By Sarah Vick
Image via rovein Urban Capture
Due to security concerns, Salem College is canceling the January 2016 study abroad trips to Spain and Italy. The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert that extends through February 24, 2016.
Susan Calovini, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of the College, sent out an email to affected students earlier today explaining administration’s concern.
“Although we are sorry that students will miss out on the January travel experiences they were no doubt excitedly anticipating,” says Dean Calovini, “the safety of our students and faculty is of paramount importance to Salem’s administration.”
Claire Smithers, C’17, was registered to go to Spain for January Term.
“Although I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time, I understand and support Salem’s decision,” says Smithers. “The safety of the students is the biggest concern and I don’t think Salem made this decision easily. The biggest problem is now figuring out what to take during Jan Term at the last minute.”
Students must contact their advisors as soon as possible about registering for another January course.
“I encourage the students to talk with their faculty advisors to find the right Jan term course, internship, or independent study that will best fit their January schedule and their academic interests,” says Dean Calovini. “We still have openings in many interesting and valuable January courses, and I hope the students all find a class they will enjoy.”
Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Assistant Spanish Professor Ana León-Távora and Associate Professor of Spanish Ho Sang Yoon were scheduled to lead the January Term trips.
“Our students’ safety is our main concern,” says Dr. León-Távora. Of course that does not mean we are not sad about the news, everyone was excited about the trip. But it is the administration’s decision, and we respect it.”
Students’ money is secure in Salem’s travel account and will be returned to the students as soon as possible. Salem employees are also working with the companies involved (e.g., airlines) to try to obtain refunds for any deposits. Anyone with questions or concerns should email Dean Calovini at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her in office.