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Column: COVID-19 brings uncertainties to studying abroad

VSU is hoping to complete a study abroad program, led by English language director David Starling, in summer 2022.

Starling, who has been at VSU for twenty years, has lead study abroad programs since 2001. VSU has been unable to do in-person study abroad programs for two years due to COVID-19.

Starling said the safety of going to Japan was uncertain; however, he expressed that he had high hopes for the trip.

All students going on the trip must be vaccinated. Starling said the airline might do temperature checks, and students also may have to take tests before they come back.

If a student is infected they must stay in the hospital or self-quarantine in the youth hostel.

The trip is only one month, so if a student gets in contact with the virus, they will have to spend half of the trip in quarantine.

“I think most of this is going to pass us by January or February,” said Starling.

The final decision on whether or not the trip will be continued will be made in March.

The trip is $5,160, and there are around two spots left and a waiting list of 25 students from another school. The other school that may be joining VSU is Georgia Gwinnett College.

They would have to follow the same COVID-19 protocols VSU would.

This trip is still danger-filled with unknown variables. If the trip were to be canceled, all of the money would be returned except for $60, which is the down payment for the trip.

COVID is still going on around the world, and it is still not safe to be traveling internationally. Especially when questions are being answered with guesses instead of certainties.

Unknowns are not enough to be spending thousands of dollars on a trip that could either potentially be canceled or spend half of it in a hospital.

Written by Alexys Rawlings, staff reporter. Photo courtesy of Bailey Storey.

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One comment

  1. David Lyle Starling

    Alexys,

    You did a poor job or relating what I said. Study abroad is not “danger filled” and I am not “not worried” about COVID. I am just hopeful that it will pass. Danger filled? Additionally, how could you not look up the name of the college that is our partner? It’s not Georgia Genette, but Georgia Gwinnett College. That’s information that is easily available.

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