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Colleges In Maryland Suspend Study Abroad Programs In Italy, Other Countries Due To Coronavirus Concerns

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As coronavirus concerns grow worldwide, colleges in Maryland are thinking about their students studying abroad- with many of them being called home to the U.S.

Towson University, University of Maryland, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Loyola University and the Maryland Institue College of Art have canceled programs for the semester, with other programs being monitored in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Johns Hopkins University is working to modify its programs, but they said Sunday the campus in Bologna, Italy is still fully operational.

50 faculty, staff, students and scholars are not able to return to JHU campuses in the U.S. from China due to travel restrictions.

They said they are providing contingency planning for necessary supplies and support for students with travel plans during breaks and intersessions. They are also planning for classes during periods of quarantines, university closures or any transportation challenges.

All faculty, staff and the nine students currently abroad in Italy at Towson University are being recalled back to the U.S. They will not return to campus, but instead will self-quarantine.

Along with the recall, any and all upcoming university-sponsored travel to Italy and Japan was suspended as of February 26.

TU suspended all study abroad programming and university-related/sponsored travel to China for spring 2020 as of January 30.

However, they said they will not recall faculty, staff or students currently in Japan abroad, but they will help to get any TU student studying abroad home early if that's their choice.

Three people are being tested in Maryland for COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. A total of five people have been tested so far in the state, the first two testing negative.

Although no one in Maryland has tested positive, some residents are still concerned. 

The University of Maryland said Sunday morning that they have suspended Education Abroad programming in China and South Korea for spring 2020 and will immediately suspend the programming for any country that is upgraded to a Warning Level 3 advisory by the CDC.


The University of Maryland Baltimore County responded to the new travel guidelines by the CDC by suspending student travel to any other country that is elevated to the Warning Level 3 advisory. UMBC students are not allowed to travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran on university business at this time.

Loyola University said only their programs in Beijing and Florence have decided to close for the semester. They did recommend that all students studying at John Cabot University's program in Rome return back to the U.S.

They added that once the students return, they should spend 14 days at home and then call the health center to make sure they don't have symptoms before visiting campus.

The Maryland Institue College of Art chose to suspend its current abroad program in Italy and is working with students and faculty to arrange for them to come back to the U.S.

They said there are no students abroad at MICA who have tested positive for COVID-19 and the decision is "out of an abundance of caution for the health of our students, faculty and staff."

Study abroad programs aren't the only effect Marylanders may feel as the virus continues to spread. An expected shipment to the Port of Baltimore was canceled for the first time because of the virus- due to a lack of goods.

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