Western Massachusetts schools canceling study abroad programs due to coronavirus


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some schools around western Massachusetts say due to the changing nature of the disease, they’ve canceled the programs that would bring students to countries that have a high number of cases.

Western New England University has an annual trip to China for engineering students that they’ve canceled. They also have a program that goes to Italy that they said is in “wait and see mode” given how the disease is spreading in the European region.

Other schools such as Smith College and Umass Amherst have also canceled some of their programs that would’ve sent students to countries that are seeing an outbreak of the disease.

David Stawasz, the Assistant Vice President of Western New England University, told 22News that due to the health and safety of their students they have canceled trips abroad.

“The health safety and well being of our students is the number one priority and we’re not going to do anything that puts them in harm’s way,” said Stawasz. “Both trips are far away from what has been the cluster of cases right now.”

And it’s not just Massachusetts, Fairfield University in Connecticut is also canceling some study abroad programs due to the virus. Outside of China, Italy has the highest amount of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world.

According to goabroad.com, Italy is the most common study abroad country for college students.

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