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COVID-19

International Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to your questions regarding UR's response to COVID-19 and the resumption of on-campus classes for Spring 2021.

Do I have to quarantine before or after arriving in the U.S.?

We are pleased to share with you that at present, given the revised CDC guidelines, travelers entering the U.S. from abroad do not need to quarantine after entry this spring. The 14-day travel restriction prior to entering the U.S. still applies to citizens of China, Iran and Brazil, but F-1 students from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland no longer face this requirement, according to the U.S. Department of State’s website as of 10/01/2020. UR will continue to provide a $1,500 refund for lodging and meal expenses incurred by non-US students returning to UR for the spring semester 2021 who face this US-imposed ban on entry unless they have been resident for 14 days in a country other than their own. Only lodging and meal expenses will be refunded, in response to receipts submitted to Sara Rock (srock@richmond.edu). This is not a cash advance and cannot be used for expenses associated with transportation.

What if I cannot get to campus at all because of travel complications?

If you are unable to get to campus due to travel complications, you may want to consider applying to study full-remote for the spring semester. Please see the question below “Can I take classes remotely?” for more details. You may also want to take advantage of special opportunities to study abroad closer to your home country, as described below.

If you do not wish to take classes remotely in the spring, continuing students will need to request a leave of absence or withdrawal by contacting your College Dean to discuss this option.

New undergraduate students will need to contact the Admissions Office for instructions on how to defer your admission so that you can begin your on-campus courses in Fall 2021.

What if after I get to Richmond and circumstances change, I cannot get home or UR closes? Will I have a place to stay?

International Education and the College Deans will continue to work together to address each individual circumstance.  We are committed to helping international students get home, and to finding solutions for those who cannot.

I'm confused about where to turn for assistance. When/for what topics should I contact International Education (IE) and when should I contact my College Dean? What other resources are available?

When you need guidance and a place to start, IE is here to assist you. The IE team has extensive experience helping international students with the many challenges associated with study in the U.S. Many of us have had the same questions when we have traveled to, lived in, or studied in your countries. Please contact IE for questions about your student visa, plans that may affect your student visa status, information on travel restrictions, quarantines and other matters related to international travel, campus resources, and plans for international students during the pandemic. We can also help you in finding answers from other parts of the University.

Please contact your College Dean for academic and overall personal support, guidance, and advising, questions about taking time away from the university (withdrawal and readmission), and other matters about your academic career and personal goals.  In addition, you can speak to the Deans about questions or issues regarding conduct, the Honor Code, and other concerns.

Please contact Housing and Residence Life for questions on housing, and the Office of Financial Aid for financial aid questions. To learn about and utilize a range of resources for student support, please see https://financialaid.richmond.edu/undergrad/support/index.html.

How can I keep up on current developments related to COVID-19 and share my concerns/questions?

We encourage you to keep in touch with International Education and have the following resources available to assist you during this challenging time:

  • International Education has been Zooming with international students to hear your concerns, answer questions, and refer you to resources. Please email international@richmond.edu if you would like to have a Zoom session with one of our staff.
  • The UR International Student Newsletter is a source of breaking news, responses to your concerns, tips, and Richmond/campus connections tailored for international students. Please check your Richmond email for it.
  • The University Response to COVID-19 website has information about preparations for the coming semester and announcements to the UR community about the pandemic.
Can I take classes remotely?

All-remote options are now available to all UR students, but 1st year international students on F-1 visas must be located outside of the U.S. in order to study remotely. For more details about how to apply for remote learning, please visit: https://www.richmond.edu/coronavirus/spring-2021/remote-study/index.html. New international students who are not able to obtain their visa and travel in time for the spring are eligible to enroll remotely in any part-time study, including just an FYS class, and then arrive on campus in Fall 2021. Students should coordinate this selection with their academic advisor during the scheduled advising period. For information about fees, please contact Financial Aid at finaid@richmond.edu.

If you are a continuing international student who is unable to travel, please contact International Education. The University will make every effort to ensure that you are able to continue your academic progress, but it may not be possible to offer all courses in a full-remote semester. Your course schedule may need to be adjusted. Please do not ask faculty members about a full-remote semester; instead, send any questions to us at the International inbox (international@richmond.edu).

If you are at high risk for COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, you may request an accommodation by completing the University’s request for disability accommodations.

Is there a difference in tuition between in-residence and remote classes?

UR tuition will remain the same, whether you are in residence or learning remotely.

Are there options to study abroad through UR for the spring semester?

Yes. There are regional study abroad options for international UR students that could reduce travel challenges. Enrollment in one of these programs for continuing F-1 students would enable you to keep your visa status active as a study abroad student so there will be no break in your status. Several Spring 2021 options are on the study abroad website at https://studyabroad.richmond.edu/. Other options will be announced soon.

Please note that these programs are limited in size and space is not guaranteed. Therefore, even if you choose to apply to participate in study abroad, we ask that you continue to work on securing a visa with the intent to arrive on campus by the start of classes (January 19) but no later than January 29. If you choose to apply for a UR Study Abroad program but cannot go,  arrival possibilities for UR by the January 29 deadline will still be honored.

If you are interested in learning more about regional study abroad opportunities, please contact Amy Bergmann or Michele Cox as soon as possible.

Here are some important points to consider for all of these study abroad options:

  • While application deadlines varyand some have passed, additional programs are being added based on feasibility and will be announced soon.
  • Students may earn 15-18 credits (minimum 3.5 units)
  • As with all UR-approved study abroad, students would pay UR tuition for the semester
  • Your UR Financial Aid applies to these programs, if applicable
  • Students accepted to and enrolled in these programs will receive International Education’s $1,000 travel allowance
  • Program dates vary by program
Does the University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) cover COVID-19?

Yes, SHIP covers COVID-19 testing and treatment. Please refer to the Coronavirus Information page and contact First Student with questions. If you are studying in a country outside of the U.S. on an approved University of Richmond study abroad program, you will have health insurance coverage. For more information, you can review the information on the health and safety web page https://international.richmond.edu/study-abroad/health-safety/insurance.html. For questions, please contact Keesha Trim, Director of Risk Management and Insurance.

(Incoming 1st-years) Who can I contact if I need documentation for an expedited visa appointment?

Please contact intladm@richmond.edu.

(Incoming 1st-years) Are any classes available remotely for first-year students?

A full remote semester is an option for first-year incoming students outside of the US. Please refer to the “Can I take classes remotely?” for more details.

If you do not wish to take a full remote semester, you may continue your UR part-time remote enrollment by taking the First Year Seminar (FYS) for a fee. This course is required of all UR students and will count toward your degree requirements. The FYS course will be hosted across time zones. First-year students participating in a UR approved program abroad may take this course in addition to their affiliate program courses. 1st-year students will register for spring classes and housing assignments in November.

A special New Spider Orientation will be held in Richmond in January for spring arrival students. Please note you will need a computer, camera, reliable internet access, and access to Zoom Video Communications to enroll in the FYS class; if this is not possible, we will work with you on an individual basis to coordinate January arrival without taking the FYS.

(Incoming 1st-years) How late can I arrive as a 1st year and still be able to take classes?

If you can arrive by the end of the second week of classes (January 29), we will work with you so that you can start your classes in person as soon as possible. If you cannot arrive by this time, you will need to defer your enrollment to the Fall 2021 semester. Please email international@richmond.edu if you will arrive late. Please also note the first FAQ about requirements to enter the US for international travelers.

Have additional questions?

Check back regularly for updates, or send us your questions directly.