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.
We will continue to update this document with more information as we have it. This information is current as of June 30, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. 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.
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.
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?
You can arrive in Sewanee at any point during the fall 2020 semester; however, your arrival date will determine the types of courses you are able to take. If you are unable to arrive by the start of the semester (August 17th), then you must take online and/or hybrid courses.
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).
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.
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.
If I am not able to enter the United States in time to start the fall 2020 semester, will there be an online option?
Yes. The University is approved to offer online courses, which will be made available to incoming students living abroad. This will likely involve a limited menu of online classes; more information will be communicated to enrolled students throughout the summer. Whether you take in-person classes or virtual ones, we want to ensure you can begin your Sewanee experience on time and stay on track for graduation.