Monday, March 2, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Thank you all for quickly making plans for students to leave Italy and return to the United States with the cancellation of programs.  We also appreciate you keeping the International Center informed of your travel plans.

We know how much time goes into planning a semester abroad and understand how disappointing it is to have the experience cut short.  This is an unprecedented situation that we are responding to with the utmost care for the health and safety of Springfield College students.

As you reunite with your families and await more details from your program about transitioning to completing your courses remotely, we wanted to highlight some information to answer some of your questions and ease some of the uncertainty you may be feeling:

Health advice about returning from Italy

No travel or re-entry restrictions have been put in place by U.S. authorities for individuals returning from Italy.  The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that individuals take the following precautions:

  • Travelers returning from affected areas should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.  During this time, we ask students to not visit the Springfield College campus.
  • Travelers returning from Italy who feel sick with fever or cough or have difficulty breathing should
    • Take your temperature.
    • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Do not travel while sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Completion of courses

Program providers, API and CIS, have worked with their host institutions to develop online learning platforms so that students can complete their courses remotely.  Our partners will be in touch with Springfield College to coordinate on any necessary modifications to courses or course syllabi with the aim of minimizing any academic impact.   Please pay close attention to details from your program regarding when online learning coursework will commence as well as next steps.

Again, the goal of Springfield College and our partners is to minimize the academic impact of this transition.  If you have individual questions or concerns, please contact the Senior Associate VP for Academic Affairs, Mary Ann Coughlin.

Return travel and expenses

Many of you have been able to get change or cancellation fees waived by airline carriers.  Some major credit cards have travel insurance attached to flight purchases made with that card.  Please look to see if you have insurance on the credit card that you used to purchase your flight.

As our partners have communicated, housing has already been paid in advance to their local partners and is non-refundable.  Please watch for any additional financial information provided by your program.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of additional expenses incurred, please contact the Financial Aid Office (413) 748-3108.

Returning from study abroad, especially under current circumstances, can be challenging.  We want to remind you that you may reach out to any of the services of the college, including the International Center (413-748-3215), the Academic Success Center (413-748-3389), the Dean of Students Office (413-748-3100), and the Health and Counseling Services (413-748-3175). 

Please continue to confirm once you have arrived home.  We hope reuniting with your families brings you comfort.

Best regards,

Deborah Alm | Director
Doggett International Center