News

Dec 20, 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

In support of a safe, gradual resumption of travel, international risk management and the International Travel Policy Committee (ITPC) will assess and review all student international travel according to the travel resumption guidelines. The ITPC working group assessment is based on the Ohio State Risk Designated Scale, which is updated monthly. Decisions are guided by analyzing data from the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insurance providers and internal scales for COVID-19 risk and host country medical capacity. In addition, host country vaccination rates and requirements, and public health measures including quarantine, lockdowns, curfews and mobility restrictions are considered.

Assessments are both country-by-country and program-by-program. In addition to health and safety considerations, emphasis is placed on student academic and financial continuity. The ITPC working group has previously approved programming in locations where other forms of travel and programming have not been approved. An approval for any location is not a blanket approval for other forms of university student travel not managed by the Office of International Affairs.

Global Education

Travel for Office of International Affairs Global Education managed programs has been assessed for spring break 2022 and some faculty-led summer 2022 programs with spring semester courses. Due to the variety of program structures and support services within each location, not all programs in each country were approved. A limited number of programs in specific locations were approved for travel during spring break:

  • Mundo
  • Arts 2 U
  • Fisher Honors Cohort Global Lab
  • Fisher Global Lab
  • Fisher Freshman Global Lab (May travel)
  • Fisher Industry Immersion (May travel)

Programs and additional student travel are automatically included in the assessment process only if they are programs that are managed by OIA Global Education. The viability dates are set early to allow for minimal academic and fiscal disruption.

  • May session 2022 OIA faculty-led programs, Child Family Heath International, Global Vision International and Fisher internships and projects: January 31, 2022
  • Late summer 2022 OIA faculty-led, third-party provider, direct enroll programs, autumn semester southern hemisphere with summer start dates: February 28, 2022
    • Non-OIA student cohort travel notification deadline: January 31, 2022
  • Early start autumn 2022 OIA programs: May 16, 2022
    • Non-OIA student cohort travel notification deadline: April 11, 2022
  • Late start autumn 2022 OIA programs: June 15, 2022
    • Non-OIA student cohort travel notification deadline: May 15, 2022
  • Fall break 2022 and winter break 2022-23 OIA programs: August 1, 2022
    • Non-OIA student cohort travel notification deadline: July 1, 2022

Ohio State colleges, departments or units planning non-OIA university supported student cohort programming for summer 2022 and ensuing academic terms should:  

  • Verify that the type of programming is open for review on the resumption calendar
  • Check the intended destination’s rating on the Ohio State Risk Designated Scale.
    • Locations listed as Tier 6 (Extreme Risk) or Tier 5 (Significant Risk) are not viable for assessment for undergraduate programming
    • Locations listed as Tier 4 (High Risk) and Tier 3 (Moderate Risk) often require additional safety and security assessment beyond COVID-19
  • Verify the plan to conduct travel and minimize academic and fiscal disruption with their college, department or unit leadership
  • Submit an intent to travel notification to international risk management at IRM@osu.edu
    • The email should include the sponsoring unit, the intended locations of travel, intended dates of travel and approximate estimate of student travelers
    • This information should be received at least one month in advance of the intended viability deadline (see scheduled dates above)

The sponsoring unit will need to complete significant documentation related to COVID-19 travel preparedness and planning for academic and financial continuity at least 10 days in advance of the viability due date.

Sponsoring units and student travelers are advised to not commit any nonrecoverable funds until after the travel has been assessed. The unit and travelers are responsible for any loss of funds due to canceled or suspended travel.

In order to manage an effective and cohesive process, the ITPC working group is unable to honor requests for ad hoc or specialized viability dates.

Decisions from the working group are not subject to appeal or delay.

Contact IRM@osu.edu with any questions related to university supported student cohort programming not managed by the Office of International Affairs.

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 international student services for Spring 2022.

Ohio State expects to return to in-person autumn semester. Ohio State will offer a mix of in-person, online and blended courses with at least 75% of classes designated to be taught in person.

Monitor the CDC and other government resources for restrictions of entry into the United States.

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.

Monitor the CDC and other government resources for restrictions of entry into the United States.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

Ohio State requires every student, faculty and staff member who is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The university urges everyone who has completed their primary vaccination series to get a booster shot. More information: https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/get-vaccinated

Please be advised that some countries and/or program providers may require proof of vaccination and/or negative COVID-19 test for admission to the program, entry into the country and participation in program-related activities. This is subject to change and Ohio State has no control over vaccine requirements or COVID-19 protocols or other entry requirements of host countries and/or program providers, nor does Ohio State have control of re-entry requirements into the U.S. upon return (e.g., COVID-19 testing required for U.S. entry).