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UF cancels study abroad program in Italy over coronavirus concerns; 43 students, staff members return to US

Jazmin Malaczewski is under a 14-day self-quarantine and plans to return to UF next weekend.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — It was a study abroad trip Jazmin Malaczewski anticipated and planned for since she was a freshman at the University of Florida. 

"When they started talking about possibly traveling in your final year of architecture school, I actually started crying because I never thought that I would be able to do something like that," she recalled. 

Now, a senior majoring in architecture, her time in Italy this semester was cut short over fears of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. 

"I just ended up being able to go there last minute and just took a leap of faith," told First Coast News, "so, having to come home so soon, I will say it was really disappointing to me."  

RELATED: Italy's coronavirus restriction zone expands across the country

UF cancelled the program about halfway through, requiring the 41 students and two professors to return to the states. Malaczewski says a group of students made a request to the university to stay, but ultimately they were told to pack up and leave.

"We all kind of banded together and one student drafted a document stating that we wanted a choice on whether we stay on a case-by-case basis or we leave," she said. 

Malaczweski says she and 39 others are under a 14-day self-quarantine. We spoke to her from her home in South Florida. She plans to return to UF next weekend where she says the university is helping with housing.

The students will also receive some of their money back. Malaczweski still plans to graduate in May.

"We are still going to meet with our professors that we had in Italy for our four classes that we were taking there and they are going to carry on as expected," she said.

For up-to-date information from the University of Florida about the coronavirus, click here

RELATED: University of Florida suggests more online courses amid coronavirus concerns

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