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Urgent COVID-19 Update for Study Abroad Students

March 14, 2020

Dear Students,

We are writing today with a new update concerning the evolving COVID-19 situation. Recent events – including the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 2 global alert, and the restrictions on travel from Europe imposed by the U.S. government -- have significantly increased uncertainty surrounding world travel.
 
Earlier this week, students in Europe received a message from us asking them to act swiftly and return home. After careful consideration and consultation with the University’s Global Safety and Security team, we are now requiring that all students currently studying abroad return to their permanent residence by March 23, 2020. We hope this allows you adequate time to plan for your return in an orderly and organized manner, and we standby to assist in this effort.  
 
We are truly sorry for the disruption to your studies that this has caused, but your health and safety is our top priority. As you begin to make arrangements, please continue to take the necessary precautions to maintain your health and monitor your emails for University and program updates as we gather more details.  
 
We know that this news is distressing; it is important to know that staff within the Office of Global Safety and Security and the Office of International Programs are here to assist you.
 
Returning home:
Please be assured that the University will provide financial support by defraying costs of changing your airline ticket or refunding you the cost of a new ticket (on condition that you opt for an economy ticket with an itinerary going from your current location back to your permanent residence, with no deviations). Please note, if you are an international student with immigration, travel and/or visa restrictions, or whose permanent residence is in a country currently designated at a CDC Warning Level 3 for COVID-19, please reach out to us directly (contact information below).
 
Once your itinerary is confirmed, please send it directly to the Study Abroad Program at sap@princeton.edu.
 
Academic options and online learning:
We are hopeful you will have academic options which allow you to complete your semester and we will discuss with you further in the coming days. However, our focus right now is getting you back to your permanent residence safely and without disruption.
If your host institution or program can coordinate online coursework for the remainder of the term, you will be able to complete your semester remotely from your permanent residence. If your host institution cannot offer online courses or a suitable solution for completing coursework, you may need to take a leave of absence from the University for this semester. Each situation is different, and your study abroad adviser will work with you to discuss your academic decisions.

Contacts at Princeton: 
To facilitate our ability to assist, please contact the following advisers based on the country/region where you are studying:

Your adviser is available to answer any immediate questions or concerns, and you will receive more information soon about logistics and travel support.
 

As always, thanks for your ongoing patience and resilience during these unprecedented times.
 
With best wishes and concern,
 
Rebecca Graves-Bayazitoglu, Senior Associate Dean, Office of International Programs (OIP)
 
Gisella Gisolo, Director, Study Abroad Program
 
Kara Amoratis, Associate Director, Global Safety and Security
 

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