Fall 2020 Information

The Center for Global Engagement is committed to supporting Baylor University's international student and scholar population.  International students and scholars are valuable members of our community and we will assist them in whatever way we can during this time.  This page contains information for new and current (returning) international students and scholars for the Fall 2020 term.  This webpage will be updated as new information becomes available.  If you have questions that are not addressed here or you have unique circumstances that you need to discuss, please email ISSS at ISSS_Support@Baylor.edu.   Last Updated:  July 24, 2020 3:00 PM CST

UPDATE:  On July 14, the U.S. Government rescinded (withdrew) its previous guidance that placed strict limitations on international students. The Baylor Center for Global Engagement is waiting for the government to post information that officially clarifies the current guidance.  

UPDATE: On July 24, the U.S. Government provided clarification for new/initial students who are planning to come to the United States for courses this fall.  See below

Returning International Student Town Hall Meeting - July 23rd, 2020

New International Student Town Hall Meeting - July 22nd, 2020

Enrollment Requirements

What is Baylor's institutional model for offering classes for Fall 2020?

Baylor will be using the Hybrid Model for Fall 2020 (face to face and online courses) and has informed the U.S. Government accordingly; therefore, the information below is based on the guidance for institutions using the hybrid model. 

What are the current requirements for students who will be in the U.S. for Fall 2020?

  • If circumstances or institutional plans result in students taking all online courses from within the U.S., this appears to be allowed at this time.  This includes students at all academic levels, including Global Gateway Program students.

  • We expect that updated I-20s will no longer be required. If this changes, we will process your requests.  If not, we will cancel our request. For those who already received an updated I-20, we ask for your patience as we wait for confirmation on the procedures we are expected to follow.
  • UPDATE: New student updated information (Clarifying Questions Document) from the U.S. Government states that “students in new or initial status…will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school …for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online.”  This means:  

    • If you are planning to come to Baylor for the fall, you must be enrolled in at least one face to face class (includes Baylor’s hybrid courses) for the fall.  If you are planning to be in the U.S. this fall for courses, please check your schedule to be certain that you do not currently have ALL online courses.  If you do currently have all online courses, please contact your Academic Advisor immediately and request assistance to find at least one face to face or hybrid course.  The updated information also states that if a new student comes to the U.S. and is taking 1 or more face to face classes but then the institution or program moves to all online courses at any time during the semester, the student would NOT have to leave the United States.  The student could remain and complete the semester fully online from inside the U.S. 
    • If you plan on taking ALL ONLINE courses for the fall, then you must remain in your home country for the fall.

What are the requirements for students who will NOT be in the U.S. for Fall 2020

  • Current Baylor students  - Based on the recent decsion to rescind the guidance, we are hopeful that current students who are out of the U.S for the fall 2020 term will be able to keep their I-20s ACTIVE as long as they maintain full time enrollment.
  • New (Initial Status) students who will be out of the country for fall term will simply have their I-20s deferred (change the dates) to Spring term (January) 2021.  This DOES NOT prevent students from taking courses online during fall term from outside of the U.S.   It does impact the student's I-20.
  • New (Transfer) Students who will be out of the country for fall term will not be able to have their new status validated while out of the country.  When the tranfer student decides to return to the U.S. for coursework, the student should contact their Baylor International Student Advisor to have their SEVIS record reactivated. Please contact us for more details or clarifications if you are transferring from a U.S. university or high school but will not be able to be in the U.S. this fall term.


U.S. Visas

When will U.S. Embassies and Consulates continue with student visa appointments?

Many embassies and consulates remain closed at this time and will not schedule visa appointments; however, study visas (F & J) are considered essential travel at this time and many locations will allow students to request an expedited appointment within 60 days of the arrival date on the student’s I-20.

If I have an unexpired F-1 visa stamp in my passport, do I have to get a new visa to go with my Baylor I-20?

No, if your F-1 visa has not expired, you can use it together with your Baylor I-20 to travel to the U.S.          

 


Fall Calendar

When will classes begin and end for the fall 2020 semester?

Classes will begin August 24, 2020.  The last class day will be Wednesday, November 25, 2020.  All final exams will be online after the Thanksgiving break.  This means that you would be free to leave for the winter break after November 25 and take your finals from another location.  

On-campus housing arrangements for students who have no place to go during the break are being discussed and more information will be available soon.

Can I be in Waco or somewhere else in the U.S. and take all online courses?

Since all students who will be in the U.S. must have at least one face to face or hybrid course, students will need to live close enough to Waco to attend the face to face portion of classes that require this.  

 


Coming to Campus

How soon should I travel to Baylor if I am a coming from outside of the U.S.?

