Week of February 24, 2020

BOLOGNA UPDATE

Sent: February 28

To the Dickinson community:
Since our last email, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State have raised their travel warnings to Italy and urge that nonessential travel to the country be avoided. As a result, we have decided to suspend our Bologna program, and are asking students to leave Italy.

Coronavirus developments are rapidly changing and we are constantly monitoring and being guided by evidence-based research and state, federal and World Health Organization guidelines as we make decisions. We appreciate your support and understanding as we manage this challenging situation.

We had developed a path forward for students who decided to leave the Bologna program earlier, and we will now make arrangements for all students to be able to complete their semester on campus. We ask that students leaving Italy not return to campus until March 15, after spring break.

Also given this new information, per our travel policy, no Dickinson-sponsored travel to Italy is now permitted. We recommend that no member of the Dickinson community travel to Italy, China or South Korea at this time.

We will continue to keep you updated, as this situation evolves.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


A SPECIAL NOTE TO OUR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - COVID-19

Sent: February 28

Good afternoon, International Students –
 
As we prepare to go into the weekend, I wanted to write each of you in regards to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVD-19 (coronavirus).
 
We understand this situation has had a global impact, not the least of which are the practical implications on our very own Dickinson students. As international students, we also recognize the unique challenges this brings to your life and that of your friends and family. Many of you have already reached out with your questions and concerns about the future, particularly regarding summer break and travel regulations.
 
I want to assure you that your concerns are our concerns as well! We have already been meeting on a daily basis to discuss these difficult challenges. As soon as we have more to share, we will be in touch with additional details. Please know that you are in our thoughts today, and my colleagues across campus, along with those of us here at CGSE, care about you very much.
 
Thank you for reaching out to us. We want to be a constant resource for you as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop.
 
With much thought and care,

Melodi Hendrickson
Coordinator/Advisor, International Student & Scholar Services
Center for Global Study & Engagement


DICKINSON IS REQUIRING THAT ALL STUDENTS LEAVE ITALY AT THIS TIME

Sent: February 28

Dear students and families:

Guided by recommendations from International SOS, The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State (U.S. DOS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dickinson College has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus in Italy. As of February 28th, the U.S. DOS has issued a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel advisory for all of Italy and the CDC has issued a Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel notice for all of Italy. As a result, and in the interest of the health, safety and security of the Dickinsonians traveling or preparing to travel abroad, Dickinson is requiring that all students leave Italy at this time.  We will welcome all Dickinson students from Italy back to the Carlisle campus on March 15th.  We ask that you do not return to campus before the 15th as we prepare for your return.

At this time:

  • All students currently in Italy are asked to depart as soon as possible. If you already have a return flight, we suggest calling the airline to discuss a flight change as a first step. CGSE will work with each of you as needed to assist in your safe and responsible departure. Currently, U.S. flight carriers are operating normally and land borders continue to be open.
  • All students currently in Italy are asked to provide a status update to global@dickinson.edu by March 1st, at 10 p.m. addressing your well-being and your plans regarding your travel from Italy.
  • While traveling, stay informed about the outbreak and the precautions to take, and closely monitor the situation as it is evolving daily.
  • All impending student travel to Italy is prohibited. This directive on all Dickinson student travel to Italy will remain in effect until further notice.

 
 We will help liaise with Temple Rome to complete your semester.

As always, please don’t hesitate to call our travel assistance provider, International SOS, for any questions regarding the situation, medical referrals or advice on necessary precautions. 

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


THE DICKINSON IN ITALY PROGRAM HAS BEEN SUSPENDED

Sent: February 28

Dear students and families:

Guided by recommendations from International SOS, The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State (U.S. DOS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dickinson College has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus in Italy. As of February 28th, the U.S. DOS has issued a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel advisory for all of Italy and the CDC has issued a Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel notice for all of Italy. As a result, and in the interest of the health, safety and security of the Dickinsonians traveling abroad, Dickinson will be suspending the Dickinson in Italy program for the spring 2020 semester. We regret that we must suspend the program as we were looking forward to resuming classes at the Dickinson Center next week.  This has been a stressful week with many updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We will welcome all Dickinson in Italy students back to the Carlisle campus on March 15th.  Please do not return to campus before the 15th as we prepare for your return. As shared in a previous email, Assistant Provost, Deb Bolen will be working with students on an academic plan for the remainder of the semester.

