Following actions by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. State Department, IFSA made the difficult decision to close its onsite operation of its Rome, Italy program, effective March 4, 2020. Although the students will leave Rome this week, they will complete their coursework remotely once they get settled back at home. Students will receive detailed information about this in meetings with the IFSA onsite staff prior to their departure this week.
IFSA’s Influence in Society and Business program in Rome will conclude onsite with the last day of classes on Tuesday, March 3 followed by a final dinner with their partner Italian families. The program will officially close on Wednesday, March 4. Students are encouraged to depart the country on March 4 or 5 as they are able. Student insurance coverage through CISI, IFSA’s insurance partner, will extend through Friday, March 6. While we deeply regret that our students had a shorter immersive experience in Rome than planned, we are pleased to be able to support their academic needs by delivering their classes remotely through the end of the semester.
Recent developments of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in Italy caused the CDC to elevate its travel warning to Level 3 on Friday, February 28. Level 3 is the CDC’s highest level indicating travelers should avoid nonessential travel in the country. Subsequently, the U.S. State Department elevated its travel advisory to Level 3, Reconsider Travel. U.S. colleges and universities as well as study abroad providers like IFSA often use these government agencies as part of Health and Safety protocols guiding travel to and program viability in specific countries. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has caused travel warnings impacting study abroad programs in multiple countries this spring, including China and Italy.