After WSP Campus Closure, NYU Madrid to Offer Classes Remotely

NYU Madrid is canceling in-person classes in favor of remote lectures in response to coronavirus for the next 15 days starting Wednesday.


Laurie Germain

The Government of the Community of Madrid has ordered a 15 day shut down of all schools in response to the coronavirus. NYU Madrid students were notified Monday half an hour after midnight local time, and were asked to contact Madrid Student Life on their plans. (Photo by Laurie Germain)

Lisa Cochran and Emily Mason

NYU Madrid will be following Washington Square Campus’ lead and switching to remote classes for a 15-day-period starting this Wednesday, according to an email from site director Jim Fernandez on Tuesday morning to students at the site. 

“While last week we had offered you each the opportunity to depart, with this development, we recommend that you return home at this time, and continue your academic program from there,” the email stated. “Should we be able to safely resume courses in Madrid, you will, of course, be able to return.”

According to the email, this measure was incited by a decree from the Madrid government, ordering all local schools to close for a 15-day period. 

There are currently 1,231 cases in Spain, a significant increase from Sunday’s count of 589. The current death toll stands at 30.

On Wednesday, March 3, NYU administration offered study away students the option to return to their homes and opt for virtual classes via the online video conferencing platform, Zoom, but beginning Wednesday, this will no longer be optional.

The day following the email, NYU Madrid held a town hall. There, faculty told students that all reimbursement of housing and courses are up to the discretion of NYU Washington Square Campus, according to an attendee. 

Students whose classes could not be transferred online because of material difficulty or nature would likely have to withdraw from the course and coordinate with advisors to arrange credits for graduation. 

Unlike NYU Florence, students are not being required to move out of their dorms, but the Academic Center will be closed and the email recommended students leave Madrid. 

If you nevertheless decide to remain in Madrid, you will still be able to take your courses remotely, though you will not be able to access the Academic Center,” Fernandez said in the email.

Gallatin sophomore Alejandra Orellana has chosen this option, stating that she plans to take remote classes from her homestay in Madrid.

“I saw it coming,” Orellana said. “I’m not gonna let this mess up my study abroad experience.” 

She further explained what factored into her decision to stay. 

“The virus is everywhere, I really feel like leaving doesn’t do much,” Orellana said. “Especially because they say airports are one of the top places where you shouldn’t go.” 

Madrid’s Office of Student Life implored that students alert them of their plans, offering financial assistance for those choosing to leave. 

“It is essential that you be in touch with the Madrid Student Life team ([email protected]) to let them know what your plans are as soon as possible,” the email reads. “Should you feel constrained in your decision-making process by your financial situation, please also let the Madrid team know so that we are able to work with you on a case-by-case basis.”

Email Emily Mason and Lisa Cochran at [email protected]