Changes to Pace’s study abroad program

Pace's Study Abroad Department hopes to have programs back on track by the fall, but advises students to proceed with caution.

Dan Ox

Pace's Study Abroad Department hopes to have programs back on track by the fall, but advises students to proceed with caution.

Miaira Raiford, Contributing Writer

Pace’s Study Abroad Department switched its focus in the safety and security of Pace students and is as optimistic about returning to regular study abroad offerings once the COVID-19 pandemic is settled.

Director of the Study Abroad Department, Jennifer Ley, had more to say regarding her thoughts on the global situation.

“This is clearly an unprecedented moment and our priority is the health, safety, and welfare of Pace students,” she said. “While we certainly understand student’s concerns and frustrations over program cancellations, we look forward to once again providing our regular study abroad offerings, when it is safe and the pandemic is behind us.”

The departments are currently working with students who wish to enroll in Fall 2020 faculty-led programs with travel abroad in January or for Fall 2020 semester long programs abroad while advising on other Pace offered courses.

“That way, if fall programs abroad are cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, these students will be protected with alternative academic options at Pace of their choosing,” Ley explained.

Study abroad strongly encourages all students interested in study abroad to carefully consider their travel plans, including reviewing the resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department and discussing their plans with family, their Pace Academic Advisor and a study abroad advisors.

Professor Maria Luskay, a faculty member who had her program’s trip cancellation due to COVID-19, had a few things to share.

“Study abroad was outstanding to work with as they helped me through this crazy time,” she said. “Rebecca Slotkin and I spoke every day. We were in contact in the very beginning as we watched the numbers in France go up, deciding whether or not Pace was going to allow us to take the trip. From the beginning, study abroad was committed to our students’ safety.”

Study abroad worked closely with the President and Provost’s office to make the decision and reached out to Luskay wanting to know what she was going to do as a backup. They committed funds not only to Luskay to assure a backup plan, but they also committed to refund students of the cost that they paid, including airline tickets that they purchased on their own.

“I think this is a very scary situation and no one knows what is going to happen,” Luskay said. “I planned for a backup to our documentary, called Plan Bee  and I have had to readjust that plan a number of times already. We are certainly hoping for the best, but Pace overall has done a great job with communication and with safety concerns for all of us.”