Campus Remains Open
As indicated in Chancellor DiStefano’s message today, in order to limit the COVID-19 risk on campus, beginning March 16, 2020 the campus will transition to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. As Chancellor DiStefano explained in his message, the campus remains open even though courses will occur remotely. The residence halls, dining halls, the University Libraries, student recreation centers, the Center for Community, Wardenburg Health Center and the University Memorial Center all will be operating as usual.
Maintaining Your Immigration Status
The federal government, specifically the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), released guidance earlier this week, stating that they intend to be flexible in regards to allowing universities to move to remote (online) learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While you are still required to make normal progress in a full course of study, international students on F-1 and J-1 visas who continue to be enrolled full-time (i.e. they do not drop classes) and continue to participate in the classes even if they are held online will maintain their immigration status. If you depart the U.S. and continue to take your classes remotely, you will maintain your U.S. immigration status as long as you are not outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months. However, please note that the federal government may issue entry restrictions (similar to those already issued for China and Iran) at any time so if you depart the U.S., you may not be able to return to the U.S. as planned if the federal government issues additional entry restrictions. Also, it is important to understand that there may be online course accessibility issues from certain countries. If you depart the U.S. and are unable to access the online courses, then you may not be able to maintain your full-time enrollment and F-1 or J-1 immigration status and will need to discuss your options with ISSS.
International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) will have normal office hours through Friday, March 13, 2020. To respond to the university’s guidance that employees work remotely whenever possible, as of Monday, March 16, 2020, ISSS will be providing services including advising remotely. We will offer advising via Zoom during our regular drop-in advising hours, Monday through Friday from 10AM to 3PM except for Wednesday which has hours from 12:30PM to 3PM. (Please note that on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday there is a 15 minute break in advising from 12:15PM to 12:30PM to facilitate the transition of advisors in Zoom.) We will post instructions shortly on the front page of our website on how to participate in advising via Zoom. You may also reach ISSS via our general email account, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303-492-8057. For our sponsored students, the Third-Party Sponsored Student Advising hours are posted on the ISSS website and all sponsored student advising will also be offered via Zoom starting Monday, March 16, 2020. International sponsored students can reach the Sponsored Student Advising team at email@example.com
If ISSS has already advised you to pick up documents in our office, if possible, please do so by the end of the week. If you are unable to pick up your documents by the end of the week or if ISSS is currently processing documents for you, do not panic. We will be contacting you to make arrangements to mail the documents to you.
ISSS Events & Workshops
All social events that ISSS had planned for the rest of the semester including International Coffee Hour, Pizza & Perspectives, & the International Festival (iFest) will be cancelled. Workshops for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) will be held remotely instead of in person.
We understand that these are challenging times for all. ISSS wants you to know you can always talk to us or use the other resources on campus.
Here are some resources we recommend:
- Students: Use our friendly on-campus counseling services to talk through feelings of anxiety, loneliness, stress, or just to have someone supportive to talk to.
- Faculty and Staff: Reach out to the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program to set up a time to chat with a trained counselor.
ISSS will continue to update our website with information. Please check it regularly.
We are glad that you have chosen to be a part of the CU Boulder community. We are here to support you so please reach out to us if you need anything!
International Student & Scholar Services