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Message of support and updates for returning UVA international students

June 11, 2020
To: 
Returning International Students
From: 
Stephen Mull, Vice Provost for Global Affairs, and Allen Groves, University Dean of Students

Dear Student,

We are eagerly preparing for the start of a new school year and look forward to warmly welcoming you back on Grounds from your time away, whether in a different country or sheltering in Charlottesville. Your attendance at UVA enriches our institution as a global University, and we are excited for you to come back!

As you start thinking about the upcoming fall semester, the experience may be somewhat different from what any of us expected. But we are working hard to make sure all our students will be able to study safely and in good health while we overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will be in touch with you regularly in the weeks ahead to keep you informed as our plans for the fall semester come together, and we invite you to contact the University's International Studies Office at issp@virginia.edu with any special interests and concerns. While some things about the upcoming fall semester will be different from previous semesters, the most important things about a UVA education will not change. You can count on a rich, high-quality, and rewarding educational experience that will continue to have an impact on your life.

As we continue with our planning, there are already some details we are pleased to share with you. In general, assuming public health guidelines allow, we are planning to have students on Grounds for at least some in-person instruction in the fall semester, which will begin as scheduled on August 25 for undergraduate students and on other dates for graduate and professional programs within prudent guidelines to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We are still trying to determine how many students can be safely back on Grounds and living in dorms, and how many in-person classes we can host, given social distancing restrictions.

The University and your School will share those plans in the coming weeks.

As an international student, you may face special challenges in obtaining a visa or traveling because of pandemic-related restrictions. In those cases, we have already committed that any UVA students who cannot make it to Charlottesville in time for the opening of the semester for reasons related to the pandemic will have online access to a full array of classes until they are able to arrive on Grounds.

We are also planning expanded course availability during the semester break in January (the "J-Term") to allow undergraduate students who defer their enrollment in the fall to take some of their classes later in the year. Additionally, the University will help you identify housing options whenever you are able to arrive.

As we go through the summer, we will also be planning regular virtual programs in which we strongly encourage you to participate.

In addition to our regular communications, we will continue to post information of interest to international students on UVA's International Studies Office website.  Please visit the site early and often for updates.

That's all for now, except to wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable summer and we'll be in touch again soon!

Sincerely,

Stephen Mull
Vice Provost for Global Affairs

Allen Groves
University Dean of Students