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On March 17, 2020, the University of Florida announced that all summer study abroad programs were cancelled as a result of the threat posed by the coronavirus. The cancellation included all “faculty led programs, exchange programs, third-party provider programs and direct-enroll programs.” 

Through an email sent from the International Center (UFIC), students were informed of the university’s decision to terminate all programs for everyone’s safety. The UFIC told students that payments made for their trips would be refunded, including the $375 deposit. 

Lauren Casole, a 19 year-old public relations freshman, said, “I have never been out of the country, so I was really looking forward to this opportunity to expand my horizons and push myself to learn out of my comfort zone. I have always loved traveling, and I felt that studying abroad allowed me to fulfill some of my course requirements in a new and exciting environment. I am extremely upset that the trip got cancelled because it was something that I was greatly looking forward to. Although it was not the news I wanted to hear, I know the staff made the decision that they thought was right to ensure the safety of the students and staff involved with the program.” 

According to UF’s International Center, every year, the department aids over 2000 students in studying abroad in more than 70 different locations. Students expressed disappointment over their inability to attend their study abroad trips. 

Anna Dale, a 19-year old advertising sophomore, planned to travel with the College of Journalism and Communications to Barcelona and Ireland. 

Dale said, “We were supposed to leave on May 4 and come back on June 1, so [it was going to be] about a month [long]. The purpose [of the trip] was to become familiar with the culture of Barcelona and the unique architecture there, as well as taking classes related to the CJC. I am very upset about it being cancelled as I have always wanted to go to Barcelona. I think the decision was a bit premature, but since there is a lot unknown about the coming months, I can understand why they cancelled because they wanted to keep us and the professors on the trip safe.” 

Teagan Milford, a 20 year-old sustainability and the built environment freshman, was enrolled in the “UF in Europe – Ethics and Sustainability Politics” program from mid-May to mid-June. The program originally visited Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy. 

Milford said, “The study abroad program was focused on the politics of sustainability and how nations handle environmental affairs. We were supposed to visit important international sites like the UN offices in Geneva, as well as visiting locals at farms and wineries.” 

Milford stated that she chose to withdraw from her program before the UFIC’s announcement. 

Milford said, “Personally, I had already asked to withdraw from the trip as it was partially in Italy. I anticipated that they would cancel it. However, I am disappointed because I feel like cancelling the trips was an extreme measure. It’s hard to tell what will happen in the future so I understand the hesitation, but I empathize with upperclassmen who have less time to make up for the cancellations as they have less semesters to study abroad. I plan to do another study abroad, possibly even this same program, next summer.”

Along with UF’s study abroad programs, the university and various organizations cancelled other major events and announced that classes will remain online for the semester’s remainder. For instance, Dance Marathon, a major student-run philanthropy that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network, cancelled their main event, which was originally planned for March 28 and March 29. Since then, the organization announced it will now host the philanthropy virtually.

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font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;”> View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0;”></div> <div style=”display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px;”> <div style=” background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;”></div> <div style=” width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto;”> <div style=” width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);”></div> <div style=” background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);”></div> <div style=” width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);”></div></div></div></a> <p style=” margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;”> <a href=”/%3Ca%20href%3D”https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Hz3P_gCk9/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading”>https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Hz3P_gCk9/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_cam…” style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_blank”>Check out our Virtual Event schedule! Our event will kick off at 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 and culminate 26.2 hours later with our Total Reveal on Sunday, March 29 at 2:12 p.m. Follow us on social media using the hashtag #DMatUF2020 throughout the event to learn the 2020 Linedance, hear stories from our Miracles Families, earn fundraising incentives, buy brand new merchandise, and more ? Tag us in your personal social media posts as you participate in our virtual Dance Marathon so others can see how we #RiseAsOne! Additionally, we ask that everyone follow all CDC guidelines while participating in our event. Help us protect the health of the families we support as we fight for their future.</a></p> <p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”>A post shared by <a href=”/%3Ca%20href%3D”https://www.instagram.com/dmatuf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading”>https://www.instagram.com/dmatuf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=l…” style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;” target=”_blank”> Dance Marathon at UF</a> (@dmatuf) on <time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2020-03-24T15:50:33+00:00″>Mar 24, 2020 at 8:50am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async src=”//www.instagram.com/embed.js“></script>

While faculty and students alike must learn to cope with the sudden changes in their plans for the rest of the 2019 to 2020 school year, it is important to stay positive. These events and programs may not occur this year, but there is always next year. 

Juliana is a second-year journalism major at the University of Florida. She loves reading, traveling and seeking new adventures. You can often find her in line for coffee or listening to music on Spotify. For a better look into her life, follow her @juliana.ferrie on Instagram.
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