Coronavirus Lockdown: Student Safety in US and Course Commencement Updates – Part 1

To update our students on the changing situations in the US due Coronavirus outbreak, we are publishing this blog that will be carried in three parts. In this first part, we shall provide you with firsthand information about student safety, fall 2020 admissions, and course commencement decision.

 International student safety scenario

All the international students in the US are safe and have been asked to stay in their respective housing facilities within the US.  For those who are on campus, many universities are providing temporary accommodations with fixed supplies until any other arrangements are made by the student.  All the universities are offering only online classes for the spring 2020 semester. Universities have offered webinars to enable students to continue their studies and chat in real-time with the faculty members. Most universities have also shifted their administrative offices online. Students have also been provided with essential contacts and links to US Health Departments.

Fall 2020 admissions and course commencement decisions  

A lot of confusion is going on among Indian students about the fall 2020 admissions and whether the course will commence in time or not, considering that the embassy has temporarily stopped processing US visas. However, universities are actively arranging webinars for the prospective students where they are informing students about the process. You can get in touch with the universities you have secured admits from and join the webinars. 

Meanwhile, here are a few developments about the fall admissions and course commencement, that as Indian students, you must pay heed to:  

  • Even if the visa process has been stopped, for now, admissions of students who have received admits for fall 2020 is secure. 
  • As per the possibilities cited by a few prominent US universities, there are three ways in which fall 2020 session will be commenced: 
    1. If the situation comes under control by May 2020, the session will commence in August as per regular schedule but the students will be required to join 14 days prior to the commencement date and they will be quarantined for these 14 days before moving them to the campus.
    2. If the situation comes under control by June/July, the semester will commence in   September and it will be an on-campus semester.
    3. If the situation does not improve until July/August, the fall semester too could likely be shifted to online mode.  The decision is also likely to be influenced by the situation in India but in any case, the fall semester and admissions will not be canceled. 
  • Those of you with I-20 forms already approved, their forms will land in India on time since the shipping process is still functional in the US but the forms won’t be delivered at home. They will be delivered only after the lockdown in India is lifted. Those who have their approval pending will have to wait for the updates as the Department of Homeland Security will be taking a call on it soon. 

 

The next blog will cover updates on the admission process to US universities and will be published on Thursday, 2nd April 2020.

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