TCU students are venturing abroad but not without some precautions

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On any given day, TCU students can be seen all around campus studying and working in different locations like the library or in a coffee shop. However, there is a group of students who can’t be found on campus – those who are scattered across the globe, trading Ampersand and Common Grounds in for an authentic British tea experience or an afternoon espresso in Italy. 

While the Center for International Studies (CIS) began to offer programs in the summer of 2021 and brought back smaller groups in the fall, the program now has about 40 to 50 students in most of the locations offered. This means study abroad is back and in full swing – but not without some precautions. 

Dr. Tracy Williams, the associate director of the CIS, said the precautions are a way for TCU to ensure the safety of its students as well as to respect the wishes of the individuals from the respective countries without sacrificing students’ immersive experience.

“Many countries in Europe either require the vaccine to enter or, at minimum, they require the vaccine in order to do things out and about in the city,” Williams said. “So it’s just not gonna be a great experience if students can’t go out to restaurants and museums – the vaccine is required because that’s what the country requires either for entry or for having the experience that allows you to enjoy the country.”

More to see: TCU students often can take trips to surrounding countries on their days off from classes to explore. Livvy Miller traveling with friends to Edinburgh, Scotland in her free time. (Picture courtesy of Livvy Miller)

For sophomore business major Livvy Miller, the COVID-19 precautions have not stopped her from enjoying her semester abroad in London. 

“When we first got here, or honestly like leading up to before we left, they started dropping a bunch of regulations, and then just the other week they said you don’t have to wear masks anywhere anymore,” said Miller. “It was just public transport you had to wear them before. This is my first time leaving the states. I had never even traveled over here before, so it was very new taking the tube and the buses. Public transportation is a big thing.”

Miller said the precautions did not impact her experience in a negative way. If anything, they are just guidelines to ensure that the students and the people living in the countries they travel to are safe. 

“As long as students are respecting the local norms, which may be more masking than we wear here, they’re going to have great experiences because I think everyone wants to be engaging again, socializing again, having tourists again and having restaurants open again,” said Williams.

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