All of us across the globe are feeling anxious about COVID-19. Many of you, as incoming international students or US citizens living abroad, have questions. This page will be updated over the coming weeks so be on the lookout for updated information.
This information is current as of August 5, 2020 at 23:00 CST.
Where can I start my enrollment forms for the fall 2020 semester?
Shortly after admitted students pay their enrollment deposit on their Applicant Status Page, they will get an email that their enrollment forms are live. It’s important that you continue to check and keep up with those forms throughout the next few months.
I’ve already paid my enrollment deposit, but the forms are not live.
It does take a few days to process the payment and create your new Sewanee email address. Once we have that information from Information Technology (IT), we will make your enrollment forms live.
CAN I SUBMIT AN UNOFFICIAL HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT IF MY SCHOOL IS CLOSED?
Yes. Students should request a letter from their high school and have it emailed to Tim Neil stating that their school is closed and including when we might expect an official final high school transcript. The University will continue to be flexible on accepting final high school transcripts.
MY A-LEVEL AND/OR IB EXAMINATIONS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. CAN I STILL GET CREDIT?
Sewanee currently awards academic credit for some A-Level and IB exam scores. Although your exams have been cancelled, Sewanee will award A-level and IB credit as indicated in the University of the South Catalog according to the documentation issued by Cambridge International (A-Level) and International Baccalaureate (IB) that reflects your standard of work in the course.
WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I COMPLETE BEFORE ARRIVAL AND WHEN?
On your Applicant Status Page, please complete the following by the recommended times:
- Remember to start and continue completing the “Due 08.01: International F-1 Visa” form and press “Save for Later”. Once you have successfully acquired your Visa, please press “Submit”. This will allow us to keep up with your visa process.
- Once you have concrete plans, as well as airline tickets, make sure to also complete the “International Arrival Plan." If you are planning to study online from home for the entire fall semester, do not fill out this form.
WHAT IF I CAN'T COMPLETE MY HEALTH FORMS AND RECEIVE MY VACCINATIONS BEFORE ARRIVING?
If you cannot complete the health form from your home, this is ok. However, do reach out to email@example.com and begin making a plan for completing your immunizations and physical once you do arrive. The key thing they want to capture before you arrive on campus is your immunization record. Try your best to complete page 2, 3 and 6 of the health form and submit any vaccination record you have to your Applicant Status Page. You can leave the insurance piece blank on the form.
We encourage you to get all required vaccines before you arrive on campus, as it is generally easier and cheaper to do in your home country. If you are unable to get all your vaccines before arriving at Sewanee, the Sewanee Wellness Center offers most of the required vaccines for a small cost, and if they do not, we help students find these vaccines elsewhere.
HOW DO I MAKE A PAYMENT TO SEWANEE THROUGH WIRE?
Wiring instructions may be found here.
Visas and I-20s
Is Sewanee issuing I-20 documents to admitted international students?
Yes. Once you pay your enrollment deposit and submit the International Document Request, we will issue you an initial status I-20 and send it to you via email. On March 26, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) updated the process for sending I-20's, allowing universities to email I-20's rather than send documents through the postal service. You will use the emailed I-20 and additional necessary documents to apply for your visa. Please follow the instructions listed on the International F-1 Visa form on your Applicant Status Page.
I am taking online classes during the fall semester from my home country. Do I need a new I-20?
Yes. If you are taking online courses during fall 2020, we will issue you a new I-20 with a January start date. You will use this I-20 when applying for your visa.
CURRENTLY, THERE ARE NO U.S. CONSULATES THAT ARE OPEN IN MY HOME COUNTRY DUE TO THE COVID-10 PANDEMIC. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Many U.S. Consulates around the world are closed due to the pandemic, or only open for emergency appointments. If the U.S. Consulate in your home country is not open for visa issuance, you may be able to apply for your student visa at a U.S. Consulate in a third country. Keep in mind that you may face travel restrictions or quarantines in the third country. For links to country-specific information from U.S. embassy websites, visit the U.S. Department of State COVID-19 Country Specific Information website.
HOW DO I REQUEST AN EMERGENCY INTERVIEW FROM THE U.S. CONSULATE?
You are eligible to request an expedited/emergency visa interview, as long as:
- Your program start date is within 60 days (this applies to each of you, since your start date is August 9, 2020).
