While all members of Elon’s community should follow information posted to the Ready and Resilient website, this page contains updates and advice specific to the international community.

Fall 2020 Arrival to Campus and Quarantine

  • All international students may arrive to campus as early as Monday, Aug. 3.
  • New international students should aim to arrive, if possible, by Friday, Aug. 14 for new student orientation.
  • Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 19. See the University calendar for more information.
  • Students traveling to the U.S. from one of these international locations are required to quarantine upon arrival.
  • Students that are required to quarantine may choose to do so on- or off-campus at Elon or elsewhere (e.g. with a family member in the United States).

We recognize that your arrival plans are shaped by dynamic international regulation and availability of air travel — both of which are outside your or our control.

If due to visa or travel restrictions you cannot arrive by the start of classes, we will work with you and your faculty directly to ensure you have remote access to your classes. 

Global Education Center (GEC) staff will be in touch with each student individually regarding their specific arrival and quarantine plans and flight itinerary. Likewise, if a student chooses to quarantine at Elon, we will be in touch with them individually with details of their support, including meal access, check-in protocol, etc.

Other Options:

Updated July 31, 3:28 PM EDT

Delayed Arrival or Start of Classes

If you will be delayed in arriving to campus, or if you will arrive to campus by Aug. 19 but will need to quarantine during the first two weeks of classes, in addition to notifying the GEC, please use the form linked on this webpage to request delayed arrival support. This will assist the Student Care and Outreach team to coordinate your support across offices such as New Student Programs and Academic Advising.

Remote-Only Classes for Fall 2020

International students may apply to enroll in non-residential, remote-only classes for fall 2020 from this webpage. Requests are due by Aug. 5.

In your request, be specific in detailing your case, including that you are an international student and any circumstances that complicate your ability to study at Elon (e.g. home country regulation, travel restrictions, etc.).

If you have questions about these options (e.g. how they may affect your visa status, how options apply to your situation, etc.), we’d be happy to talk with you — you can schedule a remote advising session here.


COVID-19 Testing for International Students

Updated July 31, 3:28 PM EDT

ALL Elon students, faculty and staff are required to complete a health screening at the start of the fall term. Information on the health check-in process can be found from the Ready & Resilient “arrival” webpage.

We understand that the testing process will look very different for some members of our international community. It may be that tests are not available in your current location, that results may be significantly delayed, that appointments are not available prior to travel, or other complicating factors.

Below are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind as international students:

  1. If you will be in the U.S. between July 23 and Aug. 3, please plan to obtain the COVID-19 test available through Elon University. Be sure to review the chart provided on the Ready & Resilient page for details about the schedule of orders and testing.
  2. If you will not yet be in the U.S. between July 23 through Aug. 3 but are able to obtain a COVID-19 test in your home country prior to travel, please do so. If you receive:
    1. NEGATIVE test results: email your results directly to the Global Education Center at intstudentservices@elon.edu.
    2. POSITIVE test results: email intstudentservices@elon.edu with your travel itinerary demonstrating the location of your 14-day quarantine. With a positive test result, you must quarantine prior to travel. The GEC will securely compile results and itineraries to provide directly to our health services department.
  3. If you are unable to obtain a test (e.g. tests are not offered in your area/country, you are in a COVID-19-free location, etc.) you will need to take a test upon arrival to the U.S. Order a LabCorp test kit from the Ready & Resilient webpage BY AUG. 3. Have your test kit mailed to this address, listed EXACTLY as follows:
    FIRST NAMELAST NAME100 Campus Drive2375 Campus Box

    Elon, NC 27244

    The GEC will then hold your test kit until you arrive to campus and will deliver it to you upon your arrival.

  4. If you are arriving to Elon during off hours (late at night or early in the morning) and are unable to complete a health screening immediately upon arrival, please be sure to complete the health screening at the next possible time.

Note: If you have already received a positive test result from a prior COVID-19 test, you do not need another test. Students should submit documentation of their positive result to University Physician Dr. Ginette Archinal at Student Health Services, garchinal@elon.edu. Faculty and staff should submit documentation to Associate Director of Human Resources Stephanie Page, spage@elon.edu.

Community members are required to complete a PCR COVID-19 test. An antibodies test is not accepted as a substitute. For more information on PCR COVID-19 testing, see Elon’s required COVID-19 testing Q&A.

General Information from Health Services:

Health and Immunization Records

If you are a new, international student, it is mandatory to have all of your health and immunization records submitted to the Health Services department prior to your arrival. If you have not already done so, please prioritize submitting this information. Details on how to do so are available on the Health Services website.

Student Health Services Appointments

Please keep in mind that throughout the semester for any health questions and concerns, both in-person and virtual appointments will be available to Elon students. Students who are not feeling well will begin by scheduling a virtual appointment and, depending on  the outcome of that appointment, will be given guidance and a potential in-person follow up.


International Student Orientation

Updated Aug. 20, 12:34 PM EDT

International student orientation, which ordinarily happens on campus a few days prior to new student orientation, will be fully online and available for students to view at their own pace (linked above).

International student orientation is an important part of a student’s start at Elon. The GEC partners with offices across campus and fellow international students to make sure new students have the information they need to have a successful transition to Elon. This includes topics on adjusting to U.S. and Elon academic culture, setting up life in the U.S., and staying in status as an international student. It is also a way for the Elon community to welcome its newest international members!

Although it will look different this year given varying arrival times and global circumstances, we are working to ensure each student will receive the information and support they need to be set up for success at Elon.


Visa Guidance

Updated July 31, 3:28 PM EDT

We were relieved to learn that on July 14 the U.S. government agreed to rescind the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines announced on July 6 that barred international students attending universities operating entirely online from staying in the U.S. Learn more about the University’s response and actions taken from this statement from Provost Volety and Dean Pelton.

At Elon, we are planning for an in-person semester; however, we know that there is the possibility that the institution may need to adapt.

Were that to happen, much like last spring, international students could remain on campus while taking their courses remotely for the remainder of the semester. 

Many students have received notice that they are required to have a new I-20 document confirming in-person course curriculum. This mandate was a result of the ICE guidelines that have since been rescinded. We are able to provide updated I-20 documents to new, incoming students. Returning students do not require an updated I-20.

We also recommend students keep in their carry-on luggage a letter from our office explaining their arrival. We are in the process of creating each student’s individual letter. If you are arriving to the U.S. within the next few days and have not yet received your letter, please email intstudentservices@elon.edu so we can send you your letter in time.

Please reference the FAQ below for additional visa guidance for both new and returning students based on the July 24 update.


COVID-19 FAQ

Updated July 31, 3:42 PM EDT

What kind of COVID-19 test do I need to take?

ALL students, faculty and staff must complete a PCR COVID-19 test. An antibodies test is not an acceptable substitute. For more information, see Elon’s COVID-19 Testing Q&A.

Am I required to quarantine?

Anyone entering the U.S. from one of these international locations will need to quarantine. This is not a requirement of Elon but rather of the U.S. government. Both new and returning international students will need to quarantine if arriving from certain locations.

What are the details of quarantine at Elon?

If you will quarantine at Elon, please email intstudentservices@elon.edu for details. The GEC will coordinate with the Office of Residence Life and with you to build a plan that best supports your specific quarantine requirements. Residence Life will be contacting all international students with more information regarding early arrival.

Does Elon offer airport transportation for my arrival?

