Dear MICA Community Members,
I hope this email finds everyone doing well today and enjoying the first glimpses of spring.
After much close and careful deliberation, including discussions with our team of consulting epidemiologists, Academic Affairs has made the difficult decision to suspend all outbound study abroad and exchange programs for Fall 2021 due to the prolonged uncertainties of COVID-19's impact on international travel.
Many of MICA’s study abroad partner institutions have already made similar decisions to cancel fall programs, including the SACI program in Florence, Italy. MICA’s decision encompasses all semester-long programs, including all programs offered by MICA's international exchange and affiliate partnerships.
As outbreaks and confirmed cases associated with COVID-19 continue to fluctuate globally, MICA remains vigilant in monitoring travel advisories and warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At present, most of MICA's participating study abroad program destinations remain at a U.S. Department of State Level 3 Travel Warning and either a CDC Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice. Both advisories preclude all international travel under MICA's Guidelines for Education Abroad.
Further, a number of bans against travel to the US are still in place, barring entry from Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Schengen countries of Europe. Conversely, a number of European and Asian countries have travel restrictions that bar entry from the US or only allow entry with a number of restrictions.
As you know, the primary goal of the College during the pandemic is to best ensure the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, including those members of our community considering international travel program participation. The College will continue to assess all related guidance for the Spring 2022 semester, and we are very hopeful that full participation will be possible in light of expanding vaccination rates and more optimistic predictions for international travel. We will continue to assess conditions closely and consult with MICA’s team of epidemiologists to determine the safest actions for Spring 2022.
If you have questions relating to Fall abroad and exchange programs or future international programs, please contact the Office of International Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.225.2243.
All the best,