Important Information about Early Programme Closing

As many of you are aware, last night President Trump announced sweeping travel restrictions to the U.S. from countries within the Schengen territory of the European Union for 30 days. While these changes do not currently impact the United Kingdom, we need to prepare for the chance that things may change rapidly during these unpredictable times.

Given these recent announcements, and after many conversations with colleagues at Williams and Exeter, we are asking that you depart the program and return home at the end of Hilary term. We recommend that you make your travel plans with a return date no later than Wednesday, March 18th.  The Office of Financial Aid in Williamstown is also available to help with travel costs. If you booked through Egencia, you should do the same for your return trip home.  Please notify me and Keri of your travel plans once they are arranged.

Please know that this advice is given with the information that we have available to us at this time from the CDC, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Department of State. If you want to know how Williams is also addressing COVID-19 concerns, you can find details here.

Fortunately, for your final term, you are able to complete your last tutorial(s) online. I will contact you with details about that as soon as I can. Please know that I am working closely with Exeter on this and will follow up with you once I have more information to share. We are committed to your academic continuity.

For those of you who feel you cannot return home because of travel restrictions or any other concerns, please come and speak with me. Dan, Max and I will be riding out the crisis here in Oxford and we can work together to determine the best plan forward. I know that this is a lot of information  to process and that this is incredibly difficult to receive.  Please know that it is also incredibly difficult news for me to deliver.  I’m so sorry that your Oxford experience has been less time than we all expected, and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to get to know you all this year.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I am here to help you with departure plans. I will see you tonight at dinner.

All best wishes,
Lucie Schmidt

Professor of Economics and Director of the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University