NYU’s Final Study Abroad Sites Close

NYU Sydney and NYU Accra will cease in-person academic programs for the remainder of the semester. NYU Abu Dhabi is the last global campus to remain open.

Current NYU Sydney students pose in front of the Sydney Opera House. NYU Sydney students were told to return home by March 22 in an email sent out Monday. (Photo by Mark Eels)

Students at NYU’s last two operating non-degree granting campuses, NYU Sydney and NYU Accra, are being sent home, according to emails sent out by NYU Global Programs on Monday, March 16.

This development leaves NYU Abu Dhabi as the only NYU campus globally with students still in residence halls. The emails announcing the closures came hours before University President Andrew Hamilton’s announcement that residence halls on NYU’s New York campus would be closing and classes would continue remotely for the remainder of the semester. 

“As we have navigated the extraordinary challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 virus at all of NYU’s campuses and sites, we have been guided by three core principles: The health and well-being of our student community across the globe, our responsibility to their academic progress, and our responsibility to help check the spread of COVID-19,” both emails stated.

Australia has reported 454 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the time of publication. The country’s government has imposed travel restrictions from abroad and airlines have reduced long-haul flights, which factored into the university’s decision to send students home, according to the email.

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In Ghana, there are currently six cases of COVID-19 at the time of publication. The government has suspended the country’s public school system as well as all universities until further notice. This — paired with international travel restrictions — increasing globally pushed the university to close its Accra campus, the email states.

“We know that many of you will have questions, and there are admittedly still some questions we need to resolve – including working with our partners at the University of Ghana on the possibility of remote instruction for their courses – but for now, we ask you to stay focused on the most important thing, which is getting home,” the email to students in Ghana stated.

Both emails advised students travelling away from their study away sites for spring break to return and move out as soon as possible. Australia has recently required travellers flying in from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days, so students travelling outside of the country for spring break were asked to return directly home and allow the university to pack and ship their belongings for them. 

“It’s just not ideal as far as time of delivery and reliability of the packaging/shipping process,” Nia Harris, a CAS sophomore studying at NYU Sydney, said. “I really don’t trust NYU enough to leave my valuables in their hands without possible damage or theft.”

Students at NYU Sydney and NYU Accra will begin remote classes on March 23, along with the rest of the NYU community. Some students are upset by the quick return to classes.

Online classes will begin next week supposedly, so we will not get an extended break which I think is absolutely absurd,” Harris said. “We barely got a break as we have to halt our plans and find a way home.”

Students at NYU Sydney and NYU Accra will be offered prorated housing refunds, the email states. 

Email Roshni Raj at [email protected]

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