March 02, 2020

The Catholic University of America’s Rome Center has closed for the semester. CatholicU joins dozens of colleges and universities across the country that are returning their students to the United States in response to outbreaks of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy and other areas around the world.

An increase in the spread of COVID-19 in Italy caused the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. State Department to raise the travel advisory for Italy to Warning Level 3. Working in close consultation with its program partners in Rome, the University believes the best course of action to ensure the safety of students currently in Rome is to take this difficult but necessary step.

At this time, other University Education Abroad programs are not impacted. However, the COVID-19 situation worldwide remains dynamic and conditions may change at any time. The University continues to work with international partners, public health officials, and parents, staying up-to-the-minute on the latest advisories regarding other areas abroad where CatholicU students are residing.

Current students attending the Rome Center are being encouraged to follow the advice of global health officials and forego any planned spring break travel and return to their homes in the U.S. or home countries as soon as possible, but no later than Sunday, March 8, when the Rome Center will close for the remainder of the semester. The University will reimburse students for the cost of their travel and is coordinating with families to keep them informed, provide guidance and support as needed.

Following the University’s annual spring break March 9-16, current Rome Center students will complete their courses through distance education. The responsible faculty will be contacting students directly with additional details and next steps. The University is committed to the academic continuity of the student experience, and — while this is a significant disruption — will do everything it can to ensure this semester’s Rome Center students complete their classes.

Although not necessary for completion of their coursework, students who wish to return to Catholic University's D.C. campus this semester will be given the opportunity after at least 14 days have elapsed from the time of their return to their homes in the U.S. or home countries. Those students will need to obtain a letter of clearance from their healthcare provider and send it to Catholic University Health Services prior to their return for assessment and clearance.

Also, recognizing the unexpected — and, to those involved, certainly disappointing — end of this semester’s program in Rome, the University has determined to waive the program fee for any current student who wishes to return to Rome during a subsequent semester.