DePaul: Study Abroad Officially Back On Track, Student Safety #1 Priority

KUALA LUMPUR, 10.11.2021 – DePaul is resuming in-person study abroad after an entire year of cancellation and postponement in an effort to maintain student safety due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

DePaul University, Chicago expected trips to continue internationally despite the pandemic. With student safety as their priority, having Covid-19 vaccination is now a compulsory.

Covid-19 vaccine to ensure student safety. Image source: Pexels

The university is reopening more programs although there are still many uncertainties regarding Covid-19. For instance, applications are now open for students who plan to study in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

According to an August update from DePaul’s own student newspaper, “While there continues to be uncertainty regarding the pandemic, we are moving forward with planning for a limited number of both term-long and short-term study abroad programs.

There will be strict procedures to be complied to ensure student safety. For example, students must be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative Covid-19 test and purchase of a Covid-19 test.

This step, however, can take a toll on students’ budget.

Angelina Davila, a junior of DePaul studying in the UK had to use her own money to pay for her Covid-19 test before she could travel for study purposes again.

As the UK has particular requirements for students entering from the US, travelers have to take extra precautions to ensure they are allowed entry. Furthermore, the US is ranked amber by the UK due to their alarming rate of Covid-19 cases. The US had over 46 million cumulative cases as of November 8.

“Different airlines had different Covid-19 guidelines so I had to make sure I did all my research on Covid-19 guidelines for my airline, Iceland Air,” Davina said.

She added: “In order to get into the UK, I needed to fill out a passenger locator form, have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of my trip, and pre-purchase a Covid-19 test from a UK company called BIOGRAD to take on my second day. I had to print proof that I did all this and once I got to check-in for my flight, I was asked to show these documents.”

The test costed Davila £90, which was a hefty sum for a university student living abroad.

As of November 4, Covid-19 cases in the UK were also spiking. Over the past week, cases in England’s cities have increased from 469 to 491 per 100,000.

Another DePaul junior, Rachel Miller who is also studying in the UK, tried not to put too much emphasis on the recent spike.

“I haven’t followed the numbers because it overwhelms me too much. If I got Covid-19 in London I would get treated better and faster (than in the US) though,” Miller said.

Davila, on the other hand, found the pandemic in the UK close to ‘nonexistent’, as “People here do seem to think that the UK government is handling the Covid situation quite well currently.”

“Despite the recent spike in cases here, many locals say that it’s not reflective in hospitals which is likely because so many people are vaccinated and don’t show severe symptoms the way they would pre-vaccination,” she explained.

Take-home self-tests are now largely available in the UK, while the US has kits that are approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to be used before any international travels.

Although the severity of Covid-19 may have dampened due to the rising availability of vaccines, student safety still remains as a main concern for many universities. Students are advised to take precautions and comply to SOPs if they’re studying abroad.

Jocelyn Cheng

Jocelyn Cheng

Jocelyn Cheng (JC) is an INFP writer seeking to spread inspiration and spark connections through her words. Her dedication to writing has gifted her with an ability to write for multiple platforms (e.g., website, social media, newspaper, magazine, etc) in different fields, namely Education, Travel, and Lifestyle. JC personalizes her works by adding a touch of her own experience into the mix whenever she can to relate to her readers. A self-proclaimed poet and currently a freelance writer, she's working on an untitled poetry book at home while juggling between writing for Eduloco, dancing, and keeping her only plant alive.

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