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The University of Montana announced March 13 it will end all study abroad programs for the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the Global Engagement Office. The decision will affect approximately 60 students outside of the country, as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Donna Anderson, executive director of UM Global Engagement Office, said UM students currently on programs abroad will be asked to return to the U.S. as soon as possible and no later than March 22. 

Sending students home is in response to the Department of State level 3 global health advisory, a press release from the office said. The advisory recommends U.S. citizens reconsider travel abroad due to the impact of COVID-19, which has infected over 1,000 people in the U.S. and declared a pandemic on March 10.

“Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions,” the Curry Health Center said March 12. “Even countries, jurisdictions or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”

Students will be asked to share revised travel plans with the UM global engagement office. If students have a reason not to return, they are expected to contact UM.

If you are a UM student outside of the country or know of a student outside of the country, contact the 24/7 global engagement hotline at (406) 243-4000