Thank you for your patience as we gather the pertinent information regarding CGUʻs decision to switch to remote learning amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is information specific to international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa, but also important for the entire international community. For more detailed information on the CGU Emergency Protocol, please visit www.cgu.edu/emergency.
- CGU is open. All CGU student service offices are open including the SLDL Office. However, some of the TCCS offices like Honnold Library, Student Health Services may reduce or limit their hours of operation as circumstances develop. Please check office websites to confirm if hours have changed. At this time, it is not known whether summer courses will be offered online. If you want to schedule an appointment to meet in-person, by zoom or phone with an SLDL staff member, please visit https://sldl.acuityscheduling.com.
- Online Courses & Your SEVIS Record. Your F-1or J-1 status is not impacted by CGUʻs decision to host courses online. U.S. government agencies recently issued guidance regarding COVID-19 adjustments to academic programs and maintenance of visa status. The guidance allows for greater flexibility than usual, allowing you to maintain your F-1 and J-1visa status while enrolled in online courses both in the U.S. or abroad. Please note that in order to keep your F-1 or J-1 status, you need to attend and complete all courses.
Now that online courses are required for all, it is not necessary for students or faculty to notify the SLDL Office of their course information for SEVP reporting. The original request was for faculty who were making zoom accommodations while the campus was hosting in-person courses. The SLDL team, in coordination with the 7C International Advisors will submit a statement on behalf of all spring courses taught at CGU to SEVP.
- Students who are currently abroad, but planning to reenter the U.S. for Module 2 courses may choose to remain in their home countries or return to the U.S. If returning to the U.S., you may face additional time in secondary questioning at the airport, or potential entry denials. If you remain abroad, contact your faculty to request if accommodations can be made due to the time difference, or alternative platforms to complete coursework if platforms like zoom or canvas are inaccessible in your home country. If you remain in your home country, notify the SLDL Office at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update your SEVIS record to show you are studying abroad. Studying abroad during the spring semester will not impact your SEVIS record, or impact the five months abroad restriction (see bullet point above).
- International Travel. If you plan to travel during the spring or summer semester, it is suggested that you meet with the SLDL Team, or review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NAFSA (the professional association for international educators) websites for travel advisories. As of March 13, there are restrictions for non-U.S. citizens who visited China, Iran and certain European countries within 14 days of reentry to the U.S.
We are asking all students who plan to travel or remain abroad between now and September 2020 to register your trip with CGUʻs Risk Management team. By providing your travel itinerary, the university can contact you directly if there are emergencies or restrictions that will impact your return to the U.S.
Students traveling to countries designated as Level 3 by the CDC are not encouraged to travel abroad. There is a high likelihood that you will not be able to reenter the U.S. until the restrictions are lifted. Students traveling to CDC Level 1-2 countries are encouraged to reconsider their travel plans. Please take into account the following before traveling:
· The nature of COVID-19 has caused countries to implement travel restrictions with very little notice, impacting your ability to return (i.e. China and European Travel Bans). If the U.S. decides to restrict travel from addition countries, CGU has no jurisdiction to petition your return. Other countries may have similar travel restrictions that can impact your ability to travel.
· Make sure your Form I-20 or DS-2019 has a valid travel signature. If you need a new travel signature, you may drop off your document at the SLDL Office, or schedule an appointment (link). If you leave the U.S. without a valid travel signature, you can request to have your I-20 or DS-2019 mailed via UEMS Eship Global.
· Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa can remain in the U.S. with an expired visa. Your status is maintained by your SEVIS record, not your actual visa. Your visa only allows you to enter the U.S. If your visa has expired and you plan to travel for renewal, be aware that U.S. Embassies and Consulate Offices are closed in some countries. Without a valid visa, you will be unable to enter the U.S.
- Employment and Practical Training. Students who work on-campus should contact their supervisor to understand how these new protocols will affect their employment status. Students approved for CPT should discuss any changes with their site supervisor, as well as faculty advisor. If changes to your CPT placement occur, notify the SLDL Office to update your SEVIS record.
Students applying for OPT are still recommended to apply before the July 15 deadline. The next OPT workshop will be on April 1 at 12PM (RSVP), however, the SLDL team will accept individual appointments to review your application. Students who have applied for OPT are not recommended to travel outside of the U.S. after May 16.
- Medical Services. The Student Clinic at the Tranquada Center will remain open for the spring semester. Students who are sick are encouraged to call the Student Clinic or Teladoc Health prior to visiting any facility. If a visit to a medical facility is recommended by the Student Clinic or Teladoc Health, please visit the Student Clinic, your local Urgent Care or Emergency Room. To be seen at each facility, students will pay $5 at the Student Clinic; $50 at Urgent Care facilities; or $250 at the Emergency Room. These costs do not include the additional services, tests or treatments provided during your visit.
Unfortunately, IMG does not cover COVID-19 testing, as the plan is not regulated by CAʻs Department of Managed Health. If you need medical treatment related to accidents or sickness (including COVID-19), it is best to contact IMG to understand the coverage plan. If IMG changes their policy related to COVID-19 testing, we will inform the student body as soon as possible.
- SLDL Drop-In Hours. We will offer drop-in hours via zoom to answer any questions students may have about the information in this email. Students are welcome to join to ask questions in an online, community forum.
- Tuesday, March 17 from 11:30AM- 1:00PM (Join URL)
- Wednesday, March 18 from 11:30AM- 1:00PM (Join URL)
- Friday, March 20 from 11:30AM- 1:00PM (Join URL)
Again, the SLDL Team is here to support you and provide as much information as possible. If you need anything, please email email@example.com, schedule an appointment at https://sldl.acuityscheduling.com or join us for drop-in hours to discuss the information above.
The SLDL Team