Updated: July 9, 2020 

The UT Emergency Operations Team is continuing to monitor the coronavirus (known as COVID-19) and review strategies to ensure the health and safety of the UT community. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, please continue to check the CDC websiteFlorida Department of Health, Tampa Bay Times local map and UT's COVID-19 Resources and Updates webpage for updates.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

General

How is UT monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak?
Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases at UT?
Are classes going online?
What about summer classes?
Are events being canceled?
Are summer camps still happening?
Will UT be open for Fall 2020?
How is UT communicating to the campus community?
Is UT cleaning campus more thoroughly now due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
I’m a UT student, and I have an on-campus job. What should I do?
I have a credit-bearing internship. Who do I contact if I have questions about moving forward?
Will I be reimbursed for tuition since UT is moving to online classes temporarily?
How do I return my textbooks at the end of the semester?
Is the Fitness and Recreation Center open?
What about registration for the Fall? 
I’ve returned home. What about mail and packages that were sent to my UT address?
How is UT’s technology infrastructure able to support online courses and services?
Am I eligible for CARES Act funding?

Health

What tips does the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19?
What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
What if it is after hours, or on a weekend when I start feeling bad?
Any health advice for faculty and staff?
What do I do if I suspect someone has COVID-19?
What can I do if I am feeling anxious about the COVID-19 situation?
How can I protect my home from COVID-19?
How can I protest safely during a pandemic?

Travel

Is UT issuing travel restrictions? 
What about students, and faculty and staff, who traveled to or through a level 3 country?
What happens if my existing UT-sponsored international travel plans must be canceled?
I took a cruise. What do I do?

Residential Students

Are residence halls open?
I understand students infected with the coronavirus have self-isolated in UT residence halls. What does that mean? Am I in danger of being infected? 
How do I return my keys?
If I remain on campus for summer, what policies and procedures are in place?
Will I receive a refund if I left the residence halls for the remainder of the spring semester?

Can I still collect mail and packages?
How do I move out of the residence halls?
Is packing, moving or storage assistance available?
Will residence halls be open for Fall 2020?

International Students

What mode of delivery will UT offer Fall 2020 classes?
I am a current international student at UT. When I am expected to return to the U.S.?  
I am a new international student at UT for Fall 2020. When I am expected to arrive to the U.S.?
What international travel restrictions are currently in place?
I am a current international student. Will I be able to maintain my status outside the US for Fall 2020?
I am a current international student. Can I take all online classes for Fall 2020 while inside the US?
I am a current international student. What if I am unable or do not wish to return to UT in Fall 2020? 
My I-20/DS-2019 does not have a valid travel signature. What should I do?
What should I expect if I decide to travel internationally?
I have recently traveled and returned to UT from a country impacted by COVID-19. Do I need to let the University know?
What if I am an international student currently on campus, and I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
What if I am a current international student who is outside of the U.S., and I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
I am either a current international student or alumni on OPT. Am I required to maintain my visa status during this time?
Can I drop a course from a previous semester? 
I am a current international student. If I am outside of the U.S. and I’m not able to return to the U.S. within five months, will my Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record and visa remain active?
What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my passport expires; what do I need to do to renew it?
What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my visa expires?
If I am outside the U.S. or decide to depart the U.S., and my visa is expired or will expire, do I need to renew it before I return to the U.S.?
I moved to another part of the U.S. to be with my family or friends. Do I need to let the University know?
I am a current international student. Can I work on campus or off campus? 
I am currently participating in Practical Training (CPT or OPT). What should I do if my employer asks me to work remotely or if my employment ends early?
I am currently participating in Optional Practical Training (OPT). How many hours a week am I required to work to maintain my status? 
My Curricular Practical Training (CPT) internship starts in the summer, but I am outside the U.S. and unable to travel. Can I work remotely until I am able to return to the U.S.? 
Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from my home country?
I am an international student nearing the end of my F-1 visa status, and I am unable to return to my home country or would prefer to remain in the US for now. What are my options?
My visa status is expiring soon or has expired, flights are cancelled and my country closed its borders. What should I do?

