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Global Education Office suspends spring 2021 study away programs

Duke’s Global Education Office announced Wednesday afternoon that all outgoing undergraduate study away programs for spring 2021 have been suspended as a result of “ongoing health, safety, and logistics concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a news release. 

All Duke-In, Duke-Approved and petition programs, including domestic study away programs and U.S. based exchange programs, will be affected by this suspension, according to a news release announcing the suspension. 

The announcement noted that any Duke students who have paid deposits towards study abroad programs will be refunded via a credit to their bursar account while non-Duke students will be contacted by their GEO Program Manager for refund arrangements. However, students on Duke-approved programs will need to contact their program providers about cancellation, withdrawal and refunds. 

In line with Duke’s academic policy relating to transfer credit, the registrar’s office will not accept online transfer credit, such as that offered through virtual study away programs. Similarly, if a student does decide to study away in the spring on an unapproved program, “they do so without access to university financial aid and travel resources, and will not be permitted to transfer credit back to the institution,” read the announcement on the GEO website

The announcement also emphasized GEO’s continued commitment to offering spring semester opportunities via the Duke at DKU and Study Away at Home for Duke students who are unable to return to campus in the spring. 

No decisions have been made regarding summer 2021 yet. The GEO website reads that they are in the process of finalizing their program portfolio for summer 2021, although they might not be able to offer all programs that they have in past years. 

Duke canceled all undergraduate summer and fall study away programs this year, citing health and safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, although they continued to offer fall opportunities for Duke students at Duke Kunshan University and the Duke Marine Lab

In spring 2020, all students studying on Duke and non-Duke study away programs both internationally and domestically were recalled as Duke went online spring break.

Editor's note: The headline of this story has been updated to clarify that all study away programs are canceled, not just abroad programs.

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