If you are a new international student arriving unaccompanied (e.g. without family or guests), we are happy to arrange to pick you up from the airport. Email intstudentservices@elon.edu to arrange airport pickup.

Is there an address where I can send dorm essentials to Elon before I arrive?

Students may ship items to:

Global Education Center
C/O: Kristen Aquilino
2375 Campus Box
Elon, NC USA 27244

If you ship anything to this address:

  1. Include your FULL NAME where possible on the item shipped.
  2. Email intstudentservices@elon.edu with your full name, a note on what is being shipped, and when you will collect your parcel.
  3. Collect your parcel from the Global Education Center (Global Commons third floor) once you arrive to campus. The GEC will not deliver your parcel to your residence.

We recommend you carry any sensitive or time-sensitive belongings on your person and consider waiting on some purchases until you’ve arrived.

What if I cannot arrive by the start of classes?

If due to visa or travel restrictions you cannot arrive by the start of classes, please email intstudentservices@elon.edu so that we can work with you to ensure you have the best plan in place for your individual circumstances. Please also reference the “Delayed Arrival or Start of Classes” and “Remote-Only Classes for Fall 2020” sections above for next steps.

If I am an F-1 continuing student and completing the Fall 2020 semester remotely, can I do so from within the United States?

In order to be approved for a fully remote semester, you must follow the University protocol of submitting that request by August 5. Please see further instructions in the “Remote-Only Classes for Fall 2020” section above.

F-1 continuing students are eligible to remain in the U.S. while taking a fully remote course load if your request to do so is approved by the University.

If I am an F-1 continuing student completing the Fall 2020 semester remotely from abroad, will my SEVIS record remain in ACTIVE status?

Yes. The GEC will produce a new I-20 for each student who is a continuing student remaining outside of the U.S. which notes the following in the remarks field on your I-20: Outside the United States due to COVID-19.

We will be in touch with you about this prior to the start of classes on August 19.

If I am a returning student and remain outside of the United States will I need a new visa?

No. If your F-1 visa is still valid, you do not need to apply for another visa.

If your F-1 visa is no longer valid (has expired), you will need to renew your visa prior to returning to the U.S.

As a new international student, can I take a remote-only classes from outside of the United States?

Yes. New international students may take remote-only classes for fall 2020 from outside the U.S. so long as they are remaining outside of the U.S. for the entirety of the fall semester. In this case, your I-20 will be updated to reflect a new start date for the spring semester.

What happens if Elon adapts to remote instruction mid-semester?

Similar to spring 2020, international students will be permitted to stay on campus even if the campus adapts to a remote curriculum.

What if my visa eligibility changes due to dynamic U.S. regulation?

When on July 6 the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that F-1 and M-1 students could not remain in the United States if taking a fully online course load, Provost Volety and Dean Pelton committed to using “all available measures to enable international students to remain on campus.” In addition, Elon joined other institutions in filing an amicus curiae brief to obtain a restraining order to block the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive, joined a lawsuit filed against the action, and signed a letter to Congress condemning the directive and asking the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw it.

We are relieved that on July 14 ICE announced the reversal of the policy, bowing to legal pressure and opposition from hundreds of colleges and universities.

Should our international community’s eligibility be threatened again, Elon will again take action to support international students.

 

Emails sent to the international community, organized by date

Oct. 27: Discussion about 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Dear International Community,

It’s hard to believe that we are very near to the beginning of November! We’ve learned from some of you that it is difficult to know how to best prepare for and learn more about next week’s elections. It can be challenging to know what questions to ask, how to ask them, and who you can talk to about the election to engage in balanced discourse. We know that some of you have tried to broach this topic and found that it incites anger or hostility given the sensitivity around this subject.

This is an important time and we want to have a space where you can feel confident in asking your questions, and gain a better understanding of a variety of topics around the election. Dr. Mark Dalhouse and Dr. Baris Kesgin have offered their time to connect specifically with the international community about the 2020 U.S. presidential election both before and after next Tuesday, Nov 3:

Pre-election conversations:

Friday, October 30 from 2:30 – 3:30pm with Dr. Dalhouse (https://elon.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0pf-yorzMsG9BzJaQMcv94CrKMCcMDaMNG)

Friday October 30 from 3:30 – 4:30pm with Dr. Kesgin (https://elon.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJApfuurrj0rGdVJX47uKPR25PPoa5rz_YI0)

Post-election conversations:

Wednesday, November 4 from 7:30 – 8:30pm with Dr. Dalhouse (https://elon.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvd-uqrjkrHtbZqs_TglYC2RnGim9lAROP)

Thursday, November 5 from 4:15 – 5:15pm with Dr. Kesgin (https://elon.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYqdOmqqzkuG9L-QxCW5HrLdJpH6jDcgY_Y)

We highly encourage you to register for one pre-election discussion and one post-election discussion. Registration is required to attend. If you are unable to join in these meetings (or possibly in addition to these meetings), we hope that you connect with the resources that Dr. Jon Dooley announced in his email below.

Questions? Please email intstudentservices@elon.edu.

Sincerely,

Global Education Center

Oct. 11: Announcements & Winter Break Plans

Hi everyone,

What a great way to close one week and begin another – back at a Level 1. Thank you all for your time and effort put into keeping yourselves, each other, and the greater community safe. We know it isn’t easy and think you all are doing great.

We apologize for the delay in following up on our last email. As things continue to change, we decided to hold off on another communication until we were able to share the following updates:

Regulatory Updates

  1. You may have learned of anticipated changes to government forms and fees. Please take a look at the NAFSA website for information about the current hold on these changes. We will keep you informed of any updates as they take place.

    At Elon, these changes would most immediately apply to current seniors who are interested in applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

    If you are considering an internship or work opportunity, remember that off-campus employment requires authorization for visa-holding students. Please register for one of the following sessions that review the process for different off-campus work authorizations including Curricular Practical Training (F-1), Optional Practical Training (F-1) and Academic Training (J-1):

  2. You have heard us reference D/S or “duration of status” at some point during your undergraduate career. This refers to the duration of your student program on your I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students). There is currently a proposal to change the structure of this admission period to require “a fixed period of stay for international students, exchange visitors and foreign information media representatives.” This is not yet final and is currently in the stage of receiving public commentary. We will keep you closely informed of updates along the way and encourage you to read the article linked above in addition to other resources to learn more about this proposed change.

Travel Updates

  1. At this time, Elon will not require anyone traveling from outside the U.S. to quarantine when they return from the upcoming break.

    That said, it is equally important to keep in mind that the global landscape continues to change and at any point there may be policy changes that we must follow. Should that take place we will let you all know immediately.

  2. Please fill out this survey at your earliest convenience. If your intended winter break travel plans change after completing the survey, you can let us know by emailing intstudentservices@elon.edu with those changes.

    This information will allow us to:

    • Prepare for those staying on campus over the break
    • Provide a letter of support to those traveling internationally
    • Check for valid travel signatures
    • Discuss travel risks and considerations on an individual basis in advance of any students traveling abroad
  3. You’ll see on the survey linked above that there is an opportunity to ask additional questions. We’ve learned over the past couple of weeks that there are a few rumors among the international community about topics including Winter Term, quarantine requirements, and others. This is completely understandable given how quickly things are changing. Please share these questions/concerns/ideas with us through the survey so that we can share correct and helpful information based on what we know now.

