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All spring international programs cancelled due to coronavirus concerns

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Stanford is suspending all eight of its international spring quarter study abroad programs “in response to the rapidly evolving events surrounding COVID-19,” the University announced on Wednesday. 

The decision will affect 234 undergraduates and eight programs, according to the announcement. 

“In addition to the spread of the virus itself, students may face unpredictable circumstances overseas during the spring quarter, including accessing health care while abroad, navigating disruptions to local services, and the potential for travel interruptions or restrictions,” wrote Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Harry Elam. 

As of Wednesday, there have been over 90,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide and more than 3,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Stanford’s announcement follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider postponing or cancelling study abroad programs. It also comes on the heels of Stanford’s decision last week to end its program in Florence two weeks early

At this time, there are no plans to end any other winter study abroad programs before the end of the quarter, according to Elam. 

The announcement also does not mention off-campus programs within the United States, including Stanford in New York (SiNY), Stanford in Washington and Hopkins Marine Station. SiNY director Rosina Miller told The Daily that there are currently no plans to suspend the spring program in New York.

Students who were planning on studying abroad will be guaranteed housing on campus if they apply, and students currently in University housing will be allowed to stay in their current room if they submit a request by this Friday. 

The University’s announcement did not address how student housing will be able to handle an influx of hundreds more students than initially planned. Students returning from abroad are also guaranteed housing, although assignments have been delayed, according to an email from Residential & Dining Enterprises on Feb. 29.

Residential Education (ResEd) plans “to reach out to RFs and student staffs and begin working with them on the specifics of changes to their space due to study abroad,” according to an email sent by ResEd Dean Cheryl Brown on Wednesday morning. 

Additionally, Stanford says it will reimburse students’ airline change fees if they submit documentation and receipts by their schedule departure dates.

Elam also wrote that students’ financial aid will be adjusted to reflect their on-campus aid.

This article will be updated.

Contact Erin Woo at erinkwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Erin Woo '21 is a Managing Editor of News. A communications major and creative writing minor, she plans to pursue a career in journalism. She has also reported for The Mercury News and WNYC. Contact her at erinkwoo 'at' stanford.edu.