International Student Updates/Directions for Fall
July 24, 2020
Greetings, Andrews University International Students:
One month from today, classes for the fall 2020 semester at Andrews University will begin, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you! Whether you will be on the Berrien Springs campus taking classes, or you will be taking classes remotely until you are able to come to campus in spring semester 2021, we are excited that you are a part of the Andrews University family!
I’m writing to share some updates and directions for fall as a follow-up to the message I shared with you on July 14. You can find that message and all of my recent messages, along with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about fall semester and international students, by going here.
With this message, I would like to give you a few updates about fall and then explain specific steps that you should take, whether you are a new or returning international student.
As you probably know, a lot has happened in the month of July concerning international students!
On July 6, the U.S. government, through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), issued new, restrictive fall guidelines for international students. A week later, on July 14, the U.S. government reversed those July 6 SEVP guidelines and returned to the more flexible March SEVP guidelines for this upcoming fall semester.
This reversal gives you as international students more options, particularly in two significant ways.
First, as long as you have an active I-20 in good status you do not need a new I-20 with a special note about the fall semester as was previously required in the July 6 guidelines. Second, international students who are not at our Berrien Springs campus can take online classes only and still keep their I-20 active and in good status. However, if you are studying with us on our Berrien Springs campus for fall 2020, you will need to take at least one in-person class in addition to your online classes. Again, if you are away from campus in fall, you can take a full load of online classes and keep your I-20 active.
Because remote learning via online classes will be an option for fall 2020, most degree programs on our Berrien Springs campus will offer classes online in addition to in-person classes. If you are a graduate student, please email your academic advisor to explore your online options for fall. If you are an undergraduate student, you can check with your academic advisor about online options, or you can also email Aaron Moushon, the director of Explore Andrews, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, all of our English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes will be offered online through the Center for Intensive English Programs (CIEP) in fall 2020. For more information about these classes, please contact Luda Vine, the director of CIEP, at email@example.com.
Steps for New International Students
If fall 2020 is your first semester of taking classes at Andrews, it’s important that you follow these directions:
- If you are a new student and plan to come to the Berrien Springs campus, you must complete the I-20 process and obtain a student visa by the start of the semester. If you have not yet started the I-20 process, please contact the International Student Financial Advisor’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
- If you are a new student and plan to stay in your home country and take Andrews classes remotely for fall 2020, you must postpone your I-20 to become active in spring 2021 or the semester you actually come to campus. Please contact the International Student Services office right away at email@example.com if you are a new student but will not be on the Berrien Springs campus for the fall semester.
- If you are a new student and plan to take ESL classes through CIEP, you can only take these classes away from campus. You will not be granted an initial I-20 to come to the Berrien Springs campus to take only ESL classes since ESL classes will only be offered online for fall 2020.
Steps for Returning International Students
If fall 2020 will not be your first semester at Andrews and you already have an active I-20 in good status, you can choose to take online classes whether or not you are on the Berrien Springs campus this fall semester, but it is important that you carefully follow these directions:
- If you are a returning student and will be on the Berrien Springs campus in fall, you must register for at least one in-person class, and you must take a full load of classes to maintain your I-20 in good status. If you are taking ESL classes, as a returning student you can take a full load of ESL classes online while you are on campus and still maintain your I-20 in good status.
- If you are a returning student and will be away from our Berrien Springs campus in fall, you must take a full load of online classes to maintain your I-20 in good status. You do not need to make any changes to your active I-20. Simply register for and take a full load of classes this fall semester to maintain your I-20 in good status.
- If you are a returning student and do not plan to take a full load of classes for fall 2020, whether you will be on the Berrien Springs campus or away from campus, you must notify the International Student Services office at firstname.lastname@example.org right away. If you do not take a full load of classes in fall 2020, your I-20 will be formally stopped with Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), via the early withdrawal process. Once you return to Andrews to take classes again, you will need to have a new I-20 issued.
Again, we are very excited that you will soon be studying with us here at Andrews here on campus and around the world! If you have any questions about the information in this message or about anything else, please feel free to email our International Student Services office at email@example.com.
Center for On-Campus International Student Services
College of Education & International Services