UMD suspends all study abroad programs in Europe
The University of Maryland suspended all education abroad programs in Europe and is requiring students to return home “as soon as possible” and no later than March 23, the school announced in a pair of emails Wednesday.
The notice came hours after President Donald Trump announced that travel from the continent to the U.S. would be restricted for 30 days starting Friday at midnight. American citizens and permanent legal residents are exempt from the ban.
Though Britain is not included in the ban, the university also suspended study abroad programs in the United Kingdom.
Students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to make flight arrangements immediately, the school’s provost wrote in another email to affected students. All students returning from European destinations are required to both self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after they return, the email said.
Ignoring the university’s mandate and returning to the campus could result in student code violations, a follow-up email from Education Abroad Director Leeanne Dunsmor warned.
“We realize that this is not the way you expected your semester to end and we share in your disappointment as we know you have worked very hard to get this far in your semester abroad,” Dunsmor wrote.
The Education Abroad office offered 125 programs in Europe in the spring, according to their website. The university has already suspended programs in Italy, South Korea, and China— as well as all spring break and summer study abroads. All non-essential university-related travel has been canceled as well.
The university will reimburse students up to $500 to help with the cost of flight change fees, Dunsmor’s email said, and arrangements can be made through the university’s travel agencies.
Students currently studying abroad in countries outside of Europe should be alert and prepare to return to the U.S. if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raises their designation to Level 3, Rankin’s email said. She advised students to limit their travel and follow all precautions recommended by their program and the CDC.
“Please know that we have reached the decision to suspend European study abroad programs out of concern for your health and safety,” Rankin wrote. “We urge you to act with all dispatch to avoid additional health risks, further unanticipated travel restrictions, or other problems.”