The first study abroad groups since March 2020 departed on their trips from the DFW airport on Wednesday.
Two groups will study abroad this fall, living in Oxford, England, and in Leipzig, Germany.
Seventeen students are making the trip to Oxford, accompanied by Dr. Tracy Shilcutt, professor of history and associate dean of the Honors College.
Fifteen students will travel to Leipzig along with Dr. Cliff Barbarick, associate professor of Bible, Missions and Ministry. Dr. Sarah Easter, assistant professor in the College of Business’s department of management sciences will be in Leipzig with students for six weeks, and Dr. Laura Phillips, an associate professor in the Department of Management Sciences, will also make the trip to Germany.
Study abroad students have had a few days on campus to prepare for the trip prior to their departure. They have been taking exams on the new cultures they are about to live in and listening to speakers, preparing them mentally and spiritually for the challenges they will face abroad.
Considering this is the first group of students to go abroad since the pandemic began, there are stills some unknowns.
“These are the first study abroad groups since March of 2020, and there’s still lots of unknowns with COVID,” said Stephen Shewmaker, executive director of study abroad.
Students and faculty participating in the study abroad programs will face some new restrictions while abroad.
“We are limiting student travel,” said Shewmaker. “Those going to Germany will have to stay in Germany and those in UK will have to stay in UK, given the ever changing nature of countries and borders.”
Participants are also required to be fully vaccinated and take a COVID-19 test before they leave. Despite concerns of COVID, the study abroad department is anticipating a smooth semester in Oxford and Leipzig and is excited for the benefits study abroad will offer students.
Students will be taking a variety of classes while on their trips. Anna Johnson, a business marketing and management double major from Waco, is going to Leipzig and said she will be taking a combination of business and German classes.