Carnegie Mellon University

Status of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs for Summer 2021

Published March 31, 2021

As a global institution, Carnegie Mellon values and supports students who choose to study abroad and their related opportunities for personal, professional and academic growth in a global context. During this challenging time, educational institutions around the world remain flexible and are still adjusting plans as they seek to be able to operate in a safe, responsible manner. The Office of International Education (OIE) and our campus colleagues are continuing to research the viability of CMU students engaging in study abroad opportunities, especially as we recognize that study abroad is an integral part of many students’ university experiences. Similar to last semester, we have reviewed protocols and expert advice from numerous sources within the U.S. and across the globe as we consider programming for summer 2021.

The university has made the difficult decision that Carnegie Mellon will extend the suspension of participation in study abroad and educational exchange through the summer 2021 semester. Several factors went into making this disheartening decision, including the ongoing suspension of university-sponsored international travel, U.S. government advisories regarding travel, travel bans and restrictions of other countries, and, most importantly, health and safety concerns.

All types of study abroad are included in this suspension, including participation in sponsored or external programs, university-wide or departmental-exchange programs, as well as faculty-led or academic short-term trips abroad during the summer.

Along with university leadership, OIE recognizes that the continued suspension of study abroad is disappointing news for all who had hoped to be able to study abroad this academic year, and presents yet another unwelcome disruption of exciting academic and personal plans. OIE values and supports study abroad and cross-cultural educational exchange and the related opportunities for personal, professional and academic growth in a global context; however, the risks associated with the pandemic and the global travel challenges remain too great to overcome.

Fall 2021 Study Abroad & Exchange Status

For fall 2021, the university is optimistic about welcoming students and faculty back to campus.  Due to the prioritization of the on-campus experience for students, though, CMU will, unfortunately, suspend incoming exchange for fall 2021.   OIE staff and university leadership will continue to monitor the global situation with a goal of making a decision about fall study abroad programming and outbound exchange by early June 2021. 

We all continue to hope that circumstances will improve and that opportunities for study abroad may be able to resume as the year progresses.  Study Abroad Advisors in OIE remain available to consult with students as they consider future options.