Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Houlsing - UChicago website

Where can I find University materials to help me plan as an international student?

Information and resources for incoming and current F-1 and J-1 international students at the University of Chicago can be found on the Autumn 2020 Planning for International Students page of the Office of International Affairs website. There, you will find up-to-date resources including immigration and travel news, FAQs, and a list of virtual events to help you stay connected with new developments as they happen.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Travel around campus

What options are available for travel around campus?

As of June 1, University daytime shuttle and CTA service have resumed. Visit the "Getting Around" page of the UChicago Safety & Security website for more information. You can also visit the TransLoc website for more information on UChicago shuttles and CTA transit routes that are in service and the most updated information on changes or disruptions to service. The TransLoc app for your smartphone lets you track buses and shuttles in real-time.  Passengers should tap a valid UChicago-issued ID to ride the shuttles and CTA routes 171 and 172. 

Please note that all passengers are required to wear a mask while riding University shuttles. 

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - ICE

How does the most recent U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance affect Harris international students?

On July 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency within the Dept. of Homeland Security with oversight of the F-1 student visa program, issued policy guidance related to COVID-19 course adaptations made by colleges and universities for the fall 2020 academic term. We at Harris, along with colleagues across the University, are reviewing the guidance and its implications for our students.  We will provide updates as soon as we possibly can.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Unable to Get a Visa

If I'm unable to get a visa and arrive on campus by the first day of the autumn quarter am I allowed to arrive later in the quarter or do I need to wait for the start of the winter quarter in January?

We recognize that travel restrictions, particularly for our international students, mean a portion of our community will not be able to return to campus this fall. If a student is unable to obtain their visa and arrive by September 29, please complete the International Student Attendance form, so that we can help. Students may enroll in remote classes before they obtain their visa. The Office of International Affairs will work with students to defer their immigration document start-date or assist with other challenges you may experience.

Regardless of your status, the ASA team is here to ensure our international students are connected and supported. Students who need to complete some or all of the 2020-21 academic year from off-campus will be able to do so.  

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - CPT, OPT

I am an international student. Will I be eligible for CPT and OPT?

Currently, there have been no changes to the availability of either CPT or OPT for Harris students. We know how important access to CPT and OPT are for many of our international students, and Harris is working proactively with the University's Office of International Affairs to enable our ability to welcome students, staff, and scholars from all backgrounds. 

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Transfer

Can students who are not able to come to campus due to visa or travel issues take courses in through Universities in other countries?

While we understand the desire to have some in-person experience, we strongly believe that a Harris education is best delivered by Harris instructors. We do not accept transfer credit from outside the University of Chicago and we do not have plans to offer Harris courses at other universities.  

We are working on plans to help students who are in the same cities as other Harristas connect with one another. You can expect to hear more on that later in the summer. Of course, these students are welcome to meet in person if they would like, but we strongly advise that they take the public health situation into account and take all necessary safety precautions. We are working with the University of Chicago Center in Beijing to allow students to use the Center facilities, though no courses will be taught there.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Should I Move to Chicago?

Should I move to Chicago?

Harris will deliver a dual-modality educational experience for next year that is designed to provide a consistent, high standard of excellence regardless of whether you pursue your coursework on-campus or remotely. Since Harris courses will all offer a remote option in autumn quarter, this decision really comes down to each student’s personal situation. There are certainly benefits to being on campus and in the vibrant city of Chicago if you are able to do so. We expect that students will need to weigh factors including finances, travel restrictions, their living options elsewhere, and family considerations.

It is also important to note that a student can opt to move to Chicago at any point during the academic year. We have committed to providing remote options for classes for the entire 2020-21 academic year, but it is important to note that it is possible that not all elective courses will be available in a virtual format after the autumn quarter. 

Some Hyde Park landlords are offering students the ability to delay lease starts until January. If you think you would like to delay moving until later in the academic year, you may want to discuss this with potential landlords to see if they are able to offer this option. 

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Schedule

When do classes start? What is the schedule for autumn quarter?

Classes for most parts of the University, including Harris, will begin as scheduled on September 29, with in-person instruction ending before Thanksgiving, to help reduce the risk of disease transmission related to Thanksgiving travel. The final week of instruction, as well as reading period and finals period – from November 30 through December 12 – will take place fully remotely.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Indicate Remote

What do I need to do to indicate that I want to be remote for the entire Autumn Quarter?

First, you’ll need to be sure that you’re choosing to enroll only in classes that have the option for you to participate remotely, which will be true of all Harris classes in the autumn quarter. However, if you are taking any electives outside of Harris, you’ll need to make sure that they are either fully remote or have an option to participate remotely.

You’ll also need to let Harris know that you’ll be participating remotely so that we can process the waiver for the student services fee for the quarter(s). You can do that by filling out this form.

It’s important to note that students can choose to pursue their studies remotely vs in-person on a quarter-by-quarter basis.  At any point during the quarter, if you need to be remote, you can choose to do so long as the course you have selected has a remote option, which will be true of all courses for autumn quarter.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Claim Zoom

Where can I claim my UChicago Student Zoom account?

As a UChicago student, please make sure you use this link to claim your account since the student Zoom account has features that are different from those on the general free Zoom account. Additional information about training for Zoom and other systems will be shared later in the summer.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - visa issues

What support will be available for students dealing with visa issues?

We understand that given the evolving nature of the pandemic and government responses, our international students may face barriers to entering the United States for the Autumn quarter. The University’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) provides support for students related to visa issues and has additional information specific to Autumn 2020 planning for international students. All international students at the University are assigned an OIA adviser – the OIA advisor for Harris students is Mischa Kasperan mkasperan@uchicago.edu.  As previously shared, we are committed to offering virtual options for students who are not able to be on campus, due to visa issues or other reasons, in the 2020-21 academic year.

Fall Updates 2020_Travel, Visas, and Housing - Summer Employment

How can international students participate in summer employment in 2021 given U.S. government restrictions?

Harris is committed to ensuring that international students have a full, rich student experience, regardless of where they take courses from, and that includes the ability to experience fulfilling summer employment. Formalizing practical experience as a degree requirement for our MPP, MSCAPP and MACRM students ensures that F-1 and J-1 international students who need to begin the academic year from outside the U.S. remain eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Academic Training (AT) after their first academic year in the program.