Dear International Students,
Yesterday a message was sent out to the University community alerting students and faculty to the possibility of UConn courses moving to online course instruction, and advising students to take important items with them if traveling for spring break, in case students are asked to return home due to COVID-19 concerns. We want to clarify some aspects of this message for international students.
The message, which can be viewed in full here, reads in part:
The COVID-19 pandemic will come to the state of Connecticut and it will likely directly impact UConn. In that case, we are prepared for the possibility of moving classes to an on-line only format and having students return home when possible. This has already occurred at some universities in the country.
It is strongly recommended that students bring all necessary academic materials (textbooks, laptop, notes, etc.) during the Spring Break period in case the decision is made to not return to in-class instruction. Should the University determine that instruction will be offered online, students may not have the ability to return to the residence halls.
The University understands that international students who live in residence halls may not be able to return home. Therefore UConn will allow international students who live in residence halls to remain living on campus if students are directed to return home, and you are unable to do so. The University will provide more information to you, when available, about the process and expectations for students who remain on campus. Students who currently live off-campus will not be required to return to their home countries, and may stay in their off-campus apartments.
If in-person classes are suspended through the end of the semester, it may be possible for students to complete the term from your home country, but there are many factors to consider when deciding whether to return home or remain in the U.S. If classes are only suspended temporarily, students who elect to go home may be unable to return to resume in-person studies due to visa/entry restrictions currently in place for travelers arriving from China and Iran. Because of the complexity of international travel with both options, it is important that you discuss your plans with ISSS if you are planning to leave the U.S. In the event that online coursework or a closure of residence halls is announced, we will follow that announcement with further instructions for international students to maintain communication with ISSS.
Please know that the University takes your safety very seriously, and any decisions that are made require careful consideration. Therefore we do not have all the answers to your questions at this time, but please know the University is planning for the needs of international students. Thank you for your patience, and we will let you know of changes as we learn of them.