F-1 Students – Options for Study

Hello international students,
Since receiving the new regulations from SEVP, WORLD has been working to develop options for our students who are abroad and cannot or are afraid to return to the US. We know this is a stressful time for our international students – you all are managing travel bans, quarantines, and restrictive visa rules, not to mention a global pandemic. We have so much admiration for how you are handling the difficult situation you have been handed. At Stetson, we are bound by U.S. laws, but we want to help you as much as we can within these regulations. We are trying to think creatively for ways to help you. If you cannot return to Stetson this fall and want to continue taking classes, you have a few options:

1. You could take Stetson classes entirely online from home if:  you are a  returning college student continuing your degree program.  First time in college students MUST take at least half their credits face to face or hybrid to remain in good standing so they must come to Stetson and be actively attending classes.
2. First time in college students who have not yet gotten a visa can defer their start date for Stetson and register for classes online.    Since you are not officially an international student until you are issued a visa you can choose to stay home and take the first semester of your degree online.  you MUST contact the world office to have your I-20 start date deferred until spring.  However, remember if you do have a visa you must come to campus and you must be in face to face or Hybrid classes if you want to study this fall.
3. If you have EU or UK citizenship and you are unable to return to Stetson this fall due to the travel bans in place on your country, you can study online from home. Athletes, you should talk to your coaches about this to be sure your athletic scholarships will remain available to you.

Another option you can choose is to spend two weeks in a third country quarantining there before proceeding onto the USA.  We strongly suggest you keep all your receipts and travel documents if that is your choice to validate the time in the third country.   Remember you will be required to quarantine again in the US upon your entry.

Either scenario, you should be in touch with Financial Aid to see if/how any of these options would impact your financial aid and scholarships. Athletes should be in touch with their coaches to see if/how this would impact their athletic scholarships.

July 6 ICE Statement Concerning F-1 Study

Updated Federal Regulations for International Students with F1 Visas

Hello International Students,

We are so impressed with the high levels of maturity you are all applying as you navigate the barriers to international education which are in place due to the pandemic.  We are happy that we are able to support you and will continue to provide the most accurate information that we can.

On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Federal Government issued new regulations that pertain to international students’ access to classes during Fall 2020 term.  This new guidance supersedes all other regulations for the Fall 2020 term only as it is currently set to expire in December 2020. The guidelines were counter to expectation and have created major upset within the international learning community.  We are currently organizing by signing petitions to the White House, talking with government officials through our professional organizations, and advocating for change with our local SEVP and state representatives.  It is possible that some of the guidance will be updated in the coming days and weeks based on the pushback the government is receiving from international educators, students, and the higher education field at large; however, we cannot rely on a change in policy.

The new guidelines state that every international student who wishes to cross borders into the United States will need to show an I-20 form certifying that Stetson University is offering face-to-face classes and that you are properly enrolled in 12 credits or more.  Please ensure that you are registered for at least 12 credits by July 15, 2020.  Thereafter, we will add the required registration note to each individual I-20. This may require that we post the document to you via regular mail. To ensure that we have your correct information, please submit at this link by July 15, 2020.

The federal guidelines offer three possible scenarios for course delivery, each of which will impact you differently.

  • Scenario 1:  Stetson delivers all courses online.
    • This scenario would require all international students currently in the U.S. to either leave the country and take Stetson’s classes, or transfer to a university/college offering face-to-face courses. Students would be allowed to take online courses through Stetson as long as they are outside of the United States.
  • Scenario 2:  Stetson offers face-toface courses only
    • All international students are required to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses. The usual online learning rules would apply, namely, students can only take one online course during the semester; the remaining courses must be taken in-person.
    • New first-time-in-college international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • New international students transferring to Stetson have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • Returning international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or to take a leave of absence for one semester and take NO STETSON COURSES.
  • Scenario 3: Stetson offers hybrid courses (a mix of online and in-person classes)
    • All international students are required to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses. However, students are required enroll in face-to-face courses whenever possible to advance toward their degree. In the event that a student requires specific courses to graduate and the courses are offered as fully online courses only, the student is required seek approval from WORLD to ensure compliance with federal regulations. NOTE: Students cannot take more than one online course without permission from their DSO.
    • New first-time-in-college international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • New international students transferring to Stetson have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • Returning international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or to take a leave of absence for one semester and take NO STETSON COURSES.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve in the state of Florida, Stetson University’s administration is updating its decision-making to ensure your health and safety.  At this time WORLD highly recommends you make plans for returning to Stetson in time to quarantine for fourteen days before classes start on August 13, 2020.

Students currently participating in OPT or awaiting OPT approval will not be impacted by these changes.

If you have specific questions, please reach out to Roxanne at rlewis1@stetson.edu for assistance.  Please know we that we appreciate you and we look forward to our continued partnership in helping you complete a U.S. education.

Thank you,
Roxanne Lewis
International Student and Scholar Services Coordinator
Paula Hentz
Director of International Learning
WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning

Lunch & Learn: Plan Ahead: Easy Ways to Internationalize Your Fall 2019 Courses

Internationalized courses are the building blocks of an internationalized curriculum. Join faculty and staff experienced in internationalizing coursework to discussessential elements of an internationalized course such as level of activity, student learning outcomes, assessment, course content, and activities. Lunch is provided and limited seating is available.

By the end of this Lunch & Learn, participants will be able to:

  • Identify 2-3 strategies for internationalizing a course
  • Locate resources, including syllabi,  for internationalizing courses

Image reprinted from ACE Internationalization in Action

International Student Activities during Lockdown

—International Tax session April 6, 2020 2:30 PM EST. Use the link below to sign up by noon April 3rd to be included in a chat during which Albert Aguirre and Roxanne Lewis will be available to talk you through the process of filing your taxes for 2019. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5GJf7i_mhsPmR7nU-PRlPq3q4QfIFDEurC7fvdN6-rGZwag/viewform

Other University Events

–March 23, 2020  from Travis Potter of Stetson’s Wellness and Recreation office tpotter1@stetson.edu. Contact him to express interest in joining. “It goes without saying that we are not scheduling any intramural games for the remainder of the semester, but what if we can explore an alternative for your fun and entertainment. The first step is to gauge your initial interest and hopefully there are some commonalities among everyone. I have brainstormed the following activities:

Madden Tournament (PS4; Xbox)Call of Duty Warzone (top finishes; Xbox, PS4, Computer)
8 Ball Pool Competitions (App on Google Play)
FIFA 2020 Tournament (PS4; Xbox)
Rocket League CompetitionNBA 2K (PS4 & Xbox)
Interested? Let me know, I’m starting new tournaments each Monday between now and the end of April. “

–Looking to get involved in Stetson leadership opportunities? Connect with ULEAD  www.stetson.edu/ulead