Carnegie Mellon University

Update on Study Abroad Programs & Coronavirus

Update as of March 19, 2020

With the U.S. State Department’s declaration of a Level 4 Global Health Advisory on March 19, 2020, we have advised all students who remain abroad in study abroad programs to follow the State Department’s advice or to plan well for all contingencies should they be forced to remain in their location for an indefinite period of time. We encourage students to advise us of their plans and to outreach to us if they have any questions or concerns.

Saturday, March 7, 2020 (6:00 p.m. EST)

As articulated clearly by Carnegie Mellon’s president and provost, the health and well-being of our students is of utmost importance.  At the same time, staff of the Office of International Education (OIE) understand that many in our campus community are concerned about the uncertainties related to COVID-19/Coronavirus. We want to assure you that we are regularly monitoring the locations outside of the US where Carnegie Mellon students are studying abroad. 

Per university guidance, all travelers who are located in areas identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and are returning to Pittsburgh, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before coming to campus. OIE staff have been working closely with students studying abroad in those locations to identify alternative plans, as needed. Further, even if travelers are not returning to campus, the CDC recommends a 14-day self-isolation for all travelers returning to the US from countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, returning to any US location.

OIE staff members are also working with students in locations with a CDC Level 1 or Level 2 Travel Health Notice to monitor the public health conditions in their areas/countries, and to discuss alternate plans should there be a need to transition to other locations.

At this time, the university is not requiring Carnegie Mellon students to leave programs that are operating in locations where there is no CDC Travel Health Notice. Per OIE’s regular protocols, should a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory increase to Level 3 or 4 or should the CDC institute a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, we will work with students in those locations, as well as with study abroad program providers, to identify alternate plans.

CMU students studying abroad participate in programs run by well-resourced and responsible study abroad program providers, and others are studying directly at partner academic institutions, all of which have emergency response protocols and are monitoring public health and safety situations. CMU students abroad should pay close attention to the health and safety information provided by their program abroad, as well as local conditions and program requirements.

Recognizing that individual risk tolerance differs, we encourage students and families to discuss their own situations and concerns. Carnegie Mellon is encouraging all community members, regardless of location or age, to follow best practices for good health.

Our office supports and values international education and we hope your semester abroad is going well.  If you do have questions or concerns about your situation, though, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Linda Gentile
Director, Office of International Education