Iowa State students studying abroad in Italy to return to U.S. due to novel coronavirus


The Campanile and the carillon are frequently known as the “Bells of Iowa State.” The Campanile stands tall with 50,000 bricks and 50 bells.

Sage Smith

Students studying abroad in Italy are set to return to the U.S. earlier than expected as Iowa State has prohibited all travel to Italy in response to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning which recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy.

An email from Jennifer Hogan, program coordinator for design administration, informed some of those studying abroad that they need to depart from Italy by March 6 but are recommended to leave Italy as soon as possible.

The email states Iowa State will cover the reimbursement cost for students for any flight change fees from their original flight. Instead of purchasing a new one-way ticket, it is recommended they work with their airline to change their original flight.

After flight arrangements are made, it is asked that students forward their itinerary and receipt or invoice to [email protected] immediately with “Italy Flight Departure” as the subject.

“Arrangements for remote course work for those courses are still under development and will be approved by the Academic Council should such measures be rendered necessary,” Hogan said in the email.

It isn’t required for those returning to return to Ames but for those who intend to do so, there should be some on-campus housing availability.

“I am sorry that this situation has affected your study abroad experience,” Hogan said in the email. “But we must put student safety first.”

The university has been monitoring the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). On Feb. 29 the university’s website updated to note Iowa State is making arrangements to bring the students studying abroad back to the U.S. The website does not state a specific return date for those abroad.

With the update there is a general questions section which answers some questions people may have about travel restrictions and the risks associated with the coronavirus.

Iowa State is prohibiting student and employee business travel to Italy, China and South Korea until it is deemed safe to do so. The website states that all decisions being made for travel restrictions are based on advisories from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State.

The university also recommends everyone reconsider personal travel to any CDC level three or State Department level four advisory country.

For students, faculty and staff who have traveled to areas impacted by the coronavirus, they should notify Thielen Student Health Center as soon as possible after their return. They can be reached at 515-294-5801 or [email protected].

Reporting contributed by Regan Wyckoff.