Education Abroad

What is the status of planned study abroad programming?
When will I be able to register for a future study abroad?
What if the study abroad programs suspension affects my academic progress?
I was planning on studying abroad; how do I register for Fall semester at UT?
I was planning to study abroad during fall semester; will I now be able to live on campus?

GENERAL

How is UT monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak? 
The Emergency Operations Team (EOT) has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak since it was first reported, using all available resources and in consultation with health and government agencies and peer colleges and universities.

Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases at UT?
Student, employee and patient confidentiality laws prohibit UT from disclosing personal identifying information. Counts of UT community members affected by COVID-19 is dependent on self-reporting to the institution. As such, UT may not be aware of all cases unless they are disclosed to us by the diagnosed person or the county health department.

The Florida Department of Health is following its protocol to identify, notify and quarantine any individuals that have had contact with these individuals. If you are concerned about your health, please call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 257-3051. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing a fever and cough, call TGH Urgent Care at (813) 925-1903. You must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

Are classes going online?
Remote course delivery began on Monday, March 16, and will continue for the rest of the spring semester and summer sessions. Visit Fall 2020 Opening for Fall opening plans.

What about summer classes?
Summer 2020 courses will be delivered remotely. Students will meet virtually with their instructors during flexible two-week, six-week and 12-week terms. Hundreds of courses are offered, and credits will count toward students’ graduation requirements and GPA. Advisor sign-off is not required. Register through SpartanWeb or visit ut.edu/summer.

Will UT be open for Fall 2020?
The University of Tampa fully intends and is planning a safe resumption of face-to-face teaching, learning and campus life. This is dependent, of course, on the directives of public authorities. Please visit ut.edu/fall2020 for current information regarding Fall 2020.

Are events being canceled?
UT has hundreds of meetings, activities and events weekly. Please check the master calendar on ut.edu for event status, contact the event organizer and check this page often.

Are summer camps still happening?
All camps other than athletic camps and one leadership camp have been canceled. Those that have not been canceled will be put on hold with no deposits taken until UT has an understanding that it will be safe to host the camps on campus. This topic will be revisited the first week in May. For more information, contact the Office of Facilities Rentals at FacilitiesRentals@ut.edu.

How is UT communicating to the campus community?
Beginning Jan. 28, the University has been providing information about the COVID-19 outbreak along with recommendations for preventative practices and specific symptoms associated with COVID-19. For an archive of all messages, view the resources page.

Is UT cleaning campus more thoroughly now due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
Facilities Management continues to clean and disinfect all high traffic areas and environmental surfaces in residence halls and other facilities in accordance with CDC guidelines. We will continue to monitor this guidance and will update our cleaning protocols as appropriate. Facilities Management is increasing its frequency of cleaning high traffic areas as well.

I’m a UT student, and I have an on-campus job. What should I do?
Some student worker positions may be able to work remotely at the discretion of their supervisor, based on their ability to perform their job function from afar. Student workers are asked to notify their direct supervisor as to their plans to return to campus or their home.

I have a credit-bearing internship. Who do I contact if I have questions about moving forward?
Contact your UT internship advisor.

Will I be reimbursed for tuition since UT is moving to online classes temporarily?
We are committed to academic continuity, and UT faculty began delivering online instruction starting on Monday, March 16. Online instruction will continue for the rest of the semester. As such we are not offering tuition refunds, since we continue to serve our students, just in a different format.

How do I return my textbooks at the end of the semester?
The UT bookstore offers free return shipping for each textbook rental order. Students can obtain the label from utampa.bncollege.com. At the bottom of the page, click "Textbook Rentals" and then "Rental Textbook" on the next page.

From here, the student will need to enter their order number and email. The site will provide the label, which they can print out and attach to the package that contains their rented books. The package can be dropped off at any UPS location by the due date, May 8.

If a student doesn't know their order number, they should contact the UT bookstore directly and provide their name, phone number and email to recover their order number. 

Is the Fitness and Recreation Center open?
No. The Fitness and Recreation Center is closed. For updates, visit the Fitness and Recreation website.

What about registration for the Fall? 
Registration for Fall 2020 will continue as normal. Please check your UT email for important information regarding the registration process.

I’ve returned home. What about mail and packages that were sent to my UT address? Students who are not on campus and who believe that a package for them is in Mail Services can contact Mail Services directly for assistance at mailservices@ut.edu.

How is UT’s technology infrastructure able to support online courses and services?
The transition to online courses and services at UT has been a relatively seamless and smooth transition for faculty, staff and students. 

  • Cloud applications utilized at UT allow students, staff and faculty to access technology resources with a reduced or single-sign on to our identity management system.
  • Faculty have the use of key academic solutions to use in student classes, such as Blackboard Learn, VidGrid, Qualtrics and Adobe Creative Cloud Solutions.
  • The entire campus community has full use of Zoom, a collaboration solution that allows for establishing virtual video meetings, classroom sessions, office hours, presentation and document sharing, and working together on group projects.
  • Using UT’s cloud student information system, Workday, students will soon be using mobile devices or computers to register for classes quickly and conveniently, without being bogged down by slow response times or legacy on-premises systems that can’t handle peak traffic hours.

Making all of this possible is a community of faculty, staff and students who have the willingness to try out these cloud solutions and discover not only the ease of using them, but the enhanced capabilities and features they offer to engage students in quality teaching and learning activities. To access the IT service desk, UT community members should visit either the student service desk, faculty service desk or staff service desk.

Am I eligible for CARES Act funding?
On May 14, UT received $6.9 million in funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Half of UT’s grant award is intended to provide emergency cash grants to students whose education and lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus. These grants are meant to offset costs that students incurred due to the pandemic, such as food, housing or other unexpected expenses. Nearly two-thirds of UT students were deemed eligible for a CARES Act grant, based on a number of criteria, including financial need. The Financial Aid Office sent an email on May 18 to students who are eligible to receive CARES Act funding. For more information about the CARES Act, visit Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting.

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HEALTH

What tips does the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
UT students with symptoms are encouraged to call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 257-3051 to make an appointment. The health center must follow certain protocols for suspected cases of COVID-19, so please contact the center prior to arrival. Also, as a benefit of United HealthCare Student Resources, all students covered under the UT student insurance plan (all full-time undergraduate students and international graduate students) have access to non-emergency telehealth (HealthiestYou). If you are experiencing symptoms and want to consult with a doctor, this is an excellent option, as it is available 24/7. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing a fever and cough, call TGH Urgent Care at (813) 925-1903. You must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

What if it is after hours, or on a weekend when I start feeling bad?
If it is after hours, and you are experiencing symptoms, call the Florida Department of Health at (813) 307-8010 for assistance. As always, if you are severely ill or it is an emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency department at a local hospital. Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider or the county health department. If you become ill while traveling abroad, the CDC’s Find a Clinic is an excellent resource.

Any health advice for faculty and staff?
Faculty and staff who, at any time, experience symptoms similar to COVID-19 should take precautions by self-isolating, and call ahead to schedule an appointment with their primary care provider or the local health department. Faculty and staff who are covered by the UT employee health care are also eligible to access non-emergency Teladoc. For additional information, contact Human Resources at (813) 253-6237. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing a fever and cough, call TGH Urgent Care at (813) 925-1903. You must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

What do I do if I suspect someone has COVID-19?
Avoid making assumptions about individuals who you believe may or may not have come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. However, as a concerned friend, co-worker or family member, suggest they contact their healthcare provider. If the person is a UT student, encourage them to call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center at (813) 257-3051 to make an appointment. The health center must follow certain protocols for suspected cases of COVID-19, so they should contact the center prior to arrival. If the student is covered under UT’s student insurance plan they have access to non-emergency telehealth ( HealthiestYou). This is an excellent option, as it is available 24/7. If the person thinks they have been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing a fever and cough, they can call TGH Urgent Care at (813) 925-1903. They must call first, as not all TGH Urgent Care locations are designated COVID-19 evaluation and testing sites.

What can I do if I am feeling anxious about the COVID-19 situation?
We understand that some community members are concerned. Remember that according to our state and local health departments, the risk to the UT community and to the U.S. population as a whole is currently low. If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students through campus counseling services. Please contact the Dickey Health and Wellness Center for an appointment at (813) 257-3051. You may also contact the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay by calling 211 to reach a crisis counselor. Also, students covered under the UT student insurance plan can access non-crisis telecounseling (Better Help) services at no cost. If you are feeling anxious or have other mental health needs that are not an immediate crisis, Better Help may also be a helpful resource.

