By now you have heard of the coronavirus outbreak which began in Wuhan, China, and has affected many cities within the country itself. Thankfully, we have no reports of any onsite CIEE students or staff being sickened by the coronavirus.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State raised the travel advisory to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” and the CDC raised their health alert warning to “Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel.” These escalations, combined with our institutional partners in China indefinitely delaying the start of their classes, has prompted us to suspend all programs in China for spring 2020.
The safety of our students is our primary concern and CIEE Open Campus Block students who are already on program in Shanghai will be departing immediately. As for students enrolled in spring Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing programs that have not yet begun, our worldwide staff is currently exploring feasible program alternatives for these individuals. Within 24 hours, we will be presenting students with alternative program options where available. Working within logistical limitations of visas, academic needs, etc., we are trying our best to offer impacted students the opportunity to complete a study abroad experience that meets their needs this spring.
If this illness spreads globally and begins to affect the safety of students at other CIEE locations worldwide, we will keep you apprised of our contingency plans. As always, to obtain the latest information on health, safety, and security concerns, we recommend that you:
- Visit our website, https://www.ciee.org/alerts. It is regularly updated with security alerts to help communicate any health and safety updates regarding our students on programs.
- Sign up for our Health, Safety, and Security updates RSS feed. This web-based news feed will allow you to receive alerts from CIEE about significant events via email, an alert notification on a web browser, and/or a push-notification on your cell phone or other mobile device. Instructions for how to configure your device(s) are located on the alerts page of the CIEE website.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Please reach out to your manager of institutional relations with any questions.