In March 2020, the State Department issued a Level 4 Advisory, recommending no international travel for any U.S. citizen due to the global impact of COVID-19 and existing international in-country travel restrictions and quarantines.
As a result, the State University of New York (SUNY) cancelled all scheduled summer 2020 study abroad programs and a decision was made in June to cancel all fall 2020 international programs. In light of the ongoing travel guidelines from the U.S. Department of State, the NYS Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our in-country university partners, spring 2021 programs have been canceled. Though the opportunity to travel in person is not currently available, we encourage students to take part in our virtual program opportunities.
No, SUNY New Paltz is currently running the Global Engagement Program for the fall term. Participants in this program, based in New York City, have been given the opportunity to partake in in-person or virtual internships this fall and the associated course has limited the number of in-person, socially distant, course meetings over the course of the semester.
Yes! This spring, SUNY New Paltz will offer virtual study abroad opportunities in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, and Guatemala. Each of these opportunities are unique and range from three credits, to a full semester course load. Students may participate in service learning, internships, or language exchange as part of some of these options. Students who participate in the Spain, Italy, or Guatemala courses will have the option to visit the host country for a final course at the culmination of their semester if summer programs are deemed safe by the SUNY Office of Global Affairs.
In addition to the virtual opportunities through SUNY New Paltz, students may also choose to participate in other SUNY virtual opportunities, found here.
This past summer, SUNY New Paltz students had the opportunity to take part in the SUNY COIL Global Commons program. Through this six week, six credit, course, students were given the chance to learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while working collaboratively with various community based and/or non-governmental organizations throughout the world. This opportunity will also likely be available in summer 2021.
SUNY New Paltz determines location safety by following U.S. State Department Travel Advisories, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning level alerts, and World Health Organization (WHO) advice. U.S. State Department Level 2 and CDC Warning Level 2 are our normal operating levels. Occasionally, SUNY New Paltz will allow programs to run in locations that are U.S. State Department Level 3 and/ or CDC Warning Level 3, assuming this guidance details rationale that would not impact the region of the country or situation of the student, as sometimes the warnings are particular to a region or a group of people, and we can safely and confidently mitigate the risk. Any change in these levels indicates a change in condition. In response, the Center for International Programs reviews the situation, to reassess and evaluate program safety. Likewise, our in-country partners are key stakeholders in assessing the safety and support needs of our students.
Our assessment of location safety includes information from all available sources, including local staff, in-country partners, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), and cross-reference with our fellow SUNY study abroad offices. Final say in the decision as to whether to run programs in a specific location is determined by SUNY administration, in conjunction with the governor’s office.
In the event that a future study abroad program must be cancelled, the CIP staff will work closely with affected students to make alternate arrangements. Due to the current international situation, we encourage all study abroad applicants to have backup plans for the semester they would be abroad. This includes registering for housing and coursework on campus. Students should remember that it is their responsibility to de-register for their backup arrangements if not needed.
In the event that a program must be cancelled prior to departure, students will not be financially responsible for any program related fees, but may be liable for airfare or independent housing costs. We recommend students wait to book these components until they are confident that the program will run. If a program is cancelled, students will have the opportunity to defer their admission to the following semester.
Yes! The Study Abroad Fair will take place in early February, though it may look a bit different. The Center for International Programs will host a webinar style fair to learn more about opportunities at New Paltz and hear from other campus departments about how to make this a reality for you!
If you missed the fall 2020 Virtual Study Abroad Fair, you can view the session recordings on the study abroad website.
Yes! The Center for International Programs Study Abroad Advisors will continue to offer virtual advising appointments. Appointments are available between 9:00 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday. You can schedule a phone or Zoom video call with Catherine or Bianca through Calendly. For a general program overview, we recommend meeting with our Graduate Assistant staff. We have fantastic Peer Counselors to offer a student perspective as well! Check out our virtual office, here!
Yes! There are many study abroad scholarships for both virtual and future travel programs. At the beginning of the spring term, we will be hosting virtual Study Abroad Scholarship Information sessions. Alternately, you can email our Scholarship Advisor, Bianca Sylvain, for more information.
Over the course of the summer, we received a very positive response to the four sessions we offered on study abroad re-entry for spring 2020 program participants. If you missed this series, please reach out to your study abroad advisor. We love hearing from you and would be happy to meet one on one to discuss your international experiences.
In addition to our workshop series, there are many other options for support available to our returnees. There will be opportunities to take part in study abroad events for perspective students and other CIP programming. You should also consider joining the International Student Union. This is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded students! The Romance Languages Living Learning Community and the East West Living Learning Community offer fantastic opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and language proficiency development and are now open to students who are not living on campus as well as those who are.