Read more about our activity over the last five months and download our global backgrounds!
For all of us, 2020 has been a year like no other.
Over the last five months, there have been huge challenges for the Study Abroad team. Given the fact that our remit at UCL is to promote international student mobility and support students while they are all over the globe, the pandemic has thrown the entire Study Abroad world into a spin of uncertainty. Initially, students who were abroad were recalled, short-term mobility over the summer was cancelled and there was a real possibility that all study abroad activity would be halted for at least term one of the 2020/21 academic year. Fortunately that hasn’t happened, and despite many students being affected by partner institution cancellations or international travel restrictions, a number are due to travel overseas in September.
Despite the global situation, we remain unswerving in our belief that Study Abroad can impact lives for the better, and that it will continue to do so in the not so distant future - and beyond. I think that is one thing that has driven us on through on the hardest days. While it will take some time for things to return to normal in the mobility world, we hold onto the hope that it will.
Through this period, there have been positives to take; silver linings to the cloud that is Covid-19. Whether that be our partnership work with international institutions, reflecting the strength of our collaboration, working with colleagues from other UCL departments in new and positive ways, or simply seeing the team rally around and support each other as well as the students we work with. In time, we also look forward to sending many more students abroad whether that be for semester or year-long study abroad opportunities or through one of our short mobility schemes.
The work we have done with our Study Abroad Bloggers and Vloggers has also had a positive impact. Sharing their experiences and stories has offered a moment of escapism and a reminder of what will be to come. To celebrate this and to offer colleagues a little moment of escapism of their own, we’re sharing some of our favourite images from the last few years that can be used as backgrounds on Microsoft Teams. So come with us on a trip to Wadi Rum in Jordan, the fjords and mountains of New Zealand or the verdant hills of Myanmar and we can think of our own adventures to come, even if it’s only for that 4pm meeting on a Friday!