Reimagining Study Abroad in a Post Pandemic World

The first two decades of the 21st century saw extensive growth in study abroad, as well as an increase in programming types and diversification of study abroad destinations. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought an abrupt halt to study abroad worldwide, with programs canceled or postponed for a year or more, or forced to abruptly pivot to a virtual model. The pandemic also threw into sharp relief existing social inequities within and across national borders. As much as we look forward to the post-pandemic resumption of study abroad, we must also reimagine it in more socially just ways. This starts with reckoning with our ideologies of study abroad, or our socio-historically constructed beliefs about the outcomes, participants, and experiences of study abroad. What are the historical roots of these beliefs, and which social groups do they tend to serve? With a clear understanding of these ideologies, we can turn to reimagining our study abroad practices. What are models for post-pandemic study abroad? How has study abroad upheld social inequities? How can we recreate study abroad to work for social justice?