Kasteel students to return on Friday as Coronavirus spreads in Europe

By Dana Gerber, Deputy News Editor

The college plans to send students studying at the college’s Kasteel Well campus back to Boston on Friday after college officials announced earlier this week that the program would conclude early due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs for Internationalization and Global Engagement Anthony Pinder said students will arrive midday Friday at Boston’s Logan Airport, where they will be transported to the Boston campus at no charge, according to an email sent to the 81 students at Kasteel Well Wednesday. Tikesha Morgan, director of student affairs for Kasteel Well, will accompany them and stay in Boston to help the students reacclimatize. 

“While public health recommendations and students’ wellbeing compels us to bring them home, I realize that for many students, this is an unwelcome interruption to a long-anticipated semester at the castle,” Pinder wrote in the email. “Please know we are doing everything we can to make their transition seamless and the remainder of their academic year productive and meaningful.”

The college announced the conclusion of the Kasteel Well program Monday, citing an “abundance of caution” and an uptick in the COVID-19 infections in Europe. As of Wednesday morning, 28 cases have been reported in the Netherlands, according to a World Health Organization report

Students will receive their new housing accommodations when they return on Friday. All Kasteel Well students are guaranteed housing and meal plans on campus at no additional cost upon returning to Boston, according to Kasteel Well Executive Director Dulcia Meijers. 

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As of Wednesday morning, more than 90,000 people in more than 75 countries have been infected with COVID-19; more than 3,000 people have died, including six in the U.S, according to the WHO.

Academic scheduling for castle students remains murky, as some professors are planning to video conference with students from the Netherlands to continue classes remotely on unconfirmed schedules. According to Meijers, midterms are expected to resume at the Boston campus on March 11 and regular classes will resume on March 16. Pinder noted in the email that additional information on academic scheduling, including midterm exams, will come next week.