I know many of our F-1 visa international students are concerned with recent announcements from the federal government that may affect their ability to study in the United States. To be clear, the University of South Florida’s aim is for all students to begin or continue their academic journey at USF without disruption. International students are cherished members of our university community and we recognize that many of you are coping with unique challenges as a result of COVID-19.
USF plans to resume classes for the fall semester under a hybrid instructional model with precautions in place to provide a healthy environment for teaching and learning, in the classroom and online. We are committed to ensuring that our F-1 students are enrolled in courses that meet immigration requirements. The recent statements from the Scholar and Exchange Visitor Program are extremely unsettling, but at USF, we are committed to supporting international students — regardless of whether you join us on campus or find it necessary to remain abroad for the fall semester. All international students have received, and will continue to receive, communications from USF World and International Admissions that provide further guidance regarding fall enrollment and opportunities for Q&A sessions. Most importantly, no USF international student is being asked to leave the country as a result of the federal government’s announcement. On the contrary, we enthusiastically support your decision to pursue a degree at USF.
USF’s course schedule for fall 2020 will be released later this month and we will actively work with academic programs across our campuses to ensure that international students’ course schedules meet immigration requirements. In case you have not seen the recent message from the Office of International Services, I encourage you to review it. USF World’s FAQs are also a resource for important information.
In addition, USF has contacted our representatives in Washington, D.C., to express our concerns and to request action that will protect international students during these unprecedented times. Like many institutions, we have very serious reservations about the federal statement issued this week and we pledge to keep you updated as we seek greater clarity.
USF is here to support you! USF is proud of its commitment to global engagement and your presence among our student body is a point of pride for the USF community.
Steven C. Currall
President and Professor