To our IE3 community,
IE3 Global has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world and its impact on education abroad programs in the U.S. and globally. In alignment with Oregon State University’s international travel policy, the World Health Organization’s recognition on March 11th of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and to prioritize the health and safety of all university travelers, OSU has decided that all non-essential OSU-sponsored travel is suspended effective March 14th. As an OSU program, IE3 Global adheres to OSU policies.
This means that IE3 Global Spring 2020 programming is suspended until further notice.
We have instructed students abroad to return to their home of record.
The decision to suspend ongoing study abroad programs was made in consideration of several factors. Given the increasing magnitude and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is concern about the capacity of local infrastructures to provide the necessary assistance to all students abroad should they be impacted by the virus. In addition, travel restrictions and uncertain flight availability could limit options for students’ safe and accessible return. Finally, there are no assurances that normal study abroad activities will be able to resume in the near term.
We are reviewing program costs to determine expenses that are recoverable and/or unexpended for which students can be reimbursed. Additionally, we’ve asked students to contact the airlines directly to ask about changes to booked flights and possible fees. We have encouraged students to advocate to the airline for a fee change waiver, which many airlines are offering at this time under these circumstances.
After ensuring the safety of our students, our main goal is to secure the continuation of academic programs through alternative delivery methods. IE3 Global staff are working in close coordination with host institutions and in-country colleagues to address any academic implications of departing before students’ academic program is complete.
We have instructed students to be in touch with their home institution regarding spring term registration options, if applicable.
We appreciate everyone’s adaptability and understanding during this unfortunate and unique situation. Mr. Samuel Gras, International Health and Safety Coordinator, has been following up with all our students abroad to provide additional guidance. To reach him, or any of our IE3 team, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.