- There are currently no available visa appointments prior to your program start date.
- You have paid the SEVIS payment fee (which is valid for 12 months)
Please note that meeting the above criteria does not guarantee that your request for an expedited interview will be granted.
Normally you must schedule an appointment before you can request an expedited date, but the process may differ in your home country. You can find information specific to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country on its website, and on the website of Global Support Services (which contracts with the U.S. government to provide visa documents processing services).
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY VISA AFTER I HAVE MY INTERVIEW?
After you have your visa interview, you can expect to receive your visa within a couple of days, and then you can immediately purchase a plane ticket (provided you can quarantine for 14 days BEFORE you fly).
I AM ALREADY STUDYING AT A U.S. HIGH SCHOOL ON AN F-1 STUDENT VISA. DO I NEED TO GO HOME PRIOR TO ARRIVING IN SEWANEE?
You do not need to go home. You may remain in the U.S.; however, you will not be able to arrive in Sewanee until August 2020. As part of the enrollment process, you will receive guidance about transferring your student status from your high school to Sewanee by transferring your I-20.
HOW DO I KNOW IF FOREIGN NATIONALS FROM MY COUNTRY ARE BANNED FROM ENTERING THE U.S.? WHAT DO I DO IF MY COUNTRY HAS A TRAVEL BAN?
Review the information on travel bans from the CDC. If your country is listed on the linked website, you are unable to fly from your country into the U.S. without quarantining for 14 days in a non-banned country.
DO I NEED TO QUARANTINE WHEN I ENTER THE U.S.?
No, you need to quarantine for 14 days before entering the U.S. Students who are in countries with no U.S. travel ban should complete a 14-day quarantine at home. Students who are in a country with a U.S. travel ban will be required to quarantine in another country for 14 days before being allowed to enter the U.S. When quarantining in another country, please ensure that:
- Your quarantine country is not restricted by the U.S. travel ban.
- You keep receipts to show that you have been in the country for 14 days.
- You follow quarantine procedures.
HOW CAN I PROVE THAT I QUARANTINED FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE ARRIVING IN THE U.S.?
There isn’t any specific way that you can prove that you did, in fact, quarantine. We recommend you keep a daily schedule for the 14 days before you fly (either by hand or typed), and you should be ready to show your schedule at Customs. In addition, you should bring information with you that shows your city’s policies and regulations surrounding COVID. For example, is wearing masks mandatory? Does everyone have a curfew? Are businesses open? Are restaurants open? Is there a limit for how many people can gather? Etc.
When does the Fall 2020 semester begin at Sewanee?
Students should arrive on August 9th, 2020, in order to successfully complete international student orientation and new student orientation prior to the start of classes.
Sewanee announced recently that academic classes will begin in August 17th, and Finding Your Place (FYP) will now begin Monday, August 3rd, in-person, on-campus. It is extremely unlikely that international students will be able to secure their visas and reserve a plane ticket in order to arrive in time for FYP; therefore, we are working closely with our academic guides to register new international students into four general education courses for the fall semester, all beginning August 17th. If you paid for FYP, Sewanee will issue you a refund.
For students who are unable to arrive for classes by August 17th, the University has consulted with an outside law firm to adjust our courses to accommodate learning online until you are able to make it to campus. While we know this is not ideal, it’s extremely important to us that international students begin their degrees on time and are able to successfully start and complete their first semester of coursework during the fall. We will continue to be in touch with those students who are unable to arrive in person by August 17th.
What is the last date I can arrive in Sewanee for Fall 2020?
Sunday, October 18th. You must be on campus and able to attend your courses on Monday, October 19th. In order to arrive by then, the latest visa appointment you can have is the first week of October. Remember! You MUST be in close communication with the Office of Global Citizenship regarding your visa appointment date so that we can plan for your arrival and get you an adjusted I-20 (if necessary).
If you arrive after the start of the semester (after August 17th), then you must take online and/or hybrid courses. If you take hybrid courses, you will watch your lecture online and then participate synchronously from your home country in the discussion groups. Once you arrive, you will meet in person.
What will my first 24 hours look like after I arrive in the U.S.?
After you land at the Nashville airport, the Office of Global Citizenship will coordinate transportation for you to the Mountain. Because COVID-19 testing is only happening in the morning, the majority of you will stay one night in Monteagle, TN, and the Office of Global Citizenship will make this reservation. On the following morning, we will coordinate transportation for you to the COVID-19 test site on campus. After you take your COVID-19 test, you will wait with fellow students, in small groups, for your testing results. You will receive breakfast and lunch from Dining Services. Once you receive a negative result, you will be able to move into your Residence Hall.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY HOUSING ASSIGNMENT?
You will receive your housing assignment after you receive your visa and confirm your arrival details on the “International Arrival Plan” on your Applicant Status Page.
CAN I HAVE THINGS MAILED TO CAMPUS BEFORE I ARRIVE? (LINENS, CLASS SUPPLIES, ETC.)
Yes. We encourage students to order their linens (sheets, towels) ahead of time so that they are on campus when students arrive. For the shipping address, please put the following:
Your name, SPO
Attn: Marcus Murphy
735 University Avenue
Sewanee, TN 37375
If you plan to mail packages to campus prior to arrival, email Marcus and let him know.
Class schedules and Textbooks
WHEN WILL I GET MY CLASS SCHEDULE?
Class schedules will be available for freshman students the first week of August.
CAN I CHANGE MY CLASS SCHEDULE?
You will have the opportunity to discuss and adjust your schedules when you meet with your advisor via Zoom during student orientation, Aug. 14-16. There is not a mechanism for you to change your schedule before that meeting.
How do I get textbooks on campus or overseas?
Sewanee's Electronic Librarian has reviewed the required and suggested reading for all courses, and our library has ebooks for all titles that are available – these are all in our online catalog. There are still several materials that are simply not available as ebooks.
In order to assist remote students, Dupont Library is offering a limited scanning service rom the reserve collection. We cannot scan entire books because we must keep fair use practice for copyright in mind; however, if there are selected sections or chapters needed, we can get those and add to students' courses in Brightspace.
Students can check the online catalog to see if we have physical or electronic copies of the course books at this link. Students should search the required and suggested readings of each of their courses to see whether ebooks are provided. If they still need ebooks that are not there, they should individually email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need access to a computer. Does Sewanee provide laptops to students?
In the past, we have not allowed students to check out laptops from our library; however, this fall, we are going to offer this service because the computer lab in the library will have limited hours.
Once you arrive on campus, you will need to email the Help Desk (email@example.com) to request a laptop and arrange an appointment for pickup. You will need to Andrea Del Balso and Marcus Murphy on that email.
Health and Safety
WHAT ARE THE STEPS SEWANEE IS TAKING TO PROTECT ITS STUDENTS AGAINST COVID-19?
Sewanee’s FAQs on Health and Safety offer a comprehensive overview of masking, distancing, quarantining, testing, and more.
WHEN IS THE COVID-19 SCREENING AND WHAT ARE THE ASSOCIATED COSTS?
The COVID-19 screening taking place during the first two weeks of school and then intermittently throughout the year.
Also, you may have seen in a recent email from the Treasurer about the charge for COVID-19 screening as $80. Your international insurance will cover this initial test and any additional wellness benefits (testing, exams, vaccinations) up to $250.
WILL INSURANCE COVER COVID TESTING AND TREATMENT?
Your international health insurance will cover COVID treatment just like any other illness, and COVID testing is considered part of the $250 Wellness Benefit. Please note that health insurance covers some, but not all, of your medical expenses in the U.S. As a result, when you go to the doctor, you will still pay a small fee, even after paying for health insurance.
This video offers a good overview of health insurance and medical care in the U.S. It also has a closed caption option in multiple languages (see button at bottom right of video that says "CC").
You may review the insurance policy here.
WILL I STILL BE ENROLLED IN INSURANCE IF I ARRIVE LATE OR DON’T ARRIVE AT ALL?
Those of you who are unable to arrive in August will be enrolled from the time you arrive through July 31st.
WHAT IS THE COST OF INSURANCE?
The financial list you received from Sewanee estimated the cost of your health insurance as $1,350. We finalized the rate of insurance for this upcoming year, and it is $1,372.68 (instead of $1,350) for 12 months. Again, if you arrive in the middle of the semester or at the start of the spring semester, your insurance will be prorated.
HOW DO I PAY FOR INSURANCE?
Sewanee pays for your insurance in one large sum, and you reimburse the university.