Consider postponing or canceling student international travel programs.
Given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) institutes of higher education (IHE) should consider postponing or canceling upcoming student international travel programs. IHE should consider asking current program participants to return to their home country. Those overseeing student international travel programs should be aware that students may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges in returning home, or accessing healthcare while abroad.
IHEs should consider asking students to participate in study abroad programs to return to the United States. IHEs should work with state and local public health officials to determine the best approach for when and how (for example, chartered transportation for countries or areas assessed as high-risk for exposure) their study abroad students might return. All plans for returning study abroad students should be designed to protect participants from stigma and discrimination.
The COVID-19 situation is dynamic. Given the speed of spread and the number of countries experiencing community transmission, IHEs should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to maintain programs abroad and take the appropriate proactive measures. IHEs that continue to support programs abroad should monitor COVID-19 for additional information.