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Amid coronavirus concerns, CU rearranges plans for students planning to study abroad in China

Education Abroad program managers relocated students in China and made new arrangements for up to 20 others

BOULDER, Colo. — Allie Ramey, Education Abroad program manager at the University of Colorado said that a job that is normally uncertain got even more hectic due to the coronavirus.

"It's stressful for us, but that's the name of the game," said Ramey. "Anything can happen anywhere in the world and you know we had to get students out of Egypt during the Arab Spring that was I think kind of a bigger deal at the time."

Ramie and fellow Program Manager Kelsey Lanning said they worked feverishly Wednesday to move students out of China after the U.S. State Department raised its Travel Advisory for China from Level 2 to Level 3 which means people need to reconsider travel plans there unless necessary.

"It was a busy day, yes, absolutely," Lanning said.

The basis for the Travel Advisory is concerns over coronavirus. Ramey moved to get CU students out of any potential exposure areas.

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"Within 48 hours, they had already flown out to other respective locations," Ramey said.

Dealing with emerging circumstances is part of the job, according to Education Abroad Director Mary Dando.

"Of course, it's a big deal, but we're very prepared to do that," Dando said.

Ramey said around 20 students had to be relocated to other countries instead of following their initial plans to study in China this semester.

"Right now, we're in the thick of working with them to find alternative programs or potentially stay here on campus to get the credits they need," Ramey said.

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Dando said dealing with rising political tensions, potential conflicts, and disease concerns is nothing new over the years. She said their priority is to keep students safe.

"We have their back," Dando said. It's a very well-oiled machine here at CU and that's why we're able to successfully send over 2,000 students abroad every year."

The University of Denver has currently banned trips to China. Colorado State University said that all trips to the region must be approved by administration.

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