Coronavirus (COVID-19) update to SUNY Oswego students studying abroad

February 29, 2020 - 6:20pm

As SUNY Oswego and colleges and universities across the country continue to monitor developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its potential impact on our campus, I write to you today to assure you that the health and safety of all members of our campus community, particularly those students currently studying abroad, is of utmost concern for SUNY Oswego.

The spread of the coronavirus is a fluid situation worldwide and continues to unfold. While most SUNY Oswego programs have not been cancelled, some students are studying abroad in countries classified as Level 3 by the State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those are currently Italy and South Korea.

Our recommendations at this time are:

  • For students in Level 3 countries (currently Italy and South Korea), based on U.S. government advisories we are recommending that you come home at this time;
  • For students abroad in other countries, we are prepared to discuss with you your options, including the possibility of coming home early;
  • For all students, we are prepared to discuss with you any restrictions or screening you may encounter upon your return to the United States and to the Oswego campus or your home campus

In anticipation of some questions you may have, we are proactively providing the following information:

  • If you plan to return home early, SUNY Oswego staff will work with you to help you rebook your travel arrangements with your airline;
  • SUNY Oswego will work with you to minimize any financial impact of your decision to come home early, including advice on dealing with your airlines, and looking into recovering any costs for fees already paid for your program. We are committed to working with each student individually on this issue;
  • Students will have the opportunity to complete their courses and earn the credits for their semester abroad even if they return early. SUNY Oswego will make arrangements for any student in this situation. This will not impact any previously provided scholarship or Excelsior-related financial aid;
  • For students returning early: Your health and safety, and that of the SUNY Oswego campus community, upon your return, is paramount. We will be asking all students who have traveled internationally and are returning to the United States, to complete a SUNY Oswego Travel Declaration form – a declaration outlining where you have traveled since February 15, 2020. This will help SUNY Oswego and the appropriate local and federal officials provide appropriate guidance to protect you and the rest of our student body upon your return to campus.

Please know that my office staff and I, members of the faculty, President Stanley and the campus leadership team, as well as SUNY administration are all communicating and sharing information – with your health and safety in mind. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss your options including the possibility of coming home early, please contact:

Lizette Alvarado -
Programs in Latin America and all CAPA programs

Kelsey Gillett -
Programs in China, Czech Repulic, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, India, South Korea, and Turkey

Jessica Hernandez
Programs in Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain

I encourage you to share this news with your parents or family, and please have them contact me if I can be of any assistance. In the meantime, we have shared below some of the official online sources that we are referring to regarding the coronavirus and related health, safety and international travel advisories.


Joshua S. McKeown, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for International Education and Programs