Yale University Students Barred From Study Abroad Programs as Omicron Cases Increase Globally

United States North America COVID-19 Higher Education News by Erudera News Jan 26, 2022

Yale University

Yale’s Center for International and Professional Experience (CIPE) announced that it has cancelled all study abroad programs taking place in the spring semester due to an increase in the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

As Yale’s independent student newspaper, the Yale Daily News reports, CIPE mostly coordinates scholarships and grants provided to students studying overseas as Yale does not run its study abroad programs. 

“Unfortunately, in accordance with the Yale University International Travel Policy for Yale College Students, we were unable to send any students abroad for the spring semester,” CIPE Director of Study Abroad Kelly McLaughlin told the News.

CIPE made the decision as many students were already prepared to leave and move abroad after the enrollment in courses were mainly completed. However, due to the spread of the Omicron, study abroad advisors informed their students about the December update that they are not allowed to attend study programs overseas this spring.

Student Luna Garcia told Yale News that she was expected to study in Madrid this spring, but during the winter break, she was notified of the CIPE’s decision.

Garcia highlighted that the number of students participating in study abroad programs during the academic year is low, hence the study abroad office could assist the latter, but according to her, there is a lack of information among staff regarding students’ advice on travel restrictions. However, Garcia noted that the study abroad office has done its utmost considering Yale’s travel restrictions.

The university has announced that students wishing to apply for Yale Summer Session programs abroad are able to do so until February 15, 2022.

For the Spring 2022 semester, Yale University has required all students, except those with approved medical exemptions, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to have received a booster shot if eligible when they return to campus. Meanwhile, those who are not eligible to receive booster shots by that time are required to do so within seven days of eligibility.

“In addition, the university requires all faculty, managerial, and professional staff, and postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees to have obtained a booster shot by January 31, 2022 or within 7 days of eligibility if they are not eligible by January 31, 2022,” Yale notes.

Yale asks all its students, faculty, and staff to document their vaccination status or booster if received in the COVID-19 Health and Safety Database. According to the university’s website, all students and employees who do not adhere to Yale’s vaccination rules may be “subject to progressive discipline.”

Currently, over one thousand higher education institutions in the United States require COVID-19 vaccination for students and employees.

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