Thank you for the time you took to read this email thoroughly. We wish you a great week ahead and look forward to being in touch again soon.

Sincerely,
The GEC
(How to reach us at any time.)

Sept. 25: GEC Check-In

Hi everyone,

We’re just over five weeks into the semester with about eight weeks to go, and we continue to be inspired by your perseverance. Given that this has been a number of months unlike any that we have ever experienced around the world, we are so grateful for your energy, patience, and adaptability as our landscape continues to change.

We know that there are questions that you have at this time about the current level three alert, quarantine protocol following holiday break travel, and recently proposed changes to visa regulations. And, perhaps others. We wanted to let you know that we are taking a moment to process much of the news that we’ve received lately and will be in touch early next week with some thoughts and resources.

In the meantime, please refer to the email shared by Jeff Stein at 10:46am this morning announcing the current “social hiatus” in an effort to further slow the spread of the virus. We know that you all are taking care and practicing every precaution to remain safe. Please continue to do so especially at this juncture when we have the opportunity to see a significant decrease in cases instead of a sharp increase in cases.

We hope to continue hearing from you with updates and questions. Wishing you all a very safe and restful weekend.

Sincerely,

The GEC

(How to reach us at any time.)

July 31: Update

Hi everyone,

It’s hard to believe that it is already the end of July. We’re excited to know that you all are finalizing your plans for the semester, and we continue to be grateful as you communicate with us about your updates, questions, and concerns.

As of today, there are a number of updates available on the GEC website on the following topics:

  • COVID-19 testing
  • Visa guidance
  • Delayed arrival/ Remote learning
  • International student orientation (for new incoming students)

Please continue to check this webpage as it is the most efficient way to receive updates at this time. Please also share this information with your family and loved ones if they have questions.

We know this is a lot of important information to work through, and we know that you have a lot on your minds with the semester beginning in less than 20 days. Remember that you can always schedule an appointment for a remote meeting to talk through your thoughts and questions.

No matter how you are engaging in your learning this fall (remote, delayed start, in-person), we’re looking forward to starting the semester with you.

Have a great weekend!
Global Education Center

July 17: General Update

Dear International Community,

We’ve made it to Friday after what has been a tumultuous two weeks! Thank you for your patience, your thoughtful questions, and for proactively communicating with us about your plans.

Moving forward, instead of sending lengthy email updates, we will post updates to a forthcoming COVID19 webpage so that everyone has access to the most up-to-date information as soon as possible. We will continue to send out email announcements when any important updates are posted to help notify you of changes. And, we will also continue to be in touch by email where guidance or questions are specific to you.

Our COVID19 webpage will be updated early next week with the latest on arrival and quarantine information, international student orientation, and other topics.

Your responses to our survey were very helpful! So helpful, in fact, that we are using your questions as the basis of an FAQ section on the COVID19 webpage. We will continue to respond individually to specific questions, and will respond to more general questions by adding to the FAQ.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,
Global Education Center

July 14: Update: Reversal of ICE rule for international students

Dear International Community,

We’re thrilled and relieved to share breaking news that the U.S. government has agreed to rescind rules barring international students attending universities operating entirely online from staying in the U.S.

The Associated Press and other news sources are releasing information about this ruling.

If you haven’t already, please see this statement from Provost Volety and Dean Pelton in support of international students.

We’ll be in touch later this week with further details about the upcoming fall semester.

Sincerely,
Global Education Center

July 7: Information about Recently Released Guidelines for International Students

Dear International Community,

 

You all have seen the recent news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about modifications to online coursework regulations for international students.

 

Our main goal in this email is to provide more clarity and further information around how this applies to Elon’s international community.

 

That said, we would like to share a few words first.

 

We share in your confusion, disappointment and anger at the circumstances. You’ve heard us say before and will continue to hear us say that as international educators, we are humbled by the immense value that the international community brings to every classroom, every conversation, every team, every job, every campus. You all are the reason that we do this work, and the U.S. is better because of the perspective, experience, and voices that you bring to the table.

 

We are thinking of the many students across the nation for whom this announcement has had a tremendous and immediate impact. This may be affecting friends, family, and others dear to you. Know that we are working diligently to collect and share information and will be in touch frequently to help ease confusion and anxiety around many unknowns.

 

How this announcement affects the Elon international community:
  1. As an institution that will continue with in-person classes, students who can return to campus for the fall semester will remain in status under a valid F-1 student program.
  2. Should Elon be forced to shift to online coursework, students would need to exit the U.S. to complete their semester online. This situation would only occur in extraordinary circumstances. Elon is preparing for a fully in-person semester.
  3. What does this mean for my student visa?As usual, students must be able to enter the U.S. within 30 days of the start of the semester in order to stay in status or begin their student program. This applies to both new incoming students and returning students.For those who are not able to enter the U.S. due to COVID-19 or other visa restrictions within the first 30 days of the semester, we will work directly with you to determine the next steps for you. These may include options such as a fully online course schedule from your home abroad, or a gap semester (for returning students) or deferral to the spring (for new students).
  4. Please be very attentive to emails shared from our office. We will be in touch soon to collect information about the status of visa applications, arrival plans, and other topics from all international students.
Your prompt response to our e-mails will help us lend effective support and guidance. There are many next steps that must occur due to these regulatory changes and we will be in touch about each of them soon (i.e. I-20 forms, housing assignments, arrival and quarantine, etc.). For now, please refer to the communication shared in June and available on our website.

 

A very important note to keep in mind is that things will continue to change. As they do, we will continue to be in touch.

 

While we are still making sense of this regulation change and changes to come, know that we are working as diligently and quickly as possible to provide the information and support you need. Your wellbeing is our top priority. We appreciate your patience, questions and communication along the way.

 

Sincerely,
The Global Education Center

June 19: Announcements for the Incoming International Community

Dear Incoming International Community,

The Global Education Center (GEC) staff is so excited to meet you soon!

Most importantly, we hope that you are all staying safe and well during these uncertain times. Part of why we love what we do in the GEC is because we have the opportunity to work with brave, forward-thinking, resilient individuals across the international community. We acknowledge these turbulent times and express our gratitude for your commitment to join the Elon community. We are inspired to serve students and families like you and yours who are willing to wade through many unknowns to pursue new experiences. For this, we say thank you!

On Monday, June 8, Elon University announced its plan for returning to campus for fall 2020, called “Ready & Resilient.” If you have not already, please review, as what follows here and in future communications will build from this site.

With the announcement of Elon’s plan, we are working to determine what all of the changes this year – from start date, to arrival protocol, to coursework, and other adjustments – mean for our international community. We are working through these considerations as quickly as possible and will be emailing you throughout the summer with updates.

Throughout the summer, please:

  1. Read our emails with care. Think about what the information here means for your situation.
  2. Share updates with your support network. Forward this email to your family and loved ones so everyone is aware.
  3. Ask us your questions. It’s okay to have questions! We might not yet have answers, but we want to address what we can and know what’s on your mind.

Here are some topics we can address at this time (more to come):

ARRIVAL PROTOCOL

As you have seen, there is a new academic calendar for the fall semester with on-campus classes beginning August 19 and ending November 23, to be followed by online examinations November 30 through December 4.

Visa Documentation

If you have not yet received your I-20 or DS-2019, you can expect to receive it within the next week. If you have already received your I-20 or DS-2019, we have emailed an updated document with adjusted program dates based on the changes to the academic calendar. While you must use the most recently issued document for visa purposes and travel, it is important to keep a record of all documents moving forward.

