Message to Students in Italy

Dear students in Italy,

You have likely heard that the U.S. State Department has raised the travel alert for Italy to “Level 3 - Reconsider Travel.” When a location receives a Level 3 designation, University policy requires special review and approval for students to remain. Based on information from public health and international safety experts, University leadership has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in Italy for the spring semester without an option for special review. We encourage all students to return to the United States. See the official announcement on the GPS Alliance website.

I understand this is an unexpected and disappointing turn of events in your semester, and I assure you this decision was not taken lightly. Your safety is our top priority.

We expect all students will depart Italy by Friday, March 6. If your program included program-affiliated housing, you will not be able to stay in that housing after this date. There are no options to remain in Italy and be enrolled as a spring semester University of Minnesota student.

University staff are working hard to develop contingency plans when possible and are ready to assist you with the academic and financial implications of this decision. Please know that some things remain uncertain at this point. You will continue to be contacted with more information specific to your program as it becomes available.

We look forward to your safe arrival back on campus.

Meredith McQuaid
Associate Vice President and Dean
of International Programs

Advice for Travelers Returning from an Area Impacted by COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that if you were in a country with a COVID-19 outbreak and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days after you left, you should:

  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel on public transportation while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.