Some study abroad programs canceled due to coronavirus

The University of Oregon said they are asking eight students who are studying in South Korea to return to the United States

Posted: Feb 28, 2020 7:13 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 4:22 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Local universities are changing their study abroad programs as the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world.

The University of Oregon said they are asking eight students who are studying in South Korea to return to the United States. This comes nearly a month after the school asked seven students to return who were studying in China.

Director of public affairs Kay Jarvis said the administration is taking these steps to keep students safe.

"We at the university understand this is unpredictable and it can go any direction, but we are trying to be as prepared as possible," Jarvis said.

She said no decision has been made about future study abroad programs for the coming terms, but their incident management team, made up of representatives from 14 university offices, is watching the progress of the virus.

Oregon State University is also changing its study abroad programs. The university said they have canceled spring and summer term programs in China. They are closely monitoring the situation in South Korea and are advising students who plan to travel to the country in the summer to make alternate plans just in case the school cancels programs there too.

Steve Clark, vice president of university relations and marketing, said his team is monitoring the virus every day.

"We're not only mindful of the seriousness of the coronavirus," Clark said. "We are aware of our requirements to act prudently and preventive way."

When it comes to people planning vacations abroad, Carolyn Voris from Premier Travel said many of her clients are not canceling their trips but are calling and asking questions about the virus.

"We just tell them that we are looking at it one day at a time we're kind of watching what's out there," Voris said.

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