Temple University student studying abroad now trying to get home amid Coronavirus concerns

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Temple University student Emma Stevens has been studying abroad in Rome since the start of the year.

But her educational experience is now being cut short amid growing fears over the spreading coronavirus.

"Right now they are telling us to pack our things up and to leave Italy right away," Stevens said.

Stevens, currently on spring break in Paris, spoke with Action News Saturday and said she and her fellow classmates are in the midst of arrangements with airlines to get back home as soon as possible.

"I'm taking it step by step. So far it's not too costly" she explained.

Temple is joining a growing list of colleges and universities in the area shutting down their study abroad programs.

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Temple University has told its students at the Rome campus they must return back home due to the spread of the novel coronavirus in Italy.

Drexel University and Villanova also announcing their plans to bring students back home.

The announcements coming on the heels of the first COVID-19 death in Washington State and the Trump administration authorizing the State Department to raise its travel advisories to South Korea and parts of Northern Italy to Level 4.

Level 4 the highest advisory due to the greatest likelihood of life-threatening risk aiming to discourage Americans to travel there.

"So, right now if I'm walking down the street in Paris or in Italy, it's really not that different - people are just wearing masks," Stevens added.

That's not to say students aren't worried.

"Right now we have a group chat. A lot of us are concerned about changing flights. I guess we're all just really bummed out because we thought we were going to have all this time now that's just all down the drain," she said.

Students have been told to expect heighten screenings when they get to the airports, and to leave extra time to make their flights.

Online classes for those impacted will begin on March 9.
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