Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Dear Study Abroad Students and Families,

We would like to clarify the College’s position regarding students currently abroad as well as share updated information and guidance.  President Cooper sent out an email earlier today noting that, “This afternoon, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health advised all colleges and universities in the state to suspend college-sponsored international travel. Therefore, we are abiding and are suspending our college-sponsored international travel at this time.”  To be clear, this suspension of international travel refers to any new outbound college-sponsored travel and applies immediately to spring break programs.  It does not apply to students who are already abroad.

We want to assure you that, at this time, Springfield College has only made the decision to withdraw students from Italy.  That decision was made in conjunction with our study abroad partners after the CDC and U.S. authorities issued a travel warning to avoid non-essential travel to Italy.  No such warning has been issued for any other country in which Springfield College students are currently studying abroad.

Before the developments in Italy occurred, our partners had already worked with the local academic institutions to develop remote learning options for students so that they could complete their coursework from home if necessary.  Though they cannot guarantee that this will be an option at all of the host institutions, it is a backup plan that they are exploring.  The goal of our partners and Springfield College is to minimize the academic impact of any necessary changes to students' programs abroad.

Given that the coronavirus situation can change quickly, Springfield College advises all students to cancel any unnecessary travel outside of their host community for the time being and to follow all advice and guidance being communicated by their study abroad program.  We recommend that students and families check current information from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization before making any required travel plans.  In addition, students should follow the precautionary measures issued by the CDC to protect yourself from the virus.

This is a constantly evolving situation that the College and our partners are continuously monitoring.  We will continue to provide updates as necessary and assure you that our priority is supporting the health and well-being of our students and helping them to achieve the goals of their study abroad programs.

Best regards,

Deborah Alm | Director
Doggett International Center