Please note that the start date for your program reads August 11, 2020. You are able to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start of your program. We will send a separate email to address various scenarios of early and delayed arrivals in terms of your program dates.

EARLY ARRIVAL AND QUARANTINE

Based on CDC guidelines, any student who is returning to the U.S. from these international locations, once travel becomes available, will be required to quarantine upon arrival to the U.S. All incoming international students will have the opportunity to arrive to campus as early as August 3. Please note the following:

  • August 3 is the earliest a student is able to arrive to campus and begin their quarantine on campus
  • We anticipate that many students will need to arrive after August 3 as well. The Global Education Center will send out information to collect travel itineraries beginning in July.
  • It is also possible to quarantine off-campus.
  • Upon arrival to campus, students and those who accompany them will go through a health screening process prior to moving into the residence halls.
  • More information will follow shortly regarding the health screening, recommended arrival dates, and the quarantine process.

We are presently organizing efforts around arrival, move-in, and quarantine. This includes topics such as airport pickup upon arrival, resources to use for early order and shipment of basic residence hall necessities (e.g. beddings, towels, etc.), access to campus dining services throughout quarantine, and health screening. We are working diligently to create a safe, effective plan and will follow up soon with additional information.

Please reference the CDC website as an important resource to stay up to date on the latest guidelines and safety protocols followed by the university.

As stated above, it is important to note that students are not required to complete their quarantine at Elon. If students would prefer to complete their quarantine off campus, we ask that each student notify us of their quarantine plan and provide a flight itinerary to confirm their arrival. Further instructions for the notification process will be provided in July.

If you have not already done so, it is very important to submit your health and immunization records prior to your arrival. Further information can be found on the Student Health Services website.

ORIENTATION

Due to quarantine, your arrival to campus will look different this fall, and International Student Orientation will be adjusted accordingly.

The majority of orientation will take place virtually and may be staggered based on your date of arrival. Due to maintaining health and safety practices, Elon University is allowing no more than two guests to accompany their student for move-in and orientation. We hope that it helps keep everyone safe as we come together.

More information about orientation will follow soon.

COURSEWORK

As you have seen in the Ready & Resilient site, the university is excited to welcome students back to in-person coursework, with the understanding that a wide variety of circumstances may require temporary online instruction.

For our international community, those circumstances may include a delay in obtaining a visa, restricted travel, flight expenditures, delayed arrival, quarantine protocol, etc. With this in mind, faculty are structuring courses to be remotely accessible during these delays. This applies to those physically on campus and those around the globe.

We will follow up with additional details in the coming weeks. For now, we encourage you to consider the following scenarios that may apply to you:

  1. Early/On-time Arrival
    Students are able to receive their visas, arrive in advance of the start of classes for quarantine, and begin the semester on campus.
  2. Late Arrival
    Students may need to arrive later in the semester for various circumstances discussed above and will begin coursework online until they are able to attend in person.Important Note: We are following government regulations regarding flexibility for students to take online coursework in the fall. We will keep you updated should there be any changes to this allowance.
  3. Fall semester from outside of the U.S.
    Students choose to begin their Elon experience with a fall semester from home. Please email Kristen Aquilino (kaquilino@elon.edu) if this applies to you.
  4. Deferral
    Students choose to begin their Elon experience in the spring semester. We ask that you notify Hebe Fuller (hfuller3@elon.edu) in the Office of Admissions no later than August 1 if you wish to defer. Please note, participation in Fellows, Scholars, and Odyssey Program cannot be deferred.

This is a lot of information, which we know will raise questions or concerns. We would love to hear from you. Here’s how to reach us:

  • Chat us anytime during business hours, M-F, 8 AM – 5 PM EDT. Chat is available from the bottom right corner of your screen on any elon.edu/global webpage.
  • Call the general line (+1-336-278-6700) and leave a voicemail. Advisors are responding to voicemails throughout the day.
  • Email global@elon.edu. GEC staff will respond within one business day.
  • Set up a virtual appointment by following steps from our appointment request form.

Sincerely,
The GEC team

April 27: COVID-19 Update 6: Important Information & Announcements

Dear Community,

We hope you had as peaceful and relaxing a weekend as possible. In thinking about this week holding the last Monday in April and the first Friday in May, it put things into perspective that …

  • courses have been online for a full five weeks (we started week six today)
  • there are 12 days of classes left (final day of classes in May 12)
  • exams end in just over three weeks (last day of exams is May 19)

It also means that the past five weeks have held a tremendous amount of change, loss and confusion. Simultaneously they have held unexpected time (in person and virtual) with family and friends, and maybe time to sit quietly or indulge in a hobby or build a new skill. For most of us, it has been a mix of all of the above.

As we enter into these final three weeks of this spring semester, we want to say thank you and you’ve got this! Throughout so many unknowns, this community has demonstrated incredible maturity, patience and kindness. You’ve seen your way through a great deal of change and you’re almost there.

As always, we want these updates to be comprehensive, and we’ll do our best to keep things to the point. Please know you can always reach out to talk things through in further detail.

Topics included below:

  • How to make an appointment with the GEC
  • Presidential Proclamation – April 22, 2020
  • Mail Services
  • Economic Hardship
  • Visa Processing
  • 5-month rule & Travel Signatures
  • Communication with the GEC

HOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE GEC

We’re working to be more virtually available, including in how you schedule an appointment with us. Starting TOMORROW, from our request an appointment webpage, you’ll see a form for requesting an appointment with an international student advisor. Complete this form to be matched with the right advisor and directed to their calendar. Find a time that works for you, schedule your appointment, and you’ll get a calendar invitation with a link to a video call.

We hope this new form makes us more accessible, and that it makes it easier for you to find the right advisor. If you run into technical errors or have suggestions for improvement, please email Shanna Van Beek at svanbeek@elon.edu.

PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION

On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation suspending “entry for 60 days of certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa” (NAFSA website). It is important to know that this does not currently affect nonimmigrants such as students or exchange visitors. Helpful information can be found on the NAFSA website.

Also, please refer to NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources for continued updates and information.

While this does not currently affect students, we recognize the far reach of the impact of a message like this one in and of itself. We are with you and will continue to lend support, guidance and information along the way.

MAIL SERVICES

The team in Mail Services can be reached at mailservices@elon.edu with any questions. They are working hard to respond to many inquiries so please be patient if you are waiting to hear back from them.

If you have important mail that you need to have forwarded to you, please be prepared to provide a FedEx account number, address, and phone number that Mail Services can use to send you those items. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with questions. I’m happy to help as much as possible and will also recommend that you contact the mail services email above for further information.

ECONOMIC HARDSHIP

This is a very difficult time for many people around the world, including within the Elon community. If you are experiencing economic hardship, you are not alone in that, and we want to do our best to help you find the right resources. Please feel free to email me directly (kaquilino@elon.edu) or to be in touch with Jan Register (jregister@elon.edu) in the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life to seek financial support. We cannot guarantee a solution but will do our best to find available resources on a case-by-case basis.

VISA PROCESSING

There continues to be a “General Suspension of Visa Services,” meaning visas are not being processed at this time. More information can be read from NAFSA’s webpage on the topic.

It is very important that you communicate with the GEC if you have already left the U.S. or will need to leave the U.S. and your visa will expire prior to your intended return. We do not know when this suspension of services will end and anticipate a significant delay of visa services once they resume.

