Study Abroad programs canceled, postponed due to COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Study abroad programs are one of the many educational enrichment opportunities taking a hit from COVID-19.

Fresno State students Hnub Lee and Katie Yang have been friends since high school and always dreamed of studying abroad together.

"It was something we've wanted to do because we went to the same high school," said Lee, "So we knew going to college, one thing we wanted to experience was the study abroad experience."

The college juniors had plans to spend the whole year abroad, but all that changed with COVID-19.

"I remember we texted each other and I think we were almost going to cry because we've been waiting for this semester," said Yang. "We've worked really hard for it."

Universities across the country have canceled their abroad programs and Fresno State is no exception, canceling all 2020 programs.

"It's very country-specific," explained Asst. Vice President to International Affairs Sarah Lam, "but we have to think about students traveling through different airports."

They're taking it one semester at a time. They'll make a decision about the spring semester in August and say the future of learning abroad is still unclear.

"It will make a comeback, but just like we were talking about we may have a new normal," said Lam.

As for Hnub and Katie, they're still hopeful their goals of going abroad will happen, just a little later than planned.

"Learn a new language and be a part of that community, I feel like it's just a matter of when and that opportunity is still there," said Lee.
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