How can I protect my home from COVID-19?
Cleaning and sanitizing high-traffic surfaces once a day in your home can make a difference in preventing the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “COVID-19 can spread if you touch a surface or object contaminated with the virus, and then touch your own eyes, nose or mouth.” Although you can’t control the cleanliness of what you touch outside your home, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from within.

Here are five simple tips for safeguarding your home during a viral outbreak: 

  1. Clean high-touch surfaces daily including tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, toilets, faucets and electronics. Cleaning eliminates foreign material and decreases the numbers of infectious agents and makes spread of infectious organisms less likely.
  2. Use an EPA-registered household disinfectant, diluted bleach solution or alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol. Follow the label and manufacturer’s instructions and leave disinfectant solution on surfaces for at least one minute before wiping.
  3. Wash clothing, towels, linens and other items using the warmest appropriate water setting. Dry items completely and wash hands immediately after with soap and water. Higher water temperatures work better to effectively remove germs and clean heavily soiled garments.
  4. Frequently wash your hands and teach family members how to perform respiratory etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or use the inside your elbow as a shield. Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  5. Self-isolate. If you are sick, maintain appropriate distance from family members within your household to prevent others from getting ill. If possible, stay in different rooms and use a different bathroom.

How can I protest safely during a pandemic? 
Learn tips on what to do before protesting, during protesting and after protesting by visiting How to Protest Safely During a Pandemic.

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TRAVEL

Is UT issuing travel restrictions? 
UT continues the indefinite suspension of all official and previously authorized travel for students, faculty and staff to countries which are designated level 3 travel health notice by the CDC. For the full list of contries, visit cdc.gov.

This restriction includes travel for university-related activities such as teaching, study abroad, conferences, internships, research, recruiting, business meetings and special events.  As of March 11, UT has also prohibited all University-sponsored, non-essential international travel for the foreseeable future. All personal international travel, including travel by cruise ships, is discouraged. Domestic, University-sponsored travel has not been restricted at this time, but community members are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel. UT encourages all faculty, staff and students to consider their own health status and exercise caution and judgment in planning any travel.

What about students, and faculty and staff, who traveled to or through a level 3 country?
The CDC issues guidance regarding travelers returning to the U.S. from countries that have a level 3 travel health notice. Presently, these countries include China, Iran and South Korea, as well as most European countries - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. Following CDC guidance, UT requires travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they left these countries. Students who have traveled to or through level 3 countries within the past 14 days must call the Dickey Health and Wellness Center, prior to coming to campus, at (813) 257-3051 for risk assessment and further directives on social-distancing and self-monitoring. Faculty and staff who have traveled to or through level 3 countries within the past 14 days should notify Human Resources at (813) 253-6237. Remember, the status of countries or regions may change while you are traveling and affect airport or other travel processes. Stay connected to the CDC and U.S. State Department websites to ensure you have the latest information.

What happens if my existing UT-sponsored international travel plans must be canceled?
Students, faculty and staff should email abroad @ut.edu to be advised on appropriate cancellation procedures, and clarify academic and financial questions.

I took a cruise during spring break. What do I do?
UT community members who traveled by cruise ship, should, according to the CDC, monitor their health closely and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S. If a case of COVID-19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, stay home and self-isolate during these 14 days and practice social distancing.

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RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

Are residence halls open?
Residence halls are closed for the summer with the exception of Urso Hall. Urso Hall remains open for approved summer residents.

I understand students infected with the coronavirus have self-isolated in UT residence halls. What does that mean? Am I in danger of being infected? 
Students who test positive for COVID-19 and are living in a UT residence hall room cannot leave their rooms (which have individual air-flow systems), and they have their meals delivered to them. Your risk for being exposed to COVID-19 is very low by just being in a residence hall where there is an individual in isolation. You would need to have had close contact with the affected individual. Every time a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the health department conducts an investigation of each case, tracks who they have been in contact with and notifies and assists those individuals directly. The Florida Department of Health has worked closely with our affected students. If you have not been contacted, you are not at risk from this particular situation.

