BU CGS Boston-London summer season program canceled | BU As we speak


One of the main attractions for students enrolled in the BU’s College of General Studies is the Boston-London summer program. After a gap semester, CGS freshmen begin their college experience in January and continue a study abroad program in London the following summer.

However, the BU class students of the 2024 class cohort received news on Monday that the trademark is the latest study abroad offering to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the fifth consecutive semester that the pandemic has disrupted study abroad opportunities, disappointing thousands of students who looked forward to traveling internationally while taking BU courses that count towards their graduation.

In a letter to the students on Monday morning, Natalie McKnight, dean of CGS, said she knew the news was disappointing and that everyone at CGS and Global Programs was sharing the blow. “However, the reality of the pandemic and the ongoing restrictions on travel and collecting in the UK make it impossible to safely host 600 students in London and provide them with the high quality cultural experiences that are a key element of the Boston-London and London Experience programs,” said McKnight.

Rather than travel to London, the aspiring CGS students will spend their summer semester in the college’s newly established Boston-New England program, which enrolls students in three CGS classes on literature and the arts, rhetorical practices, and politics, economics and social affairs Change. Classes are complemented by trips to historic New England sites such as Newport, RI, Salem, Mass. And Martha’s Vineyard, as well as visits to local museums and cultural events. Accommodation and meals are available, and it is also possible to take part in the program as a Learn from Anywhere (LfA) student.

According to McKnight, the university was unable to hold the London program for several reasons. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that people not travel. Second, international visitors to the UK face quarantine and testing requirements, which means that “at best, students and faculty would be quarantined for a week of a six-week program,” notes McKnight. Third, the venues that the CGS London program uses for its essential excursions, such as museums and theaters, will remain closed. After all, BU in London does not have the infrastructure to continue the health protocols in place on the Charles River campus such as daily certification and twice weekly testing.

Willis Wang, Vice President and Associate Provost, Global Programs, echoes McKnight’s statement. “We all hoped that by now we had greater certainty about the pandemic that would allow us to deliver a high quality academic experience in London to a large number of CGS students,” he says. “The ongoing uncertainties caused by COVID-19, tight London health security protocols, expected travel restrictions and likely restrictions on national program plans supported this very difficult and disappointing decision.”

Adelene Jeneid (CGS’22) expressed disappointment with the announcement, but says that most CGS students knew deep down that going to London would not be feasible. While Jeneid says she looks forward to studying abroad in the future, canceling the London semester was another hurdle as she begins her time at the BU. “Socializing is almost frowned upon and it gets lonely. I had to teach myself how to be productive again after almost a full year because the school year was dropped out and I was adapting to the climate here on campus, ”she says. “I am grateful that I am here at all. I just wish things could get better[But] I know there are so many who have it so much worse. We will have stories to tell and experiences to learn. “

Students at the university are still awaiting a decision on another study abroad program in the summer of 2021. Before the pandemic, more than 2,400 students (from the BU and other universities) attended the university’s over 90 programs in 25 countries each year 6 Continents. The BU’s study abroad program is one of the oldest in the country.

The College of General Studies will hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the presence of the deans and faculty to answer questions about the Boston – New England program. You can find the zoom link and password for the meeting in the letter from McKnight.

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