Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Study Abroad Programs to Russia Mostly Continuing Despite State Department Advisory

On January 10, 2018, the US State Department issued a Level-3 travel advisory for Russia. The advisory has led to a lot of confusion and reconsideration of Russian study/internship abroad programs for undergraduates at US universities and colleges.  The situation is most unfortunate since we need more people-to-people exchanges at tense political times like this.

On March 9, ASEEES sent out a survey to its US members to assess the state of the study abroad programs to Russia. We received 34 responses (Some institutions had multiple programs). Most of them are continuing with their programs or sending their students on third-party programs to Russia.  Many noted that they have long-standing programs in Russia and felt comfortable with their Russian partners to continue their programs. Six respondents reported that they use third-party programs like CIEE, ACTR, and others, and they plan to continue sending their students on those programs.

Only two universities, one being Stanford, reported that they decided to cancel their programs because of the travel advisory. One other university cancelled its program but due to low enrollment, not explicitly because of the travel advisory. One reported that her university was still trying to make a decision.

The situation at Stanford is not as clear cut as reported in its student newspaper, The Stanford Daily. You can read more about it in Inside Higher Ed’s extensive report about how study abroad programs handle travel advisories.

ASEEES will continue to monitor the status of the travel advisory and its impact on the study abroad programs.

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