First and foremost, health and safety is top priority at Norwich. With that said, I write to update you on the recent release from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and Prevention (CDC) relating to CoronaVirus (COVID-19), and share the plan the University has in place, relative to the up-to-date guidance provided by the CDC Travel Advisory.
On March 1, 2020, the CDC released a guidance to Institutions of Higher Education with students participating in exchange or study abroad programs recommending that they consider asking participants to return to the U.S. The full guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/student-foreign-travel.html
I wanted to be the first to inform you that the International Center has contacted every Norwich University student studying abroad with an offer to help each student return early, should they wish to do so. Associate Vice President Thy Yang and her staff are in communication with our partners and their local teams, working together to determine the best course of action for each student and their unique circumstance.
The University will continue to monitor each situation and maintain our established practice of only calling students back when the State Department elevates the host country’s Travel Advisory to Level 4, Do Not Travel, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevates the host country’s Warning Level to Red, Avoid all non-essential travel to this destination. For a complete list of Travel Advisories, go to: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html
I have convened a crisis assessment team to review each and every site to determine a customized plan for potential program suspension or cancellation. Our crisis assessment team will remain in communication with our colleagues across the field of study abroad and our counterparts at colleges and universities across the country, including Middlebury and School for International Training (SIT). Should the situation warrant program cancellation for current semester or Summer 2020, I will be certain to communicate with you directly.
Thank you for all you do in support of our community.
- Richard W. Schneider, President