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Study Abroad Update: Italy

February 29, 2020

Study Abroad Update: Italy

February 29, 2020

Dear Bentley Study Abroad Students in Italy (and Families),

Bentley has been closely monitoring the presence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy on an hourly and daily basis. On the evening of February 28, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) increased their Italy warning to level 3 recommending travelers to avoid all non-essential travel to Italy. As a result of this development, Bentley University is requiring that study abroad students currently in Italy make arrangements to immediately return home. 

If you are currently in Italy
Please contact your airline to arrange a flight back to the United States. We understand that there is likely to be an increase in the number of travelers leaving Italy in the coming days. Any student who is unable to secure plans to depart Italy by Friday, March 6, please contact study abroad advisor Laura Bentley at to request guidance.

Once you have made departure plans, please contact Laura Bentley to report your departure date, departure city, arrival date and arrival city.

Change Fee Reimbursements
If not already provided by your study abroad program, Bentley University will reimburse the cost of your airline change fee for an economy class ticket for any existing flight reservation from Italy to your home. You may make these arrangements yourself and we will reimburse within the parameters above. Receipts may be emailed to Laura Bentley.

Follow Guidance Provided by CAPA, IES, JCU and LdM. You have received guidance directly from your program about next steps to continue academic coursework remotely. Continue to keep in contact with Laura Bentley as well as relevant academic advisors at your program.

Student Support over the weekend
Contact your program’s onsite staff, emergency contact, or Bentley University Police at +1.781.891.3131 whose dispatchers can reach the Cronin Office of International Education team. The International Education team and members of the Bentley community are on standby to advise students as needed.

As you leave Italy, keep in mind that Italians will continue to work to contain the spread of Coronavirus in Italy. Please help us in thanking them for their warm hospitality, and in showing Bentley and US support as they continue to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 in their community.

We thank you for your patience this week we collectively navigate this unprecedented period. We know how important your semester abroad is and we have not taken this decision lightly. The safety and wellbeing of our students remains Bentley’s priority. The emergence of COVID-19 is not something that the higher education or public health community could have anticipated, but we still understand the impact this has on your semester abroad and realize this early departure may be disappointing. Please know that we are here to support you through the transition in cooperation with your study abroad providers and will continue to do so to ensure you earn academic credit.

Bentley will continue to post updates on our response to the coronavirus at

If there are any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Natalie and the International Education Team


Additional advice from Dr. Anjini Virmani, Associate Dean for Student Affairs for Health, Wellness and Counseling:

Upon return to the US or home country, we recommend students return to their home or family home for 14 days. This step will protect the broader community and is similar to recommendations issued in January for travelers returning from mainland China. Students should monitor their health for 14 days including watching for respiratory symptoms, fever, cough and shortness of breath. Ideally, use a thermometer and check for fever twice daily—morning and late evening. If students are ill, they should call their local health care provider to seek medical advice and inform their doctor of their recent travel. During these 14 days, individuals should stay home and limit their interactions with others as much as possible. Public Health offices may also contact anyone returning from a higher risk area about health precautions to follow. As always, personal physicians are also a resource for consultation.

These actions are being taken to protect your health and the health of vulnerable populations during this uncertain situation. Our clinicians at the Health Center are available to assist and support you if you have questions. Please email Dr. Virmani for medically related questions at The CDC website offers helpful guidance about Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as tips to prevent the spread if illness at