STAMFORD — The American Institute for Foreign Study has canceled its study-abroad programs for this semester in the Italian cities of Florence and Rome, in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Stamford-based AIFS suspended those programs last week in response to travel alerts issued by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It said it is now coordinating the return to the United States of all students who were enrolled in those programs in Italy, which has emerged as the European epicenter of the virus.

“AIFS has been running programs for over 54 years globally and the health and safety of our students has always been our highest priority,” the company said in a statement. “We also consult with a third-party travel security specialist that advises us on the risks associated with travel to different areas in the world and monitor advice from local authorities.”

Citing “proprietary information,” AIFS officials declined to disclose how many students were studying in Florence and Rome programs or say which colleges and universities those students attended.

No students from the University of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Sacred Heart University or Quinnipiac University were studying this semester in AIFS programs in Italy, according to officials from those schools.

Students who return home early from in-progress AIFS programs that are suspended after State Department-issued travel warnings receive a “pro-rata” rebate for tuition, board and lodging for the portion of the program that was not delivered, according to AIFS officials. The refund does not include a non-refundable deposit, application fees or costs incurred by flying home early, the company said.

Approximately 4,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, and about 150 of them have died. The toll represents the largest number of deaths outside China, where the crisis originated a couple of months ago.

To help contain the outbreak, Italian officials have ordered a number of sweeping measures including the closure of schools across the country until March 15. In addition, all sporting events — including Serie A soccer games — will take place without fans present for at least the next month.

The State Department has responded by recommending that Americans reconsider any non-essential travel to Italy. In particular, it urges travelers to avoid the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, whose respective capital cities are Milan and Venice.

At the same time, many Connecticut universities’ students who were studying in other programs in Italy have returned home.

UConn had more than 300 students participating in overseas academic programs in 29 nations. That list included 88 in Italy, one in South Korea and two who turned around before reaching South Korea.

All of the students in Italy and South Korea are returning to UConn, university officials have said.

UConn does not have any students now in academic programs in China.

China accounts for the vast majority of the about 100,000 people who have been infected by the virus and the more than 3,000 related deaths. Most cases have been relatively mild.

In addition to Italy, AIFS runs spring semester programs in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and Spain.

AIFS is affiliated with more than 420 colleges and universities across the U.S. It provides study abroad opportunities for more than 5,000 participants each year.

“We do not want to speculate on the likelihood of other potential program cancellations,” a company spokesman told Hearst Connecticut Media. “At this time, students are still applying for AIFS programs scheduled for summer 2020, fall 2020, January term 2021 and spring 2021 — all of which are continuing to run as normal. We will continue to follow all directives from the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization.”

This article contains reporting from The Associated Press.; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott

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