroad programs have been canceled, we are hopeful that conditions will allow for study abroad opportunities during the Summer 2021 term (including programs with start-dates in May), and applications are also currently being accepted for Fall 2021. Throughout this semester and next, study abroad advisors are available during regular business hours (M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm) to discuss your future plans. Email or call 336.758.5938 to schedule an appointment.

Looking ahead, know that the Center for Global Programs & Studies is committed to providing the support and resources to ensure that study abroad opportunities are a part of your Wake Forest experience. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Dr. J. Kline Harrison
Associate Provost for Global Affairs

Wake Forest University
Center for Global Programs and Studies
116 Reynolda Hall
Winston-Salem, NC 27109