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Coronavirus and Study Abroad Issues

marrastmarrast 158 replies20 threads Junior Member
edited February 24 in Parent Cafe
DD's friend is in NYU's study abroad program in Florence. She called DD sobbing a few minutes ago and said she was just told by university officials that classes had been cancelled for 30 days due to the Coronavirus outbreak and that all students should return to the United States immediately. She said the situation was quite confused and that the school officials didn't have many answers, just advised that the students should leave Italy as soon as possible. According to the school's website, there are 375 students in the program each semester. Hopefully the home schools will reach out to the affected students, but so far she has not heard from anyone other than the Florence officials. Her friend is worried about losing credit for the semester, also about the cost of returning home on short notice.

I expect we'll see other programs affected throughout the world.
edited February 24
179 replies
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Replies to: Coronavirus and Study Abroad Issues

  • marrastmarrast 158 replies20 threads Junior Member
    Here's WFU's message to its students at Casa Artom in Venice:

    Dear Parents/Guardians of WFU/Venice: Casa Artom students,

    Wake Forest has been carefully monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) since its inception. Following reports over the weekend of a number of confirmed cases in Italy’s Lombardy (i.e. Milan area) and Veneto region (i.e. Venice area), we are writing to share with you an update. In the Veneto region, local authorities have put in place the following restrictions (until March 1):

    Closure of museums and other cultural sites
    Suspension of demonstrations or gatherings of any type (including cultural, sporting, recreational, or religious events)
    Closure of all schools at all levels and suspension of classes and school activities, including professional and university courses, with the exception of distance learning classes and medical or healthcare training
    Suspension of educational trips within Italy or abroad
    In response to these developments, our local staff have met with all WFU/Venice students. Students have been reminded to take basic precautions to protect themselves from the unlikely possibility of infection (i.e. wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; when coughing and sneezing, cover nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms; and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact on-site staff immediately and schedule an appointment with a local medical provider).

    Likewise, students have been instructed to postpone any travel plans and to remain in Venice through March 1. Similarly, all course-related academic excursions have been cancelled until the restrictions have been lifted. Academic course delivery from the WFU resident professor will continue as planned. Local Venetian professors will deliver alternative/on-line assignments for the time being.

    Though it is currently unknown how the coronavirus in Italy will develop over the coming days, as we are doing today, we will share new information and updates as necessary. Student health and safety is our number one priority, and we want to reassure you that we are actively monitoring the situation, following our emergency protocols, and making program adjustments as needed.

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

    Sincerely,

    David F. Taylor
    Assistant Dean for Global Study Away
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  • thumper1thumper1 77112 replies3427 threads Senior Member
    Your friend needs to contact the NYU folks for info. Each college is handling this differently, it seems.
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  • marrastmarrast 158 replies20 threads Junior Member
    edited February 24
    Yes, agree. I'm not throwing shade on NYU. It's a terrible situation for schools, students and parents. Another one of DD's friends is in Greece and is worried as well.
    edited February 24
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  • PublisherPublisher 10334 replies130 threads Senior Member
    edited February 24
    With respect to washing hands with soap & water for 20 seconds, my understanding is that it is for 25 seconds with respect to antibacterial soaps.

    Typical guideline, for example, is to recite the 26 letter alphabet after applying antibacterial soap & before rinsing.

    P.S. NYU wants to minimize or avoid potential liability.
    edited February 24
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 906 replies4 threads Member
    I must admit, I’m so thankful my daughter did her study abroad last semester. I was really encouraging her to go this spring for a variety of reasons, but she insisted on going fall semester. She was in Madrid, but she traveled all over Europe, including to Italy. Even tho Madrid is currently unaffected, I’d be a little nervous about my daughter traveling all over in current circumstances if she were there now.

