Study abroad cancelations disappoint students and faculty alike

All of PNW’s more than 20 education abroad programs were canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving students and faculty disappointed and stuck at home.

PNW is one of many universities forced to cancel events, programs and trips in response to the rise of COVID-19. Students and faculty have expressed disappointment, but they understand the decisions.

“I was reluctant to cancel, but now I realize we did what we had to do,” said Thomas Roach, head of the Department of Communication and Creative Arts, who annually leads a group of students to Paris during the month of May. “Hopefully we will reschedule for next year and the students who signed up for 2020 can go in 2021.”

The study abroad programs typically offer students opportunities to learn about international destinations, foreign languages and different cultures. 

“After the cancellation I was bummed a little but I knew it was the best decision for everyone,” said junior Seth Moncado, who is studying human resource management and planned to study abroad in France. “I definitely wish I still could have gone on the trip because this would have been a great opportunity to see how different cultures operate in business.”

Moncado had planned to meet with executives at French companies as well as tour the factories and stadiums to learn more about global business.

“I really wish that they could have gone and experienced the whole thing,” said Julian Ramirez,  a junior studying human resources and marketing. “They reworked the trip to include a lot more this year and I was really looking forward to how it was going to turn out.”

Ramirez had taken education abroad trips in previous semesters and looked forward to how the reworked program would improve the student experience.

“In any major, it’s important to have a global perspective and see how things work in other places of the world,” he said.

Roach agreed that international travel can round out a student’s education.

“Study abroad is an important part of the PNW experience,” he said. “We try to encourage all students to get involved if they can. If the pandemic isn’t an issue by next spring, then we will make every effort to be back on track.”