Updates for fall 2020 and guidance for spring 2021

Nov. 16, 2020


Updated Nov. 30, 2020, 12:15 p.m.

The University of Missouri’s Show Me Renewal Plan outlines specific guidance on campus operations. MU implemented a hybrid academic model for the fall 2020 term, which allows for face-to-face, blended and fully online courses.

Fall 2020 shift to remote learning

On Thursday, Nov. 12, MU announced the decision to shift a majority of in-person undergraduate and graduate courses to remote learning for the last three weeks of instruction and final exams following Thanksgiving break. The Student Exchange Visitor Program has stipulated that F and J nonimmigrant students pursuing studies in the United States for the fall 2020 school term may remain in the United States even if their educational institution switches to a hybrid program or to fully online instruction. You should continue to actively engage in your courses as directed by your instructors and continue to refer to the SEVP guidance for fall 2020.

Spring 2021 guidance

It is imperative that new and continuing international students work with their assigned MU international student adviser, and home university or sponsor as applicable. The following information is provided to help guide students, sponsors and exchange partners as they make plans for the spring 2021 semester at MU.

SEVP guidance for spring 2021: New and continuing students

SEVP has not yet issued guidance for the upcoming spring 2021 term. Be aware that plans for the spring 2021 term are fluid and subject to change. We will communicate any updates regarding the spring 2021 term for international students via email and on the International Programs website. You can also review updates from the Department of Homeland Security and check the NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources for updates on governmental policy and guidance related to COVID-19.

Enrollment and registration

Coursework for the spring term will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19. New and continuing students are encouraged to review the University Registrar’s guidance for spring enrollment. Operational plans for spring 2021 are being finalized and are subject to change based on state, county and campus health guidelines. Any changes to campus operations will be updated on the Show Me Renewal website. You will be notified once official updates are made available.

Admissions

MU continues to accept and admit international students for the spring 2021 semester. Admitted students currently residing outside of the U.S. must obtain a student visa to enter the U.S. in lawful nonimmigrant status. The visa certificate (I-20/DS-2019) will be issued with a start date of Jan. 11, 2021, which is one week prior to the first day of spring semester classes. Certain situations may require special consideration for the adjustment of arrival dates based on departmental justification and individual circumstances.

Visas

U.S. Embassies and Consulates began a phased resumption of routine visa services in July. Regularly check the website of your local embassy or consulate and the Department of State website for updates on which embassies may be open for visa appointments. You may be able to complete form DS-160 and schedule a visa interview online.

This letter of support confirms course modalities and campus operations for spring 2021. You may download and print the letter to bring with you to your visa appointment or when entering the U.S., if necessary.

Flights

Be aware of your airline’s waiver and refund policies. We recommend purchasing flight insurance that offers maximum flexibility should tickets need to be changed or canceled. For information about current travel restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak, refer to the International Air Transport Association.

Delayed arrival

If you cannot obtain your F-1/J-1 visa as planned and are unable to travel to the U.S. in time for the start of the spring 2021 semester (Jan. 19), notify your MU international student adviser — and sponsor or exchange adviser, if applicable — as soon as possible. We will work, in consultation with your MU academic department, to determine suitable accommodations.

International travel guidelines

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided the following guidelines related to COVID-19 and international travelers coming to the United States.

  • Certain international travelers are prohibited from entry to the U.S.
  • Testing before and after travel is recommended:
    • Get tested 1–3 days before your flight.
    • Get tested 3–5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days after travel.
      • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
      • If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
    • Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
    • Delay your travel if you are waiting for test results.

Students arriving at MU should follow all CDC and university guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Travel insurance

We recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy that allows you to cancel for any reason. If your sponsor purchases flight tickets on your behalf, be sure to consult your sponsor for specifics regarding itinerary cancellation policies.

Housing

We encourage you to work with MU Residential Life to secure a flexible housing contract should your travel plans need to be postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. In the case that you are unable to join MU for the spring semester in result of travel restrictions or visa processing delays, Residential Life will waive cancellation fees. To learn more about your housing options at MU for spring 2021, visit the Residential Life website or email muhousing@missouri.edu with any questions.

If you plan to make off-campus housing arrangements, consult your housing complex representatives directly for details on flexible leasing options.

Pre-arrival information

Review the pre-arrival checklist on our website and gather necessary information before arriving at MU. See the International Student Welcome Guide for more information about life at Mizzou.

International Student Welcome and orientation sessions

International Student Welcome will take place online this year. Some orientation content is currently available online, but you must complete your mandatory check-in session online after your arrival to campus. Details for sponsored student and exchange student orientation sessions will be shared as they become available.

Stay updated

Please refer to the Show Me Renewal website for up-to-date information about the university’s response to COVID-19. Updates specific to International Programs are available on our website.