Study abroad to Ukraine canceled
For a few UA students, the chance to study abroad has been cut short.
The UA Global Initiatives program was planning to send 13 political science majors to Yalta, Ukraine, with UA faculty for the summer, but the program was canceled due to the current crisis there.
Ken Simonds, study abroad coordinator, said the government protests in Ukraine made the region unsafe to send students there for the summer.
“We’ve been monitoring the situation more, and [the region] became the focal point of the protest,” Simonds said. “Safety is a priority, and given all the factors occurring this year, we had to cancel the trip.”
The study abroad program in Yalta gives students the opportunity to take two courses for credit while also having the opportunity to explore historical landmarks in the region. Yalta has become an important landmark for political science majors due to its connection with the Argonaut Conference held in February 1945.
The uncertainty and unrest in the region, caused primarily by the protests in Ukraine, have caused the U.S. State Department to issue travel warnings for the area. Harmony DeFazio, study abroad director, said travel warnings don’t usually affect the UA Global Initiatives, but in some cases, they can cause program cancellations.
“Most travel warnings are in other locations that we do not send students to study,” DeFazio said, “but based upon the rapidly changing and unstable events on the ground, we could not guarantee safety in Yalta for this trip.”
Last fall, UA Global Initiatives was forced to cancel a program in Egypt because of similar travel warnings.
Simonds said students who had been accepted to the study abroad program in Yalta were offered other options after the trip was shut down.
“We did our best to redirect the students enrolled to other study abroad programs that [are] very similar … to the Yalta program,” Simonds said. “Even though the deadlines have passed, we helped them talk to the directors of the other programs to be given an extension, which most were able to get accepted to. Very few denied the help and decided to be fully refunded.”