At this time:

  • All students currently in Italy are asked to depart as soon as possible. If you already have a return flight, we suggest calling the airline to discuss a flight change as a first step. CGSE will work with each of you as needed to assist in your safe and responsible departure. Currently, U.S. flight carriers are operating normally and land borders continue to be open.
  • All students currently in Italy are asked to provide a status update to global@dickinson.edu by March 1st, at 10 p.m. addressing your well-being and your plans regarding your travel from Italy.
  • While traveling, stay informed about the outbreak and the precautions to take. Closely monitor the situation as it is evolving daily.
  • All impending student travel to Italy is prohibited. This directive on all Dickinson student travel to Italy will remain in effect until further notice.

As always, please don’t hesitate to call our travel assistance provider, International SOS, for any questions regarding the situation, medical referrals or advice on necessary precautions.  Please also be assured that Professor Wolff, Professor Grazioli and the entire Bologna staff will be available to provide support as students plan their departure from Italy.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


CAMPUS UPDATE

Sent: February 28

To the Dickinson community:

I write to update you on our approach to the coronavirus as well as our study-abroad programs. We are following the recommendations of state and national authorities and developing evidence-based policies and procedures in order to make the best decisions we can on behalf of our students, faculty and staff.

Because both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State have raised their travel warnings and urge that nonessential travel to South Korea be avoided, we have decided to suspend plans for four of our students who were slated to begin at Yonsei University in March. We will offer those students a leave of absence for the spring semester.

As you recall, our Bologna program was temporarily suspended this week after a neighboring region in Italy experienced a cluster of coronavirus cases. The Dickinson Center in Bologna will be open for classes and activities next week. We expect students taking Dickinson courses, both those still in Bologna and those who have returned home, to continue with their coursework. Midterms will continue as planned for students still there, and those who decided to leave will be expected to take those midterms at home. Bologna faculty and staff will email instructions to the relevant students.

We are working with the Bologna program students who decided to return home to give them an opportunity to finish their semester, and those students may return to campus March 15. We have also extended the same offer to our three returning students from our partner program in Florence with Syracuse University. They too may return to campus, but they will be completing their academic coursework with Syracuse University.

A few students from the Bologna program may return to campus before spring break. I want to remind you that those students were not in an area under quarantine, and so there is no guidance from the CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO) suggesting we need to quarantine them before allowing them back on campus.

As we continue this work to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible, it is essential that we remain supportive and welcoming toward all members of our community.

Please know that we have an emergency response team on campus that is meeting regularly, following updates from the CDC, WHO and the State Department, and working through plans and scenarios that could occur. We have not made changes to classes, events or operations on campus but are discussing potential impacts of the virus that could affect the remainder of the semester and summer. During challenging times such as these, I am grateful for the strength of our community and the concern we show one another. If you experience a fever, cough or other symptoms be sure to check with a healthcare provider. Students may contact Access Nurse 24 hours a day at 877-229-4183.

My thanks to the students and parents who have been dealing with concerns and changing plans, and to our on-campus team working through all of these challenges.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


DICKINSON IN KOREA - PROGRAM SUSPENDED FOR SPRING 2020

Sent: February 27

Dear students and families,

Guided by recommendations from International SOS, The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State (U.S. DOS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dickinson College has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus in South Korea. As of February 26th, the U.S. DOS has issued a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel advisory for all of South Korea and the CDC has issued a Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel notice for all of South Korea. As a result, and in the interest of the health, safety and security of the Dickinson community traveling or preparing to travel abroad, Dickinson will be suspending the Dickinson in Korea program for the spring 2020 semester. Unfortunately, it will not be possible at this point in the semester to take courses in Carlisle or at any of our abroad locations. You will therefore need to take a leave of absence and will be given a full refund for the semester. Please contact Associate Dean of Students, Angie Harris, to initiate the leave of absence. We understand that this is quite frustrating and encourage you to work with your academic advisor to discuss possible summer coursework and to map out your upcoming semesters.

At this time:

  • All students currently in South Korea are asked to depart as soon as possible. If you already have a return flight, we suggest calling the airline to discuss a flight change as a first step. CGSE will work with each of you as needed to assist in your safe and responsible departure. 
  • All students currently in South Korea are asked to provide a status update to global@dickinson.edu by Feb. 29, 2020, at 10 p.m. addressing your well-being and your plans regarding your travel from South Korea.
  • While traveling, stay informed about the outbreak and the precautions to take, and closely monitor the situation as it is evolving daily.
  • All impending student travel to South Korea is prohibited. This stop on all student Dickinson travel to South Korea will remain in effect until further notice.