While we cannot tell you when to travel, you should pay attention to the various regulations that are impacting travel between other countries and the US. 

  • If you are planning to take the Fall semester on campus, you should seek travel as soon as you are able to get a visa (if you do not yet have one) and as soon as you are able to get a flight.
  • Baylor requests that you be in Waco no later than the first day of class but two weeks earlier if at all possible since you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • If you cannot be in Waco by August 24, you should plan to take courses online from outside of the U.S.

You cannot just come to the U.S. any time during the fall semester when you get a visa.  See the next question for more information if you are an initial student.

How early can I arrive to Baylor if I am coming as an initial (new) student? 

As an initial (new) student you are allowed to arrive in the US up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20.  This means that the earliest you can enter the US is July 18. Beginning August 7th, Baylor will provide off-campus self-quarantine housing for all new and returning students living on campus for the Fall 2020 semester who are arriving from outside of the U.S. to move back to campus. If you arrive before August 7, you will be responsible for finding your own housing for self-quarantine (which is required by the U.S. Government). 

For more information regarding self-quarantine procedures and to request access to these accommodations, please CLICK HERE.

As an international student, will I need to take a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine before arriving on campus in Waco?

  • International students arriving to campus directly from their international home will be required to quarantine for two weeks. They will not need to be tested. International students arriving to campus from a domestic location will not need to quarantine but will need to be tested. International students arriving from their international location should contact the Center for Global Engagement at ISSS_Support@Baylor.edu or (254) 710-1461 to learn more about quarantine locations.
  • You should have received an email from Baylor about updating your address in Bearweb so that Baylor can send you a COVID testing kit.  THIS ONLY APPLIES TO STUDENTS WHO WILL BE IN THE U.S. THIS FALL FOR CLASSES.  If you will be online from outside of the U.S., you do not have to update your address now and you will not receive a COVID testing kit at this time.  If you have been in the U.S. and therefore coming to campus from a domestic location, you may not need to quarantine but will need to be tested.

How early can I arrive to Baylor if I am a transfer student? 

  • If you are already in the U.S. and have been for at least 14 days, then you do not have a quarantine requirement.You should plan to arrive in Waco by August 17 but if you are living on-campus, then you can move in beginning Sunday, August 16 at 1:00 PM.
  • If you are outside of the U.S., you will be required to self-quarantine.Therefore, you should plan to arrive in Waco no later than August 10 if possible so that you can complete your self-quarantine and begin classes on August 24.Baylor is planning to provide on-campus housing beginning August 7 for those who will be living on-campus in the fall semester.If you arrive before August 7, you will be responsible for finding your own housing for self-quarantine.Please consider this as you make your travel plans for this Fall.If you will be living off-campus for the fall semester, you are responsible for making your own self-quarantine plans.

Travel Bans/Requirements and U.S. Presidential Proclamations

What is the U.S. International Travel Ban and when will it be lifted?  Would traveling from a country that is not on the banned lists help an international student avoid the ban? 

The travel ban affects individuals who have been in certain countries within 14 days of arriving into the U.S.  For more information, please go HERE.  We do not know when the ban will be lifted.  While some international students may choose to travel from a third country, we cannot confirm that this will absolutely help to avoid the ban.

What is the U.S. Government Self-Quarantine Requirement?  Would traveling from a country that is not on the banned lists help an international student avoid the required Self-Quarantine?

All travelers (including U.S. Citizens) who return to the U.S. from another country must self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the U.S.  There is no way to avoid the self-quarantine requirement at this time if you arrive from outside the U.S.   More information can be found HERE.

Will the Presidential Proclamation about Chinese Graduate Students impact my ability to return to Baylor?

The proclamation is quite specific and only impacts certain people in certain academic programs.  Here is a link to the proclamation. Please read it carefully to determine whether it relates to you.  We will provide any updates that we receive regarding this matter:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-nonimmigrants-certain-students-researchers-peoples-republic-china/

Will the Presidential Proclamation regarding specific work-related visas affect F-1 and J-1 visa status students and scholars?   

The proclamation clearly identifies which visa categories are included.  The F visa category is not included in the proclamation and therefore OPT and STEM OPT are not impacted at this time.  While the J visa category is included in the proclamation, the student and scholar/researcher categories are NOT included.  Below is a link to the proclamation. Please read it carefully to determine whether it relates to you.  We will provide any updates that we receive regarding this matter.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/

 

                      

Center for Global Engagement

Hankamer Academic Center, H 160.01
1428 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76798

One Bear Place #97012
Waco, TX 76798-7012

(254) 710-1461