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These Central Florida Students Won't be Able to go on Study Abroad Because of Coronavirus

Some students will have to postpone their studies in Asian countries. Photo: Alexis Brown
Some students will have to postpone their studies in Asian countries. Photo: Alexis Brown

Universities are cancelling study abroad programs to countries where there have been coronavirus outbreaks. Most of these programs are located in mainland China or other Asian countries. 

The University of Central Florida and the University of Florida have canceled study abroad programs to mainland China this summer. UCF has also canceled study abroad programs to Hong Kong, South Korea and Mongolia out of an abundance of caution. 

Valencia College has not issued any restrictions yet and Stetson University considers to consider trips on a case-by-case basis.

Semester at Sea which offers students a ship-based study abroad program, has also experienced disruptions because of COVID-19. 

Layne Hanson says forty students from Florida universities are currently taking part in the Spring Voyage. She says they've encountered travel disruptions because of the contagious respiratory illness.

“Just yesterday the Seychelles denied us entry. That’s the only country that’s actually denied us entry despite there being no health concerns at all on the ship.”


Hanson says program leaders decided not to make planned stops in China, India and Malaysia because of confirmed cases in those countries.

“And so it’s just been really difficult for us to stay ahead of how those policies and processes in each country are changing and how we then adapt to those.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Americans avoid nonessential travel to China and South Korea and reconsider cruises to or within Asia. 

The CDC says 12 out of 14 confirmed cases in the United States have been travel-related. 

For the latest travel restrictions from the CDC click on the link.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.