University travel and study abroad programs suspended

Study abroad programs in countries with a Level 3 travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been canceled and University-sponsored travel is suspended in response to the spread of coronavirus, the University announced in a schoolwide email Tuesday.

Students currently enrolled in canceled study abroad programs have returned to the United States. University officials will evaluate the need for the self-quarantine of students returning from these programs based on CDC guidelines on each country. The University said it would continue to track circumstances in other countries where students are studying and make decisions about programs in Level 1 and 2 countries based on virus developments in each location.

“The university is closely monitoring the situation in other countries,” the email read. “Any students abroad who wish to return home voluntarily should contact their USC program advisor to discuss their academic continuation options.”

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism canceled all international summer programs, including its immersive reporting course in Ghana, the International Communication Studies program and international graduate internship programs in Berlin, Germany; Cape Town, South Africa; Hong Kong; and São Paulo, Brazil, the school announced in an email to Annenberg students Tuesday. Students enrolled in some of the programs, including the Maymester Ghana trip, received advance notification of the cancellation.

The University will suspend all nonessential domestic and international professional travel for graduate students, staff and faculty through March 29 and will require them to obtain written approval from their dean or supervisor to be reimbursed for costs associated with essential travel, the provost announced in the email Tuesday. 

Personal international travel during spring break is discouraged, and the University will follow CDC guidelines to enforce self-quarantines for students returning from both personal and academic travel, Chief Health Officer Dr. Sarah Van Orman told the Daily Trojan. Currently, students returning from the Annenberg school’s study abroad program in Rome are self-quarantining for two weeks at the recommendation of public health officials.