As always, please don’t hesitate to call our travel assistance provider, International SOS, for any questions regarding the situation, medical referrals or advice on necessary precautions.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


CLASSES RESUME NEXT WEEK AT THE DICKINSON CENTER IN BOLOGNA

Sent: February 27

Dear students and families:

We are writing with the update that the Dickinson Center in Bologna will be open for classes and activities next week. Additionally, the University of Bologna will also reopen next week with a third of their courses and it is expected that all courses will resume in two weeks. As our program is not suspended, we expect students taking Dickinson Center courses, both those still in Bologna and those who have returned home, to continue with your coursework.  For those who have midterms scheduled for next week, these midterms will continue as planned for students in Bologna; and for students who have left, you will be expected to take those midterms at home on the same days as scheduled in Bologna.  Specific instructions will be emailed on the procedure for doing so by the Bologna faculty and staff.

As mentioned in previous correspondence, students who have left the program have the option of coming back to Bologna or going to Carlisle on March 15th.  For those that go to Carlisle, Deb Bolen, Assistant Provost, is working on a plan for you to complete the semester.  This will vary based on each individual student’s courses, and the details will be shared as soon as they are available.  As a reminder, you will need to notify us by March 11th of your return plans.

This will be a complicated process, but we are committed to help you earn credit for this semester.  We kindly ask for your patience as we work out the logistics during this unprecedented situation.

Best regards,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


UPDATE ON BOLOGNA

Sent: February 26

To the Dickinson community:

As you know, the coronavirus has spread to a number of countries. We are monitoring the latest information and staying in touch with students, faculty and staff in our global programs and partner programs. We also are reviewing our response plans in case the coronavirus spreads in the United States.

As I mentioned yesterday, some students have decided to leave our Bologna program. After spring break, we will work with those students to complete their semester. Some of those students may return to campus before March 15 to visit with friends. These students are not coming from a part of Italy that is under quarantine, and so there is no need for them to be under quarantine here.

In all decisions we are making, we are guided by the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of State.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other seasonal viruses, the CDC continues to recommend frequent handwashing and avoiding contact with individuals who are ill. You also should not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. If you are feeling ill, please avoid coming in contact with others, and if you are a staff or faculty member, please stay home from work.

This is a situation that is developing and changing on a frequent basis, so we will continue to update you about the actions we are taking. We also have a dedicated webpage we are updating regularly.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR DICKINSON IN KOREA: RESPONSE REQUESTED

Sent: February 25

Dear students and families:

We have received the recent communications from Yonsei University regarding the start of their semester.  At this time, Dickinson College is not suspending the program to South Korea and you may continue with your plans to go to Seoul.  Please be sure to follow any directions Yonsei has sent you.  However, it you have decided you do not want to go to South Korea this semester, we will give you the option to take a leave of absence from Dickinson and be refunded in full.  Please let us know by Thursday, February 27th how you would like to proceed. 

Please be aware that as we have seen that the coronavirus is moving quickly and situations change from day to day, there is always the possibility of directives and circumstances changing at Yonsei University once you arrive.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


UPDATED SAFETY INFORMATION FROM DICKINSON COLLEGE REGARDING COVID-19

Sent: February 25

Dear students and families:  
  
Previously in January, we sent out a message to all students studying abroad and their families regarding the status of COVID-19, or coronavirus, notice of the suspension of our program in China and helpful links and guidelines. As the virus continues to spread to additional countries, we wanted to provide you with up-to-date information and advisories.
 
Please note that there has been an outbreak of cases in Northern Italy, in the Lombardy and Veneto regions.  We have been corresponding with students and their families regarding the Bologna program (located in a neighboring region) and classes have been canceled this week as a precautionary measure.  As Dickinson students abroad typically travel, we advise that students do not travel to the affected regions in northern Italy. 
 
As a student studying abroad through Dickinson, please review information about COVID-19, its transmission, prevention and response available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. The World Health Organization also has up-to-date information. Basic steps for illness prevention apply to the COVID-19 and include avoiding contact with sick people, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. More advice from the CDC can be found here.  
 
