Australia Student Information

March 11, 2020

Dear Students in Australia, 

At Saint Mary’s, the safety of our students is our highest priority. As the global pandemic of COVID-19 continues to evolve, to fulfill our obligation to you, our students, we are suspending all remaining Study Abroad programs, effective immediately. We strongly recommend that you make your way back to your permanent residence as soon as possible.

Returning Home

Please begin making arrangements to travel home now. Most major airlines have waived fees to change roundtrip tickets. Please make arrangements to return to your permanent residence as soon as possible. If you have trouble rebooking your flights and need to book a new ticket, please contact Marcia Fewell with Anthony Travel at or by phone at (574) 631-8521.

Saint Mary's is providing reimbursement for up to $500 in travel-related expenditures for non-waiver international study abroad students, for travel involving return home from the host country. Please submit receipts and explanation of relevant charges to Alice Yang in the Study Abroad office:

Once your travel arrangements are finalized, please share your plans with Dr. Mana Derakhshani, director of CWIL, by text at 847-744-8209 or email at Please include your name in these communications.


You will not lose any academic credits because of this development. The welfare of students is paramount to both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame University Australia and we have their assurance that academic continuity will be supported. More details will be provided in the coming days.

Campus Return

Earlier today, Interim President Nancy Nekvasil made the decision to extend Spring Break by one week and, following the extended Spring Break, to move all campus classes to an online format. Online instruction will begin March 23. All students who reside on campus have been advised to return to their permanent home for the time being and to complete their coursework online. As students returning from Australia, you should also return to your permanent home to complete the final weeks of your international academic program.

Please know that we are here to support you in whatever ways we can. If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Mana Derakhshani, Director of CWIL (, Dr. Alice Yang, Associate Director of International Education ( or Ms. Adriana Petty (

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it diverse and sweeping global impacts. We mourn the brevity of your study abroad experience but we are grateful for the health of each and every one of you and pray for continued strength and flexibility during these difficult times.

Opt-Out Waiver 

If students choose to remain in Australia, an official Saint Mary’s College opt-out waiver must be signed and returned to the College by March 13th at 5 pm EST.  The waiver is available on request.