Penn State cancels all University-affiliated student spring break travel abroad

March 03, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In light of the rapidly changing nature of the coronavirus worldwide, Penn State has canceled all spring break travel abroad for embedded courses and student organizations.

The cancellation decision considered guidance from public health experts and federal agencies, and is specific to short-term spring break programming abroad.

“We understand that this decision is disappointing to many in our community, but it was not made lightly,” said Nicholas P. Jones, executive vice president and provost. “We made this decision out of an abundance of caution, understanding that things like quarantine requirements, available transportation options, and open and accessible public sites vary from location to location, and are changing daily. Some countries appear to be low-risk right now, but that could change at any moment and there could be significant disruptions for our students while abroad and upon their return.”

Jones added that potential exposure to the virus for travelers during transit to and from their destinations also factored into the decision.

The University will work with students to reimburse them for the costs incurred, including canceled airfares and program fees. The University will not reimburse students for any expenses related to personal travel.

Officials in Penn State Housing and Food Services are working to make residence hall rooms available on campus for students who are affected by these cancellations and do not have alternative housing over spring break.

The safety of all students, faculty and staff traveling internationally is Penn State’s highest priority, and the University has made these decisions with the health and well-being of the Penn State community in mind. Global Programs and Student Affairs are communicating directly with individual participants and will respond to specific questions and provide guidance involving potential challenges.

If you have questions or concerns about Education Abroad, please contact

For individuals going on personal travel with friends or family, the University has a number of recommendations and some requirements, all based on guidance from the CDC, State Department and other national and international health agencies. The University expects all faculty, staff and students to follow guidelines and expectations set by the University.

For the most up-to-date information, University guidance and resources about coronavirus, visit

Last Updated March 03, 2020