News

Mar 16, 2021

COVID-19 Updates

As Ohio State continues to monitor the global outbreak of COVID-19 and take appropriate steps to ensure the health and well-being of the campus community, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) will provide regular updates and guidance for students, scholars, faculty and staff relating to international travel and services. 

Visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website for the latest university-wide updates and information related to the return to campus.

Resources for emotional support are available through Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service. To stay abreast of recent travel restrictions, visit the U.S. Health and Human Services website and Ohio State travel alerts. Additional guidance can be found on the World Health Organization website and the Wexner Medical Center website.

Travel

Following the public health guidance of local, state and federal officials, the university has extended the current restrictions on domestic and international travel through June 30, 2021. More details on the cancellation guidelines and the exemption process can be found on the Office of Business and Finance website.

Education Abroad

All faculty-led summer 2021 education abroad programs and several third-party provider and direct enroll programs managed by OIA have been cancelled. Students have been notified of the cancellation decision. A small number of summer third-party provider and direct enroll education abroad programs in select countries will be re-assessed for viability and a decision will be rendered by April 15.*

A summer program in South Korea has been approved for travel and conditions will continue to be monitored before it begins. 

Travel for autumn semester and winter break education abroad programs managed by OIA will be assessed for viability throughout the summer. Decisions will be rendered as follows:

  • Third party provider programs, direct enroll programs, and exchange programs with July start dates
    • Program viability decision date: No later than May 3, 2021*
  • Third party provider programs, direct enroll programs, and exchange programs with August start dates
    • Program viability decision date: No later than June 4, 2021*
  • Faculty-led programs with winter break travel
    • Program viability decision date: No later than August 1, 2021*

*Should it be determined that a program is not viable, decisions may be rendered earlier than the published deadline dates. 

The extension of university travel restrictions overlap with the dates of a significant number of summer education abroad programs. These guidelines do not expressly cancel or prohibit travel. Whether the Office of International Affairs-managed education abroad programs are considered “business essential” will need to be determined after further consultation between the colleges and the Office of International Affairs.

Students are encouraged to review the Summer 2021 Education Abroad Program Deadlines page for up to date information regarding virtual programs still accepting applications. There are many ways to explore your options and learn more including browsing the education abroad program search tool, watching a tutorial, attending a Getting Started Session, listening to a Buckeyes Abroadcast and participating in a Buckeye Bridge Series event. For these events and more, visit the Office of International Affairs calendar.

Students interested in virtual options are encouraged to review Education Abroad’s Program Search tool for virtual programming and the Office of International Affair’s new Global Teaching and Learning Initiative. Should students have questions or need to speak with an education abroad specialist, please call 614-292-6101 or email abroadadvisor@osu.edu.

International Students

For the majority of our services, the most efficient way for OIA to assist students at this time will be via email. Forms can be accessed at oia.osu.edu/forms-and-handouts and can be scanned and emailed to iss@osu.edu. Immigration coordinators at the Office of International Affairs are available for virtual advising Monday – Friday from 1 – 4 p.m. via CarmenZoom. Students can register for 15-minute appointments at go.osu.edu/oiaadvising. Learn more about limited front desk services.

In-person classes will resume for Spring 2021. Courses are being offered in different formats—some are in person, some are online (“distance learning”), and some offer a blend of in-person, online and other activities (“hybrid” courses). 

International Scholars

Scholar immigration specialists are available by email (preferred) and phone Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will continue essential actions in the SEVIS system for J-1 scholars, such as J-1 extensions and departure notifications, ensuring the J-1 scholar’s immigration record will not be jeopardized. Learn more about limited front desk services.

Human Resources Professionals

We are still accepting J-1 scholar and H-1B cases via IntBuckeye. However, printing of all DS-2019 immigration documents for J-1 scholars will be delayed. Additionally, since our physical office location in Enarson is closed, we are unable to offer pick-ups of documents such as DS-2019s and I-797 approval notices. Learn more at go.osu.edu/intschguidelines.