Updated on Thursday, March 12 at 6:50 p.m. to include information on self-quarantine.
Elon University is recalling most of its students studying abroad in Europe — excluding Ireland and the United Kingdom — because of the coronavirus, which is also known as COVID-19.
“Families should focus on arranging transportation back to the United States or their home country for their student,” an email from the Global Education Center sent to students studying in continental Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland, said. “We also understand that families will have lots of questions about academic continuity and financial implications. We ask for your patience during this time as both Elon and its international partners work through this difficult situation.”
The decision to suspend the study abroad programs was made the day after President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that “suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been to certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the U.S.”
The university will reimburse students up to $1,000 for flights, according to the email.
According to Shanna Van Beek, communications manager of global education, “the online course availability varies by program and institution,” and students returning home should be in contact with their on-site host to see if they will be continuing classes online.
If students want to return to campus, they have to self-quarantine for 14 days. If these students wish to live in university housing, they need to contact Residence Life.
The email from the GEC said Elon has a “small number” of international students currently studying abroad. According to the email, the GEC has contacted them separately. International students have to travel to the U.S. by midnight Friday, March 13, if they want to reenter the states.
“Not every international student will elect to travel to the United States, though, and may instead travel to their home country or elsewhere,” Van Beek said. “ International students should review the travel policy of their destination.”The travel restriction is a part of the U.S.’ effort to combat the coronavirus. This travel restriction begins at midnight on Friday, March 13 and plans to end in 30 days. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are allowed to reenter the country during this period, but only through select airports. Individuals arriving from prohibited European countries will be screened for the virus and may face quarantine or restrictions of their movement for 14 days.
The spouse, parent or legal guardian, sibling, who is unmarried or under age 21, child or are the foster child of U.S. citizens, but are not themselves U.S. citizens are allowed to reenter the country.
Of the 26 countries affected by the restriction, Elon has 62 students across six countries, according Van Beek. The countries include; the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
According to data from the GEC over the last three years, seven of the top 10 most popular study abroad programs are in Europe.
While Elon has programs in the United Kingdom with 30 students and Ireland with 10, at the moment, the travel suspension does not apply to them. As of Thursday, March 12, the university has not canceled either of the programs.
The first of Elon’s European study abroad programs to be canceled were in Italy — 21 students and one faculty were recalled to the U.S. Students at Semester at Sea are also disembarking early.