As the number of COVID-19 cases around the world spikes, universities and colleges in the United States have started to cancel study abroad programs.


COVID-19 is now a global concern. In Italy, the number of infected rose from 450 cases to 600 overnight, an almost 60 percent increase. South Korea reported that cases doubled in just under a day. It now has the second largest outbreak with over 2,000 confirmed cases including 13 deaths. A growing number of cases are also seen in Japan, Iran, and parts of Europe.


In the United States, a number of universities have cancelled their study abroad programs and pulled out all students and faculty in these areas.

Online Learning


For programs that have already started, universities are offering alternative courses to be conducted online. One example is Stanford University’s Bing Overseas Studies Program in Florence, which will end prematurely while “remote continuation” of coursework will be in place.





Institutions with campuses abroad were forced to advance their online curriculum in order to prevent further disruption of classes. New York University, which has its own campus in Shanghai, launched an online program with the help of its faculty in China.


“It’s been highly stressful, but at the same time, the clarity of the crisis has brought us together,” said Clay Shirky, Vice Provost for educational technologies at NYU who also helped set up the online courses.


US districts also said that online learning systems are being put in place. The problem, however, lies in schools that don’t have the technology to utilize them.

U.S. University Announcements


Universities that announced similar suspensions include Stanford University, Gonzaga University, Seton Hall University, University of Southern California, University of Colorado Boulder, Elon University, Fairfield University, New York University, Syracuse University, Villanova University, University of Tennessee, Cornell University, and the University of New Haven.


USC requires students studying in both South Korea and in the Veneto and Lombardy regions of Italy to return home, with the school making arrangements for students to travel back to USC, according to officials.


Higher education institutions also strongly advise their students against travelling to the affected areas unless absolutely necessary.

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