LU Send Works Through Restrictions To Provide Travel Opportunities For Students
As the world shut down in spring 2020 due to the coronavirus, students studying around the globe found themselves suddenly booking a flight home.
The virus paused international travel indefinitely, forcing LU Send to get creative as a new school year loomed in fall 2020.
Overseas travel, international internships and study abroad programs through LU Send that were planned for summer and fall 2020 were cancelled. Meanwhile, the LU Send team continued to plan trips for the following spring that would adhere to the new and constantly changing public health guidelines.
Throughout the tumultuous year, LU Send was still able to assist LU Serve in deploying LU Send Now disaster response teams in spring 2021 that served in Georgia and Louisiana facilitated by Samaritan’s Purse, along with a few other domestic trips. As the world began to ease on travel restrictions, LU Send also sent out three international trips to Rwanda, Ecuador and Kenya. As the Spring semester wraps up, LU Send will be welcoming home students who have studied abroad in Ecuador, Italy, France, Spain, South Korea, Israel and Senegal.
“LU Send has not only had to become very limber with the types of activities we program into our travel, but also be mindful of how our presence could affect others with whom we come in contact overseas,” said David Welch, Executive Director of LU Send. “A good rule of thumb in travel is ‘expect and plan for the unexpected.’ Perhaps we are just more aware of that reality now than ever before.”
Welch said that their team has had to work closer than ever with their vendors across the world in preparing their trips.
“I am confident this has only improved what we have to offer to students,” Welch said. “Ultimately, we are trusting the Lord and praying for His plans to prevail.”
Anastasia Kingsley, a Global Program Coordinator for LU Send, said that many study abroad students took a hybrid approach of online and in person classes, a practice that Liberty students are already acquainted with. Kingsley also said that current local restrictions may still limit activities normally done on international trips.
“Students may not be able to do the same kinds of indoor activities or hop around Europe or other places in the world as easily as before,” said Kingsley. “However, this gives our semester students the chance to get outdoors and really explore all that their host cities and countries have to offer.”
LU Send is not currently requiring students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to travel, but students must still meet the requirements for entry into any country which may include proof of vaccination.
For students interested in traveling with LU Send, Welch said visitors are welcome to their office anytime to begin planning out their study abroad or internship road map or even a trip overseas or within the states.
“Prayer is the best first step, and visiting our website is a great second step,” Welch said.
Students, faculty and staff can visit www.liberty.edu/lusend to explore program options or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Savanna Graves is the graduating News Editor. Follow her on Twitter at @SavannaLeigh.