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Updates on the Study Abroad Experience during Covid-19

My son is studying in Austria getting his BS. This is something he arranged, he has his student resident visa and has been there for going on two years now, out of three required for his degree. There was no US University to call him home or end his program, therefore he is doing what all of the other students are doing. Staying put, self-isolating and participating in online classes whenever they are scheduled. From what I can tell, they are much more serious about the social distancing than we have been, or at least, they are a couple of weeks ahead of us. He can walk out to the grocery store which is well stocked (they even have tons of tp now, after an initial rush - he just doesn't need a 20 roll package!)

When his classes were first cancelled, I asked whether he wanted to come home. He wanted to stay where he is. He didn't really want to take a train and a couple of planes where it would be impossible to social distance, and then when the online courses were offered, he would be in the wrong time zone. Plus, there is still uncertainty over when they may actually be back on campus and this way he will be there and ready, rather than have a mad scramble for what will likely be limited flights.

Anyway, it seems there are some US students abroad who are still over there studying and living life as temporary Europeans. It has been interesting to hear about his experience.

Posted by
1057 posts

Very interesting to read this, Tigerfan. My daughter has applied to a number of master’s programs in Europe for next fall. Who knows what the situation will be then, but if you don’t apply, you can’t be part of whatever it turns out to be. We're waiting to hear about admission, and then we'll just roll with the plans as they evolve. She is refusing to name a favourite, pending admissions results, so she could be in Germany, the Netherlands, a joint Swiss/Italian program, or a French/German/Swiss program.

All of these are taught in English. Curious if that’s true for your son's program too, or if he's doing a BS in a foreign language. Kudos to him either way, what a great experience and a much lighter touch on your wallet. Best wishes for his continued health and success.

Posted by
456 posts

Interesting stuff - and interesting times!
The vast majority of students on year- and semester-long programs have been pulled out this spring. All summer programs that I know of have been either cancelled or went completely virtual. Shouldn't work all too well for language or cultural programs - but I have to say, all things considered, I'm quite impressed with what they managed to put together.