We have also set up a dedicated Dickinson webpage with the latest information and communication to our community regarding COVID-19.
 
All students on Dickinson Center for Global Study & Engagement programs can contact the college’s international travel assistance provider, International SOS (ISOS), for advice, assistance, medical triage and support. ISOS is available 24 hours a day at 215-942-8478. Our ISOS membership number is 11BCAS626216. You can also contact ISOS via its in-app chat feature.  
  
Please reach out if you have any questions.

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


UPDATE FOR DICKINSON IN BOLOGNA - NEXT STEPS

Sent: February 25

Dear students and families:

Thank you for your patience as we have worked across time zones with colleagues in Italy and on the Carlisle campus to put plans in place for students.  At this time, we are not suspending the program in Bologna, however, we understand that a number of students have already left Italy or are thinking about leaving.  In order to best accommodate these students academically, we are implementing a plan for Bologna students to return to the Carlisle campus as a cohort so they continue their studies.  As it will take some time to get facilities ready and coursework worked out, and with spring break upon us, all students who have left the Bologna program and don’t plan to return, will be expected to return to the Carlisle campus on Sunday, March 15th to continue their studies.  As we understand that some students left while taking a wait-and-see approach and may wish to return to Bologna, you may do that as well, but again, you must be back in Bologna by March 15th.  

For students staying in Bologna, we will continue to closely monitor the situation.

All students who have left the program or will be leaving the program must contact us at global@dickinson.edu by Wednesday, March 11th to let us know if you will be returning to Carlisle or to Bologna to continue the semester.  In order to best meet everyone’s academic needs there will be no option to remain at home.  

I hope that this plan puts your mind at ease as we work to support students during a very challenging time.  Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


UPDATE ON BOLOGNA PROGRAM

Sent: February 25

To the Dickinson community,

Many of you have expressed questions and concerns about our students studying abroad in Italy. As you are likely aware, a cluster of COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been identified there. We are monitoring the situation very closely because of our Bologna program. At this point, authorities are not recommending that U.S. citizens leave Italy. Please know that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is of paramount importance and we are continually evaluating the situation.

As a precautionary measure, the University of Bologna has said there will be no teaching activities through Saturday, Feb. 29. We also decided to suspend Dickinson courses and activities in Bologna for this week. Our center is still open, and our staff and faculty have been meeting with and are available to our students. We have asked that all students stay in Bologna for now and not travel outside of that area. We have also shared with students tips for preventing illness, as well as what to do if they become ill.

Some students have decided to leave Italy on their own, and we will work with those students to resume their semester after spring break. In addition, a Dickinson partner has suspended its program in Florence, and several Dickinson students attending that program will follow that institution’s instructions moving forward.

At this point in time, based on the guidance of the CDC, WHO, International SOS and other leading organizations, Dickinson College is not conducting an evacuation or termination of our program in Bologna.

We have established a webpage that will be updated with current information and resources on the coronavirus. We will continue to keep you informed about our students, faculty and staff abroad.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


UPDATE ON DICKINSON IN BOLOGNA PROGRAM

Sent: February 24, 2020 12:00 PM

Dear students and families,

Several of you have asked us what would trigger the suspension of the Dickinson in Bologna program and what would then happen to students’ academics and credits.

Please note that we are carefully monitoring the situation and are in contact with other institutions that have programs in Italy.  At this time, we do not know of another college or university that has suspended their program and sent students home.  Instead, programs are monitoring the situation, taking precautionary measures, and following the guidelines of local authorities. We would suspend our programs abroad if an emergency rises to the level of a U.S. Department of State ordered evacuation, if an international country forced foreign visitors to evacuate, or if a crisis threatens to incapacitate local resources for safety, safety, and medical care. Please also be aware that Dickinson has planned for contingencies, and, should it ultimately prove necessary, the college maintains the capacity to evacuate students.  At this point in time, based on the guidance of the CDC, WHO, International SOS, and other leading figures, Dickinson College is not conducting an evacuation or termination of our program in Bologna.

If a student decides individually to leave Italy, the college will do everything we can do to work with the student to complete as much coursework as possible via an individualized plan.

If conditions change and the college decides later to suspend the program, we will also work with each student to enable them to complete as much coursework as possible for the spring semester.

Please note that we are currently working on an informational website so that families may more easily stay updated on information as the situation and plans progress.  We will notify everyone when it goes live.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement