International Travel Programs, First-Year Trips Canceled for Fall Term

The decision was based on continued concerns about risks to participants' health and safety.

Fall term international travel programs for undergraduates and graduate and professional school students are canceled and the traditional summer trips for first-year undergraduates will not take place, Dartmouth announced today.

"Given existing public health uncertainties and restrictions, and the potential impact on emergency medical resources, we have decided that sending hundreds of students out on trips in August is not feasible this year," wrote physician Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston, co-chairs of the Dartmouth COVID-19 Task Force, in an email to the Dartmouth community.

International travel programs and travel by individual faculty, students, and staff continue to pose a risk to participants' health and safety, they said.

"This decision reflects many factors, including ongoing travel uncertainty, reduced flight options, difficulties in securing passports and visas, restrictive entry requirements, risks to community health, disease progression across and within countries, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and the barriers to achieving our programmatic goals," they said.

Domestic clinical rotations for Geisel School of Medicine students will proceed as planned.

International travel for individual students, faculty, and staff, including conference attendance and research site visitation, is discouraged, and those who do travel must, upon their return, be in quarantine off campus for 14 days. The quarantine restriction does not apply to those making same-day trips to New Hampshire from Vermont for essential authorized work on campus.

A first-year trip experience for the Class of 2024 will take place in a different format. What that will look like is under discussion, organizers say.

"Although this decision is likely not a surprise to most, we know that it is still disappointing; however, it is a shift, and not a cancellation. Student trips directors have notified the '24s that they are committed to providing all first-year students with a shared trips experience this year and throughout their time at Dartmouth," wrote Keniston and Adams.

Keniston is vice president for institutional projects and interim vice president of Campus Services. Adams, MED '90, is director of global initiatives and an associate professor of medicine at Geisel.

For the latest information on Dartmouth's response to the pandemic, visit the COVID-19 website

Susan Boutwell can be reached at susan.j.boutwell@dartmouth.edu.