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Study abroad... via Zoom? What Aggies are saying after a year of COVID-19 protocols

Posted at 6:03 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 19:36:19-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, tx — As COVID-19 vaccines roll out, people are warming up to the idea of international travel.

But there are still several barriers that universities face when it comes to their study abroad programs and enrolling international students.

Gem Prigmore, was supposed to spend this summer abroad as a requirement for Global Arts, Planning, and Design majors at Texas A&M.

"I am upset because I was looking forward to doing a study abroad as a part of going to college. That was something I always really wanted to do. I signed up for my major knowing that was something I would get to do," Prigmore, a junior at Texas A&M shared with 25 News.

Students will no longer physically go, but the University did not drop the requirement. Instead, students will complete the course in person and via zoom.

"Now, I get to say, 'Oh yeah, I have my required study abroad, but I did it all in my apartment back in Texas," Prigmore added.

Studying abroad isn't a requirement for Jessica Bomar, but it was something she was originally interested in doing. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, says, she no longer feels safe to do so.

"Even with COVID-19 precautions, and maybe even after CDC guidelines have been lifted, I still probably won't feel comfortable studying abroad," Jessica Bomar, sophomore, Texas A&M shared.

The pandemic is also causing issues for international students.

Students in Texas A&M's International Studies Program are facing challenges, like getting their Visas, due to restrictions from their home countries.

"The main thing is to continue to monitor updates from the government which we provide, continue to monitor updates from their government," Bill Taylor, director of International Student Services noted.

The university has been offering online courses to international students, with the intent to have them eventually come back to campus.