After all study abroad programs had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Otterbein University’s study abroad program is announcing the return of all group travel for the spring of 2022. 

The study abroad program had lower participation numbers due to the pandemic, but students were still able to study abroad. It depended on if their programs were not canceled by their host institution, if they were allowed into their host countries and if they were vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The program also ensured that their host country or institution was successfully mitigating COVID-19 risk prior to approving students' study abroad plans. 

“We sent three students abroad this summer and currently have three students abroad this fall," said study abroad coordinator Michelle Dippold. "Five students are currently making their plans for the spring semester, and we have a number of applications from international students planning to come to Otterbein this spring as well.” 

          

One of the big downsides of COVID-19 was having to cancel group travel in 2020 and 2021, but the program is excited to restart faculty-led travel courses this May. 

90% of students study abroad through faculty-led travel courses. Student interest and participation continues to increase as more and more countries reopen their borders to U.S. citizens.

There are many ways to participate in study abroad at Otterbein. Students who are interested in participating in a May 2022 faculty-led travel course should contact the faculty leading the courses (deposits are due in mid-October/early November depending on the course). 

          

If students are interested in spending a semester or summer abroad, they should begin planning as early as possible. Students should email the study abroad coordinator at studyabroad@otterbein.edu to set up a time to meet. 

“Now that we’re more on the post pandemic side of things, I am excited to see that Otterbein’s study abroad program is happening again,"  MBA graduate student Catie Duzzny said. 

"I am excited for other students to experience the joy of traveling abroad as well as learning about another culture. I’m also excited that in the future I could plan to travel abroad again when just a year ago it didn’t seem possible.”

The Study Abroad Fair had over 250 students attend and express interest in study abroad. This program is back on track and ready to tackle the 2022 faculty-led travel course.