Study abroad in 2020 was… unique. Flexibility was the theme of last year and our students in the U.K. and Asia were the first to experience life abroad during a global pandemic, pioneering our “new normal” for future USAC students in 2021 and beyond. They ventured into their study abroad experiences with an open mind, ready to see the world through a new lens and embrace a new culture (figuratively, of course!).
With USAC’s help, we know it’s possible to achieve your dream of studying abroad safely without sacrificing the quality of your program. Our Fall 2020 students are proof! If you’re considering studying abroad in 2021, read what our 2020 alumni had to say about their experiences abroad during COVID-19.
“Do not be afraid!!! Studying abroad is a huge leap for most people whether we are in a pandemic or not. Although it is a hundred percent worth it even if we are currently in a pandemic. You are in no more danger that you would be in your home country, and you may even be safer depending on what country you are in. The staff in your host country is also there as a huge support resource if you need it. So go out and explore overseas, the pandemic isn’t going anywhere but you can.” – Camryn, USAC Reading
“I would recommend this program to others, even in the midst of a pandemic because as hectic as the world is and even with coronavirus restrictions, studying abroad is still worth doing. We are ALL coping with a pandemic, no matter where you are and as long as you are following your host country’s guidelines you should be plenty safe. Honestly, I studied in England and it was safer there, I felt, than it was in the United States where I am from. Because in the U.K. they have better restrictions and assistance in place in order to manage cases and keep people safe. Furthermore, as far as school, the setup is virtually the same all over. Universities in all countries are leaning on a hybrid course structure where some materials are online, and some are in person. So, if you’re going to be taking hybrid courses, why not do them overseas?” – Camryn, USAC Reading
“It’s definitely different than a normal study abroad experience. While some things have been a little disappointing, you just have to look at the positives and do what you are able to do without breaking government guidelines. If anything, because of COVID, I have even more reasons to come back to Europe now after the pandemic in a few years to visit my friends and see where they live, along with experience everything in Scotland that I wasn’t able to now because of restrictions.” – Jamie, USAC Stirling
“I was supposed to study abroad in Spring 2020, so this was my second chance. I also thought it was the perfect time to escape from the pandemic in America. The country [Korea] is safe, and the restrictions put into place are reasonable. You’re still able to enjoy the country while remaining safe. Don’t be scared to still explore. Take advantage of things that you can do while following safety protocols. It’ll be different from what you expect, but you will still make the most out of it.” – Hailey, USAC Seoul Yonsei
“It was such an amazing experience and even though there was a pandemic there were still many things that you could do. I wanted to study abroad, even during the pandemic, because it was the semester that worked best for a trip. I definitely think it was the right decision for me and I would definitely do it again! I met some of the most amazing people and I made fantastic friends from all over the globe.
“Don’t be afraid to study abroad during a pandemic because it will provide a different sort of experience than what you would normally get. Personally, I ended up doing more outside activities such as hiking because most of the indoor activities that I wanted to do were closed because of Covid.” – Eliana, USAC Seoul Kookmin
“Study abroad is very liberating, and depending on where you go, it can feel like a breath of fresh air! I had tried the semester before this one, but it was cancelled, and this was something I really wanted to do and get the experience from. I had researched that Korea was doing amazing during the pandemic, and I feel a lot safer here than in America currently, so I would absolutely come back if I could!” – Taylor, USAC Gwangju