5-MONTH ABSENCE & TRAVEL SIGNATURES

The 5-month absence provision does not apply to students currently in active status. In other words, if you are maintaining active status as an Elon student (continuing with your full course load) even if you will be out of the U.S. for more than five months, you do not need to obtain additional documentation in order to re-enter the U.S.

Electronic form issuance is permitted during this time. As you all know, typically we are unable to provide I-20 and DS-2019 forms electronically. During this time, we have been permitted to email that information to you on a case-by-case basis. Please email me at kaquilino@elon.edu if you require an updated travel signature for your re-entry into the U.S.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE GEC

Three Important Notes:

  1. If you are still in the U.S. AND have moved away from campus to a different address, you need to send the GEC your current address. In order to keep you in status, we are required to update each student’s current U.S. address within SEVIS if there has been a change.
  2. If you are not able to return your on-campus dorm or apartment keys to Residence Life by May 29, you need to let us know immediately by emailing intstudentservices@elon.edu. We will be providing a list of students residing in locations where mail services are not currently available to the Residence Life team for alternative plans.
  3. PLEASE continue to email intstudentservices@elon.edu with your plans, updates, and any questions that you have. We understand that travel plans have been changing regularly for many of you and ask that you please email us now with any changes that have taken place over the past three weeks.

For those of you at (or near) Elon, we hope you’ve enjoyed this beautiful day. For those of you away from Elon, attached is a picture of campus today… we look forward to seeing you all back here at some point.

Thanks, everyone. Wishing you all a great start to week – stay well!

Kristen & the GEC team

April 1: COVID-19 Update 5: Important Updates & Information

Dear Community,

I’m writing to you from my desk at home and, as you all are also experiencing, it feels very different to adjust to this new (temporary) normal. We miss seeing you all in the Global Education Center (GEC) and around Elon, and simultaneously are relieved that everyone is staying safe and healthy whether that be here on campus, or with family and friends around the world.

We understand that you’ve been receiving an inordinate amount of information as the landscape continues to change every day and will do our best to continue to keep you informed while respecting the need for fewer emails.

While we’re trying to make these emails both as comprehensive and to-the-point as possible, we get that you’re on information overload. Please know that if ever you want to talk through how the details here apply to your situation, reach out! Email kaquilino@elon.edu and we can set up a virtual appointment or phone call.

The GEC, alongside many other offices and institutions, has been functioning within an “emergency response mode” up to this point. This was in order to make sure we have been providing necessary information and services while we were all acting upon the rapidly changing news of airport, border, and business closures. We will continue to provide important global updates and information, and also look forward to reconnecting about the day-to-day needs and questions of this awesome community… even if we need to get creative in how we do so.

Topics included below:

  • Mail Services
  • Economic Hardship
  • Graduation
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Visa Processing
  • 5-month rule & Travel Signatures
  • Communication with the GEC
  • Online Coursework

MAIL SERVICES

The team in Mail Services can be reached at mailservices@elon.edu with any questions. They are working hard to respond to many inquiries following the announcement that Elon will go online for the remainder of the semester. Please be patient if you are waiting to hear back from them.

If you have important mail that you need to have forwarded to you, please be prepared to provide a FedEx account number, address, and phone number that Mail Services can use to send you those items. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with questions. I’m happy to help as much as possible and will also recommend that you contact the mail services email above for further information.

ECONOMIC HARDSHIP

This is a very difficult time for many people around the world, including within the Elon community. If you are experiencing economic hardship, you are not alone in that and we want to do our best to help you find the right resources. Please feel free to email me directly (kaquilino@elon.edu) or to be in touch with Jan Register (jregister@elon.edu) in the Truitt Center to seek financial support. We cannot guarantee a solution but will do our best to find available resources on a case-by-case basis.

GRADUATION

To Seniors: The news that you all received this week is heartbreaking, and we want you to know that no one is satisfied with an outcome of not celebrating all of your wonderful accomplishments. While graduation will certainly look different this year, know that we are brainstorming opportunities to celebrate you all and to provide community both near and far to recognize this fantastic senior class. More information will follow.

OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING

Many seniors have asked about applying for OPT from outside of the U.S. Please see the information below:

On March 27, 2020, SEVP updated its COVID-19 FAQ with a “status quo” update on this question:

Due to COVID-19, what is SEVP’s advice to students who want to apply for OPT? Is there any chance that students would be able to apply for post-completion OPT from outside the United States?

DHS is evaluating these issues and may issue additional guidance. USCIS adjudicates OPT employment authorization and status requests for F and M students and has yet to issue official guidance on these issues. SEVP continuously shares these stakeholders’ concerns with our partners at USCIS to assist them in their deliberations.” The FAQ update also includes a variety of other added questions and responses.

(NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources)

As you can see, we have not received updates with conclusive guidance. Right now, we are still operating as usual while expecting significant delays in processing. If you are a senior and you have questions regarding OPT, please email me directly and we will schedule a meeting to discuss your particular goals and circumstances.

For those of you who have already applied, we will continue to notify you of updates as we receive them about your applications.

VISA PROCESSING

There is currently a “General Suspension of Visa Services.” More information can be read from NAFSA’s webpage on the topic.

At this time, it is very important that you communicate with the GEC if you have already left the U.S. or will need to leave the U.S., and your visa will expire prior to your intended return. We do not know when this suspension of services will end and anticipate a significant delay of visa services once they resume.

5-MONTH RULE & TRAVEL SIGNATURES

We have learned that the 5-month absence provision does not apply to students currently in active status. In other words, if you are maintaining active status as an Elon student (continuing with your full course load) even if you will be out of the U.S. for more than five months, you do not need to obtain additional documentation in order to re-enter the U.S.

Electronic form issuance is permitted during this time. As you all know, typically we are unable to provide I-20 and DS-2019 forms electronically. During this time, we have been permitted to email that information to you on a case-by-case basis. Please email me at kaquilino@elon.edu if you require an updated travel signature for your re-entry into the U.S.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE GEC

PLEASE continue to email intstudentservices@elon.edu with your plans, updates, and any questions that you have. We understand that travel plans have been changing on a daily basis for many of you. Letting us know of your plans puts us in the best position possible to support you throughout this time of uncertainty. Please email us now if you have not already.

ONLINE COURSEWORK

We want to know how you are doing with this new kind of academic setting. For some of you, it may be a welcomed change. For others, it may be presenting challenges that you did and did not expect. So, how is it going for you? Please tell us about your experience.

With this feedback we can help raise important questions and concerns from the international community with faculty and university leadership. We’re all learning together in this, and the more communication about what works and what doesn’t work – the better!

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU …

The GEC and International Student Ambassador Team are working to create opportunities for the international community to stay connected virtually. It would help us a lot if we know what would be most supportive in certain areas and what would be fun and uplifting in others! We have some ideas coming together and would appreciate more. Please write to us at intstudentservices@elon.edu with your thoughts on this!

For those of you on campus, we’d appreciate learning the same from you about your on-campus experience. What do you all need from campus services that would support you throughout this time? What is working already, and what could improve?
Thanks, everyone. Wishing you all a great start to April – stay well!

Yours in hand washing and sanitation,

Kristen & the GEC team

March 22: COVID-19 Update 4: Important Updates & Information

Hi everyone,

We know it has been a whirlwind of a weekend to say the least. With that in mind, this update is as brief as possible recognizing that you all are in the process of making important decisions, traveling, packing, adjusting to different time zones and more.

