Coronavirus Has Local Universities Monitoring Study Abroad Programs

Feb 27, 2020

Area colleges and universities are taking a hard look at their international programs in the wake of the rapid spread of the coronavirus and may cancel upcoming trips or recall participants if they deem it unsafe for students, faculty and staff.

Northern Kentucky University has one student in South Korea and two in Japan. At least for now they will remain there.  Here is NKU's statement:

“The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority. NKU currently has students studying in South Korea and Japan. We are not recalling these students at this time, but we are staying in close contact with them. We are reviewing all upcoming programs and will make cancellation decisions based on the latest information. We are vigilantly monitoring all developments and will act in the best interest of our students.”

Miami University canceled its programs in China for the semester and the foreseeable future. It says:

"Our other programs continue as scheduled and the university continues to monitor the situation."

The University of Cincinnati has travel restrictions in place for UC-sponsored travel to China. A spokeswoman says, "UC International as well as faculty and academic departments are monitoring events and considering how to best assure academic progress and enrichment despite current or potential travel disruptions." Here is UC's full statement:

"In general, via university faculty and staff, our study abroad consortium and our international medical and travel security provider, UC seeks to maintain regular contact and outreach to students abroad, especially in any country where the State Department has issued a travel alert or identified risk, whether that’s due to health, civil unrest, natural disaster or other issues. The same would be true in the case of coronavirus, and if any student abroad is in a UC-sponsored or affiliated program wishes or needs to return due to health and safety or other considerations, processes are in place to address that."

Across the U.S., colleges and universities are canceling their programs in China, South Korea, Japan and Italy. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE) and CNBC, there were 12,000 U.S. students studying in China in 2017-2018. Italy, another COVID-19 target, drew 37,000 that year. Italy is right behind the U.K. as the most popular destination.

Also being affected are students coming to the U.S. from China.  IIE reports in 2018-2019 there were about 370,000 studying in the U.S.