Thank you. Thank you to all our partners and friends in the US, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Poland.
Everyone has come together in this crisis and worked endless hours to support the decision-making process to ensure both the safety of our students and their continued education. These are unprecedented times in the field of international education but we are all rising to the occasion.
A friend and colleague recently sent me a picture of her first time abroad. It made me remember my first journey and start a great sharing experience with my coworkers. Each of us at SRAS clearly remembers our first study abroad. Being surrounded by a different language and culture, meeting native speakers in daily interactions and extended conversations are transformative, mind-opening experiences – and can really only be had with an extended time abroad.
Decisions to ask students to return were not taken lightly by any of us. Many people worked together to make informed decisions for the good of all.
And this is, in fact, indicative of an important and relatively recent change in study abroad. Since our first experiences, international education has become much more institutionalized and integrated with the overall educational process. This has created opportunities like funding, streamlined credit transfer, and a network of support for an ever increasing number of students.
Study abroad professionals helped create the conditions for thousands of students to be abroad. And we study abroad professionals helped coordinate bringing them home when the time was right. We will work together to ensure that this disrupted semester still contributes to our students’ academic goals. And together, we will further improve the system that provides such phenomenal opportunities to so many.
The last weeks have highlighted how much has changed over the years. It also highlighted how many bright, creative, and caring professionals are networked together to make sure our field works safely, effectively, and accessibly, for all.
So, thank you. Thank you all for your continuous support and for working with SRAS as we navigate these challenging times. We look forward to our continued work together to help your students achieve that same dream that transformed our lives, and will transform theirs.