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Credit: Ava Cruz

Penn Abroad will announce a final decision on whether fall study abroad programs will continue by May 15. 

In an email sent on Tuesday morning to students who applied to study abroad in the fall semester, Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager Jacob Gross wrote that it is currently too early to make a final decision on the status of fall study abroad programs, but that students should find out on May 15, "if not sooner."

An email from Gross on April 1 previously said that a decision would likely be made by the end of this week. 

“I am very sorry that we need to extend this timeline as I can imagine you are waiting for an answer to make your plans for next year,” Gross wrote. “Penn Abroad does not want to place any of you in a position to be unsuccessful, and as such, the conversation is ongoing between Penn Abroad and Penn Leadership.” 

Gross advised that students who applied to go abroad participate in course registration for on-campus classes for the fall semester and wait until May 15 to make purchases for a term abroad, including “flights, housing abroad, or any other non-refundable expenses.” 

In an emailed statement to the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn Abroad Director Nigel Cossar said the University is assessing the fall study abroad situation similar to its peer institutions. Like Penn, he said, other universities are following updates from the United States government, global travel and quarantine restrictions, and reviewing programming abroad.

“There are a number of factors that go into a decision like this, all carrying varying degrees of weight, and many of which are outside of the control of an individual institution,” Cossar wrote.

Cossar wrote that Penn Abroad is careful not to make a hasty decision, as there is uncertainty about how the virus will affect travel in the fall and there are so many people involved in abroad programming.

He also reiterated that students planning to study abroad should register for classes at Penn for the fall semester as a backup plan.

“Naturally we are eager to provide guidance to students as early as practically possible, but do need to prepare for any extenuating circumstances that may prevent a decision being made earlier,” Cossar wrote. “That said, we will continue to work toward the earliest possible date by which we can confirm with students.”