Week of February 17, 2020


Sent: February 23, 2020 11:35 AM

Dear students and families: 

As you are likely aware a cluster of COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been identified in Lombardy, Italy, which is a neighboring region to the Emilia-Romagna region, where Bologna is located. Bologna is about a two and a half hour drive away from Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region.  We are monitoring the situation very closely and working with our experts to determine the best course of action.  At this point, authorities are not recommending that U.S. citizens leave Italy. 

Authorities in the Lombardy region are trying to identify where the virus started and how it spread and have implemented restrictions on public events and sporting activities. They have temporarily closed some non-essential commercial activities and schools in an effort to limit further spread. 

The University of Bologna has sent out a message that there will be no teaching activities (lectures, profit exams and graduation sessions) from Monday, February 24th to Saturday, February 29th 2020, but that the University's other activities continue regularly and that all offices and facilities remain open according to scheduled times.  This is a precautionary measure and they have advised the community to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, also reported at https://www.unibo.it/en/notice-board/whats-to-know-about-coronavirus-2019-ncov .

As a result, we too will be suspending Dickinson courses and activities in Bologna for this week, however the Center will still be open with our staff and faculty available to students.  We ask that all students stay in Bologna this week and do not travel outside of that area.  Professor Wolff and Professor Grazioli will be contacting all students to schedule a meeting for Monday. 

International SOS, our international travel assistance provider, has been monitoring the situation and has listed Italy at an “Advisory” level.  The company recommends the following: “To prevent infection, pay attention to hygiene, wash hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and keep a distance from people who are sick. Do not travel if you are sick.”  You may also consult their COVID-19 website for the latest information.

There is additional information available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and The World Health Organization also has up-to-date information.

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.

If you have any questions, please contact me. 


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