North Texas schools bring students home early, cancel future study abroad trips due to coronavirus

Multiple North Texas schools said Monday they will bring students back currently studying overseas and cancel future abroad trips due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Bishop Dunne High School, Ursuline Academy, the University of Dallas and Southern Methodist University were some of the schools who said they had to make tough choices to protect the safety and health of students and staff.

Bishop Dunne Principal Mary Beth Marchiony said the spring trip to Italy the school's been planning since last year was now a no-go.

On Friday, the state department raising the health advisory for Italy to Level 3, meaning the CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential travel there.

“The concern is that I'm taking other people's children and that my number one priority has to be the safety and security of those children,” Marchiony said.

Ursuline Academy postponed upcoming global exchange visits to Jordan, France and South Africa.

The University of Dallas is bringing home all 100 students studying abroad in Rome, including some who FOX4 spoke with via Facetime last week. Those students will live at home to finish the semester, taking classes online.

SMU also said all of its students and faculty currently abroad are requested to return home and self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus. SMU cancelled all summer abroad programs as well.

Bishop Dunne said 39 students and chaperones were booked on the Italy trip scheduled to leave March 14. It cost about $4,000 each -- including travel insurance.

“Students have raised money in some cases,” Marchiony said.

They were initially told they wouldn't get any kind of refund because they didn't cancel 30 days in advance. The school is now trying to work something out with the travel company.

“I think our families understand, we can't go. But now I have to explain to them how I'm going to manage their financial investment,” Marchiony said.