blog posts New Guidance: University of Illinois Students Required to Depart Italy (Feb. 29) Feb 29, 2020 9:30 pmSynopsis: The University is requiring that all students depart Italy at their earliest and reasonable opportunity for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. The Department of State (DoS) elevated the Lombardy and Veneto Provinces in Italy to Level 4, Do Not Travel. The U.S. Embassy released an accompanying message as well with more information. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains Italy at Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel. We and our partners are exploring options to help students continue making academic progress for the remainder of the semester, as well as address other issues. We ask for patience as we complete the logistics necessary to identify and implement these solutions. This afternoon, the U.S. Department of State raised the travel advisory for Italy to Level 4, Avoid Travel, for the Lombardy and Veneto regions. Because of this and the continuing uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is requiring all of our students studying in Italy to depart at the earliest opportunity. You may return to the U.S., your home country, or travel elsewhere. Note: Any travelers from Italy to other countries, including European countries, may face increased monitoring before being allowed to enter. You should carefully check entry requirements for each country. Please carefully review the information below, so you can make the best decisions for you. Self-Isolation. If you return to campus, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Italy and before arriving on campus. This is especially important if participating in the second-eight weeks of the semester, which begins March 23. Once you have completed your self-isolation, we will work with you to identify housing and other essentials as needed. If you must return to campus before 14 days, you must inform us immediately to allow proper arrangements. Please note that you may be tested and quarantined by federal health officials upon your arrival at various U.S. airports. Academics. We are working with our study abroad partner programs to identify and implement alternative ways for you to continue making academic progress this semester. We expect many of you will continue your program studies remotely. If not, your college will work closely with you to navigate the various campus alternatives and options. Travel. There are two options available regarding air travel. More details on both options will be forthcoming. If you purchase an airline ticket or pay change fees directly, the University will provide reasonable reimbursement with a copy of the itinerary and a receipt. If you need financial assistance with airline tickets, the University is arranging assistance. Please let us know of your needs immediately to allow for arrangements. Program Costs. The University is consulting partners and will provide information regarding final program fees and costs when available. We encourage you to share this information with your emergency contacts and discuss your plans with them. In order to make necessary arrangements to accommodate your return, we will set deadlines to provide information. We will explain the information and deadlines in future communications, to include a form to simplify the process. We understand the disappointment and the challenges this situation brings. Study abroad educational experiences are life-long and life-changing. However, our top priorities are to take any necessary steps to ensure your academic success and provide for your personal health and safety. This recommendation to depart Italy addresses both of these priorities. If you have questions related to program plans, please contact the Illinois sponsor of your program. For academic questions, your college will be your first contact. If you encounter an emergency related to well-being, please call the University of Illinois Police Department at +1-217-333-1216. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as possible.