To: NYU Students at Study Away Sites
Date: March 2, 2020

Dear NYU Study Away Students in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, and Tel Aviv,

As we communicated to you last week, the University’s decisions about its academic programs are guided by two principles: our responsibility for your safety and well-being, and our responsibility for your academic progress.

We appreciate that there are a wide range of views -- and comfort levels -- with your continuing to study away this semester. However, we are mindful of new advice from the CDC concerning study abroad, and accordingly, we have developed new guidelines that aim to provide you with as much flexibility as possible in order to make the decisions that feel best to you and your families. Of course, given this is a rapidly evolving situation, we must all remain open to further adjustments should events require us to make them.

  • Each of you studying outside of the United States has the option either to continue your studies in-person at your current location, or to return home and complete your semester coursework remotely utilizing distance-learning resources, including Zoom. Given that this would be a voluntary step, you would be responsible for any related travel costs.
    • For those students who choose to remain at their current sites, courses will continue to meet in person. We remain satisfied that we can appropriately and safely deliver classes at this time in these locations.
    • If you choose to return home, it is essential that you notify your local Student Life team so that they can assist you with checking out of your housing, and work with you on any other necessary arrangements. It is also critical that you share your itineraries with your Student Life team so that we know who has returned home.
    • For those students who plan on returning home and taking their courses remotely, please note that it will take us up to two weeks to fully implement this shift for each site.
    • Rest assured that you will receive updates from your sites regarding the date you can expect your specific courses to resume remotely, and you will not be disadvantaged academically. If you end up missing any in-person classes during this period, your instructors will work with you to catch you up.
    • While we anticipate being able to offer the vast majority of courses remotely, we also recognize that this may not be the case for all of them, and will work with you on a case-by-case basis should you have courses that you are unable to continue with from home.
    • If you wish to depart now, but face financial challenges that would restrict your ability to do so, please email
  • Some of you have asked about the possibility of returning to your home campus, or possibly switching to another NYU location. Among other considerations, given we are nearly half-way through the semester, it simply is not feasible to accommodate such requests. If you decide to leave, we strongly encourage you to return home and complete your studies remotely.
  • We are pleased that despite these extraordinary circumstances, you will be able to continue to make the academic progress that you had planned for this semester, and as a result, anticipate that the vast majority of you will opt to continue with your courses. However, please note any requests must follow the regular term withdrawal procedure. Any questions regarding the withdrawal process can be directed to NYU’s Office of Global Programs, at
  • If you plan on returning home, we urge you to review any policies that the country you will be returning to may have implemented, so you are prepared for the possibility of a self-isolation period, etc. These guidelines are changing rapidly, so it is essential that you follow them closely.
  • The risk of your having been exposed to COVID-19 is low; still, it is common sense to practice good personal hygiene, such as coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue; washing hands frequently; avoiding those who appear to be sick; and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. It is also common sense to monitor your own health – this is cold and flu season, so respiratory symptoms are not unusual. However, if you begin to feel sick -- and especially if you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath -- please do seek out medical attention. More information can be found on the CDC website and on this NYU Student Health Center page.
  • If you plan on remaining at your current location, we urge you to reconsider any international travel that you may have scheduled for your respective spring breaks, and to reconsider travel within the country to regions where reports indicate COVID-19 may have emerged. With regard to international travel: in addition to the potential for increased health-concerns, you may find yourselves unable to return to your current site given rapidly changing entry regulations.
  • We will be sharing this email with your parents and guardians, and strongly encourage you to speak with them regarding your individual planning.

As always, we deeply appreciate your partnership in navigating this challenging situation together. And of course, you should feel free to speak to a member of your local student life team should you have any questions.


Jack Briggs
Vice President, Global Resiliency and Security
New York University

Carlo Ciotoli, MD, MPA
Associate Vice President for Student Health
Executive Director, NYU Student Health Center

Josh Taylor
Associate Vice Chancellor, Global Programs & Mobility Services
New York University