How do I return my keys?

You can return your keys when you retrieve your personal belongings. Express check out envelopes may be returned to the Vaughn Information Desk drop box. If you still have your keys and you do not plan to return to campus by June 10, please include your name, ID number, and keys in a sturdy envelope. Use certified mail to send your keys to:

  • Office of Residence Life
    401 W. Kennedy Blvd
    Box 109F
    Tampa, FL 33606

If I remain on campus for summer, what policies and procedures are in place?

  • Students are expected to carry their Spartan ID card and keys at all times.
  • The Student Code of Conduct remains in effect for all students on- and off-campus. The Campus Living Policies also are in effect for students remaining in the residence halls.
  • Hosting of non-student guests or visitors in the residence halls is prohibited. 
  • Making unnecessary visits to other student rooms is discouraged.
  • Students should practice social distancing (six feet between you and another person) at all times including while in common residential areas like lounges and common rooms.
  • The majority of campus events have been cancelled and all students, staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing. 

Will I receive a refund if I left the residence halls for the remainder of the spring semester?
If a student left the residence halls by March 23, a 47% housing and meal plan refund was applied to their student account. Personal belongings do not need to be moved out until June 15, 2020, assuming it is safe to return.

Can I still collect mail and packages?
Students remaining on campus will still be able to collect their mail and packages through the intelligent parcel lockers in the lobby of Mail Services. Window services will be discontinued at this time and any questions should be directed via email to mailservices@ut.edu or (813) 257-3477.

How do I move out of the residence halls? 
Residential students who are not staying in the halls do not need to remove their belongings immediately. Personal belongings do not need to be moved out until June 15, 2020, assuming it is safe to return.

The Office of Residence Life has been working diligently to create a solution for students to retrieve their belongings from their rooms. We understand that our students may have items in their rooms that they need to access. For this reason, we have three options for students to utilize to retrieve their belongings. Details of these options can be found at ut.edu/campus-life/residence-life/spring-2020-move-out-update. Please know that should a different directive or mandate be issued, these options may be terminated; in which case we will have to develop a new plan. Please know that the health and safety of all involved in the move-out process is our first priority.

Is packing, moving or storage assistance available?
The University of Tampa has been working in collaboration with TSI Shipping to provide packing, moving and storage services for UT students. All information can be found at TSI Shipping.

Will residence halls be open for Fall 2020? 
The Office of Residence Life looks forward to welcoming new and continuing students back to the residence halls for the Fall 2020 semester. More information regarding residential arrival and assignments will be communicated over the summer to the student’s Spartan email address from the Office of Residence Life.

UT leadership is currently developing a comprehensive, operational COVID-19 safety plan that addressed policies, procedures, facilities and operations that will mitigate the COVID-19 threat on campus. Visit ut.edu/fall2020 for details.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

What mode of delivery will UT offer Fall 2020 classes? 
The University of Tampa fully intends and is planning a safe resumption of in-person teaching, learning and campus life for Fall 2020.

Students should refer to the Fall 2020 Opening page for more information.

I am a current international student at UT. When I am expected to return to the U.S.?  
In accordance with CDC guidelines, one of the health steps that is required of those who are entering the U.S. from abroad is a 14-day quarantine before your arrival to campus. If you are already in the U.S. and will remain in the country until the start of the semester, this requirement does not apply to you. There is no waiver of the quarantine requirement if you are entering the U.S. from abroad. Fall semester begins Aug.26. This means you need to arrive in the U.S. no later than Aug.12 in order to complete the quarantine before classes start. If you are checking in to a residence hall between Aug. 23 and Aug. 25, you must quarantine at least 14 days before your check-in date assigned to you by the Office of Resident Life.

Please see the Residence Life/Move In section of the Fall 2020 opening page for more information on the quarantine.

Make sure to carefully review the UT Travel Information website to verify you have all the immigration documents you will need as an international student for re-entry into the U.S.

I am a new international student at UT for Fall 2020. When I am expected to arrive to the U.S.?
In accordance with CDC guidelines, one of the health steps that is required of those who are entering the U.S. from abroad is a 14-day quarantine before your arrival to campus. If you are a transfer student already in the U.S. and will remain in the country until the start of the semester, this requirement does not apply to you. There is no waiver of the quarantine requirement if you are entering the U.S. from abroad.

