Week of Sept. 7

From: Hendrickson, Melodi <hendricm@dickinson.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 1:01 PM
Cc: Center for Global Study and Engagement <global@dickinson.edu>
Subject: A Message from CGSE to FIRST-YEARS - 09.08.2020
Importance: High

Hello from Carlisle, International Students from the Class of 2024 –

I have been thinking of you often as we are several weeks into our Fall semester. Some of you are hard at work studying online from home, a few of you were able to join us here on campus, and many of you have chosen to defer while you prepare for a hopeful Spring 2021 arrival. No matter your choices for this term, we continue to remain excited about your role in the Dickinson community and can’t wait to meet you in person. 

There are several questions many of you have been asking recently. Allow me to address them here, and then please reach out to us with any additional follow-up you may still be wondering about:

  1. I-20’s – Your new I-20’s are being sent to you as we speak. If you do not receive yours in the next week, please reach out to me to inquire of your status.
    1. If you have chosen to defer to the Spring 2021, your new I-20 will list Program Dates of January 2021-February 2025. Dickinson College continues to see you as a part of the class of 2024. However, because you are not taking any courses with us this semester, F-1 visa regulations require us to delay your graduation date in SEVIS by a full semester. So instead of graduating in May 2024, 8 full semesters now means you are scheduled to finish in the Fall 2024. Fall graduates at Dickinson post a graduation date of February of the following semester, hence February 2025 in SEVIS. However, if you still plan to graduate as initially scheduled in May 2024, as soon as you arrive to campus in Carlisle and we can confirm this date with our Registrar’s Office, our DSO’s will gladly change your SEVIS graduation date back to May 2024.
    2. If you have chosen to study online from home this semester, your new I-20 will list Program Dates of January 2021-May 2024. We cannot begin your program in SEVIS until you have entered the U.S. and reported to campus, hence the January start date. However, because you are currently enrolled in courses and are still set to graduate in May 2024 with 8 complete semesters at our institution, your Program End date remains the same.
    3. If you have chosen to participate in one of our “study abroad from home” programs, your new I-20 will list Program Dates of January 2021-May 2024. We cannot begin your program in SEVIS until you have entered the U.S. and reported to campus in Carlisle, hence the January start date. However, because you are currently enrolled in courses and are still set to graduate in May 2024 with 8 complete semesters at our institution, your Program End date remains the same
  2. Spring 2021 – Dickinson College continues to remain vigilant in making wise decisions about our Spring 2021 semester. Final decisions have not yet been decided, and so our office will continue to move forward with plans for a Spring 2021 in person until we hear otherwise.
    1. Currently, the first day of classes for the Spring 2021 term is January 25th. If that date remains the same, we will likely host an international student orientation (in conjunction with an all-first-years orientation) during the week preceding the start of classes. These orientation and arrival dates have not yet been decided. The ISSS team chose to list the approved Session Start Date on your new I-20 as January 15, 2021. Please know this date was only our best guess at the earliest possible date you may eventually need to be on campus. This date is not firm.
    2. If the college would choose to make any changes to the Spring 2021 academic calendar, or choose to once again go all-remote, this information will be communicated to you directly from the institution. Our team here at CGSE will then follow-up with you to let you know how this will affect your current I-20 and immigration status moving forward. Please watch the Dickinson College website for all up-to-date information on our COVID-19 re-opening plan.
    3. Our team at CGSE would advise you to not yet make travel arrangements for the Spring 2021 term (unless you are booking refundable/transferrable tickets) until more information has been communicated.

We truly hope this message finds you and your family safe, healthy, and full of hope for a bright tomorrow. Please let us know how we can continue to assist you at this time, and watch your inboxes for a personal email with your new I-20’s from one of our DSO’s (designated school officials).

Kindly,

Melodi, on behalf of the entire team at CGSE (Kristine, Keyana, Katie, Sam, Marissa, and Stephanie)

Melodi Hendrickson
Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services
Center for Global Study & Engagement
Dickinson College
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers