Temple to bring students home from Rome campus

View of Rome, Italy, from the Castel Sant'Angelo
Photo credit MasterLu/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against all nonessential travel to Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak, Temple University called for students in its Rome program to return home. 

In a statement on Temple's website from Fay Trachtenberg, interim director and acting dean of the Rome campus, the program will close its in-person academic operations for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

Trachtenberg said the decision was made as a result of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State's elevated travel warnings for all of Italy.

"What that means is all of the classes that would normally have been taught at Temple University in Rome are going to be taught online," said Temple spokesman Ray Betzner. "We have a total of 277 students at Temple Rome. All of those students are being brought back home.

According to Betzner, students were required to buy round trip tickets to Rome and back. United, American, and Delta airlines have all agreed to waive exchange fees to reschedule return flights.

Students were informed to gather their belongings, leave Italy and return home. If the students choose, they can return to Temple's main campus in North Philadelphia where assistance to find housing will be provided at no additional cost. Temple Rome faculty members will offer classes to students starting March 9.

This follows Villanova University's decision on Wednesday to bring its students studying in Italy home. Penn State is also working to bring its study abroad students back.