File photo of Shanghai, China | Photo by Kelly Rodriguez
Students studying abroad with Pepperdine’s Shanghai international program will return home this week amid growing concerns of Wuhan coronavirus.
Shanghai participants received an email from Executive Director of International Programs Beth M. Laux at 6:14 a.m. Wednesday morning (Shanghai time) informing them of the suspension of their program. Most students are currently out of the country for their one-week travel break that follows the Chinese New Year, according to the email.
Email to Shanghai program participants from Beth M. Laux, Executive Director of International Programs, about the decision to suspend the program for the Spring 2020 semester
“As always, the safety and well-being of our students is the University’s highest priority,” IP wrote in the email. “Based on all information available to the University at this time, including the spread of the coronavirus, related travel warnings from national and international organizations, academic programming needs, and our care for the student experience, the University has made the decision to suspend the Shanghai international program for the Spring 2020 semester.”
International programs instructed students to return home to their families at their permanent residences for the next two weeks. The university will be providing travel arrangements for students at no cost, and they will hold no remote classes during the two-week delay.
An email was sent to the entire Pepperdine community Tuesday afternoon, announcing the suspension.
Email sent to Pepperdine community from Public Relations Office announcing suspension of Shanghai program
Shanghai students will resume their classes with their cohort Feb. 17, 2020, on the Malibu campus, according to the email.
At the time of this reporting, there have been at least 4,600 confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus in mainland China, according to CNN. The disease has spread to more than 17 countries and claimed the lives of at least 131 individuals. The L.A. Times reported that there have been two confirmed cases in Southern California in the last week.
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