University of Maryland Suspends South Korea Study Abroad Program Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

University of Maryland students studying at South Korea for the semester will have to return to the U.S.

The school sent a school-wide email on Tuesday, announcing the suspension of the study abroad program in South Korea. Students in South Korea have received direct communication from the school. Maryland is also closely monitoring the situation in both Italy and Japan, as they have UMD education abroad programming as well. Although no further decision has been made on study abroad programs in both countries, they said students “should be prepared to return to the U.S. should a CDC designation change occur or other circumstances change.”

The university explained its decision, relying on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) travel advisory. The CDC designated three levels of advisory for travel amid the outbreak: Watch Level 1 (practice precaution), Alert Level 2 (practice heightened precaution — people with chronic medical conditions and elderly should consider postponing travel) and Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel).

Currently, there are two countries with Warning Level 3 travel advisories: China and South Korea. The school had previously announced that it was not authorizing travel to China, cancelling study abroad program in the country for Spring 2020 altogether. Both Italy and Japan are designated Alert Level 2.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the University of Maryland or in the state of Maryland.

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