Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dear Study Abroad Students and Families,

The situation around the world and in the U.S., relating to the COVID-19 disease, is rapidly changing.   In response to President Trump’s nationwide address and the elevation of CDC travel alert to Level 3 for most of continental Europe, Springfield College has made the decision to withdraw students from most of the Schengen zone.  That decision was made in conjunction with our study abroad partners and affects students in Spain, Portugal, and Greece. 

Though the CDC has issued a global Level 2 travel alert, “practice enhanced precautions,” it has not raised the travel alert to a Level 3, “avoid nonessential travel,” in the country where you or your student are currently studying abroad, therefore, Springfield College is not requiring you to return home at this time.  This is a constantly evolving situation that can change quickly.  The College and our partners are continuously monitoring advice from the CDC, the World Health Organization, U.S. authorities and country-specific authorities.  We will continue to provide updates with any significant developments.

Some host institutions are offering, or preparing to offer, online instruction for either a limited period of time or for the remainder of the semester.  In some cases, our partners have given students the option to voluntarily return home to finish their semester online. We realize this is a challenging and stressful time and want all students and families to make decisions to remain or depart based on your comfort level.  No matter what your decision, the College and our partners are here to support you and will make every effort to minimize the academic impact of any necessary changes to students' programs abroad.

Students who remain on their study abroad programs should NOT TRAVEL outside of their host country, as already instructed.  Students who voluntarily choose to return home need to be in touch with their on-site program director for additional instructions AND notify the International Center of your departure plans.

We understand how difficult it must be to have your study abroad plans hampered as a result of this virus.  Please know that the staff in the International Center (413-748-3215) are here to support you. You may also reach out to any of the services of the college, including the Academic Success Center (413-748-3389), the Dean of Students Office (413-748-3100), the Health Center (413-748-3175) and Counseling Services ((413-748-3345).  If you have concerns about financial hardship, please contact the Financial Aid Office (413-748-3108).

Best regards,

Heather

Heather St. Germaine, M.Ed | Associate Director

Doggett International Center