March 12, 2020
Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,
Global study is a core part of Trinity’s identity. The health and safety of our students, however, must be our priority. Given the volatility of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak—which the World Health Organization has now declared a pandemic—we have decided to bring all of our students home from study-away programs.
Disruptions caused by the outbreak are coming quickly, often without warning, as was the case with the proclamation from President Trump last night that will suspend entry to the U.S. for 30 days for foreign nationals coming from most countries in Europe. In addition, the U.S. Department of State has issued a new global health advisory to reconsider all travel abroad.
We will therefore suspend our programs in Barcelona, Cape Town, Paris, Trinidad, and Vienna and bring home those students (both Trinity and visiting students), and we will bring home Trinity students who are being hosted in programs and at institutions around the globe and in two U.S. cities. We will work with each of them to ensure they can complete their academics for the semester remotely.
The decision follows our outreach overnight to all students studying in Europe, urging them to return home as soon as possible. Our Office of Study Away has been in touch with all of our study-away students today with the news. We are supporting them in numerous ways as they re-book flights and make arrangements to return to their home countries as quickly as they can.
Our hearts are heavy with this decision, as they were with yesterday’s announcement regarding the campus here in Hartford. The Trinity experience is defined in many ways by the connections we make and the experiences we have with one another, both here on campus and around the world. But the Trinity spirit is indomitable, and I know that we will find ways to continue to be a community even when we cannot be together.
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience