CORONAVIRUS IMPACTS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS OUTSIDE CHINA
FEBRUARY 26, 2020
American colleges and universities are making changes in international programs in Italy, South Korea and elsewhere as the coronavirus spreads globally. Institutions are suspending operations and evacuating students, moving classes online, or warning students not to travel internationally as the global spread of the the new coronavirus begins to impact international programs in countries outside of China, where the virus first originated.
Almost 37,000 American students studied abroad in Italy in 2017-2018, according to the Institute of International Educators, and the spread of the virus now threatens to dampen or even derail the experiences of perhaps thousands of students studying abroad there. South Korea, Japan, and Singapore are countries where thousands of American college students or graduates teach English in ESL programs each year. Many of these ESL schools are being closed because of the virus requiring students and employees in these countries to return back to the U.S. immediately. With respect to private Christian colleges and universities, the spread of the virus will no doubt result in the cancellation of many student mission trips that are planned for spring break or the summer months. Even as American higher education institutions try to navigate the threat posed by the coronavirus relative to their international programs, they increasingly face the threat of an outbreak in the U.S according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant