Study Abroad Coronavirus FAQ


 

SUMMARY: JMU maintains multiple year-round campuses around the world as well as offers students access to external and exchange programs. We are aware of the spread of Coronavirus, and are proactively considering contingencies at each of our sites. The safety and security of our students is our primary goal, and as this is an ongoing situation, we are working with health officials and our staff on the ground abroad, as well as adhering to guidance issued by the CDC, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. and foreign governments. Please find information below related to affected programs. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.


JMU’s Semester in Florence Program

Date of Last Update: Feb. 28, 12:05 p.m.

Does JMU have students in Italy, and is it safe to be there?
JMU is aware of the spread of Coronavirus to several European countries, including Italy. We currently have 33 undergraduate students and handful of faculty, staff and graduate students at our campus in Florence, Italy. At this time, U.S. and European governments are not recommending cancelling programs in Italy, and have not restricted or recommended avoiding travel to any part of Europe outside of the affected regions in northern Italy. 

What is JMU doing to make sure students in Italy stay safe?
Our primary concern is the health and safety of our students abroad, for that reason, and out of an abundance of caution, we have modified our program in Florence, canceling all program excursions and prohibiting students from personal travel to affected regions in the country.

Are other schools closing their programs in Italy?
While some schools have closed their programs in Florence, many others have chosen to remain open, including other institutions in the Commonwealth.

What if a student wants to return to the United States?
We understand each student and family needs to make the decision that is best for them based on a number of factors. For that reason, students who choose to voluntarily withdraw from the program and return home from Florence can finish their classes and earn those credits online without penalty.

What are you basing your decision making on?
This is an ongoing situation and we are working with health officials and our staff on the ground, as well as adhering to guidance issued by the CDC, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. and Italian governments. Should the CDC or U.S. State Department elevate their advisory levels for travel, or the U.S. or Italian governments recommend departure for foreign visitors, we would recall our students, and support them in getting home as expeditiously as possible. There are other factors outside of those parameters that could also lead us to that same action.

What about your other international programs?
We maintain multiple year-round campuses around the world. We are proactively considering contingencies at each of our sites, and recognize that given the evolving nature of this situation, plans will need to change and adapt accordingly. We have cancelled two of our short-term summer 2020 programs to China. At this point, none of our other programs have been cancelled.

Who will JMU contact with updates?
Students who are abroad have been communicated with directly, and the university will continue to share information with them as it becomes available. All members of the JMU community can find updates at www.jmu.edu.

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Published: Friday, February 28, 2020

Last Updated: Friday, February 28, 2020

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