Kansas universities postpone trips overseas amid coronavirus concerns
Kansas State University is the latest in-state institution to suspend its study abroad programs due to the coronavirus.
The university said the suspension affects 33 students studying in Orvieto, Italy.
The university is coordinating the students' return to Manhattan with health officials, which may require a 14-day isolation.
"Accommodations will be made for students to continue their coursework and housing will be available to those who need it. This decision was made in the best interest of the health and safety of K-State students," said K-State.
The university banned all institutional travel to Italy, Iran, South Korea and China.
On Wednesday, Washburn University in Topeka suspended its trips overseas and study abroad programs to the aforementioned countries stating the countries pose a threat to its students' health.
At least three Kansas universities, including two in Wichita, have canceled academic trips overseas amid concerns for the coronavirus.
Newman University canceled its March 12 trip to Italy, one of the
The university said the decision to cancel comes after updated travel warnings for Italy from the
over the "widespread ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) caused by a novel (new) Coronavirus.”
“With numerous U.S. study abroad programs canceling plans, not only due to the threat of the virus but because of the quarantine policies of both Italian and the U.S. governments for those suspected of exposure, and new travel warnings for Italy, we made the decision to postpone this learning opportunity until fall," said Newman Provost Kimberly Long, Ph.D.
Bethany Fatkin, one of the students going on the trip, said the university made the right call.
"We still get to go. We just have to wait a few more months," Fatkin said.
The program is expected to take place now Oct. 5-14, 2020.
Wichita State University canceled a faculty-led program scheduled for South Korea in late May.
"Fortunately, we do not have any students who were studying abroad in any countries with level 3 advisory by CDC for this semester," said Ann Burger, Wichita State's Associate Director for Study Abroad & Exchange Programs. "Currently, we continue to look at our summer programs and how those will be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak."
The University of Kansas says it is suspending all university travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea in line with CDC recommendations.