March 6 Mandel Communication - Study Abroad

Dear Mandel School Community,

As you have most likely heard, Case Western Reserve leaders made the difficult decision to cancel all university-related study abroad programs Monday evening (March 2). Two factors drove this decision:

  • The rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVD-19 and its spread; and
  • The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance that colleges and universities consider canceling or postponing international exchange programs, adding that “students may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad.

At the moment, the study abroad courses planned for May and June have not been affected however, given the fluidity of this situation, that could possibly change. Just yesterday, we learned that Poland (country of one of our courses) had its first confirmed case of COVD-19 with 65 suspected cases.

For nearly 50 years the Mandel School has had a commitment to providing exceptional international educational experiences for our students. This decision to cancel our spring break courses has been particularly disappointing to our students and faculty who lead these courses. The Mandel School study abroad faculty have been working to develop alternative approaches to allow our students to complete their academic requirements and obtain credits. Students will be refunded all program fees for the travel portion of their courses.

Case Western Reserve now encourages all members of the campus community to reconsider upcoming travel abroad—even to those countries with zero confirmed cases. If you know of any students planning to travel abroad during spring break please encourage them to provide their information on this form with the Office of Education Abroad.

Please feel free to reach out to the International Education Programs Office with any questions.


Dr. David B. Miller and Valerie Rambin