COVID-19 Update: 3/16/20
All students studying abroad were contacted via umn.edu email with instructions to return to the US immediately. Information for the University community is centralized on the GPS COVID-19 response webpage, global.umn.edu/travel/covid19.
COVID-19 Update: 3/12/20
Information for the University community is centralized on the GPS COVID-19 response webpage, global.umn.edu/travel/covid19. All students studying in Europe were contacted via umn.edu email with instructions to return to the US by Friday, March 20.
COVID-19 Update: 3/2/20
New developments have precipitated additional changes to international University Travel Restrictions. Information for the University community has been centralized on the GPS COVID-19 Response webpage. Refer to this webpage for updated details: global.umn.edu/travel/covid19.
COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy: 2/29/20
In consultation with public health and international safety experts, the University of Minnesota has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in Italy for the spring semester. Major factors were the raising of both the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory and the CDC's travel health notice to a Level 3. There are no confirmed cases of the virus at any of the University of Minnesota’s five campuses.
COVID-19 Outbreak in South Korea: 2/27/20
In consultation with public health and international safety experts, the University of Minnesota has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in South Korea for the spring semester. A major factor was the U.S. Department of State’s decision to raise South Korea’s travel advisory country-wide to a Level 3. Recent announcements of reduction in air service to South Korea may also make an exit from the country more difficult in the coming weeks or months.
Update to UMN travelers about COVID-19 Outbreak: 2/26/20
An update from our Director of International Health, Safety, & Compliance:
As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads to more countries and the chance for misinformation expands, we know that travelers may be fearful. We want to emphasize that the University of Minnesota has implemented NO travel restrictions related to COVID-19 except for travel to China. The situation is evolving rapidly and the University continues to monitor developments and respond appropriately.
If you are currently abroad for University purposes:
- We strongly advise you to consider potential consequences of deciding to travel outside of your host city. Situations and conditions in your host city or the city you are visiting could change while you are traveling and make returning to your host city difficult. If you do choose to travel, you should notify your program or UMN contact before leaving to share destination and contact information.
- The CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks for the general public. See the UofM coronavirus information website for more information on how to protect yourself from contracting the virus.
If you have international travel planned later this year:
- There is no need to alter travel plans at this time.
- The University continues to monitor the situation and will make decisions and further suggestions if the situation changes.
For more information and updates on COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:
- UMN Public Health Alert: Coronavirus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- UMN Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy: 2/24/20
The Learning Abroad Center, in consultation with the university’s Director of International Health, Safety, & Compliance are closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Classes in Milan have been canceled for the week. Slight alterations have been made to the program in Florence to avoid class visits to crowded places, but the rest of the program is currently operating as normal. Students in Florence have been advised not to travel to northern Italy.
Coronavirus Outbreak in China: 1/28/20
The GPS Alliance, in coordination with University partners, is closely monitoring the emerging public health concern involving the coronavirus and possible impacts on students, faculty, and staff.
In consultation with public health and international safety experts, the University of Minnesota has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in China for the spring semester. A major factor was the U.S. Department of State’s decision to raise China’s travel advisory country-wide to a Level 3, with Hubei Province remaining at a Level 4. In addition, the CDC has raised its alert level for China to a Warning Level 3 (their highest level) and has recommended against travel to China. There is also growing concern that travel restrictions could expand and make an exit from China more difficult in the coming weeks or months.
For more information on the Coronavirus Health Alert, visit the UMN Safe Campus website.
Bushfires in Australia: 1/6/20
Australia continues to deal with the impact of ongoing bushfires. We are continuously receiving updates from our partners in Australia, and they advise that the fires are still a fair distance from the cities. We do not anticipate the start of the spring 2020 semester being affected in any way. While our partners are advising students with asthma or other respiratory conditions to explore precautions due to air quality, all other program preparations are going forward as normal. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and make any program adjustmests as needed.
Security Situation in Kenya: 1/6/20
On Sunday, January 5th, there was an attack at a Kenya Defense Force in Manda Bay, Kenya. The location of the attack is far from where our students will be studying (10 hours from Nairobi), and is in a location that is off-limits to our students. We will continue to monitor the situation.
Security Situation in England: 11/29/19
The US Embassy in London sent a security alert on 11/29/19 of a security incident at London Bridge. All UMN students in London are safe and have been accounted for. Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center and the University of Minnesota. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.
Security Situation in Ecuador: 10/12/19
The US Embassy in Ecuador sent an emergency message on 10/12/19 that road blockades were in place in cities and towns throughout the country, including within the capital Quito, as part of ongoing demonstrations by indigenous groups, workers unions, social organizations, and transportation groups on strike. Classes were cancelled 10/11-10/15 on the MSID Ecuador program based in Quito. Classes resumed after the US Embassy sent a follow up message on 10/14/19 that road blockades had been lifted throughout the country as part of an agreement reached between the Government of Ecuador and protest organizers.
All students on the MSID Ecuador program are safe and have been accounted for. Student safety is of the utmost importance to the Learning Abroad Center and the University of Minnesota. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.