Suspension of Spring 2020 Study Abroad in Japan

To all Temple University Japan study abroad students and families,

For those of you who are still in Japan, we are writing to advise that the United States Department of State has just raised its travel advisory worldwide to Level 4: Do Not Travel, its highest level, effective immediately. U.S. citizens currently abroad have been advised to return to the United States immediately, or expect to shelter in place.

Specifically, the U.S. Department of State has written:
The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. 

In light of this announcement by the U.S. Department of State and their advice that U.S. citizens return to the U.S., you are urged to comply with the directive to depart Japan and return home as soon as possible.

We know how disappointing this is, and we are sorry that your semester abroad is coming to an end in this way. Temple's primary concern is the safety of its students and staff in the U.S. and abroad, and while we are very saddened by this turn of events, you must now:

  1. Contact your airline or travel agent to change your return ticket home. 
  2. Before departure, please fill out the Temple Japan Program Return Form indicating when you are returning and confirming that you intend to complete your semester online, to help us support you through this transition.
  3. Please note that Temple University Japan will provide a prorated housing refund for all study abroad students living in TUJ-arranged housing in Homestays or the TUJ dorms. As soon as we know more about the amount and timing of the refund, we will let you know.
  4. We expect that you will continue your online coursework from home. 

These are extremely challenging times, and we are ready to assist you in any way we can.  We advise you to make arrangements as quickly as possible, before travel becomes even more difficult and restrictive.

When you return to your homes, please self-monitor. As I’m sure you’ve read, the U.S. is essentially shutting down in an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19. For the latest developments, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and the Overseas Security Advisory Council.  

We know you likely have a lot of questions. Please refer to the information below for the most updated information available today. As the situation evolves, you should visit Temple’s coronavirus updates site for questions related to COVID-19 and its impact upon the Temple community. We have also included below some frequently asked questions. 

We will continue to communicate with you through this transition. Please contact Education Abroad at 215-204-0720 or with any questions or concerns you may have.  


Lezlie McCabe
Associate Director

Frequently Asked Questions - Temple University Japan - March 19, 2020

TUJ will be holding all classes online through the end of the spring semester. Depending on the instructor, courses may be offered synchronously or asynchronously, but all sessions will be recorded so that students who are unable to join class due to time differences will be able to keep up. Please contact your professor prior to departing to let them know of your plans.

Temple University Japan will provide a prorated housing refund for all study abroad students living in TUJ-arranged housing in Homestays or the TUJ dorms. As soon as we know more about the amount and timing of the refund, we will let you know.

With regard to your return air travel, many U.S. carriers are waiving flight change fees, so you should check with your carrier about changing the date of your return flight without incurring extra costs. If your change fees are not waived, or if you incur additional charges that create a financial hardship, please save your receipts and submit them to the Financial Hardship Request for Reimbursement form. Please note that while Temple will take all reasonable requests under consideration, reimbursement may not be possible or appropriate in all circumstances and therefore is not guaranteed.

Travel to the U.S.
As the situation and corresponding mitigation efforts in affected countries rapidly evolve, travel restrictions or border closings may become more common, and airlines may cancel flights, so it’s important that you return home as soon as feasible. You may encounter heightened screening at airports and borders as you travel. Please leave yourself extra time so that you don’t miss your flights. 

Self-monitoring at home
As you know, you cannot return to Temple’s Main Campus in Philadelphia, where all activity is now taking place virtually. When you are home, it is vital that you monitor your own health for 14 days and minimize your exposure to others. We strongly urge you to follow these instructions prepared by Temple University Student Health Services. Should you become ill with symptoms of the disease, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, you should immediately contact your primary health provider. 

Remaining abroad against Temple and the U.S. Department of State’s Advice
If you are considering remaining abroad for the remainder of your semester, please reconsider your plans. As noted, the U.S. government has suggested that U.S. citizens should expect to remain abroad indefinitely if they do not return home now. We have no way of knowing how long the Level 4 Worldwide Travel Alert might last. If, after discussing this with your family, you decide to remain in spite of our instructions and the directive of the U.S. Department of State, you must log on to and digitally sign the Temple Japan Assumption of Risk and Release Waiver under the Materials section of your program homepage by March 23.