Dear Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,
The Luther College Center for Global Learning and the Dean’s Office have made the difficult decision to extend the suspension of most international off-campus programs through June 2021. Last March most international programs occurring in summer and fall 2020 were suspended. This extension through June 2021 has been made in recognition of the continuing unpredictable global environment created by COVID-19 and recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that colleges consider postponing or canceling upcoming student international programs.
Even though the pandemic is no longer new, the reality is that the world is still learning how to cope with its effects. Until widespread vaccination is available, more robust testing protocols are in place, and increased travel stability returns, the nature of international, group travel seems to be at odds with the nature of the virus. Unexpected travel restrictions, severely reduced airline capacity, quarantines, reduced citizen support services at many U.S. embassies, and severely stressed healthcare systems in many locations compound the challenges.
Programs affected by the extended suspension include: Nottingham Year, Malta Semester, June Term international programs, International Music Festival of the Adriatic, and international Alumni Tours.
Programs proceeding as planned (subject to change) include: Washington Semester, Rochester Semester, Chicago Center, Urban Studies—Denver, international spring and summer Partner Programs, June Term domestic courses, and the Nottingham Summer Nursing Program.
By announcing this extended suspension now, students will have time to reflect on and adjust academic schedules prior to the spring semester registration period. In addition, it provides time for staff in the Center for Global Learning—working with faculty off-campus program leaders—to revise June Term course options so that we are able to offer a mix of both on-campus and domestic off-campus June Term courses.
We also wish to update you about music touring for 2020-21, both internationally and domestically. In coordination with the CGL, the music marketing team and the music ensemble conductors have decided to suspend international touring for 2020-21. In addition, because of the many challenging factors related to the safety of domestic music tours and performances during the pandemic, all domestic tours for 2020-21 are also suspended. Later this semester, the music marketing office will communicate with music students about touring plans for 2021-22.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
Executive Director, Center for Global Learning