For Students on CIS Abroad’s Spring 2020 Programs (outside of Italy): Reasons why we ask that you do not travel to Italy this spring

Mar 1, 2020 3:04:23 PM

Dear Students and Families,

As you may know, we have suspended our programs in Italy for spring 2020 due to the US State Department and CDC alert levels. These are extraordinary circumstances, and we are currently unable to ensure a reasonable level of safety for any CIS Abroad student who travels through Italy in this very fluid situation. So, we are asking you not to travel to Italy and here’s why: 

We know that students want to visit the Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore, the Uffizi Gallery, the Colosseum or Rome, the Canals of Venice, etc. As of right now, the United States Department of State is saying that all of Italy is under a level 3 travel advisory, meaning that “health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present”. Some parts of Italy are under a level 4 State Department warning, “this is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.”

If you were to become ill, or injured while traveling throughout Italy, seeking medical assistance may either expose you to greater health risks, or it could become impossible to assure a reasonable level of medical care for you.  Also, you may be quarantined trying to get back to the US or enter the country where you are studying.

Normally, study abroad is about having as many experiences as possible during the term away. This Spring Semester in Italy is not the time to do this. The current situation is unique, and there are real risks associated with the normal behavior of study abroad students who want to travel in Europe.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.