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International Students and Study Abroad Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

As our understanding of COVID-19 evolves, Seton Hall works to update our plans and policies appropriately. The following frequently asked questions will be updated as new information becomes available.

Updates and Messages


 

Study Abroad and International Travel


The University will continue its restrictions to non-essential travel throughout the Academic Year 2020-21.

Study Abroad

  • Study abroad will be suspended for fall 2020 and spring 2021. In spring 2021, considerations and changes may take place for summer 2021 programs.
  • Any third-party sponsored trip that students elect are at the student's risk, and they will be advised of travel advisories. Students who elect third-party study abroad programs will need to be quarantined at home before returning to campus as recommended by CDC guidance.27
  • Both Student Services and the Office of International Programs (OIP) will continue to monitor the CDC website to comply with most recent quarantine recommendations.
  • OIP will keep students and employees informed about changes to guidelines both on its website (https://www.shu.edu/international-programs/) and via frequent email communications.
  • The Office of International Programs will also provide links to locations where students and faculty may find information regarding COVID-19, FAQs, and travel advisories, for example:

International Students

  • International students will be able to study remotely in their home country. Those who are currently prevented from entering the United States due to federal restrictions may be able to transition to the HyFlex model during the semester depending on changes in travel restrictions.
  • The Office of International Programs (OIP) will continue to monitor the requirements for international students to ensure compliance with all regulations, and the office will communicate with international students as appropriate.
  • New students may not enter the U.S. to engage in remote learning. For new students, their F-1 status is delayed until they enter. For those entering for the spring 2021 semester, their eligibility for off-campus internships/ employment will be delayed until January 2022. F-1 students must study for one year before they are eligible for those opportunities.
  • International students who will be residing on campus in the fall will be provided with housing for self-isolation consistent with quarantine requirements recommended by the CDC.

Frequently Asked Questions


Study Abroad and International Travel


International Students


Travel


Academics


Housing


Employment


Other


Will students be able to study abroad during the 2020-21 academic year?

Study abroad will be suspended for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. In Spring 2021, considerations and changes may take place for summer 2021 programs.


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Are students able to study abroad with a third party company?

Any third-party sponsored trip that students elect are at the student's risk, and they will be advised of travel advisories. Students who elect third-party study abroad programs will need to be quarantined at home before returning to campus as recommended by CDC guidance.


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Where can I find out more information about study abroad?

Both Student Services and the Office of International Programs (OIP) will continue to monitor the CDC website to comply with most recent quarantine recommendations. OIP will keep the students and employees informed on changes to guidelines both on its website (https://www.shu.edu/international-programs/) and via frequent email communications.

The Office of International Programs will also provide links to where students and faculty may find information regarding COVID-19, FAQs, and travel advisories, for example:


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Are university trips abroad cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

All 2020 University-sanctioned trips are cancelled. This includes faculty-led study abroad, DOVE service trips and mission trips. One faculty-led trip over spring break went abroad before the decision to cancel was made.


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Can students still travel on their own?

Students, faculty and staff can elect to travel abroad at their own risk but not as part of a University sanctioned trip. We advise students who decide to travel abroad to check for the latest information about the coronavirus in the countries they plan to visit and ensure that there are no health advisories or travel restrictions before departing. Please follow new travel alerts and watches from CDC and the U.S. Department of State.

To safeguard the health and safety of our campus community, we expect travelers from these countries to self-quarantine for the recommended 14-day period.


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How do I know if my destination has a travel advisory? 

Please reference the following website to see if the country you plan to travel to has an advisory https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/.


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Will I be allowed to return to the U.S from my destination? 
Check the latest travel restrictions for returning to the U.S here: 
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/presidential-proclamation--travel-from-europe.html

There may also be travel restrictions within your destination or leaving your destination, which may affect your travel back to the U.S. 


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What should I do when I enter the U.S.? 

Travelers entering the U.S from impacted areas must self-quarantine for 14 days. Follow these guidelines presented by the Department of Homeland Security.


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What happens if my program gets cancelled or postponed? Can I get a refund? 

