JFRC Director's Note Concerning Summer 2021
February 4, 2020
Dear JFRC colleagues and friends,
Very late Wednesday evening, February 3, 2021, Rome Time, I received notification that the Management, Policy, and Command (MPC) section of the University’s Emergency Response Plan and Structure had met and discussed summer 2021 study abroad:
After careful consideration of available data on the pandemic, emerging variants of the covid-19 virus around the world, vaccination processes and related complications in various countries, foreign travel advice, and international travel restrictions; all LUC Study Abroad will remain suspended through the end of the Summer 2021 terms. This suspension applies to all study abroad programs, including study at the JFRC (John Felice Rome Center) and LVC (Loyola Vietnam Center), LUC faculty-led programs, and all other exchange and third party programs. Both the JFRC and the LVC will remain closed until further notice. The continuance of this suspension in study abroad takes into consideration travel avoidance advisories from the CDC and US State Department, border closures, mandatory quarantines, negative test-result requirements for entry into foreign countries and re-entry into the US, substantial in-country mobility restrictions, and significant overall diminishment of the study abroad experience. It is our hope that study abroad will be possible in the fall 2021 semester and we look forward to opening our campus in Rome, Italy and our study abroad program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as soon as it is safe to do so.
I know we are all saddened, though perhaps not too surprised, by news that LUC study abroad --- including the JFRC --- will remain suspended through summer 2021 due to ongoing safety, health, and security impacts from the Coronavirus epidemic. There is tremendous sadness in our hearts, as none of us could have imagined the turn of events that began nearly a year ago. At the same time, we remain committed to the mission of the JFRC and the originating vision of John Felice; and we thank God for the gifts of health and well-being, safety, and especially friendship during these isolating months. Please be assured that I continue to work closely with our colleagues in Chicago to ensure that the Rome Center remains operational and ready to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus once it is safe to do so. Moving forward, I will of course continue to share updates and information.
Let us continue to pray for each other, and for our extended families and friends, and for our future JFRC students who will hopefully be able to study in Italy during Fall 2021. In the meantime, stay safe ---
With great affection,
Dr. Michael F. Andrews
Director, John Felice Rome Center
Loyola University Chicago