Marist College, which was recently named a top college to study abroad, has shut down a campus in Europe.

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This weekend, the CDC increased its Italy advisory level to Level 3, “Avoid Nonessential Travel,” due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, Marist College announced the college is suspending regular programming and coursework for the Spring 2020 semester at the Florence campus.

"Our top concern is first and foremost the health, safety, and security of our students. While daily life in Florence remains calm, we realize this has been a stressful time for students and families. We are committed to working with each student individually to make arrangements to return home safely," Marist College Dean of International Programs John E. Peters said.

All Marist students in Italy are strongly advised to make immediate plans to leave and return home with all of their academic materials. Marist is providing each student who returns from Italy with a $500 travel allowance, which will be credited to their student account. Returning students will not be permitted to visit any Marist location until after a self-quarantine of 14 days in which they show no signs of illness.

Students will be able to complete the remainder of their spring courses online or through directed study starting March 23. Marist will ensure all students in Italy will have the opportunity to complete the spring semester and stay on track for graduation.

"This decision has numerous immediate consequences for the 163 students studying in Italy this semester, including their transportation back home, as well as their academic progress," Marist College Preisdent Dennis J. Murray said. "I know you will join me in extending your support to those students whose experiences abroad have been disrupted by this unprecedented global public health event. Rest assured that once these students return to the US, we will contact each of them individually to plan their coursework for the rest of the spring semester, either online or through directed study."

In the most recent U.S. Department of State-sponsored Open Doors report, Marist College was ranked #3 among Master’s level colleges and universities for semester study abroad. The College was ranked #4 for long-term study abroad.

The first case of the potentially fatal strain of the coronavirus was confirmed in New York Sunday night.

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