Skip to content

Announcements : COVID-19 Updates

Announcement: COVID-19 Updates

Please click here for an update from CSI regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
March 5, 2020
Dear students,
I’m sure that all of you have been watching the news closely in regards to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak around the world.  Many of you may have friends on other programs abroad that have been impacted and you yourself may be feeling the stress of the current situation.  I am certain that this has been trying on you, your families, and those that support you in your education abroad.  Although your programs have not currently been impacted by the virus I understand that you may have concerns over the program arrangements and the future of your program, and wanted to provide you with some additional information.
Academics – We have been working with all of your host campuses overseas to ensure that your academic progress is not unduly disrupted in the event of an outbreak in your location.  To that end, many of you will have the option of continuing your studies on-line and will be given instructions from your host school.  Should that happen, we will continue to monitor your academic progress and will continue to be in close coordination with your host as you complete these courses.  We will then, as we would under normal circumstances, bring those grades and credits back and report them to your home school. 
Inability to remain in your host country – In the event that you are unable to continue your studies overseas, we will assist you in arranging for your travel home.  Please note that there are severe restrictions on travel due to mandatory quarantines and other measures put into place by local and national governments.   It is imperative that you pay attention to any warnings and restrictions.  When returning to New York from heavily impacted areas a self-quarantine for a period of 14 days is being mandated.  Should this be the case for you, we will provide you with additional information.  For those returning to other jurisdictions, please follow the advice of local authorities. 
Staying Healthy – Information about COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus; 2019-nCoV) can be found on the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) website, including information for travelers by county. You may have also heard that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the ongoing coronavirus outbreak a global emergency and has issued advice for the general public to help stay healthy while traveling, practice food safety and protect yourself and others from getting sick. Symptoms of the virus are similar to the common cold and flu. The CDC has recommendations for what travelers do to protect themselves and others:
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.For more information, visit: 
Note: If you have a respiratory condition (common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia) and are in the affected areas, or were, within the past 14 days, or were in contact with someone who recently traveled to the affected area/s, you should be evaluated for COVID-19. Please reach out to your on-site health provider for further instructions.
Lastly, please be assured that we will continue to support you in education throughout your program.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Stephen Ferst Ed.D.
Executive Director
Center for Global Engagement
College of Staten Island
2800 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10314
P: +1.718-982-2100

February 28,2020
Dear CSI-sponsored Study Abroad Students,

As you are undoubtedly aware, COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) infections are spreading across Asia, Europe, and the Americas.  The CDC closely monitors the spread of the virus and the dangers to Americans at home and abroad.  Several areas throughout the globe have been designated as areas to avoid nonessential travel. At the moment, all of the active CSI study abroad locations remain at or below level 2 (practice enhanced precautions).  As this event is evolving quickly we wanted to write to assure you that CSI and CUNY are actively working to ensure the safety of our students and to prepare solutions for students who may be impacted in the coming days and weeks.  CSI has mobilized our campus resources to ensure that we can provide the best support for your continued enrollment this term.

Specific to our students in Italy: As of now, the cases of COVID-19 in Tuscany (Florence) and Lazio (Rome) regions are not a levels where the CDC or State Department has recommend avoiding travel.  Italy is currently at Level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions.  At this time, CUNY is suggesting that students should continue with their studies abroad if they so desire.  Neither LdM nor AUR have plans to close their campuses as of now.  We realize that some of you and your family members are very concerned and wish to return to the U.S.  As you have read in your emails from LdM and AUR, your host institution is willing to work with those who do choose to depart to continue your courses online with the cooperation of CSI and the student’s home campus. 

For all students: If you feel that you need to leave your study site in the future, please be in contact with us at CSI and your advisor at the host institution as soon as possible so that we can best accommodate your needs.

Please know that we are monitoring the situation very closely and realize that things could change quickly. It is important to check your email often for messages from us and, most importantly, from your host institution.   At the bottom of this message you will find additional information and resources to help ensure your continued good health.  The advising team (Russell Davis, John Dunleavy, and Deborah Stengle) remain on call to assist you.  Please reach out to us via phone or email if you have any questions or concerns and please share this email with your parents and others concerned about your health. Should you need to reach us after normal business hours for emergency purposes please contact CSI Public Safety at 718.982.2111 and they will locate one of us.

Thank you for your patience and continued vigilance in keeping yourself and others healthy during this time.


Stephen Ferst Ed.D.
Executive Director
Center for Global Engagement
College of Staten Island
2800 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10314
P: +1.718-982-2100
F: +1.718-982-2108

Additional Information and Resources

The World Health Organization recommends the following steps to protect yourself from contracting the virus:
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Maintain a safe distance from someone who is coughing or sneezing (3 feet if possible) 
  • If you cough or sneeze, use your elbow or a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing – seek medical care early. Tell your doctor of any recent travel or contact with travelers to areas that have had outbreaks 
  • Stay at home if you are unwell to avoid transmitting any illness to others       
  • You will see in the news many people wearing face masks in public, but according to the WHO, you do not need to wear a mask unless you are treating a patient with an infection or if you are coughing or sneezing. When and how to use face covering masks. 

We highly recommend that you check The US State Department travel advisory website here as a matter of practice.  You can read more about the coronavirus from the US State Department, the Centers for Disease Control, and from the World Health Organization. You may also find the Myths About the Coronavirus a useful link. ‚Äč