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University of Michigan suspends study abroad programs to China amid coronavirus fears

Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. (Credit: University of Michigan)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan has postponed three study-abroad programs to Beijing and China as the coronavirus continues to spread.

The university placed a travel restriction on the entire country of China for its students and faculty in late January.

According to U-M’s announcement:

“Undergraduate students may not proceed with U-M related travel to China and graduate students may only do so with an ITOC approved safety plan, which ensures they are aware of the health risks, have developed strategies to stay safe, and are prepared to shelter in place should China impose additional travel restrictions."

The move comes after universities around the world are scrambling to cancel study abroad programs and restrict travel to China, where the virus originated in the city of Wuhan.

University of Michigan student and 2018-2019 Fulbright scholar Ryan Etzcorn in China. (Credit: Ryan Etzcorn)
University of Michigan student and 2018-2019 Fulbright scholar Ryan Etzcorn in China. (Credit: Ryan Etzcorn)

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 31,481 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as of Friday (31,211 of which are in China) and 637 people have died from the illness.

In the U.S., two of the country’s 12 cases of coronavirus are linked to college campuses: Arizona State University and University of Massachusetts in Boston. No cases have been confirmed in Michigan.

According to the Associated Press, Chinese students make up the largest foreign student population in the U.S. In the last academic year, China sent more than 369,000 students to American universities.

Meanwhile more than 11,000 U.S. students study in China annually.

According to U-M’s international center’s website, the school operates more than a dozen annual study abroad trips to China.

Related reading:

In the U.S., the cancellations are adding to tension between the two governments whose relations were already sour. The scare also threatens to cause lasting damage to growing academic exchange programs which reached new heights over the last decade-and-a-half.

China sends far more students to the U.S. than any other country; more than 369,000 in the last academic year. The U.S. sends more than 11,000 students to China annually

In the U.S., the cancellations are adding to tension between the two governments whose relations were already sour. The scare also threatens to cause lasting damage to growing academic exchange programs which reached new heights over the last decade-and-a-half.

China sends far more students to the U.S. than any other country; more than 369,000 in the last academic year. The U.S. sends more than 11,000 students to China annually.

In the U.S., the cancellations are adding to tension between the two governments whose relations were already sour. The scare also threatens to cause lasting damage to growing academic exchange programs which reached new heights over the last decade-and-a-half.

China sends far more students to the U.S. than any other country; more than 369,000 in the last academic year. The U.S. sends more than 11,000 students to China annually.


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