Brendan W. Clark ’21
Trinity College announced its decision to suspend all study abroad programs worldwide in response to the continued COVID-19 crisis and President Donald Trump’s recent statements on limiting European travel. The suspension takes effect immediately and impacts Trinity’s partnership programs in Barcelona, Cape Town, Paris, Trinidad, and Vienna. Trinity has also announced that they will be recalling those students “who are being hosted in programs and at institutions around the globe and in two U.S. cities.”
President of the College Joanne Berger-Sweeney, in an email to students and members of the community, added that this decision was made “given the volatility of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.” Berger-Sweeney also referenced a recent decision by the World Health Organization to declare the event a pandemic. This decision was also made in light of the State Department’s issuance of a global health advisory on Mar. 11.
Recalled students will return home and will also receive “remote instruction” according to the email. This decision follows Trinity’s guidance yesterday which suspended in-person classes and has partially closed Trinity’s Hartford campus through Apr. 5.
Trinity had previously suspended its study abroad program in Rome on Feb. 29 in response to the State Department’s decision to raise the warning level to 3 in Italy and the issuance of travel restrictions. Trinity has also delayed celebrations of the Rome Campus’ 50th anniversary in light of ongoing COVID-19 concerns.
Berger-Sweeney indicated that the decision to suspend study abroad programs “follows our outreach overnight to all students studying in Europe, urging them to return home as soon as possible.” The email also noted that the Office of Study Away has been in touch with all impacted students and is working to support them “in numerous ways as they re-book flights and make arrangements to return to their home countries as quickly as they can.”
Despite this decision, Berger-Sweeney implored students to remember that the “Trinity spirit is indomitable” and that “we will find ways to continue to be a community even when we cannot be together.”