The check-in and residence hall move-in date for new students is Aug. 20. This means you need to arrive in the U.S. no later than Aug. 6 in order to complete the quarantine before your move-in date. 

International student immigration check in may be completed remotely for new students who cannot attend the New International Student Immigration Check In on Aug. 20 due to the quarantine period. You will need to schedule this option in advance by emailing international@ut.edu and include your full name and student ID number.

What international travel restrictions are currently in place?
Travelers who have been in one of the countries listed on the CDC website in the 14 days prior to entry will not be allowed to enter the US.

The US State Department has travel advisories by country with information about traveling to the US. We recommend that you also check with your home country government for any bans on travel to and from your home country.

I am a current international student. Will I be able to maintain my status outside the US for Fall 2020?
No. According to the July 6, 2020 updated SEVP/ICE Guidance for Fall 2020, F-1 visa students cannot take all online courses if the school is offering in-person or hybrid mix of courses. Students have two choices: 1) return to UT for Fall 2020 for full-time in-person classes; or 2) put their F-1 status on hold by requesting a SEVIS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal online. Students would apply for reactivation for the Spring 2021 semester. This could affect eligibility for practical training.

I am a current international student. Can I take all online classes for Fall 2020 while inside the US?
No. Continuing F-1 students who remain in the US or return to the US will need to take full-time, in-person courses to remain in status.

I am a current international student. What if I am unable or do not wish to return to UT in Fall 2020? 
International students who cannot or will not return to take classes in person at UT for Fall 2020 must first submit the online SEVIS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal request to the International Programs Office to put your F-1 status on hold for one semester. Students would then need to submit a UT Withdrawal Request to advising@ut.edu.

Once submitted, your SEVIS record and form I-20 will be terminated for “Authorized Early Withdrawal.” If you are still within the U.S., you will be required to depart the U.S within 15 days of your withdrawal date. If you plan to return for a future semester, you will be able to indicate this on the forms, and your international student advisor will assist you with obtaining a new form I-20. This could affect eligibility for practical training.

My I-20/DS-2019 does not have a valid travel signature. What should I do?
Please see the UT Travel Signature Request page for instructions.

What should I expect if I decide to travel internationally?
If you decide to travel, make sure to be prepared and aware of the risks. In many countries, there are entry and exit control measures, and quarantines that could severely impact your plans and/or delay your travel at personal cost. Depending on your destination, you may have to reach difficult decisions to change or even cancel travel plans to ensure your own well-being.

We encourage you to monitor developments through the State Department and CDC websites for updates. 

Re-entry into the U.S. for persons traveling from or through impacted countries is outside the control of the University. Please be advised you may not be able to re-enter the U.S. for an unknown period of time. 

Make sure to carefully review the UT Travel Information website to verify you have all the immigration documents you will need as an international student for future re-entry into the U.S.

I have recently traveled and returned to UT from a country impacted by COVID-19. Do I need to let the University know?
Students, faculty and staff who have traveled to areas significantly impacted by COVID-19 should notify the Dickey Health and Wellness Center as soon as possible after their return via email or phone. If you believe you have had contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19 please do the same. The Dickey Health and Wellness Center can be reached at (813) 257-3051 or healthcenter@ut.edu.

What if I am an international student currently on campus, and I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?

  1. Follow the directions from the CDC.
  2. Contact the Dickey Health and Wellness Centerat (813) 257-3051 or healthcenter@ut.edu immediately for directions.
  3. Contact the International Programs Office (IPO) via email at international@ut.edu

If it is not possible for you to complete your coursework and remain enrolled full-time in the fall or spring semesters, you may be eligible for a medical reduced course load in your SEVIS immigration record. You will need to provide medical documentation from a doctor to the IPO office to request this authorization prior to withdrawing from any classes.

What if I am a current international student who is outside of the U.S., and I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
If you are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, please follow the directions from the CDC. Contact a local health provider remotely. Also, contact IPO at international@ut.edu immediately to inform your international student advisor.

