Study abroad to stay on pause until 2024


Photo courtesy of Benjamin Weibell

Students on a travel study trip to Costa Rica in 2020 led by biology professor Benjamin Weibell. The next chance to take a travel study course will be in 2024.

Sam Gauntt, Associate Editor

AACC will not allow students and faculty members to travel out of the country for classes again until early 2024, according to school officials. 

The travel study program allowed instructors to take their students on trips to other countries for in-the-field learning and experiences. Students paid for their own travel to the destination for the courses. In the past, students have traveled to Costa Rica, Scotland, Spain and Italy.

“It’s about a 12- to 18-month planning process for an existing course,” Alicia Morse, dean of the school of liberal arts, said. “If the faculty member needs to actually create the course … it’s probably a two-year process from start to finish.”

AACC put the travel study program on hold in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think the college … still has decisions to make about it at this point,” Cathleen Doyle, director of the Sarbanes Center for Career and Civic Engagement, said. “The pandemic really put everything on hold for a while.”

Benjamin Weibell, a biology professor who led a trip to Costa Rica in 2020, said travel study offers students an invaluable experience. 

“Getting those different perspectives, it’s just, it’s a great thing,” Weibell said. “I think … it’s hugely beneficial for the students.”

Weibell added that he would want to host more travel study courses in the future. 

“I really hope the college does reinstate it, and that more people get to go,” Weibell said.

Morse encouraged students to join travel study courses in the future because of the unique opportunity they offer.

“I’m really excited to … see it come back to life,” Morse said. “And I’m sure that it will.”