The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly transformed operations across IU, and has had particularly significant consequences for the international mobility of students, faculty, and staff.
COVID-19 and Global Mobility
These are challenging times for international affairs, but it has never been more important to stay globally engaged. As the outbreak has spread to every continent, we realize now more than ever how truly connected we are as global citizens.
While global mobility is put on pause, we strive to be responsive and continue meeting immediate needs and concerns across all areas of OVPIA. The information below addresses questions you may have regarding changes to university policy and practice as a result of COVID-19 response.
See Vice President Hannah Buxbaum's messages of support to all Hoosiers around the globe.
A statement issued by President Michael A. McRobbie announced the completion of a set of recommendations about the medical and public health measures that would permit IU to begin a phased reopening of research and teaching operations. Plans for the fall 2020 semester are now being developed in light of those recommendations.
We are continuing to process admissions for the Fall 2020 semester. Our websites will be updated as soon as more specific information is available about classes, residence and dining halls, hosting international visitors, etc.
Our offices continue to assist international students in maintaining their student visa status and to provide support services virtually. You can refer students to a collection of wellness and virtual activities and ways to maintain emotional wellness through COVID-19.
Most residence halls and other IU-controlled housing are currently closed, but international students who have no other place to go were offered the opportunity to remain.
The suspension of overseas study at IU during the spring and summer of 2020 was based on advisories issued by the CDC and the State Department relating to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. We expect to make decisions regarding overseas study for fall 2020 no later than June 30, based on the advisories then in effect and prevailing public health conditions.
Arrivals of all new J-1 exchange visitors have been suspended through at least June 1. That suspension may very well be extended beyond that date, and our offices are not currently processing immigration documents for exchange visitors. We continue to process H-1B petitions for IU employees, extend J-1 visas for scholars currently on campus, etc.
The Fulbright organization has announced the suspension of the U.S. Fulbright program worldwide. Many Fulbright scholars currently in the United States are continuing on with their programs where possible. U.S. scholars abroad are being encouraged to return to the United States, and the organization intends to increase travel allowances to cover extraordinary costs where necessary.
Global Gateway Network
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in other countries, our Global Gateway offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, New Delhi, and Mexico City are unable to host events for the time being. The gateway directors are working from home and continue to support international student services teams in their efforts to provide students and their parents with timely information, advice, and reassurance.
Gateway staff are also ready to provide faculty and staff any assistance required to help with rescheduling events, visits, communicating with partners, etc.
Like IU, our partner universities around the world are suspending instruction, canceling events, prohibiting international travel, and otherwise taking necessary action to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, there is little inbound and outbound mobility of students, faculty, and staff at the moment. However, we continue to work with our partners remotely and are planning to reschedule visits of delegations and workshops. Later in the semester we will hold some video meetings with partners to discuss ongoing partnership activities.