Cancelled before taking off: COVID-19 impact on study abroad trips


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Studying abroad can be an exciting time for college students who decide to take the opportunity. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has taken that chance away from those planning trips for this spring and summer.

Anna Doering was supposed to go to South Africa.

“This upcoming summer, I was supposed to study abroad in Port Elizabeth, South Africa at Nelson Mandela University,” Doering said.

Cooper Seamer was supposed to go to Greece.

“I was supposed to go in the middle of May to like the first week of June. I was going to take like a three week sailing trip basically,” Seamer said.

However, after months of preparing for their trips, the COVID-19 pandemic changed their plans.

“I was in the beginning process of learning the language, like the very basic level of Greek that I’ll probably never get to use, but it’s still interesting to learn and all that stuff,” Seamer said.

And although both Doering and Seamer were upset about the cancellations, they understand why it happened.

“That’s just really something minor compared to more things that people are facing now due to Coronavirus, such as losing their jobs and the nurses and law enforcement officers and delivery drivers who have to work hard everyday due to this. So, even though it was disappointing, I am thankful that that’s one of the biggest ways that I’ve been impacted,”

USD refunded both of them for expenses they already paid towards the study abroad programs. Doering is a junior and hopes to try to go to South Africa again next year. Seamer, however, is in his last semester at school. He says he still has plans to head to Greece someday.

“If I can go to Greece in one way, shape or form, I’d be really excited to go especially since I’ve put in so much time and effort already to try to learn about the country and language. I’d love to get there someday,” Seamer said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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