Austria Student Information

March 11, 2020

Dear Students in Austria,

The safety of our students is our highest priority. Given the evolving situation with the global pandemic of COVID-19, the University of New Orleans, the sponsor of the Austria program, has cancelled their in-person program. Saint Mary’s College strongly recommends that you make your way to your permanent residence as soon as possible. While we understand this is very disappointing, the safety of our students is our top priority.  

Returning Home

We are asking you to 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, Anthony Travel at, or (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 Make sure to include your name in these communications.


You will not lose any academic credits because of this development. The University of New Orleans is setting up a process to facilitate remote learning so that you can complete your semester from your permanent residence. They will provide more information on how to check out and online access in the coming days.  

Campus Return

Earlier today, Interim President Nancy Nekvasil made the decision to extend Spring Break and move all campus classes to an online format, beginning March 23. All students who reside on campus have been advised to return to their permanent residence for the time being and complete their coursework online. As students returning from Austria, you should also return to your permanent home to complete the final weeks of your international academic program through the University of New Orleans.

Please know that we are here to support you in whatever way we can. If you have additional questions please contact Dr. Mana Derakhshani, director of CWIL at or  Dr. Alice Yang, associate director of international education at

Opt-Out Waiver 

If students choose to remain in Austria despite the danger posed, an official University of New Orleans opt-out waiver must be signed and return the waiver to Margaret Davidson at by Thursday, March 12 at 5 pm Austria time. The waiver was sent by Margaret earlier today.