ELON, N.C. — As the Omicron variant spreads and countries remain on high alert, Elon University students continue to study abroad. This winter term, 770 students will be overseas.
Elon's study abroad participation rate has been number one in the country for 17 years, but their number one priority has been keeping students safe during a global pandemic.
"I'm still in awe and I've been here for 3 months," Carson Davis-Tinnell, Elon University junior, said.
Davis-Tinnell is studying abroad in London. It has been a dream of hers to study abroad and now it's a reality thanks to Elon.
"I think at first I was like this is the scariest thing I've ever done, but now looking back, I have like 23 days left or something like that and I don't want to leave," Davis-Tinnell said.
She is one of the 1,700 students Elon sends across the globe each year. More than 80% of their student body will graduate with some kind of overseas experience. Even a global pandemic, hasn't slowed down the school's participation rate.
"For this upcoming winter term, we actually ended up having the highest number of applications we've ever had in the history of study abroad at Elon," Nick Gozik, Dean of Global Education at Elon, said.
Gozik said COVID has certainly had a massive impact on how they do things, but each student has been following each country's guidelines like masking and vaccinations.
"Every single day we think about COVID. We're monitoring situations in all the countries where we send students," Gozik said.
"It's actually been not as bad as I thought it was going to be," Davis-Tinnell said.
Traveling to other countries has been the biggest challenge for Davis-Tinnell, but she said as long as you have your vaccination card everything runs pretty smoothly.
"This has been the best time in my life," Davis-Tinnell said.