(Photo by Noel Celis / AFP)

Mumbai: Students studying abroad are in a fix, as all the major universities including Harvard, US, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany, Charles University, Prague and University of Milan, Italy, have been temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The universities have posted an update on websites informing of the cancellation of all classes, events and activities on the campuses until March 31 and further notice, asking students on spring break to not return post holidays.

On Tuesday, the Harvard University notice stated, “Students are asked not to return to campus after Spring Recess and to meet academic requirements remotely until further notice. Students who need to remain on the campus will also receive instructions remotely and must prepare for severely limited on-campus activities and interactions. We will begin transitioning to virtual instructions for graduate and undergraduate classes.”

The students at Harvard said they have been asked to vacate campus and find alternative accommodations. A student from Mumbai at Harvard, requesting anonymity, said, “I have a sister who lives in another state so I will shift to her place. I am glad I have a backup but what about those international students who have nowhere to go?”

In Europe, apart from shifting courses online, universities have asked students and staff to carry out self-quarantine. A source from Humboldt University, Germany said, “All students, researchers and employees of scientific institutions returning from risk areas are required to carry out a 14-day self-quarantine.”

In Italy, the students said they are facing a hard time as they have been asked to work from home, stay indoors and avoid visiting restaurants and bars. Federico Nazzi, a student in Milan, said, “It is a tough situation in Italy as we cannot travel outside for work or cannot go out to for dining.”

While, major varsities in UK such as Oxford, Cambridge and King’s College London have made preventions, but have failed to stop the closure of the universities completely due to a large number of students.

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