Study abroad returns, student safety at the forefront


Study abroad resumed in person this year after DePaul cancelled trips due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Trips will continue throughout the pandemic internationally.

Applications are currently open for trips to Asia, Europe and Latin America. According to the study abroad website, DePaul will continue to make programs available despite Covid-19 unknowns.

“While there continues to be uncertainty regarding the pandemic, we are moving forward with planning for a limited number of both term-long and short-term study abroad programs,” an update from August read.

Students enrolled in study abroad trips had to take several precautions before their trips. These include full vaccination, proof of a negative test and purchase of a Covid-19 test.

DePaul junior Angelina Davila, who is currently abroad in the U.K., had to do all of this and show proof, while paying out of pocket for it before taking off.

“Different airlines had different Covid-19 guidelines so I had to make sure I did all my research on Covid-19 guidelines for my airline, Iceland Air,” Davila said.

The U.K. had specific requirements for those entering from the U.S. The country ranks different countries on a traffic light system, depending on their Covid-19 status. The U.S. is ranked amber.

“In order to get into the U.K., I needed to fill out a passenger locator form, have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of my trip, pre-purchase a Covid-19 test from a U.K. company called BIOGRAD to take on my second day,” Davila said, adding that the test cost her 90 pounds out of pocket. “I had to print proof that I did all this and once I got to check-in for my flight, I was asked to show these documents.”

The U.S. announced this past week 700,000 Covid-19 related deaths . CDC recommendations include vaccination, masks and social distancing where possible.

Rachel Miller, a DePaul junior also studying abroad in London, said she tries not to pay attention to Covid-19 cases in the U.K. after the recent spike.

“I haven’t followed the numbers because it overwhelms me too much,” Miller said. “If I got Covid-19 in London I would get treated better and faster [than in the U.S.] though.”

Davila said the pandemic in the U.K. feels “nonexistent.”

“It’s almost as if there isn’t one happening,” she said. “People here do seem to think that the U.K. government is handling the Covid situation quite well currently.”

However, international travel is taken more seriously.

“Despite the recent spike in cases here, many locals say that it’s not reflective in hospitals which is likely because so many people are vaccinated and don’t show severe symptoms the way they would pre-vaccination,” Davila added.

The U.K. has made take-home tests widely available while the U.S. has CDC-approved take-home Covid-19 tests before international travel.

“The self tests [are] being given out for free like candy on the street,” Miller said. “I think people want to try and control it while returning to a normal life.”

DePaul study abroad programs mostly span Europe, with programs in over 10 countries across the continent.