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Off-Campus Study & Exchanges - Skidmore College

Dealing with the Uncertainty of Studying Abroad in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

We all had a feeling that the news was going to come one day. We were all waiting in anticipation for the email. In the midst of a global pandemic, we were all prepared for the things that we were most excited about in the near future to be altered, if not canceled, due to COVID-19. Then, the message came. We were no longer going to be able to study abroad for the remainder of 2020. I was supposed to study abroad on a Skidmore Travel Seminar in May 2020 in Botswana and I was supposed to study abroad through DIS in Copenhagen, Denmark this Fall 2020. Even though I thought that I had been preparing for this news by mentally anticipating it, it was a hard pill to swallow, especially since Skidmore was still in the process of developing their plans for returning students… However, my only choice at that point was to think about all the reasons why maybe postponing my time abroad was perhaps a good thing: I could avoid Skidmore’s brutal winter of the spring semester, there was a lesser possibility of being sent home mid-semester, and I would have more time to prepare for the new challenges of studying abroad in the midst of COVID-19.

My housemates, who were all also supposed to be abroad, helped me to hang up a poster in Case about OCSE virtual advising this semester for my OCSE job! 

While this rationalization did not completely take away my disappointment, it provided me with the important message that this pandemic doesn’t mean I can never travel or never study abroad – it just means it has to wait for a little while. I think we can all agree that we are thankful to be able to be back at Skidmore in-person to any degree and that the OCSE office/study abroad programs are doing all that they can to provide us with the opportunity of studying off-campus again soon. It is during this time that I am choosing to take comfort in the opportunity to enroll on campus for classes and housing for next semester as a back-up plan, and that there is a certainty that we will be informed about studying off-campus in the spring soon!

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