By Gabby Garcy ’21, Staff Writer
As the world starts to open up again, an important question faces St. John Fisher College: when will the option to study abroad be available to Fisher students again?
According to Jennifer Pluretti, one of Fisher’s Study Abroad faculty, studying abroad was approved by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kevin Railey for spring 2022.
“This decision gives us a little more time to prepare and work with students, and help them prepare to study when we are optimistic that things will be better in the world.” Pluretti said. “Students’ safety is the focus of everything we do. Ensuring safety could require some changes to the program.”
The main study abroad programs that Fisher students choose are AIFS Study Abroad and CIEE, with most students going through AIFS Study Abroad. The college offers additional programs as well, however they are less common.
During spring 2020, Fisher had to bring 70 study abroad students home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shannon Munier ‘22 was studying abroad in London that spring and found her time abruptly cut short. Munier described the entire experience of trying to get home as airlines were shutting down as, “kind of the most stressful thing I’ve ever experienced.” She said one of the hardest things was not being able to say goodbye to her friends.
“I didn’t get to say goodbye to a lot of people because everything happened so fast, so that was another hard part,” she said. “One of my friends texted me that she was flying out in two hours because her mom booked a flight and I never got to say goodbye.” Munier said.
Going forward, studying abroad may look different for Fisher students, however Pluretti doesn’t know exactly how.
“The programs we used are focused on students’ safety. The dedication is to students having an excellent experience in the safest way possible,” Pluretti said. “I don’t know if anything will be different in order to ensure that.”
In order to be eligible to study abroad sophomore students must have a 3.0 minimum GPA, a declared major and secured approval from your department. Juniors and seniors must have a minimum 2.75 GPA in order to study abroad. Students must also be in good disciplinary standing with the college.
Find more about study abroad opportunities here or contact one of Fisher’s study abroad advisors, Jennifer Pluretti or Maria Stella Plutino Calabrese.