Dear Bear Families,
Welcome to Missouri State University! The Office of Education Abroad is pleased that you’re a part of our community, and we’re excited to introduce you to all we have to offer you and your students.
I’m sure you’re familiar with study abroad from your own academic experiences.
At Missouri State, our office offers domestic academic experiences in addition to traditional overseas programs. More than 60 percent of Missouri State students who study abroad do so on short-term faculty-directed programs. These one-to-eight week courses take place over intersessions, spring break, and summer term sessions. Other students study abroad for a semester or year through one of our exchange agreements or affiliate partner programs.
As you can imagine, 2020 was a challenging year for Education Abroad. Our disruption began in January, with the first reports of a new virus in China, moving to evacuating students in S. Korea, then Italy, and then the cascade of short-term program cancelations and long-term student evacuations. Disruption continued as it impacted our nation, city, and campus. The silver lining of the pandemic is that we’ve coalesced and strengthened the ways we work together and have solidified our commitment to global education.
During the summer of 2021, three domestic short-term faculty-directed programs traveled, and five students studied abroad internationally. MSU’s international travel policy on restricted travel areas includes a petition process which enables faculty and students to advocate for themselves. Our office has already accepted a dozen proposals for 2022 faculty-directed programs, and we are cautiously planning for the year ahead.
You may be interested in reviewing Institute of International Education data regarding U.S. study abroad during health crises. If study abroad trends post COVID-19 follow the pattern of study abroad after the SARS epidemic (2002-2003), swine flu pandemic (2009-2010), Ebola virus epidemic (2014-2016), and zika virus epidemic (2015-2016), then we can expect study abroad to rebound, even to areas that have been most impacted. While 2020 and 2021 were periods of limited travel, I’m encouraged by student and faculty planning for 2022. I look forward to working with my colleagues across campus as we rebuild participation, and I am confident of our abilities to work collaboratively to strengthen programming in the (almost) post-COVID era.
Again, welcome to Missouri State University. The Office of Education Abroad staff looks forward to working with you to develop the global leaders of tomorrow!
Director, Office of Education Abroad