Then the world shut down for the pandemic, and they thought they had lost their chance. With the help of new Associate Dean of Global Education Thandiwe Dinani, Ph.D., two-thirds of these students will still take their dream trip to the Bimini Shark Research Laboratory in January 2022 for the winter term.
“I got home,” says Matt Hellerman, a senior marine science student from Ashland, Massachusetts. “I’m conflicted, but excited to be traveling for my senior year.”
While not everything can return to normal just yet, Dinani says we’re at a point where we can ask ourselves, “What do we need to do to manage our travels safely during COVID-19?” Most of the world started moving again, rather than trying to avoid any possible exposure. She is clear that the virus and its complications are not going away, but she has balanced all the necessary elements for winter term travel to happen again. Next year, 250 students will participate in 12 international courses in eight countries.
“All of my scope is continually focused on, can I keep students, faculty, and everyone else safe?” says Dinani, which this year also means taking into account vaccination rates and exposure rates from other countries, as well as the ability to minimize student exposure.