ASU Just Nixed Its Study Abroad Program In China Due To Coronavirus


By Camaron Stevenson

February 11, 2020

At least 1 of the 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. occurred within the ASU community.

ASU has also canceled its summer programs in China, and instituted a travel ban on Jan. 28, ending all institution-related travel to the country. Days after the travel restrictions were announced, Dan Hart, an official from ASU’s Study Abroad Office, sent an email to the eight students studying in China at the time, outlining their options. 

“Although we are not canceling your program and requiring you to leave China at this time, I want you to be aware of that possibility as the situation in China continues to develop. In the meantime, I want to offer you the option to return early,” Hart said in the email obtained by Cronkite News. “Should you choose to remain in China, it is important to remember that there are significant risks in doing so.” 

Seven of the eight students returned to the U.S. after receiving Hart’s email. The eighth student is a Chinese native studying at ASU and opted to remain in the country. School officials have confirmed that none of the ASU China study-abroad students were studying in Wuhan.

Brad Farnsworth, vice president of global engagement at the American Council on Education, said the situation with the coronavirus is more difficult for schools to navigate than when the SARS outbreak occurred in the early 2000s.

“The whole higher education relationship was not nearly as complex as it is now,” Farnsworth said. “We have many, many more students going in both directions.”

At least a dozen schools worldwide are taking similar precautions, the Associated Press reports. The academic upheaval is a result of the novel coronavirus, a deadly virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Since the virus was discovered in January, there have been more than 40,000 cases confirmed globally, resulting in 910 deaths.

Two of the twelve cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. occurred on college campuses, including one case within the ASU community. ASU President Michael Crow stated last week that he believes the coronavirus situation is under control at ASU and encourages students and faculty to have open, candid conversations about the virus.


  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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