Topics included:

  • Elon Updates
  • Communication with the GEC
  • Academic Coursework & Books
  • Travel Updates
  • Housing & Storage

Elon Updates

Please check Elon’s COVID-19 Updates for information about campus operations and protocols.

It is important to know that many students (over 400) are returning to campus today/Monday. Please read the updates at the link above to know important information about social distancing (i.e. gatherings must be 10 people or less, many campus facilities are closed, etc.)

For those of you remaining on campus, stay tuned! We will be reaching out to you about opportunities to connect (virtually and safely in small groups).

Communication with the GEC

Please see the emails below for further detail, and continue to email intstudentservices@elon.edu with any updates or changes to your current plans.

Academic Coursework & Books

Classes begin online on Monday. For those of you who will be traveling throughout the first day of classes, please contact your professors as soon as possible to let them know of your plans and to coordinate with them regarding assignments. Simultaneously, we ask that you send us a list of your professors at intstudentservices@elon.edu so that we can also contact them if necessary on your behalf.

For those of you who have not yet left and have questions about returning your books, please email bkselon@bncollege.com to understand what options you may have to access materials electronically.

If you have already left the U.S. and have rented books with you, please email us at intstudentservices@elon.edu to let us know and we will get back to you about steps to take following the completion of the semester.

Travel Updates

The State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Global Health Advisory. Please refer to the link to learn more. Travel restrictions are rapidly increasing for public health safety, and it is very important if you choose to travel to your home country to make those plans as soon as possible.

For those of you who have recently left the U.S. and plan to be away until August, please write to intstudentservices@elon.edu to let us know. The GEC will produce a letter for you to travel back into the U.S. explaining your absence of over 5 months being due to the circumstances with COVID-19. This letter will be emailed to you, and you will need to print it and carry it with you upon your return.

At this time, it is very important to understand that visa processing in many countries has either slowed down, or has come to a temporary halt. If you have an expired visa or a visa that will expire prior to your intended return to the U.S., please contact us as soon as possible by emailing kaquilino@elon.edu.

Prior to travel, check if your home country (or the country you will be traveling to) requires health checks prior to your departure from the U.S. Student Health Services at Elon can provide the necessary documentation following a health exam.

Housing & Storage

Many of you who have homes outside of the U.S. have asked about storage. Particularly if you have needed to depart the U.S. with very little notice. We have a few free local storage options that we can utilize. Please email intstudentservices@elon.edu to request assistance with storage. We will contact you directly to find the best solution based on your current location and needs.

If you have already left Elon with your room keys, you’ll need to mail them to Residence Life using the following address. Be sure to mail your keys in a secure/sturdy envelop so that the keys do not fall out. You’ll also need to include your name, building, and room number in the mailing.

Elon University Residence Life
100 Campus Drive
2980 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

The GEC team will primarily work remotely to support the importance of social distancing in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That said, we are nearby and working as usual so do not hesitate to reach out for any needs.

We appreciate your patience in our responding to inquiries unrelated to immediate changes due to COVID-19. We anticipate we will be able to respond more promptly next week, and look forward to being in touch about ways we can all stay connected virtually while we’re all staying safe and well.

Thank you for your attention to these emails. Please continue to take care and we’ll be in touch soon!

Kristen & the GEC team

March 16: COVID-19 Update 3: Important Updates & Information

Hi everyone,

Please read through each section of this entire email. In summary, here are the topics included:

  • General Updates
  • Communication with the GEC
  • Academic Coursework
  • Travel Signatures
  • Storage & Current Needs
  • A note on processing these challenging times

General Updates

As you know, a great deal of global changes have continued to take place over the weekend. Please use the resources below to stay up to date on health practices, travel restrictions, COVID-19 cases, and university updates:

https://www.elon.edu/u/coronavirus/
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Live updates about global travel restrictions can be found here.

Communicating with the GEC (intstudentservices@elon.edu)

If you have not yet emailed intstudentservices@elon.edu with your plans – we need you to do so AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Letting the GEC know of your plans puts us in the best position possible to support you throughout this time of uncertainty. Please email us now if you have not already.

This allows us to do the following:

  • Reference your location for safety and support
  • Share information about GEC & campus services (i.e. hanging out in The Globe, shopping trips, availability of GEC staff, etc.)
  • Know to contact you about a travel signature if need be
  • Offer help with storing personal items
  • Contact faculty in advance of March 23 (when classes resume online) to work to with them to address international instruction

Coursework & Completing the Spring Semester

Elon has made a commitment to work with you to complete your educational requirements this semester – regardless of your physical location.

Frequent questions that have come up:

  • If I leave the U.S. and am not able to return, will I still be able to complete my semester?
  • If border closures restrict me from the U.S. even if main campus becomes open again to students, can I still complete my coursework online?

The answer to these questions is in the initial sentence above, and flexibility. Elon faculty and staff are committed to creating an alternative learning environment that supports students, no matter their location, to complete their Spring Semester coursework. That said, you must be willing to be flexible just as your faculty are working to be flexible with their students. This is new territory for all of us, and we all need to be committed to making alternative modes of learning possible.

If you are an international student studying on a visa, we have explained that Homeland Security has allowed necessary changes for online coursework at this time. This link references the USCIS statement on online coursework.

Travel Signatures

We have seen many of you in the GEC for travel signatures prior to travels for Spring Break and/or to return home.

For those students on a J-1 or F-1 visa, you WILL need a valid travel signature on your DS-2019 or I-20 at the time of your return to the U.S. If you needed to make immediate travel plans without consulting the GEC about your travel signature, that is okay. Please email kaquilino@elon.edu if that was the case for you.

If you plan to exit the U.S. within a few days, please make time to come to the GEC to obtain a travel signature.

Storage & Current Needs

Many of you who have homes outside of the U.S. have asked about storage. Particularly if you have needed to depart the U.S. with very little notice.

We have a few free local storage options that we can utilize. Please email intstudentservices@elon.edu to request assistance with storage. We will contact you directly to find the best solution based on your current location and needs.

If you have coordinated with a friend(s) to help pack your things, please have that friend email intstudentservices@elon.edu to help coordinate storing your items.

For those of you still on campus, GEC staff members have brought spare boxes into the GEC to help you with your packing. We will distribute these on a first-come, first-served basis, and/or help get some boxes to you if you are not able to reach the GEC to pick them up. Please let us know if you need help getting boxes to your dorm/apartment.

If you remain on campus and are in need of groceries or other items, we will be taking students shopping. Please let us know if you need to participate in these shopping trips – we would look forward to having you with us! (intstudentservices@elon.edu)

Honoring being human throughout all of this …

This has been a stressful time. Many within our community have described it as feeling like a dream, and have not yet settled with the realities of these unpredictable circumstances; almost as though this will all seemingly go away at a moment’s notice. With minimal notice, many of you have packed up your things to the best of your ability during the throes of midterms, said farewell to friends prior to their quick departures, and changed/made travel last-minute travel plans. It is absolutely reasonable to be in a position where you are not able to make sense of things right now. Please go easy on yourselves as you process all that is taking place.

