Hello faithful followers! You may have noticed that we’ve been unexpectedly quiet on the blogging front over the last week or so. Last week was a planned week off from entries from our student bloggers as Mount St. Mary’s University was on Spring Break. However, the Mount also experienced an unexpected need to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus, in particular with regard to our group studying in Florence.
Firstly, all of our students who were studying in Florence are accounted for and safe. The Mount suspended the program in Florence on February 28, and many of the students, including all of our Florence Bloggers, returned to their homes over the past week. Olivia, Rebekah, and Amara are admittedly disappointed that their semester abroad was cut short, but we are happy that they are home safe.
We also had to determine how to move forward with their studies. Students who write for the blog are enrolled in a 1-credit hour practicum through the Communication Department at the Mount; and because the class is relatively new (this semester is only the third semester we’ve had bloggers abroad), we did not have a contingency plan in place for how to proceed in the event that a program was suspended.
Now we do.
Olivia, Rebekah, and Amara will continue to write for us this semester, taking this week off to collect their thoughts: They will return next week with a couple more posts about their experiences in Italy before their departure, followed by how they found out about the program’s suspension and what they had to do to prepare to come home. Their last couple of posts for this semester will be advice and tips for other students planning to study abroad.
Shelby and Tyler’s experiences in Cuenca have not been interrupted because of COVID-19, so you will see posts continue from them beginning again tomorrow with Shelby’s #MountMartes.
For more information on how the Mount is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, visit the Mount’s COVID-19 Information page.