Friday May 1, 2009

A Go

The University of Dayton plans to run its summer education-abroad and service programs in Latin America, Africa and Europe, but will monitor the outbreak of H1N1 influenza and take any necessary steps to ensure the safety of students.

The University of Dayton plans to run its summer education-abroad and service programs in Latin America, Africa and Europe, but will monitor the outbreak of H1N1 influenza and take any necessary steps to ensure the safety of students, according to Amy Anderson, director of the Center for International Programs.

Approximately 400 students are embarking on international trips this summer. The University's International Response Team, comprised of representatives from various areas across campus, is closely examining the health situation, making contingency plans for various countries and will communicate swiftly with students and their families if the situation changes.

"We are following the best practices and recommendations by the experts," Anderson said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that U.S. travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico, but no other travel advisories have been issued. A Center for Social Concern service program in Mexico has been canceled, but that only affected one student.

"As long as there are no other travel warnings or other information that leads us to have concern, all other programs will go ahead," Anderson said.

University of Dayton students traveling abroad have been issued international student ID cards, which provide coverage for emergency situations and include medical evacuations. They're also being urged to pack a travel health kit.

In a letter to students, Anderson offered recommendations for safe and healthy travel and advised them to discuss the issue of traveling abroad with their families and make the choice that's best for them. "If you decide at any point to withdraw your participation for a program this summer, our office will do our best to assist you with other opportunities in the future," she wrote.

Updates will be posted on the Center for International Programs Web site: http://international.udayton.edu/. The site includes a "Frequently Asked Questions" page for travelers.