SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — 350 Syracuse University students studying abroad in Florence, Italy were told they have to the leave the country by March 1.
Senior Vice President of International Programs and Academic Operations Steven Bennett said the students have a few options when it comes to finishing their course work.
“Almost all courses will be offered online … students can choose to take the course at here, from home or anywhere else,” said Bennett.
He acknowledged the lost experience that these students had by their semester abroad being cut nearly two months short.
“It was a shocking disappointment for them, to have abruptly end their study abroad experience,” said Bennett.
Some students currently studying in Florence do not agree with the decision to have their program suspended.
“I personally think that it was a bit of a drastic decision” said SU-Florence student Annika Carlson. “I really just to not agree with the decision at all. If I were the administration, I would have done something differently.”
Carlson said that she hoped the administration would cancel classes for a week, to see if things would calm down, before making the decision to suspend the program.
Another student studying in Florence this semester also thought it was too early to suspend the program, but he understands the situation The University was put in.
“Personally, I think they are overdoing it, but the Italian government says you gotta do it, then the university does not really have a choice,” said Aidan Mihalik.
Bennett said that there are plans in place if students at any of Syracuse’s dozens abroad programs become at risk, but they will not act until they have to.