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COVID-19 Resources

Message from the associate provost for global and intercultural affairs to international students


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March 20, 2020

Dear International Students,

We recognize the last few days and weeks have caused stress, worry and uncertainty for you. 

By now you may have seen President Spina's message about the University extending remote online instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and postponing graduation. 

The Center for International Programs would like to provide this message that specifically addresses situations for international students.

Because of the uncertainty and severity of the situation across the globe, the University strongly recommends you return to your home country at this time. Factors we took into consideration in this recommendation include:

  • Your health, safety and well-being as well as that of all our students, staff, faculty and surrounding communities is our priority. We feel being close to your home and with your family or support network is important. 
  • With the rapid spread of COVID-19, there is increasing  stress on the local health care system and other community resources which will limit their availability. 
  • Additional travel restrictions may be implemented that will prevent you from returning to your home country. Often, travel restrictions are put in place with little, if any, advance warning. Some countries have begun restricting all outbound and/or inbound travel. 
  • Additional restrictions may be placed by the city, state or federal government on the University and other local service providers that would impact capacity to support you.  
  • You will be able to complete your spring semester courses online which will allow you to make progress toward your academic programs without interruption. We recognize there are many questions about how this will work. We are working through this so we ask for your flexibility and patience regarding time differences, and work with your individual faculty to address other questions or challenges.
  • While we do not know how long this will last, many health officials indicate that it could be through the summer.  

Here are some other things to consider as you plan to return to your home country:

  • Visa processing and entry requirements or restrictions are outside of the University’s control. We can advocate with the U.S. government to support international students but we can not guarantee the timing or approval of returning to the U.S. 
  • UD will work closely with you to maintain your status with the University. In other words, you can return and resume in-person classes as soon as conditions make it possible for you to return to the US.  
  • If you are graduating, we will work with you to participate in a future graduation ceremony.  

If you choose not to return to your home country, please consider:

  • The University will not be able to provide ongoing support for food and transportation, and the University's capacity to support you in ways we normally do could diminish as we move forward.  
  • You could consider reaching out to any family or friends you have in the U.S. to see if it might be possible to stay with them during this time.

We recognize it may take a few days to make arrangements to return. In the meantime, staff at the University are working to continue to provide support. Here are services available to you for a limited time.

  • Food - Dining Services is offering free food to students on Sunday, March 23, at 4:45 p.m. at the Emporium. The Emporium is located in Marianist Hall, next to UD's Bookstore. Going forward, the Emporium will remain open to purchase food, everyday except Saturday.
  • Transportation - the University is making arrangements to provide free Uber rides for urgent needs. To request a ride, click here.
  • Housing - For students staying on campus, housing will be sharing a transition plan early next week. You are not being asked to move out now. Housing will work with you as you make plans to return home.
  • Emergency contact number - If you need to reach the ISSS office outside normal business hours, call 937-848-0073. 
  • We will host another webinar on Monday, March 23, and will send an email soon with more details.

The ISSS Office is open Friday, March 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Staff are available to answer your questions via email, phone or video advising. Beginning March 23, ISSS staff will be available from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m, Monday through Friday. Contact us at 937-229-2748 to speak to an advisor or schedule an appointment. Questions can also be sent to

Please note that:

  • A travel signature is not required to exit the U.S. ISSS can mail a copy of the I-20 with a new travel signature to any address in the world.
  • Most immigration requests can be requested and processed electronically. Forms can be downloaded, completed, and submitted electronically.

We recognize returning home early is a disappointment. We share this feeling with you.  Together we will support each other through this. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Amy Anderson
Associate Provost, Global and Intercultural Affairs
Executive Director, Center for International Programs