Texas Tech cancelling spring break study-abroad trips

Texas Tech cancelling spring break study-abroad trips
Texas Tech University System logo (Source: Tech system, Facebook)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech University is cancelling spring break study-abroad trips out of caution for the Coronavirus outbreak.

A letter from President Schovanec was released Monday, saying there are no confirmed or suspected cases among the Texas Tech University community, including those who are currently studying and working outside the United States, but the University is taking precautions with the more than 100 Texas Tech students currently studying abroad in countries like Italy and Spain.

The letter states the students returning from affected countries must self-quarantine for 14 days. Decisions will be made for summer study-abroad trips on or before March 31.

More information about COVID-19 and Texas Tech’s response can be found on the Health Sciences Center website here: https://www.ttuhsc.edu/coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR3hnVsMl4abV9AM3R9p5Vx2Nkc6NABBrm_sFZzh9FMZH-b_DsoJLDSGq7g

You can read a full copy of President Schovanec’s letter here:

March 9, 2020

Texas Tech University Community,

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a global health concern, and Texas Tech University is closely monitoring this ongoing situation. At this time, there are no confirmed or suspected cases among the Texas Tech University community, including those who are currently studying and working outside the United States.

Study Abroad Updates and Cancelations

We are taking all appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of all our students, faculty, and staff. Over the last week, we have planned for the return of a few students who were studying abroad in Italy. Today, we have made the decision to cancel all university-sponsored spring break study abroad trips. The University will refund student deposits for canceled study abroad trips through their student account. Reimbursements for prepaid expenses such as airline change fees, cancellation penalties, and lost travel-related deposits will be reimbursed through the TTU travel system. The Office of International Affairs will assist students in processing such reimbursements. Students should cancel any remaining reservations as soon as possible in order to obtain possible refunds and/or unused airfare credits.

We have 106 students currently studying abroad, including 73 at the TTU Center in Seville, Spain. We are in regular communication with these students and will continue to address matters with them as this situation continues to develop. If CDC guidance in these countries changes, we have plans in place for students to return to campus for the remainder of the semester. To ensure we take every precautionary measure, all individuals returning from countries with travel restrictions must self-quarantine for 14 days. All international educational travel is managed and monitored by the Office of International Affairs.

We will make decisions about Maymester and summer study abroad programs on or before March 31.

University-Sponsored Travel

In addition to the cancelation of university-sponsored spring break study abroad trips, we are also canceling all University-sponsored international travel through April 30.

All non-essential, domestic university-sponsored travel through March 31, including activities such as conferences, meetings, and site visits, is discouraged. Please review all essential travel with your Department Chair or supervisor. This applies to university employees as well Texas Tech University System Administration employees.

Personal Travel

We urge you to consider delaying all non-essential personal travel. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. The CDC also has resources available for those who must travel during this time.

Those returning from personal travel to countries with travel notices are also required to follow the 14-day self-quarantine.

We continue to plan for all scenarios, including the possible impact on face-to-face instruction and the implications for online course delivery. Additional information is available on the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website, and we will be providing ongoing updates on the TTU Coronavirus (COVID-19) website as additional information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Lawrence Schovanec

President, Texas Tech University

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