I am either a current international student or alumni on OPT. Am I required to maintain my visa status during this time?
Yes, it is important that international students maintain their nonimmigrant student status, even during emergency events. This means international students must continue to take all the necessary actions to remain in status, to the extent possible under the circumstances, and communicate their plans, including any changes to their address to their international student advisor.

Can I drop a course from a previous semester? 
If dropping a course from a previous semester will put you below full time for that semester, do not drop without first speaking to your international student advisor. Retroactively withdrawing will have serious consequences for your immigration status.

I am a current international student. If I am outside of the U.S. and I’m not able to return to the U.S. within five months, will my Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record and visa remain active?
The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has confirmed that international students may temporarily take classes online for Spring and Summer 2020, either from within the United States or outside the country, without impacting their immigration status.

Under current conditions, if an active F student who is maintaining their visa status departed the United States to complete the Spring 2020 term online, their SEVIS record will remain in active status. The five-month temporary absence provision addressed in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f) (4) will not apply for students who remain in active status.

What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my passport expires; what do I need to do to renew it?
Do not allow your passport to expire while inside the U.S. Please see the UT Passport Information page for instructions.

What if I decide to remain in the U.S. and my visa expires?
Please see the UT Visa Information page for instructions and information.

If I am outside the U.S. or decide to depart the U.S., and my visa is expired or will expire, do I need to renew it before I return to the U.S.?
If you decide to depart the United States and your visa will be expired as of the date of your planned return, you will need to apply to renew your visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to return to continues your studies or OPT. (A visa is not required for citizens of Canada and Bermuda.)

Please note that the U.S. State Department announced on March 18 that routine visa services has been temporarily suspended worldwide.

Do not enter the U.S. on a visitor visa or Visa Waiver Program, as international students are not allowed to study in the U.S. in these visa statuses.

Please see the UT Visa Information page for instructions and information.

I moved to another part of the U.S. to be with my family or friends. Do I need to let the University know?
Yes, you must update your new “U.S. Primary Local” address in your Workday account within 10 calendar days, according to F-1 visa regulations. The International Programs Office (IPO) will then report your new address to your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record. See the IPO website for instructions.

I am a current international student. Can I work on campus or off campus? 
Please read the UT Employment Information page for more information.

I am currently participating in Practical Training (CPT or OPT). What should I do if my employer asks me to work remotely or if my employment ends early?
Changes to workplace requirements may impact your practical training. We encourage you to consult with your employer to seek alternative ways to maintain employment, such as teleworking or other arrangements if necessary. If your employment/internship is affected or ended due to COVID-19, please contact the International Programs Office immediately at international@ut.edu.  Some examples of changes you must report to IPO include the following to determine if your SEVIS record needs to be updated:

  1. If your CPT or OPT is ended early.
  2. If your CPT or OPT will continue, but will be done remotely.
  3. If your address or the physical address of your CPT or OPT work location changes.
  4. If your hours during OPT have been reduced to less than 20 hours per week.

I am currently participating in Optional Practical Training (OPT). How many hours a week am I required to work to maintain my status? 
Normally, those participating in post-completion OPT are required to work 20 hours per week or more to be considered employed full-time. However, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has stated “for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, SEVP considers students who are working in their OPT opportunities fewer than 20 hours a week as engaged in OPT.”

Inform your international student advisor at international@ut.edu if you are working less than 20 hours per week due to COVID-19, so they may update your SEVIS record.

My Curricular Practical Training (CPT) internship starts in the summer, but I am outside the U.S. and unable to travel. Can I work remotely until I am able to return to the U.S.? 
International students with approved Curricular Practical Training (CPT) prior to their start date may work remotely for their U.S. employer if either the employer has an office outside the U.S. or the employer is able to assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.

CPT is not required to work or intern for an employer located in your home country and you are outside the U.S. CPT would be required to work for a U.S. employer remotely from your home country.

Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from my home country?
No, F-1 students must be present in the U.S. at the time the OPT and STEM OPT application is mailed to USCIS.