  • When participating in a third-party or exchange program, you will have to follow the directives of that program and work directly with them to make up any missed coursework, in the event the program cancels or you wish to depart early. 
  • Review the refund and cancellation policies of your study abroad program and airline. Stay abreast of any changes to your program by the provider. Keep in mind, some programs are partially or non-refundable. 
  • Consider purchasing a travel insurance policy, however, be sure to read the fine print. Even policies that allow you to cancel for any reason, may exclude "known events" such as the Coronavirus 

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How should I fill out my credit transfer sheet now that I can’t do it in person?  

You can still meet with your advisor online through Microsoft Teams or other sources and then email them your Credit Transfer Sheet for them to sign. To complete it students can do one of two options, 1) print it out, sign it and scan it back in the computer or use Nitro PDF to sign it and send it to the Registrar for its final destination or 2) advisors can send their approval via email as a short sentence indicating approval for the course and the SHU equivalent sought.  

Remember to keep copies of the email and CTS form for your own record. 

 


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How can I submit my study abroad application since I can no longer do it in person? 

You can submit your study abroad application through email to our office at oip@shu.edu or send it to our dropbox.  


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Where do I submit my transcript? 

Summer 2020 Students: Please send your official e-transcripts to thehall@shu.edu or official transcripts to Office of the Registrar, Bayley Hall, Room 110. Students can also forward the confirmation and order number to the following email registrar@shu.edu.

Fall 2020 and Beyond: Please send official transcripts as usual to Office of International Programs, Presidents Hall, Room 9.


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Where can I check travel restrictions in place for Americans returning to U.S?

You can check the travel restrictions in place for Americans on the Department of State website which you can find here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/presidential-proclamation--travel-from-europe.html#ExternalPopup


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Where can I find country-specific information about my destination including restrictions related to COVID-19?

You can check the COVID-19 situation in all other countries on the Department of State website at the following link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html as well as the Department of State travel warning here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html


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Can international students study remotely?

International students will be able to study remotely in their home country. Those who are currently prevented from entering the US due to federal restrictions may be able to transition to the HyFlex model during the semester once New Jersey enters Stage 3, depending on changes in travel restrictions.

The Office of International Programs (OIP) will continue to monitor the requirements for international students to ensure compliance with all regulations and communicate to international students as appropriate.


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Is the University accepting new international students?

New students may not enter the US to engage in remote learning. For new students, their F-1 status is delayed until they enter. For those entering for the Spring 2021 semester, their eligibility for off-campus internships/ employment will be delayed until Jan. 2022. F-1 students must study for one year before they are eligible for those opportunities.


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Is there housing available for international students?

International students who will be residing on campus in the fall will be provided with housing for self-isolation consistent with quarantine requirements recommended by the CDC.


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What travel bans are currently in place?

Currently, there are travel bans imposed by the U.S. to prevent the entry of travelers from China, Iran, Schengen Region Countries, the UK and Brazil due to COVID-19. There is also a suspension of F and J visa applications for graduate students and researchers from China that have an affiliation with entities supporting China’s military strategy. Finally, there is a travel restriction preventing non-essential travel between the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, however individuals traveling for educational purposes are considered essential - please double check with the specific border crossing if they will consider family traveling with you as “essential”. Please keep checking these links for updates.


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What are the things I should consider if attempting to travel to the U.S. for classes inperson?

1. Visa Appointments
Beginning July 15, U.S. embassies abroad will decide whether they can begin resuming
visa services based on the conditions at their location. While many embassies are not
resuming normal operations yet, they may be offering emergency appointments. Please
check individual embassy websites for details.

We have compiled a list of U.S. embassies that have posted information on resuming
services.

2. Travel Bans
Currently, there are travel bans imposed by the U.S. to prevent the entry of travelers
from China, Iran, Schengen Region Countries, the UK and Brazil due to COVID-19. There is also a suspension of F and J visa applications for graduate students and researchers from China that have an affiliation with entities supporting China’s military strategy. Finally, there is a travel restriction preventing non-essential travel between the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, however individuals traveling for educational purposes are considered essential - please double check with the specific border crossing if they will consider family traveling with you as “essential”. Please keep checking these links for updates.

