News

Dec 21, 2020

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.

The 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.

Education Abroad

Ohio State has canceled all university-sponsored, direct enrollment, exchange and third-party education abroad programs, practicums and internships for spring semester 2021. Sponsoring departments and students who have registered for spring semester programs have been notified of the cancellation decision.

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.

Decisions regarding summer 2021 programs, including student application deadlines and program viability decision dates remain in place and are as follows:

  • Faculty-led programs with May start dates, GVI-Volunteer programs, Child Family Health International (CFHI) programs
    • Student application deadline: January 6, 2021
    • Program viability decision date: No later than January 29, 2021*
  • Third party provider programs, direct enroll programs, faculty-led programs with later summer start dates
    • Student application deadline: February 15, 2021
    • Program viability decision date: No later than March 15, 2021*

*Should it be determined that a program is not viable, it may be decided not to run earlier than these decision dates.

Students should refer to the Program Search tool and each program’s respective brochure for program dates once confirmed.

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.