Westmont College has cancelled its study abroad programs for the rest of 2020 as stay at home and business closure orders are extended around the country and the world to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Last week the college began informing about 60 students that all of its fall study-abroad programs have been cancelled or postponed, according to Westmont’s Vice Provost and Co-Director of Global Education Patti Hunter.
“Students are understandably disappointed, but they realize that the decision was necessary given the uncertainty about the future of travel restrictions over the next few months,” Ms. Hunter told the News-Press.
Westmont typically has 60-80 students abroad in four programs in the fall and 20-30 in one in the spring semester.
The programs are a key part of the Westmont experience, and one of the five planks of the college’s mission, said Ms. Hunter.
“As students become thoughtful scholars, grateful servants, and faithful leaders, for global engagement with the academy, church, and world, we want them to be equipped to respond to global challenges, to have skills for cross-cultural engagement, and to cultivate a desire to be part of the global church,” said Ms. Hunter.”
“In pursuing its global plank, the community at Westmont College endeavors to recognize and appreciate how our lives are interconnected with those of others in our local neighborhoods and around the world.”
The cancelled and postponed programs include Westmont’s Europe Semester, Westmont in Mexico, Westmont’s England Semester, and Westmont’s Global Health Uganda program.
Westmont hopes that its postponed Global Health Uganda program can be run in the spring, although the administration has not yet made any decision regarding the spring programs.