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Colleges & Universities in Pennsylvania study abroad programs impacted by coronavirus

Some students studying abroad are being forced to come home amid coronavirus outbreak

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, colleges and universities in Pennsylvania are taking precautions as they figure out the best way to keep students studying abroad out of harms way.

“It’s a scary thing to have students aboard, its a scary for the student, it’s scary for us, so we’re just monitoring the whole situation, the totality to make sure our students are in the best place possible,” said Janet Kacskos, spokesperson for Millersville University.

Millersville University confirms it is bringing a student studying in South Korea back home.

The country has the highest number of coronavirus cases outside of china.

“They were with a study abroad program in South Korea and the program sent all of their students home as a matter of precaution,” added Kacskos.

“We have reached out to colleges and universities in Pennsylvania to make sure they are prepared if we have cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health, PA Department of Health.

Most of Millversville students are in Europe.

University officials say they are in constant contact with them and are actively monitoring the situation.

“There is no indication that the students were around the virus at all, it’s just a matter of over precaution,” added Kacskos.

Messiah College also cancelled study abroad plans in China.

A spokesperson there says a student in South Korea is returning home, writing in part: “We’re taking this spike of the coronavirus seriously and are trying to be proactive in our communication to our students about any potential changes to come,” said Danielle Ran, Spokesperson for Messiah College.

“We want everyone to be prepared if we do have those cases and we do have community spread,” added Dr. Levine.

Elizabethtown College also cancelled a spring study abroad trip to China.

Franklin & Marshall College is actively monitoring students overseas.