Montclair State University has canceled all study abroad programs to and from China due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Domenica Dominguez, the Director for the Office of International Engagement, explained what they did during the crisis in the study abroad program.
“In this situation, we checked very early on whether any students were on programs in China or planning to go to China for spring and confirmed that we have no students enrolled in programs in China for spring term,” Dominguez said.
Montclair State spoke with the Chinese students who were scheduled to come on Feb. 7 and explained that they were canceling all arrivals of students originating from China. These students have been given the option of taking six credits online or participating in on-campus programs in July 2020 and February 2021.
The Office of International Engagement has also suspended all applications for summer and fall programs to China. Students in neighboring countries have not voiced any concerns to the Office of International Engagement, but they continue to monitor the situation with students abroad.
“There are just a few students enrolled in study abroad in Asia this semester,” Dominguez said. “But the State Department has not increased the risk level for any of those destinations. International Engagement continues to monitor advisories and communicate with the students.“
Currently, Montclair State has 56 international students from China here for the 2020 spring semester that transferred in before Feb. 7. None of those students have shown symptoms of the coronavirus.
According to Erika Bleiberg, Director for Media Relations at Montclair State, all Chinese students have been in the United States for longer than 14 days and have passed the incubation period.
A pamphlet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in China, and limited spread among close contacts has been detected in some countries outside China, including the United States.”
The risk of infection depends on how much one person has been in contact with someone with the virus. There have been no reported incidents within New Jersey, and only 15 confirmed cases in the United States.
The CDC pamphlet states that the virus is not spreading throughout the United States. People in China or people who have traveled to China are at the greatest risk of infection.
If any students are feeling ill, suffering from symptoms or concerned, they are highly encouraged to contact the University Health Center for screenings and information.
Talia Fulton, a freshman psychology major, believes that there should be more done before the school makes their decision.
“Personally, I don’t think that they should do that to the students who study abroad,” Fulton said. “Obviously, they should be tested or something to see if they have [coronavirus] or not, but if they don’t, then there shouldn’t be any reason why they can’t proceed their education here.”
Rebeca Magana, a freshman business and marketing major, does not believe that the coronavirus should stop students from receiving their education.
“I think it’s messed up,” Magana said. “Not everybody has [the coronavirus] and I think that the people who come here can come if they want to because I don’t think that stopping their education is perfect at all.”