A letter from the leadership of CET Academic Programs and Academic Travel Abroad, CET’s parent organization
We are only a few months into 2020, and what a year it has been. Academic Travel Abroad is celebrating its 70th year in 2020, and we, like everyone else in the world, did not envision that this year would unfold in this way . We have experienced and persevered through many crises over the last seven decades including Chernobyl, Tiananmen Square, two Gulf Wars, 9/11, SARS, the Arab Spring, and the Great Recession. COVID-19 is truly unprecedented, yet previous crises have taught us that ATA and its study abroad division, CET Academic Programs, will survive to thrive again, made stronger through this test of endurance.
It should come as no surprise, but many of our core truths have been reaffirmed during this time: our teams both in the U.S. and overseas perform brilliantly under great duress, approaching their work methodically, lucidly, and with compassion. Our suppliers and host universities abroad are integral to our ability to weather this storm through their flexibility, sacrifice, and support. And our partners in educational travel and study abroad continue to impress us with their professionalism, collaboration, and humanity throughout our joint handling of this crisis. We are forever grateful for all of you.
After this extraordinary pause in human mobility, it is our hope that the lessons gleaned from this crisis will include a revitalized thirst for knowledge and exploration, a deeper compassion for this planet and all living creatures, an appreciation for the power of human connection, and a sincere reverence for life itself. Rest assured, we will be here and ready to help you and your students explore this new world when it welcomes us once again.
Wishing you all around the world both health and peace,
Kate Simpson, President
Chase Poffenberger, Executive Vice President
Mark Lenhart, Executive Director, CET