Guarini cancels summer off-campus programs

by Andrew Sasser | 3/30/20 2:00am

3-29-20-dartmouthhall-staffphoto
by Naina Bhalla / The Dartmouth

All Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education off-campus programs for the 2020 summer term have been canceled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Guarini Institute executive director John Tansey announced in an email sent to affected students Saturday morning. 

In the email, Tansey said that the Guarini Institute staff is “truly saddened” not to offer off-campus programs over the summer. He advised students to consult with their deans to adjust their academic plans.

Tansey wrote that College provost Joseph Helble will send a formal announcement to the entire Dartmouth community announcing the decision on Monday.

The announcement comes following the College's decision to cancel all spring term international programs earlier this month. 

Emily Andrews ’22, who was planning on participating in the Spanish language study abroad plus program in Santander, Spain, said that she “agreed 100 percent” with the decision to cancel summer programs. However, she said that while she was “relieved” to have a final decision from the College, she was “somewhat frustrated” about how the cancellation might affect her plans to minor in Spanish.

“I was planning to use the program to kickstart my Spanish minor,” Andrews said. “Now I’m not really sure how I’m going to complete that.”

Tansey also noted in his email that the Guarini Institute is still accepting applications until May 1 for next year’s programs that still have open spots. He wrote that the programs will try to accommodate as many students as possible on a “space available basis.”

Sam Ferrone ’23 said that he was “quite saddened” by the cancellation of the Middle Eastern Studies LSA+ in Rabat, Morocco, in which he was enrolled for the summer term, but added that he understood the need to protect all parties involved in the programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I understand that we not only need to take care of ourselves as students, but also be mindful of the homestay families we could unintentionally expose,” Ferrone said.

Thomas Brown ’23 initially felt “very disappointed” when he found out that the Government & Energy Institute foreign study program in Russia was canceled, but he said that he had already “prepared himself” for the announcement. He also acknowledged that it was “in the best interest of everyone involved” to cancel the program.

Many students affected by the cancellation are now considering  alternative summer options. Ferrone said that he was planning to either seek out an internship in international relations and journalism or take classes at Dartmouth. Brown said that he was also interested in pursuing an internship or job, but that it may be difficult to find a new opportunity given the current pandemic.

“I don’t even know what organizations are even going to be open to taking interns right now,” Brown said. “This might just be a summer that becomes a dud for everyone, but I certainly hope not.”

Andrews said that she is currently planning to take classes at Dartmouth as a part of her sophomore summer term. However, she added that if the classes she would have taken on her LSA+ are not offered on campus, she will instead petition to take the summer term off.

“If [those classes] aren’t offered, there’s essentially nothing that I can take that will benefit me in terms of major, minor or distributive requirements,” Andrews said.

Tansey could not be reached for comment by press time.