March 16: Australia Announcement
Dear Australia program students, parents and guardians,
We appreciate your flexibility as CSB/SJU continues to manage the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic across the globe. Moreover, we thank you for your patience as we have carefully evaluated the recent advisories from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Our primary concern remains to be the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff around the world.
Today, after very careful evaluation, the Provost’s office issued a strong recommendation that CSB/SJU students depart the Spring Australia 2020 program and return to their home residence. At this time, we ask students to begin the work of changing your flights to return as soon as possible and no later than Saturday, March 21st.
CSB/SJU has made the decision based on many factors, that include:
- An elevation by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to Global Alert Level 2.
- The U.S. Department of State has issued an elevated Global Level 3 Health Advisory.
- The continued evolution of U.S. and international government actions and travel restrictions that may complicate a students’ return home.
- We are aware of peer U.S. institutions who have also come to the difficult conclusion that they must suspend their Australia study abroad programs.
We know this is a very upsetting decision for our students who were hoping to complete the semester abroad, but we must take these recent developments seriously, and respond accordingly, to support the health and safety of our students. As such, we are strongly recommending that all Australia students depart their program as soon as possible, but no later than Saturday, March 21, and return to their home residence for the remainder of the semester. When changing your ticket, please state to the airline that you were mandated by your university to return home in response to the recent developments with COVID-19 to potentially help defray change fee costs.
Students, stay tuned for more instructions on the continuation of your academic coursework. Please be assured that we are working out a plan for you to receive full academic credit for your course work/internship. More details will follow soon.
It is CSB/SJU’s strong recommendation that students return home. However, we acknowledge that the situation in Western Australia, along with the strength of our partnership with UNDA, make this program unique. To date, the COVID-19 cases remain significantly less in Western Australia than the United States. Moreover, the health system infrastructure combined with UNDA’s COVID-19 mitigation plan, provide additional support for the students. Nonetheless, we must ask students, parents, and guardians to acknowledge that risks still exist. We are offering a limited option for students to stay should they agree to acknowledge and comply with new program restrictions. Students will be contacted with more details about this option.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate these changing circumstances together.
Director, Center for Global Education