    What a nightmare for the kids in Italy. With the semester already several weeks in, it’s too late for them to head home and enroll in spring courses at their home institutions.
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  • PublisherPublisher 10334 replies130 threads Senior Member
    It may get much worse in Italy. NYU is doing the right thing, in my opinion.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77112 replies3427 threads Senior Member
    My bet is the colleges will do their best to have students complete their semesters somehow.
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  • marrastmarrast 158 replies20 threads Junior Member
    edited February 24
    As @thumper1 said, each school will handle things differently.

    NYU's program is spead all over Florence, and has 375 students living and being taught in different locations. They have a logistical nightmare and are doing the right thing IMO as well.

    WFU's is tiny, 14 students, and they and a resident WFU professor live and are taught in a villa on the Grand Canal. Local professors come to Villa Artom, but will teach online for now according to the school letter.

    What a mess.
    edited February 24
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  • TatinGTatinG 6853 replies116 threads Senior Member
    There was a kid on the news. He is stuck in a tiny village in China quarantined. Cal State Northridge is not going to give him credit. Something about the program being cancelled and he could not get out in time.
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  • Charlotte44Charlotte44 83 replies6 threads Junior Member
    My daughter is in Rome for Spring semester. She left Venice just ahead of the situation there. We are very concerned but not sure exactly what we should do. There are several options: stay until May when the semester ends, leave early after Spring break in early April or ... ? Anyone in the same circumstance and what are you doing?
    Please lets not spend a lot of time on ways to wash our hands and do flu like prevention. We all have been informed of this many times.
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  • PublisherPublisher 10334 replies130 threads Senior Member
    edited February 24
    Get out now. This is a very serious health crisis. And it is probably going to get much worse.

    What if your daughter gets sick & is hospitalized ? Are you ready & able to travel to Italy with just a day or two of notice ?
    edited February 24
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6148 replies1 threads Senior Member
    There are worse things than having to fly home and take a semester off. I think that we could blame this on a "natural disaster". It might be too early to be sure, but there is a good chance that NYU is doing exactly the right thing.

    It does occur to me that a university is a pretty bad location if you don't want to share viruses with people from all around the world.
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  • Charlotte44Charlotte44 83 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for your reply. We cannot fly to Italy as my husband is in the risk group and I have health issues. We are still considering what to do.
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  • gosmomgosmom 1985 replies58 threads Senior Member
    @charlotte44 if it were MY kid over there, I'd want kid back on this continent...I'd feel horrible if kid got sick and I couldn't get there. I'd worry about if airlines stop flights as they did with China. As it is....flights may be difficult to get with schools shutting down their programs. I agree with others above...it will get worse before better....
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 40341 replies474 threads Senior Member
  • doschicosdoschicos 25916 replies257 threads Senior Member
    For what it is worth, the British government came out with new guidelines today re: people returning from abroad. Here's the piece that includes parts of Italy. With everything Covid-19 related, could be a moving target.

    Source: Guardian

    If you have returned from these specific areas since February 19, you should call NHS111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

    Iran
    Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
    Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
    Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)


    If you have returned from these areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

    Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
    Vietnam
    Cambodia
    Laos
    Myanmar
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  • PublisherPublisher 10334 replies130 threads Senior Member
    edited February 25
    Sometimes commonsense should be used despite those slow to react who advise a wait-and-see approach. (We know how that worked.)

    It is just as easy and appropriate to label a course of action as cautionary or wise as it is "alarmist" or as a politically correct word such as "panic".

    Insurance companies understand. After SARS, insurance companies added an exemption in their business interruption policies which excluded coverage for viral and bacterial outbreaks. Why ? Because they involve too many unknown factors which make them incapable of acturarial assessment. In plain English, the risks are unquantifiable due to too many unknown factors.

    Are insurance companies "alarmist" or engaging in "panic" ? Or are they taking a wise, cautionary approach ?

    This is your child & this is a real danger with too many unknowns.
    edited February 25
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  • adlgeladlgel 827 replies34 threads Member
    I'm wondering now what, if any, this will have on fall study abroad programs or by that time will we have abandoned hopes of containing it so travel would resume. My daughter is not planning to study abroad but was hoping to get a sub-lease for the fall from someone who is because she'll be moving into her sorority house in the spring.
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