YSU psychology class forced to adjust after trip to China is canceled


On the downside, students won't get the travel experience -- but there will be an additional learning opportunity

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Youngstown State has had to cancel study abroad trips to three countries, including China. But one class is making the most of this unfortunate situation.

It’s a trip YSU’s psychology department has taken once before. Last year, 10 students and two professors traveled to Cheng Du, China to research education.

“When we were in China, we actually visited various schools at different levels and had hands-on experiences with the things we learned during the spring semester,” said assistant professor Joy Tang.

This year — due to the spread of the coronavirus — the trip is canceled. Tang said the class will now do its research electronically instead of up-close and personal in China.

But there will be an additional learning opportunity.

“We did not completely pitch the course to be about coronavirus, but we opened up the possibility of including that in their thinking and research project,” Tang said.

“There are a little over 100 students that are going on study abroad trips during spring break, which is next week,” said YSU spokesperson Ron Cole.

He said the school’s guidelines follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead. The university made the decision to also cancel trips to Italy and South Korea once those countries were named level three threats.

Right now, spring break trips to other countries are still going on as planned.

“We are offering students the opportunity to opt-out if they don’t feel comfortable going,” Cole said.

The university will be closely monitoring all students traveling this spring and summer. Cole said there’s no timeline yet on when the travel restrictions will be lifted.

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