Purchase College seeks to support study-abroad students amid coronavirus outbreak

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As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to swarm across the globe, students studying abroad in endemic countries are finding support from local universities.

"This spring we have 16 students studying in places all around the world. Just one student in Italy and one student in South Korea," says Purchase College International Programs Dean Anne Kern.

Those countries are two out of the five that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed as severely affected nations, which also include Iran, Japan and China.


Kern says she is in direct contact with the two students to ensure their safety and keep track of course credits.

"We need to make sure that they're able to complete their academic courses in a timely way and be on time for graduation and have it not impact their financial aid," Kern adds.

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While study-abroad programs continue at Purchase, some students are holding back.

"COVID-19 just really gets me anxious, whether its studying abroad or whether it comes to the East Coast, I mean it’s just inevitable by now," says student Jordan Levinson.

Purchase College is just one of many local schools trying to accommodate their international students. Pace University says, "The health and safety of the Pace community is of the utmost importance to us. Pace has restricted university-sponsored travel consistent with the CDC and State Department travel guidelines. We are monitoring the situation closely, and are providing up-to-date information to our community and working with our students who are studying abroad as well as their on-site coordinators."

Mercy College is also encouraging all of its study-abroad students who are planning to travel internationally to stay updated on the spread of COVID-19.

Because the new virus continues to develop, many school officials say they are working with their students one day at a time, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

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