blog posts Students Strongly Advised to Depart Europe (March 10) Mar 10, 2020 11:15 amWe ask that you share this message with your emergency contacts. Once you make an informed decision, we ask that you please share with International Safety and Security and the appropriate college study abroad office. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is monitoring developments surrounding the coronavirus globally and working with campus administrators and partners to make decisions in the best interest of our students. The incidences of coronavirus across Europe continue to increase. Given these circumstances, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign strongly advises that students reconsider studying abroad in Europe and return to the United States. However, the University is not suspending programs at this time and is not requiring students to depart their program. The University will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate. The University, per the Policy on International Travel, has the ability to suspend programs as the situation warrants. While we prefer not to make such decisions, the health and safety of our students is always our first priority. Developments that will likely lead to this decision include: Department of State raising a country’s travel advisory to Level 3 or Level 4. A significant spike in infection numbers across the country or in cities where students are located. Cancellation of flights between Europe and the United States. The continued cancellation of in-person classes. This is a personal decision for each student. We recognize that returning to the U.S. may disrupt your academic plan. Additionally, there may be financial impacts. Your college and the campus administration will work closely with you to offer alternatives and assistance. If you choose to depart your program, please complete the Departure Planning & Intake Form (https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/8542005) no later than March 15. As this option is extended due to potential health concerns, the University expects those students to return to the U.S. or their home country no later than March 20. Information on making flight arrangements, housing on campus, and filing reimbursements is available on the Intake Form. Please read the form carefully. Staying informed: We encourage students to: Stay informed using trustworthy sources, such as the CDC and WHO. Another source is the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. (Social media is not generally reliable in these situations.) In addition to the main coronavirus page, review CDC notices by country. Review DoS travel advisories by country (search using the Destination Box on the left): https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html. Consult program staff regarding local updates, assistance that may be provided, and policies that may change. Communicate with University study abroad staff; coordinators and advisers appreciate hearing from Illinois students throughout the semester, regardless of circumstances. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be contacted through the University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD) at +1-217-333-1216. We will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates appropriately to you via email as the situation develops.