Italy Student Information

On February 29, 2020, Saint Mary’s officials made the difficult decision to bring all students home from Rome for the remainder of the semester. This decision was in response to the Centers for Disease Control and the State Department raising the advisory against non-essential travel for Italy to Warning Level 3 due to widespread outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

The students in Rome received the following information to help guide them through the process of returning to the United States. 

Returning Home

We asked students in Rome to make arrangements to travel home. Most major airlines have waived change fees on roundtrip tickets. Students should make arrangements to return to their hometowns as soon as possible. If students have trouble rebooking their flights and need to book a new ticket, they can contact Gretchen Waide, Director of Operations, Anthony Travel at, or (512) 617-2440 or (501) 204-1180. 

Check-In During Your Travel Home

Students traveling home from Rome should check in with the CWIL Director, Professor Mana Derakhshani, by text at (847) 744-8209 or email at three stages between now and your return:

  • Immediate Check-In: Send your name, current location, and travel plans. For example, let her know if you are currently in Rome or outside of Italy. If outside of Italy, do you plan to return to Rome to collect your luggage? 
  • Departure Check-In: Send your name and confirmation that you have checked in for your departure flight. Include your city of origin and flight numbers.
  • Arrival Check-In: Send your name and confirmation that you have arrived at your destination airport.  


Students will not lose academic credits because of this development. John Cabot University (JCU), the host institution for our study abroad students in Rome, set up the capacity to facilitate online learning, which they expect to have ready shortly after spring break (March 9-13). Students will be able to complete the semester from home. Before leaving JCU, students must complete the “Temporary Leave Form,” which is available at the JCU Office of the Registrar, JCU housing, and on the MyJCU portal. Please deliver completed forms at any housing office, the Registrar's office, or email them to

Campus Return

Our returning students from Rome are under quarantine at home for the 14 days after arrival in the United States (also known as self-quarantine). This means no one is allowed to visit these students, nor are they allowed to visit campus. They will continue their studies online from their home. If they should need to return to campus for business purposes, they may do so after their 14-day quarantine and being cleared by a doctor. IMPORTANT: If friends, family or other member of our campus community should spend time with someone who is currently under self-quarantine, our expectation is upon their return, they will be asked to follow the same guidelines as our students in Rome: self-quarantine for 14 days and return to campus only after you have been cleared by a doctor. 

For questions regarding this process, please contact (574) 284-5000 for assistance or email the Vice President for Student Affairs at


The process of home isolation, commonly known as self-quarantine, is becoming the standard for those who have been in regions where the risk levels are high. This includes Italy, which is why all students traveling home from the Rome study abroad program must follow the procedures established by the CDC on this matter. For a full description of these guidelines, visit


+FAQs for our Students Returning From Rome

Do I need to leave Rome? Saint Mary’s College has decided to suspend its program in Rome. We ask that students leave by Tuesday, March 3 at midnight, Rome time. When the CDC and State Department raised the risk assessment to Level 3, they recommend there be no non-essential travel to Italy. As an institution, we do not support programs that are located in areas declared level 3 or higher.

What are my responsibilities if I decide to stay? If a student chooses to remain and not return home at this time, she must sign an opt-out waiver. If she is exercising her right to submit an opt-out waiver, this was to be signed and returned to the VP of Student Affairs, Linda Timm, no later than noon EST, Sunday, March 1.

Who pays for any fees? 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:

Will I be able to finish my classes at the John Cabot University campus? The College has officially suspended its program in Rome, effective immediately and students are urged to travel home. JCU is planning to continue to offer the classes on campus (as of the JCU communication dated Feb 25). For those who travel home, classes can be completed online, beginning after spring break. We will provide all students with instructions, in coordination with JCU, on this.

If I stay at JCU, can I stay in the residence halls? Saint Mary's College has officially suspended its program in Rome, effective immediately. As of the communication dated Feb 25 from JCU, they are not planning to close the residence halls.

Can I finish my classes at Saint Mary’s? Students will finish their JCU courses remotely from their permanent place of residence in the U.S. JCU is establishing remote learning opportunities that will be available after their spring break, March 9 -13. Students may not return to Saint Mary’s for at least 14 days following their return to the United States, and only then for official business and with a physician’s clearance. Students will not be allowed to come back to the residence halls or classrooms until after the current semester ends. Please send the note to Dr. Alice Yang at before you return to Saint Mary's campus. 

Should I be concerned about midterms? No. Students will have extended time to complete midterm assignments and exams remotely. We are working with JCU for these accommodations.

Will students completing the semester receive credit only or grades that will factor into their GPA? Saint Mary's College will follow standard academic protocol and students will receive grades that will be calculated into their Saint Mary's GPA.  

I heard that ND students are returning to ND. Notre Dame students are also being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, and to obtain a physician’s clearance prior to a return to campus. Once cleared by their physician, some Notre Dame’s students are participating in faculty-led programs and they will return to campus. We don’t know whether Notre Dame’s students at JCU will be returning to the ND campus but they, like Saint Mary’s students, will be continuing the JCU course work online.  

Will Room and Board be refunded now that students are being sent home? Tuition, room, and board were paid in advance directly to JCU as part of the total program cost. Because the costs have already been incurred, there is no reimbursement available.