Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Travel to South Korea

March 11, 2020

Dear Korea Institute Community,

Harvard University is paying close attention to the public health concerns related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). President Bacow has announced a range of steps that Harvard is taking in response to the situation.

The Korea Institute has been monitoring this situation for the past few months (see below), and our priority continues to be the health, safety, and well-being of our community.

In response to President Bacow’s announcement, all Korea Institute events after March 10, 2020 have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. Our events are a core part of the Korea Institute’s mission to advance scholarship in all fields of Korean Studies at Harvard. We hope to resume such gatherings in alignment with University guidelines in the future.

The whole staff of the Korea Institute join me in wishing all the members of our community the best at this challenging time. Please stay healthy, look after one another, and keep an eye out for anyone who may need your support.

Sun Joo Kim, Director

Last update April 10, 2020

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Travel to South Korea

The Korea Institute is closely monitoring the developing situation in South Korea concerning the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), as well as how this situation might affect Harvard students, staff, faculty, and affiliates.

We are paying close attention to travel advisories from Harvard University, the U.S. Department of State, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding travel to South Korea. We are doing our best to share accurate information about the COVID-19 outbreak with our community based on our current understanding of the situation.

First, we trust that everyone recognizes that no individual is at fault for this public health emergency, and that any racist comments or actions against South Korean citizens or those of Korean heritage have no place on our campus. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a series of anti-stigma guidelines related to COVID-19 which I hope you will review.

Second, even though exposure to the virus has been very limited here in Massachusetts, many people here at Harvard are connected to people who have been affected. Harvard has resources in place for any members of the community who feel anxiety or distress about the situation.

Third, we urge everyone to be fully aware and informed of changing policies from both Harvard University and the U.S. government.

More information about Harvard’s travel guidance, which currently discourages travel to South Korea until further notice, can be found through Harvard Global Support Services; health information and resources can be accessed through Harvard University Health Services.

The Korea Institute is still considering summer funding support for travel to South Korea, although final decisions will be contingent on Harvard University’s travel recommendations. For undergraduate programs such as the Harvard Summer School in Seoul and Korea Institute Internship Program, we have decided to postpone the program start date by one week because of the availability of the host university dormitory. The new program dates are posted on the corresponding websites. Plans could still change with rapidly evolving developments in South Korea; a final decision on Summer 2020 programs in Korea, in accordance with University guidance, is expected to be made by spring break.

If you are planning to participate in summer research, work, or study abroad in South Korea, please be sure to stay up to date on the program’s status.

Last update March 25, 2020