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‘A Lot to Handle Mentally’: Students Abroad Deal With Fallout From Coronavirus Threat

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As coronavirus cases continue to surge in Italy, a number of Massachusetts colleges with students studying abroad — like Assumption College and Emerson College — have limited students' travel to keep them out of virus hot spots.

But Stonehill College students studying in Rome got an email Tuesday night that they had 48 hours to leave the country.

"We had to book flights late last night, so we all tried to like get on the same flight, but it's definitely been a lot to handle mentally," said Stonehill junior and Boxford native Allyson Charette.

Charette says while they got to see some of the sights in Rome, Florence and Pisa, they had so much more they wanted to experience in their semester abroad.

"We had a lot planned, even, like, trips that we're out the money for," she said.

Charette says as disappointed as she and her classmates are that they can't stay through May as planned, they believe Stonehill administrators made the right choice.

"It makes a lot of sense, we're just happy they're being proactive and not waiting until it's bad and we can't really leave," said Charette.

But when she flies home Thursday, Charette knows that's not the end of their post-Italian journey.

"We're supposed to have two weeks of, like, self-quarantine, where we like stay home and avoid our school, so that's going to be a bummer where we have to go home and we can't even see the people we want to see until two weeks later," Charette said.

And even after two weeks in isolation, students have been told they'll likely have to finish this semester's coursework online.

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