On Friday, May 22nd the officers and directors of GRSP announced their difficult decision to suspend the GRSP program for this incoming year.
This decision follows the lead of Rotary International who has paused international travel and programs through 2020. GRSP respects the concerns for health and safety and wants to discourage any additional transmission of the disease. The health and well-being of our students, host families and host clubs is of central importance.
With all US Embassies and Consulates closed indefinitely none of the incoming class have been able to get visas issued. We are now in the window of time that makes it highly unlikely that the offices will reopen in time for them to get here for the fall semester. Even if visas were approved, getting to the US will prove most difficult, if not impossible, due to varying travel restrictions and quarantine rules around the world.
As well, the path to reopening college campuses around the state remains unclear, especially as it relates to campus housing.
The reality is, due to the pandemic, we are unclear as to our ability to deliver the full GRSP experience this year and we don’t want to diminish the quality or impact of the program. GRSP leadership felt it necessary to make the final decision now to give the students accepted into the 2020-21 class time to make alternate plans.
GRSP now moves forward with full intent to recruit and host the class of 2021-2022. This year’s accepted students and their matched host clubs/host families will be given preference in the application process next year. Trustees will be given those details to share with students, host families and host clubs at their July meeting.
GRSP is deeply disappointed that the global pandemic has forced this decision but we chart forward strong in our mission and look forward to welcoming the class of 2021-22 next summer. The application cycle for next year will open June 1, 2020.