Delaware Public Media

Coronavirus travel ban affects international students at First State universities

Feb 12, 2020

International college students at First State universities are making adjustments due to travel restrictions related to the new coronavirus.


As of February 6th, the United States is banning non-nationals or non-residents who have been in mainland China in the past 14 days from entering the country.

Classes for spring semester started at the University of Delaware Monday and 244 students are not able to attend as a result of the ban. UD officials say all the students are Chinese nationals, with the exception of one from Hong Kong.

The university sent a letter to these students last week explaining their options for continuing their studies.

UD Deputy Provost Lynn Okagaki says one option for students is to take a leave of absence.

“While they’re on a leave of absence, it’s possible that they can take courses at a Chinese institution and then transfer them back to UD,” said Okagaki.

The second option is to try to complete their UD coursework online.

“We’ve asked them to reach out to their professors and some of them will be able to enable the students to participate in the class in some digital format,” added Okagaki.

A Delaware State University spokesman told Delaware Public Media no DSU students are currently in China but about 60 Chinese nationals are attending classes in Dover right now amid uncertainty as to when the travel ban will be lifted.    

All planned DSU student trips to China through the univeristy have been put on hold.

UD announced earlier this week two of its students are being tested for the virus off campus out of an abundance of caution.