Applying for a National Interest Waiver
Students from countries with a travel ban may request that the U.S. embassy in your
home country process a National Interest Waiver for you. Some students may qualify.
We are learning that some embassies are posting on their websites that F1s with a valid
visa may travel to the U.S. as normal and that applying for a national interest waiver is
not needed. However, OIP has called customs at Newark and JFK airport and they are
NOT aware of this rule. We do not recommend students travel to the U.S. if a travel ban
is still in place, unless you have received the paperwork proving that you have been
granted the National Interest Waiver.

3. Quarantine Requirements
The University will follow CDC guidelines in place at the time that students arrive in the US. Currently, the CDC recommends all international arrivals into the U.S. quarantine for a period of 14 days. This will be required before allowing students to enter classrooms. See more details below.

4. Lack of Flights
With all of the changes listed above, students will likely experience delays in getting a
flight to the U.S. Over the past few months, students have had their flights cancelled and rescheduled by the airlines a few times before actually departing.


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Is there a certain airport where I should arrive?

There are currently 15 U.S. airports accepting permitted travelers from the regions that
have a travel ban in place. When the travel bans are lifted, travelers will most likely have to arrive in the U.S. at one of these designated airports. Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey and JFK International Airport in New York are the closest airports to Seton Hall University.

Please remember that upon arriving in the New Jersey you must be wearing a mask inside a public building or outside wherever social distancing is not possible, this is now NJ State Law so please plan on having some masks with you.


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Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I get to the US?

Most likely. Currently, the CDC guidelines recommend that all international arrivals into the U.S. quarantine for a period of 14 days. This will be required before allowing students to enter classrooms. Students with an on-campus housing assignment have the option of quarantining on-campus in Ora Manor as early as August 16, then move into their dormitory. Another option is that students could quarantine at a location of their choice and send proof of hotel/lease rental to studentservices@shu.edu. Students living off-campus must quarantine in their own living arrangement. 


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Can I still receive my I-20 even though many U.S. embassies are not processing visa requests? 

Yes, the last day OIP will issue I-20s for fall to students abroad is 7/31/2020. We are still sending I-20s to incoming students regardless of the US embassy currently not processing visas. However, once you receive your I-20, you will still have to wait until embassies reopen to schedule your interview.


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I would like to return to my home country, but can’t find a flight back home. What should I do?

It is recommended to contact the embassy representing your home country in Washington, DC for assistance. If they cannot assist you to find a flight, please contact oip@shu.edu asap.


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How do I choose the Hyflex or Remote Learning option?

Students should complete the 1 question survey located in your PirateNet.


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How do I know if my HyFlex classes will offer in-person meetings?

Instruction will take place remotely until New Jersey enters Stage 3. In-person courses will be limited to curricula that require labs, clinical rotations, and technical and hands-on instruction, as permitted by the state. More specifically, New Jersey will allow the College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences, and quite possibly our seminaries to resume in-person instruction. 

After New Jersey enters Stage 3, look for a room assignment to confirm that course will offer in-person classes. If a class has a section of WB/WBB (web/online) or has a room assignment of “virtual learning”, that means it is a online course or remote course with no in-person meetings. Web/online courses mean students can complete the course in their own time whereas remote means the professor will offer a live lecture at a specific time.


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Can international students study remotely?

International students can study remotely in their home country. However, at this time we cannot confirm whether continuing or new students will be able to keep their F1 status active while abroad. Those who are currently prevented from entering the US due to federal restrictions may be able to transition to the HyFlex model during the semester depending on changes in travel restrictions. On July 15, the SEVP fall guidance was
rescinded. The Office of International Programs (OIP) is working on issuing new guidance to Seton Hall students based on this update and will continue to monitor the requirements for  international students to ensure compliance with all regulations and communicate to international students as appropriate.


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Is the University accepting new international students?

New students may not enter the U.S. to engage in remote learning. For new students, they may study remotely in the fall, however their F-1 status will be delayed until they enter. As a result of the SEVP fall guidance being rescinded on July 15, Office of International Programs (OIP) is working on guidance to new students intending to study in the U.S. for the HyFlex model.

For those entering for the Spring 2021 semester, their eligibility for off-campus
internships/ employment will be delayed until Jan. 2022. F-1 students must study for one year before they are eligible for those opportunities.


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Is there housing available for international students?

International students who will be residing on campus in the fall will be provided with housing for self-isolation consistent with quarantine requirements recommended by the CDC. The University is working on options for those needing housing over winter break if they are not able to return home.


