US visiting students in Oxford told to return home

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The Oxford Student can confirm that at least three US colleges have advised their students on visiting programmes at Oxford University to return home as soon as possible.

The move comes after President Donald Trump announced sweeping travel restrictions to the United States from countries within the European Union. Although these travel restrictions currently exclude the United Kingdom, there is an increased concern that the restriction might be expanded.

An email received by Williams College students stated ‘While these changes do not currently impact the United Kingdom, we need to prepare for the chance that things may change rapidly during these unpredictable times.

‘We are asking that you depart the programme and return home at the end of Hilary term. We recommend that you make your travel plans with a return date no later than Wednesday, March 18th’

Every year, approximately 26 Williams students partake in an exchange programme with Exeter College, Oxford.

In a Twitter statement, the liberal arts college also announced that they will end in-person classes beginning 13th March 2020. The College’s President, Maud Mandel said ‘This decision is among the hardest I’ve ever made. My heart goes out to everyone, and especially seniors, for whom this is the last semester on campus.’

Similarly, Virginia Tech sent an email to all of its students studying abroad stating ‘Virginia Tech is strongly recommending all travellers return home as soon as possible.’

A statement from Virginia Tech’s Interim Vice President Frank Shushok, Jr. mandates all work to be completed virtually and submitted remotely. All student events have been cancelled until 30th April.

Pomona College in California is also advising its students abroad to return home. According to the College’s website, they offer 62 study abroad programmes in 37 countries for its students and approximately half of its students study abroad before graduating.