COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) Updates

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020

 

Update on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), Spring Programs (Spain, France, Germany), Spring Break - Feb 28, 2020

To ensure the health, safety and security of our community abroad, the University of Pittsburgh has decided to cancel all spring programming in France, Germany, and Spain. All students currently studying abroad in France, Germany, and Spain must depart from their programs and return to the United States immediately and by no later than March 10, 2020.  

Additionally, the leadership of the University of Pittsburgh has decided to cancel all spring break programming including study abroad and study away programming requiring air travel. This decision is effective immediately

This decision was made carefully, thoughtfully, and out of an abundance of concern for your health, safety, and security. In addition to concerns for your health and welfare, and the fluidity of the situation, the University of Pittsburgh is concerned that additional travel restrictions and quarantines could be implemented and prohibit your departure from your host country and/or return to the United States in the near future. We recognize that this decision may pose unanticipated challenges and we will do everything possible to accommodate your academic needs.

Update on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), Spring Programs Abroad (Italy, Japan, South Korea) and Summer Programs - Feb 28, 2020

Officials at the University of Pittsburgh have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) outbreak since its beginnings. The University of Pittsburgh has decided to cancel all programming in countries with a CDC level of 2 or above for the spring 2020 term, which currently includes programs in Italy, South Korea, China, and Japan. This decision was made carefully, thoughtfully, and out of an abundance of concern for the health, safety, and security of our students in those locations. 

Please know that Pitt Study Abroad, in conjunction with University officials, are carefully monitoring the situation across the world. We understand that there is uncertainty surrounding this ongoing situation, and our team will work to keep you updated as more information becomes available. Pitt is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and will continue to post updates and guidance on its Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management website. 

At this time, we do not anticipate making any changes to our summer study abroad programs outside of China. Therefore, you may progress as normal through the pre-departure Pitt Study Abroad process. Should this change, we will send follow-up communication with our plans. As you know, this situation is fluid, and we will reevaluate summer programming on a location by location basis over the course of the next few weeks. 

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about COVID-19, we encourage you to rely on reporting from the CDC, World Health Organization, the Department of State, and International SOS. 
 

Update on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) and Summer Study Abroad - Italy and South Korea - Feb 25, 2020

You may have seen reports this weekend of individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy and South Korea.   Please know that everyone in Pitt Study Abroad is very carefully monitoring CDC guidelines and travel operations related to the COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) in Italy and around the world.

 

At this time, we do not anticipate making any changes to our summer study abroad programs outside of China. Therefore, students may progress as normal through the post-acceptance process. Should this change, we will send follow up communication with our plans.

 

We understand that there is uncertainty surrounding this ongoing situation, and our team will work to keep students updated as more information becomes available.  In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about COVID-19, we encourage you to rely on reporting from the CDC, World Health Organization, the Department of State, and International SOS. 

A message from Jeff Whitehead, Director of Pitt Study Abroad and Study Away - Feb 8, 2020

We have been receiving messages regarding the status of Pitt Study Abroad Summer 2020 programming. Please know that everyone in Pitt Study Abroad is very carefully monitoring CDC guidelines and travel operations related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. I understand that you are currently weighing whether you will confirm your participation in summer programming. I hope that the following information helps with your decision-making process.

Programming Outside of China
We do not anticipate making any changes to our study abroad programs outside of China. Therefore, you may progress as normal through the post-acceptance process. Should this change, we will send follow up communication with our plans.
We will not refund deposits for programs outside of those that we cancel as a University. Thus, should you wish to terminate your own participation in a venue where we are still planning to operate, your deposit will not be refunded and normal withdrawal penalties would still apply.
 
Programming in China
 
We have relocated our spring break programming in China and have selected alternative venues to host these programs. We are currently weighing our options for programming this summer (beginning in May) in China. I have instructed the members of our team to begin looking at alternatives to the current programming. These may include but are not limited to:
 
  • Changing the venue of your current program (i.e. running the program with the same or similar curriculum in Vietnam, Singapore, or elsewhere)
  • Enabling you to switch your participation to other programs with a similar program scope. These may include Panther Programs or Pitt-Recognized programs. Should we do this, and if the price of your newly select program would be higher than your current program, we would honor the price of your current selection so that you are not paying additional sums of money through no fault of your own.
  • Cancelling the program. If we are unable to find a suitable change of venue and need to cancel, you will not be held liable for any deposits that you have made. In the case of students who are impacted by the cancellation of programs in China, we would refund any deposits or payments that you have already incurred. We will not refund deposits for programs outside of those that we cancel as a University. Thus, should you wish to terminate your own participation in a venue where we are still planning to operate, your deposit will not be refunded and normal withdrawal penalties would still apply.
NOTE: Pitt Study Abroad has not yet made any final decisions on any of the options listed above. We will continue to keep you informed as those decisions are finalized, likely within the next two weeks. In the meantime, I encourage you to confirm your participation by the stated deadlines should you wish to participate in study abroad this summer.

If you have any questions email us at abroad@pitt.edu

Additional Resources

The University of Pittburgh's Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management will continue to provide updates that apply to the broader campus community at https://www.emergency.pitt.edu/coronavirus