COVID-19 is directly and indirectly impacting all of us globally. Many are navigating everything from disruption in travel plans, to lack of access to medical care and immense loss. It is vital that we each care for our individual health and the wellness of loved ones and community members, that we communicate questions and needs as promptly as possible, and that we lean on one another for support. You all are demonstrating incredible care and practicality in deciding on next steps. Know that we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Kristen & the GEC team

March 12: COVID-19 Update 2: International Travel, Spring Break and Online Coursework

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your patience in receiving this update and for your excellent questions. You are doing really well as we navigate these circumstances despite all of the unknowns.

In this environment of continuously evolving updates, we want to help you focus on that information which helps you determine your best next step. As mentioned in an email sent yesterday to all international students at Elon, we understand the uncertainty of this time and are here to support you as you process decisions about staying in the U.S. or returning home.

Simultaneously, we cannot encourage you enough to keep your family, guardians, and loved ones consulted and closely informed along the way. Feel free to share any information you receive from the GEC directly with them.

This is a long email that includes important information. Please read through it entirely and do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions. 

Coursework & Completing the Spring Semester

As mentioned in the email below, we are confident that Elon staff and faculty will remain flexible and work to continuously support the evolving circumstances. This includes being committed to students completing academic requirements even if they find themselves unable to return to the U.S. following necessary international travel.

Again, we want to emphasize that we are ready to support you in making the best decision for you and your loved ones about travel. Should you choose to return to your home abroad, know that Elon will work with you to complete your academic coursework should you be unable to return to campus after the two weeks following Spring Break.
Just once more for clarity – if you choose to leave the United States over the next three weeks and are unable to return for the remainder of the semester, we in the GEC and Elon faculty and staff will work with you to complete your academic requirements for the semester.

Travel Restrictions

You’ve seen that last night, President Trump announced that starting Friday (tomorrow) at 11:59 PM eastern time, travel from Europe would be suspended for the next 30 days.
The Department of Homeland Security clarified that this travel suspension is limited to foreign nationals in Europe outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Three international students studying in Europe are potentially affected by this announcement. We have been in touch with each of these students to work together to find the best solution.

This announcement is jarring and unsettling. If you are feeling overwhelmed or uncertain you are justified in those feelings. Please come talk to us, email or call as needed.

Since that announcement, other countries have also announced large-scale travel restrictions.

At this time, it is very important that we stay in close contact regarding questions that you may have and plans that you are making to return to/stay on Elon’s campus, or possibly to travel abroad.

We encourage you to take into account the information provided by Elon (and all resources embedded throughout those emails) over the past couple of days, and to decide alongside family and loved ones what will be best for you.

Very important to keep the following in mind… the current circumstances will continue to evolve rapidly. The best that any of us can do is to stay abreast of updates and make informed decisions based on the information we have. If you need help sorting through your plans, please do not hesitate to come to the Global Education Center – we would be happy to talk through things with you as you consider your options. You can also rely on excellent resources around campus (i.e. the CREDE, Counseling Services, Student Health & Wellness, Student Care and Outreach, and many others).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) & Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Many of you have asked about CPT for this coming summer, and OPT for those of you who are graduating seniors. Know that we are closely monitoring any formal announcements from the Department of Homeland Security for updates.
At this time, we will proceed as usual with applying for work authorization. If you have any specific questions about this, please email Kristen Aquilino directly (kaquilino@elon.edu).

Program Extensions

Many students have understandably expressed concern about the ability to complete their current academic programs should the response to COVID-19 continue along the current path. We will make sure to be in touch with all students on a regular basis should you have questions pertaining specifically to the completion of your programs; and to consider the need for extending your program should you be unable to meet the requirements of your degree by the original end date of your studies.

Travel Signatures

As you know, should you choose to travel outside of the United States you will need a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 at the time of your return to the U.S. That said, I encourage you not to be concerned about a travel signature if you are making plans to exit the U.S. within the next few days. In the case that you needed to make immediate international travel plans without a valid travel signature, please email me at kaquilino@elon.edu with the date of your current travel signature, and a secure mailing address where you can receive an updated document.

If you are unable to receive mail abroad, we will provide you with a letter from the GEC via email that you will travel with upon re-entry.

Exchange Students

Students who are here on exchange programs will be receiving information from their home country institutions. Please keep us closely informed about the messaging from your institutions. We want to support you as much as possible and to work closely with your home institution to plan for potential program changes.

Please refer to the emails below for how to reach the GEC. And, once again, please share this information with family and loved ones should they need to reach out to our office or other resources on campus.

Health Insurance Coverage

LewerMark Insurance

For those of you who signed up for LewerMark Insurance through Elon, they have shared that “there is no provision in your LewerMark international student health insurance policy that excludes coverage for the coronavirus. This means that treatment of the coronavirus is covered under the plan similar to other illnesses.”
Soon you will receive an email from Stormy De Lucia, GEC Business and Data Manager, explaining what the treatment of COVID-19 includes, and other information.

Other Insurance

We understand that many of you waived out of the LewerMark health insurance and are covered by insurance from your home country. Insurance plans/coverage may be updating given the current pandemic.

*Should you choose to remain in the U.S. at this time (over Spring Break and the following two weeks), and feel it would be best to have U.S. insurance coverage, we have asked LewerMark if students have the option to enroll in coverage beginning now. We will send an update via email as soon as we learn if this is possible.

This is an unprecedented time, and we are dedicated to understanding the implications of frequent changes and sharing guidance and information along the way.  We’re here for you and will be in touch again soon.

Sincerely,

GEC team

March 11: COVID-19 Update: International Travel, Spring Break and Online Coursework

Dear International Community,

You will have seen the email that President Book shared earlier this afternoon. It is included below for your reference. Please be sure to read it thoroughly and to share the information and updates with your parents and guardians.

In summary, all undergraduate courses will take place online for the two weeks following Spring Break (March 23 – April 5), with classes planning to resume back on campus beginning Monday, April 6.

We understand that this is a turbulent time and that many of you will be navigating changes in travel plans that may have immediate and future impacts. It is important that you know the following:

(1)  You are able to stay on campus during and following Spring Break. Please refer to President Book’s email below, which includes a link to register online for on-campus housing over the next three weeks.

(2)  Online coursework will NOT affect your visa status.
The Department of Homeland Security acknowledges that institutions are working to keep students and communities safe and to minimize the potential impact of COVID-19. As such, online instruction is permitted under the current circumstances.

(3)  President Book’s email recommended reconsidering all international travel – prepare to be flexible with your current travel plans. Travel restrictions are rapidly changing between countries, and we are not able to predict all changes in advance. While making changes may require great inconveniences in certain circumstances, we prohibit travel to countries that have been assigned travel advisories, and ask that you consider canceling international travels to areas with increasing risk.

(4)  At this time, Elon University prohibits travel to all countries that have been assigned a Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel or higher, or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 or higher. CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notices currently include China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

(5)  Individual governments may also enact strict and sudden measures, which you are obliged to follow.

If you choose to travel internationally, we will support you with any changes that may take place prior to your return. However, it is important that you understand that there may be circumstances we are unable influence (i.e. travel bans and quarantine restrictions).

We understand that some international students must travel internationally for personal reasons and other reasons out of their control. In these situations, there may be changes that take place while these students are abroad and we will address those changes on a case-by-case basis.

(6)  You must email intstudentservices@elon.edu with your plans. As soon as possible, please email the International Student Services team with your travel plans, even if you intend to stay on campus.

Letting the GEC know of your plans puts us in the best position possible to support you throughout this time of uncertainty.

