Tuskegee Education Abroad program participants pose with their professor, Dr. Thierno Thiam. (Source: Tuskegee University website)
Tuskegee University file photo (Source: WSFA 12 News)
TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) -
The six Tuskegee University students who are stranded in Liberia, after flights to and from the African country became temporarily suspended due to Ebola outbreak fears, will be returning home.
The university confirmed on Wednesday that the students will be allowed to begin their two day trip back to the United States on August 17.
British Airways has agreed to take the students from Liberia to Ghana and then on to the United States.
According to Tuskegee University spokeswoman Kawana McGough, travel arrangements for the students were delayed because of the Ebola virus outbreak in the region. British Airways temporarily suspended flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone until August 31.
McGough says the students are in Liberia participating in a study abroad program in the nation's capital, Monrovia. The university has been in communication with both the students and their families, McGough says. Each is said to be in good spirits and are not ill.
The study abroad program began on June 29 and was scheduled to end on Sunday, July 10. According to the university's website, the group was helping develop an educational partnership in the nation and would serve as mentors at African Methodist Episcopal University's bridge program to help attract and prepare high school students for college.
"We are all really grateful for the study abroad experience. We are just ready to be with our Tuskegee family and friends," one of the students said through the university. Campus officials would not identify the student's name.
There was even a Change.org petition urging the U.S. Embassy and British Airways to bring the students home. [VIEW HERE].
Tuskegee University says it was in contact with parties at the national and international level to help expedite arrangements for the students to leave. While there, the students remain in a safe location and are being supported by local program affiliates, the university said.
The university stated that they will make every effort to accommodate the students when they return for the Fall 2014 semester.