Harvey Mudd cancels spring 2021 study abroad

Harvey Mudd College's Shanahan Center during sunset
Harvey Mudd College is canceling its spring study abroad programs according to an email sent to students Aug. 29. (Kyle Grace • The Student Life)

Harvey Mudd College is canceling all study abroad programs for the coming spring semester, Dean of the Faculty Lisa Sullivan announced in an email to students Saturday.

Mudd appears to be the first Claremont College to cancel study abroad for the spring semester. Sullivan cited difficulties in spring 2020, when many students who studied abroad at the Claremont Colleges were sent home due to the pandemic

“Our experiences in Spring [2020] revealed to us that several of our study abroad providers were not prepared to partner well with HMC students and staff in emergent situations,” Sullivan said. “Because our primary concern must always be the safety and well-being of our students, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Study Abroad options for the spring term.”

This is not the first time Mudd has preemptively canceled study abroad programs due to the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Mudd was the first of the 5Cs to cancel their fall 2020 study abroad programs. 

Pomona College followed suit on June 1, and Pitzer College suspended study abroad on July 14. In July, Scripps College announced they would work with students on an individual basis if their programs had not yet been canceled. 

Sullivan said the college expects to continue study abroad in fall 2021. Rhona Chiles, the college’s study abroad coordinator, will be available to consult about planning for study abroad programs in the 2021-2022 academic year, though the Study Abroad Office will operate with limited hours in the fall. 

Like many of you, I am eager for us to be back together in the spring term — but our planning for the spring must necessarily imagine the worst case as well as best case scenarios,” Sullivan said. 

Students at Harvey Mudd studied abroad at the largest rate in the school’s history last spring, with a record 22 percent of juniors choosing to pursue programs off campus.

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