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If I have already paid my housing but choose to do remote learning in my home
country what should I do?

Please complete the Housing Assignment Cancellation form. And send it to Housing and Residence Life.


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Where can I find more FAQs about on-campus housing?

Other questions regarding on-campus housing can be found here.


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Can F-1 students still work at their on-campus jobs if they are offered remotely?

As of now, it appears F1 students in the U.S. can have on-campus jobs even if it is remotely. Schools should be able to explain how the students are providing services associated with the employment while not at the location of the employer.

We hope this will not change with any coming FAQs from SEVP.

If you are in your home country studying remotely, you may still work remotely as long as you understand the tax implications of your own country.


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Can I still get my Social Security Card?

It depends. Currently, all Social Security Offices are closed until further notice for face-toface appointments. However, if applying for OPT, you can still request a social security number as part of your I-765 form. If you are requesting a social security number for other reasons, you must contact your local social security office to request if an in-person appointment is possible or required for your application. Please read the New Card Requests section in this link.


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Can I start working without a social security number?

Yes. The Social Security Administration doesn't require you to have a Social Security number before you start work. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires employers to report wages using a Social Security number, so you must apply for one as soon as you are able. Your employer may use your immigration documents as proof of your authorization to work in the United States.


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Where can I find more information and FAQs related to the Seton Hall reopening procedures ?

Please visit the Returning to Campus site.


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Can I get a Driver’s License or renew my current one?

While all Motor Vehicle Commission locations are closed in the state of New Jersey to walk in appointments, the department has put out a statement saying "All driver licenses, nondriver IDs, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers expiring before May 31 have been extended by two months." You can still use their online services or call the MVC with any questions you may have. The NJMVC has also made a list of FAQs pertaining to COVID-19 at the following link.


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How can I stay involved with Campus Life?

Many events are still happening, but they have been moved to a virtual platform. Here are some things you can do to stay involved:

  • Check with your respective school to see if their events are online and how to access them
  • Check out the Seton Hall calendar for information on all university events that are still on here
  • This article is a great resource on ways to stay involved in the community and for things to do if you are looking for ideas for your free time. 
  • Campus Ministry is holding mass Monday-Friday at noon and Sunday at 8 pm virtually as well as events every Thursday at 8 pm virtually find out more information here as well contacting them directly at campusministry@shu.edu.

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Am I supposed to receive the 2020 Recovery Rebate check from the U.S. government?

If you have received a rebate check distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or the “CARES Act.", it is advisable to consult with a tax expert before spending the money. Some students may have received these funds by direct deposit to bank accounts they listed in a tax return filing to the IRS and others may receive a check, starting the week of April 20, mailed to them at a current or former address.

International students who do not meet the IRS definition of "resident alien" are not eligible to receive these funds, which is related to the amount of time spent in the United States. Also, if students filed their tax returns on the wrong form, then they may have mistakenly received the Recovery Rebates anyway.

The IRS provides a number of interactive tax tools that can assist interested individuals in determining eligibility to file taxes and on what form; please see the links below.

Is the Office of International Programs open?

Yes, our office is open. We are continuing to schedule telephone appointments and to process all requests via email. Forms are available on our website. Please complete the required information and scan your request forms to oip@shu.edu. Our office will process requests within 5-7 business days and mail them to your confirmed mailing address.


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What if I still have more questions?

We are encouraging students to either email oip@shu.edu or schedule telephone appointments.

As always, please continue to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your individual situation. Please feel free to reach out to a CAPS counselor, as a resource to help with managing stress and anxiety during this time.


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Who can I contact at the bookstore with questions about returning books?

Please email David Bourdette at dbourdette@follett.com.


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Is there any financial assistance offered by the University?

Students requiring help with basic needs, such as food, can apply to the Student Emergency Fund. Students needing help with tuition costs are encouraged to complete the Scholarship Consideration Form. Lastly, students should contact the OIP to discuss their situation further.


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Questions and Feedback


Seton Hall University continues to closely monitor and respond to the impact COVID-19. The health and safety of our students, faculty, employees and their families is of paramount importance in our planning to safely restart classes across our three campuses. If you have any questions, please submit them here:
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