I am an international student nearing the end of my F-1 visa status, and I am unable to return to my home country or would prefer to remain in the US for now. What are my options?
Please contact international@ut.edu to discuss your options with your international student advisor, as every student’s situation is different. Here are some options:

If you are a current international student:

  1. Remain in the U.S. after your graduation date and depart by the end of your grace period, which is 60 days for F-1 visa students and 30 days for J-1 visa students after your graduation date
  2. Remain in the U.S. and apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)before the end of your grace period.
  3. Pursue another degree program in the U.S. (at UT or another institution) and transfer your SEVIS record before the end of your grace period.
  4. Change to another nonimmigrant visa status if eligible, such as H-1B or visitor visa. For more advice about this option, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at govand contact an experienced immigration attorney.

If you are a UT alumna/alumnus on OPT:

  1. Remain in the U.S. during your grace period after your OPT end date. Your OPT end date is the “card expires” date on your EAD card. Your grace period is 60 days for F-1 visa students and 30 days for J-1 visa students. However, please note that if you reach the 90 days of unemployment limit, you do not have an additional grace period.
  2. Pursue another degree program in the U.S. (at UT or another institution) and transfer your SEVIS record before the end of your grace period, or before you reach 90 days of unemployment.
  3. Change to another nonimmigrant visa status if eligible, such as H-1B or visitor visa. For more advice about this option, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at govand contact an experienced immigration attorney.

My visa status is expiring soon or has expired, flights are cancelled and my country closed its borders. What should I do?
We understand that this is a highly stressful and uncertain time with travel restrictions and flight availability changing daily.

The U.S. government has not announced any extension to grace periods or the 90 days limit of unemployment while on OPT.

  • Please see the answer to the above FAQ about options for remaining in the U.S. after graduation or OPT to see if any apply to you. If you are unsure, please contact your international student adviser at international@ut.edu.
  • Contact your country’s embassy in the U.S. to see if they can provide any assistance or special accommodation to help you return home.
  • You may be eligible to apply to change to another nonimmigrant visa status, such as visitor visa status. For more advice about this option, please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at govand contact an experienced immigration attorney. 

Please inform the International Programs Office immediately at international@ut.edu if your status will expire soon, and you have not been able to depart the U.S. due to COVID-19. Your international student advisor will update your SEVIS record, so U.S. immigration officials are aware of your circumstances.

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EDUCATION ABROAD

What is the status of planned study abroad programming?
The University has canceled all study abroad programming in all countries for the May term, and all summer and fall sessions. If you were scheduled to study abroad during these times, please discuss options with your Education Abroad Advisor in the International Programs Office. Students can defer travel for a later date.

When will I be able to register for a future study abroad?
At this time, there is an indefinite hold on education abroad. However, we are taking applications for January Term and Spring Semester programs for 2021 should the hold be lifted.

An Education Abroad advisor is available to discuss study abroad program options with you during regularly scheduled times. Please check MyUTampa to access the TDS for Study Abroad portal to schedule an appointment. When logged into MyUTampa, you will notice the TDS for Study Abroad chicklet. Select it and the Education Abroad portal will open. Select the "Education Abroad Appointments." PLEASE NOTE: Appointments with an Education Abroad Advisors will take place through ZOOM meetings.

What if the study abroad programs suspension affects my academic progress?
UT works closely with our academic departments in order to mitigate potential impacts on students’ academic progress. We will work with students to consider alternate means to maintain academic progress following the options set out by the students’ respective program.

I was planning on studying abroad; how do I register for fall semester at UT?
To register for fall semester classes, please reach out to your advisor for assistance:

  • First-year students please contact your assigned academic advisor; you can schedule an appointment using Navigate through MyUTampa. Visit Workday for up-to-date advisor information.
  • Continuing students, please contact your assigned faculty advisor. See Workday for up-to-date advisor information.
  • If you need immediate assistance, academic advisors will be available via Zoom Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please download Zoom to your device, and utilize this Advising Zoom link.

I was planning to study abroad during fall semester; will I now be able to live on campus? If you did not select a housing assignment during the housing selection process and you are interested in living on campus for fall semester, complete the Fall 2020 Return to Housing form on Residence by Symplicity. The Office of Residence Life makes assignments based on housing availability. Most likely, you will be offered a space at the Barrymore Hotel. Once a housing assignment has been confirmed, you may request a room change, which is also processed as spaces become available.

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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

UT will continue to monitor and update the community as this situation evolves. For questions, please contact  wellness@ut.edu