Webster is holding on to hope that the fall break study abroad programs will be able to return for the semester.
Students who signed up for faculty-led programs last summer and fall held out hope that this spring and summer would bring back study abroad at Webster. Ranked in the top 2% of study abroad programs in 2019, Webster is well-known for its international aspect. Not having study abroad for a full year was detrimental to those who had been planning on it.
“I was supposed to spend a semester in Geneva, Switzerland in the fall of 2020, and of course that got canceled,” said Kamryn Moore, Webster’s Study Abroad peer mentor. “I also know several other people who had planned trips for either fall 2020 or spring 2021 that got canceled. It’s an unfortunate situation that many people have had to overcome and figure out our other options.”
The Study Abroad Office has released the offered faculty-led programs for fall 2021, however, after postponing and canceling all the programs of the past year. Webster will be offering week long courses and trips to Oslo, Norway; Florence, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; San Jose, California and New Mexico. Faculty accompany students on the trip, teaching a specific aspect of the destination’s culture.
“I first traveled abroad on a two-week faculty-led program before I later studied abroad for a semester,” Webster’s Study Abroad advisor Tyler Worlund said. “While I obviously had more individual experiences in an entire semester than in two weeks, the faculty-led program is what I consider the most life-changing experience for me personally, as it is responsible for my interest in travel and learning about other cultures.”
Moore also saw the benefit faculty-led abroad trips offer to students who might now be able to travel for a whole semester.
“Of course a full semester is wonderful, but it is not always possible to all people,” Moore said. “Whether it is due to area of study, sports or financials, studying abroad for a whole semester is not available to everyone. Faculty-led programs give students a chance to experience something so unique while being on a shorter schedule.”
Participants still get the traveling and cultural experience of a longer study abroad program, but for a lower time and financial cost. After losing a year of travel opportunities to the pandemic, and possibly facing financial hardships, faculty-led programs can be a blessing for those still looking to go abroad.
These fall trips aren’t new programs though. The short trips, suggested and created by Webster faculty and staff, have been taking place for years. Popular ones such as “Florence in the Renaissance” in Italy and “Inequality and the Environment: Coffee!” in Costa Rica are coming back this fall as options for students.
“The hope is that, with the vaccine rollout, the extra month will help see things improve a bit, and we can be more confident of what things might look like in the fall,” Worlund said.
The fall break application deadline has been moved. It once was April 15. Now, it is May 15.
“Besides the obvious resumé booster,” Moore said, “study abroad provides the opportunity for personal growth and cultural awareness. There is nothing in the world that can teach you about something like being there and experiencing it for yourself.”
To get more information on the programs being offered and apply, head to the Study Abroad website or reach out to Worlund or Moore via email.
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Alexandria Darmody (she/they) is the news editor for the Journal, and a senior journalism major and FTVP minor. She enjoys digital art, photography and reading nonfiction stories. In her free time, she makes collages from old magazines and collects stickers to decorate surfaces. She's interested in the business side of journalism, and she's an avid viewer of Succession.