Wooster is glad to have a global student body, from more than 60 countries! While we hope to be able to welcome most of our international students to campus this fall, we know to expect some challenges due to specific visa and other travel restrictions created by COVID-19.
Our planning for fall courses prioritizes this flexibility, so that teaching, learning, and mentoring work well for each individual, including those on campus as well as those who are learning from afar.
International students will be supported in getting the classes that they need through remote learning, and we will ensure teaching approaches that work despite differences in time zones.
International students with questions or concerns should contact International Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated SEVP Guidance
International students should read this updated SEVP information before moving onto the additional FAQs.
- International students in the US will be required to be on campus to remain in active student status. The majority of their classes must be hybrid or in person, if offered in that format. New I20s MUST be issued and sent before August 4, 2020.
- Students will be able to study remotely in fall and those courses will count towards Wooster degree requirements but they will lose their F1 visa status. In order for remote students to return to campus in the spring semester, they will have to be issued a new I20 and pay the SEVIS I901 fee. If a student’s visa expires before spring semester starts, they will need to renew it as well as obtaining a new I20 and paying the SEVIS I901 fee. Staff in International Student Services are able to assist with this process.
- First year international students outside the U.S. will not be able to obtain student status until they are able to come to campus, but they can start their Wooster education remotely.
- First year international students currently in the US and planning on coming to campus in August will be required to obtain a new I20 outlining the fall in-person/hybrid course structure.
- International students planning on returning for fall who are currently out of the US will be required to obtain a new I20 with updated information regarding information the fall hybrid/in person course structure.
- If the College of Wooster moves to a remote only semester due to the COVID-19 crisis, the current guidance states that international students in the U.S. will be required to either transfer to an in-person instruction only school or leave the country to remain in active student status. However, if this becomes necessary, we remain hopeful that guidance will be updated and reissued as was done this past spring.
- International senior students outside the U.S. who plan on applying for OPT after graduation need to be aware that 9 months of active student status is required before being eligible for OPT. This means, if an international student studies remotely for a semester, they will be ineligible to apply for OPT after graduation.
Frequently Asked Questions About this Guidance
Can I take classes remotely while in my home country?
The answer is yes! You can continue as a Wooster student, just not your F1 visa student status. Therefore, you will need to renew your student visa (if it has expired), obtain a new I20 and pay the SEVIS I901 fee before you return to campus for spring semester.
If I am in the US do I have to return to campus and take hybrid or in-person classes to keep my F1 visa status?
Yes, you cannot remain in the US and continue your Wooster education remotely. You must return to campus for the start of classes on August 19 and take a majority of hybrid and in person classes (one class can be in a remote format).
If the College of Wooster has to go remote due to a surge in Covid-19 cases will I be able to stay in the US and study remotely?
Not at this time - The new guidance states that students in F1 status must be on campus and in hybrid or in person classes. Students will be expected to leave the US or transfer to a college with in person classes, but we are hoping the government will change their stance and allow the accommodations it allowed in spring.
If I am a senior, can I study remotely in fall and then apply for OPT after graduation?
No, USCIS requires students to have been in F1 student status for one academic year before being eligible to apply for OPT. Seniors who need to study remotely for fall should consider taking a leave for a semester if they hope to apply for OPT and work in the US following graduation.
Additional International Students FAQ's