(7)  At this time, we do not know the nature of the future impact and response to COVID-19. We are confident that Elon staff and faculty will remain flexible and work to continuously support the evolving circumstances. This includes being committed to students completing academic requirements who may find themselves unable to return to the U.S. following necessary international travel.

Earlier this week we shared an email about a gathering for a discussion about COVID-19 tonight, Wednesday, March 11 at 7pm in the Global Education Center. That email is also included below for reference. Please attend if possible as this will also be an opportunity to ask questions that have come up following announcements today.

Students should continue to follow the guidance emailed by Vice President Dooley, available for review from Elon’s coronavirus webpage at elon.edu/coronavirus.

We are considering how challenges presented by COVID-19 are affecting international students, students abroad, students at Study USA sites, campus life, and broader Elon commitments. We are all in a difficult and dynamic time, and our primary commitment is to student safety and wellness.

Thank you for your continued flexibility and patience. We encourage you to take measures to stay healthy and well rested.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. You can reach the GEC during office hours (M-F, 8-5) at 336-278-6700. Our office remains open for spring break, Monday, Mar. 16 through Thursday, Mar. 19. Elon University is closed Friday, Mar. 20.

For after-hour emergencies, call Campus Safety and Police at +1-336-278-5555. We have an on-call staff person ready to assist.

Sincerely,

GEC team


Dear Members of the Elon community,

The University has continued carefully monitoring conditions and impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Campus leaders are working collaboratively to develop plans and scenarios to address our first priority which is to reduce the health risk to students, faculty, staff and their families.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at Elon. Yesterday, the state of North Carolina declared a state of emergency and public health experts are encouraging social distancing to disrupt and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Today we are announcing important next steps for the Elon community as a part of that effort.

Elon University is committed to completing the semester and ensuring that all students can fulfill their academic requirements and degree progress. Campus offices and services will remain open and operations will continue normally.

Here is what you need to know:

  • All undergraduate courses will transition from classroom instruction to online learning mode for the two weeks following Spring Break (which begins this Saturday and concludes March 22).
  • Undergraduate students are encouraged to remain at home during the two weeks following Spring Break (March 23 – April 5). Please refer to this checklist for items to bring with you as you leave campus later this week.
  • Students will continue classes online beginning March 23 as directed by their faculty members.
  • We plan to resume normal classroom instruction on Monday, April 6.
  • The Schools of Law and Health Sciences will remain open and operate normally. Academic requirements will be communicated to students by the deans. Students in other graduate programs will receive further information from their faculty members as plans are developed.
  • University services and operations will continue for students who must remain on campus during Spring Break or return to campus prior to April 6. Residence halls, dining halls, and other campus services and offices will be open to meet the needs of the campus.
  • Students living in residence halls requesting to be on campus at any point over the next three weeks should register on-line here. We request that information as soon as possible for planning purposes.
  • Students who remain on campus should anticipate limited campus activities. Most campus events and activities with more than 50 people will be canceled from March 16 through April 6 and there could be changes to events scheduled after that date.

Although the decision to alter classes was difficult as it will impact Elon’s residential learning environment for a few weeks, we are confident these measures will help to protect all members of our community. We are announcing this decision now to give faculty and students time to plan for the transition and achieve their academic goals.
This decision will bring many questions and we will be working to answer those in the days ahead. We know this will be a stressful shift for our community and will be in touch frequently as further information is developed. We ask for continued patience and flexibility from everyone as we collectively address what has become a very complex situation. Please check our dedicated coronavirus website which will be updated frequently with further details: https://www.elon.edu/coronavirus.

Spring Break and University Travel

As students contemplate Spring Break travel, we encourage the following recommendations:

  • Carefully review the CDC helpful guidance for travelers. During the break, stay informed about developments and watch for advisories that could impact when and where you can travel.
  • The CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide. We encourage students to follow suit.
  • Reconsider spring break activities that involve large crowds or mass gatherings where coronavirus could be spread more easily.
  • Carefully consider non-essential travel to U.S. locations that have declared a state of emergency or are experiencing a growing number of cases.
  • The university also recommends reconsidering any international travel knowing that this is an evolving situation and other countries could be added to the level two or three warning list during Spring Break.
  • No matter where you are, avoid contact with sick people; avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol.

Additional university travel guidelines and advice include:

  • All non-essential university travel has been suspended until further notice. This includes alternative break trips and conference travel. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be made with deans and vice presidents.
  • Elon students, faculty, and staff who travel to or through a country with a level two or three travel warning from the CDC must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.  

Medical information and Questions

According to the CDC, at this time the complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, older people and people with certain underlying health conditions – like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example – seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
If you have medical questions or concerns, please consult Student Health Services at 336-278-7230 or the Faculty Staff Wellness Clinic at 336-278-5569. For questions about the university response to the virus, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200.

Dr. Dooley’s next email update to the community is planned for Monday afternoon, March 16, unless an earlier message is warranted. Current information is always available on the special university website: https://www.elon.edu/coronavirus.
A big thank you to our community members for all the work already completed (who knew that our efforts to address the mumps would have put Elon in a position of strength for Covid19!) and other work underway to prepare our community for this unprecedented situation, from our emergency management and wellness teams to the physical plant crews ensuring that our campuses remain as clean and sanitary as possible.

Please know how grateful I am for all that each of you do each day and will do over the coming weeks to adapt to these changes.  Thank you for your flexibility and patience during this dynamic time around the world.

Sincerely,

Connie Book

______________________
Connie Ledoux Book, Ph.D.
President
Elon University
2185 Campus Box
Elon, North Carolina 27244
336-278-7900


Dear Community,

We hope that you are all doing very well as we near Spring Break.

The Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE) and the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC) in partnership with Student Health & Wellness hope to bring students, staff, and faculty together to talk about recent global health news in a meaningful and informed discussion.

We understand that updates and information about COVID-19 are changing quickly and want to let you know that we are closely following developments. Some of the responses to the virus include significant impacts on groups and individuals in terms of health and safety, bans on global travel, and much more. We also know that there has been a rise in biased and racist rhetoric that is directed toward members of Asian communities in society. Please know we are here to help lend support should anyone within our community be affected by any of these events.

We will meet in the Global Education Center (third floor Global Commons) on Wednesday, March 11 from 7 to 8 pm.

During this gathering Dr. Ginette Archinal, Elon University Physician and Medical Director of Student Health, will be joining us to provide factual information about COVID-19 and other important health considerations. CREDE and GEC staff will be guiding follow-up discussion about university (and other) resources for information and support, and to learn about your concerns, questions, and experiences.

The idea here is to help us all better understand what we are hearing and reading so much about in the news; and that by becoming well-informed through factual, inclusive discussion we can take action to support one another in responding effectively, especially in instances where biased remarks are directed toward members of our community. We all play a vital role in supporting one another, in challenging misinformation and bias, and in doing what we can to stay healthy and well.

We understand that this is a very sensitive time for some of the members of our community. Some of you may be comforted by the idea of coming together and the opportunity to learn and share experiences, while for others of you it would be an added hardship. If the latter is the case for you, please know that you can always come to speak with us on an individual basis.

You will have seen Dr. Jon Dooley’s emails below about good practices and important resources for student health and safety. If you have not yet read them, feel free to reference them below.

Thank you for your time and attention to this email and we look forward to seeing you soon!

CREDE & GEC