Temple, University of Delaware cancel programs in Rome over coronavirus

Temple University campus at North Broad Street in Philadelphia (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Temple University campus at North Broad Street in Philadelphia (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Temple University has recalled students from its Rome Campus because of the novel Coronavirus while the University of Delaware canceled its program scheduled for John Cabot University in that city.

After first just monitoring the situation, Temple spokesman Ray Betzner says they decided over the weekend to cancel classes for the rest of the semester in Italy.

“Our program in Rome is going to become an all online program, so what that means for the 277 students that we have there is we are calling them back home we are tracking them very carefully as they are making their plans,” he said.

The Education Abroad office at Temple University (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Betzner says unlike when they set up an airplane to remove students from their Japan Campus in 2011 when the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melted down, this time the students have to make their own flight changes.

“We did that in Japan because at the time the flights were being canceled going in and out of Japan, or were overloaded. We are not finding it here in Rome, students are pretty easily making their own arrangements,” he said.

Betzner says some students do want to come back to the university to finish the semester but for now they are recommending self-isolating themselves until they are sure they have not contracted the coronavirus.

“Regardless of where they go, we recommend that they do a 14-day self-isolation so that they can be sure they are healthy and well and that they don’t infect family members or others,” he said.

The school is monitoring the situation to make sure everyone gets home safely.

An email sent by the University of Delaware said John Cabot University will offer online classes to students who were planning to study in Rome. UD also pledged to cover costs students incur by canceling the program.

The university is also offering students assistance in rebooking their travel.

“While there is no immediate threat at this time, we are taking this action now out of an abundance of caution for your safety and well-being. We are sorry that your semester abroad has been cut short in this way. Our priority is your well-being, so your immediate return is the best course of action at this point,” the email said.

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