Global Education

COVID-19 FAQ for International Students

High Point University VALUES its international students for the academic excellence they bring to our classrooms and the cultural diversity they bring to our campus. Please see below for a series of questions and answers related to your studies at HPU.


What is the latest news on the Fall semester academic calendar at HPU?

An alteration of the Fall calendar was made on 28 May. View a helpful visual on important Fall semester dates. The High University COVID-19 Information site is a great resource for your general health and safety questions related to living and studying at HPU.


Will I be able to enter the United States to take classes on campus this Fall?

Most foreign nationals, including F-1 student visa holders, who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States: China, Iran, European Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and Brazil. Students arriving from other countries may or may not be allowed currently to enter the United States. Entrance restrictions into the United States are likely to change before the Fall semester, so please monitor the CDC and your government’s foreign travel advice website for recent changes.


If I am able to enter the United States, when will I need to arrive to campus?

Below are the planned arrival dates for the Fall semester.

New international students need to arrive to begin International Student Orientation on the morning of Thursday, 13 August. As such, we recommend students book a room in our reserved block at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, Greensboro airport on Wednesday, 12 August. Please use this link to book your room.

Students who arrive at the Greensboro airport on Wednesday, 12 August will be met at baggage claim by a member of the Global Education Team to provide a warm welcome to North Carolina and assist you in getting to your hotel. Then, HPU’s Office of Global Education will meet students at the hotel Thursday morning to bring you to campus. Please confirm your Fall semester arrival plans through this form.

Returning international students need to arrive on their allocated move-in date to campus housing. Please follow airport shuttle information as posted on the Concierge website here.

All international students should carefully review HPU’s COVID Response Plan online here. Please pay special attention to the Student’s Guide to Returning to Campus posted on that site.


If I am a returning HPU student unable to enter the United States, or would prefer to avoid the cost and stress of international travel right now, can I take a “gap semester?”

The Office of Global Education is seeking guidance from federal authorities at SEVP about regulations pertaining to a “gap semester” caused by COVID-19 related issues. It’s likely that a SEVIS Authorized Early Withdrawal will need to be processed for returning international students wishing to take a “gap semester.” Once federal regulations are more clearly provided by SEVP to the Office of Global Education, international students interested in taking a semester off from classes can discuss their leave of absence (also known as Hiatus) with Ms. Kristen Cruz. This process will involve collaboration with the HPU Office of the Registrar in order to ensure students can maintain their status as an admitted student at HPU.


If I am a new HPU student unable to enter the United States, or would prefer to avoid the cost and stress of international travel right now, can I defer my enrollment to Spring 2021?

If new international students decide to defer enrollment to Spring semester, a DSO can adjust their start date in SEVIS and issue a new Form I-20. However, this must be done before students travel to the United States. International students cannot defer their program start date once after entering the United States. Exchange students should speak with their home university about deferring enrollment to Spring 2021. HPU will need home university approval before we transfer a student record in the HPU Admissions system from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021.

Keep in mind that there are still many unknowns about the global health situation for Spring 2021. Students must stay in touch with HPU frequently for updated guidance.


If I am unable to enter the United States, or would prefer to avoid the cost and stress of international travel right now, can I take classes online from my home country during the Fall semester?

As mentioned above, SEVP has not issued guidance to international students and schools for the Fall semester. We understand international students and schools have questions, and SEVP is actively working to issue guidance. In the meantime, the temporary procedural adaptions that permit international students to engage in remote learning are still in place through the summer session. As soon as SEVP finalizes guidance for the Fall term, the academic community and our international students will be updated.

In the meantime, degree-seeking international students potentially interested in an online semester at HPU should communicate with their Success Coach or Academic Advisor about the availability of online classes relevant for their program of study. It is likely that non-degree exchange students will not be permitted to enroll in online classes. If this continues to be the case, they should defer their initial exchange semester to Spring 2021.


Can DSOs electronically send signed Forms I-20 to students instead of physically mailing the forms?

Yes, due to COVID-19, DSOs may electronically send Forms I-20 to student email addresses listed in SEVIS. Forms I-20 issued electronically or with electronic signatures—as permitted during the COVID-19 emergency—will remain valid until students have a need for an updated Form I-20. An electronic or digital travel signature will be valid for the same duration as an ink signature (12 months for F students).


If international students remain in the United States due to COVID-19 and their passport expires, what do they need to do to renew it?

Students in this situation should contact their country’s embassy or consulate to identify options for passport extension or renewal. If students decide to depart the United States, they will not be eligible to apply for admission until they renew their passport and/or visa.


Due to COVID-19, what is SEVP’s advice to students who want to apply for OPT? Is there any chance that students would be able to apply for post-completion OPT from outside the United States?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is evaluating these issues and may issue additional guidance. In the meantime, contact the Office of Global Education for the latest advice.


Where can I find out more information about COVID-19 related news pertaining to residents of North Carolina?

North Carolina Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) COVID-19 Response


Where can I find out more information about COVID-19 related regulations pertaining to international students in the United States?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “Study in the States”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Travel


Office of Global Education

Location: Cottrell Hall, Suite 142
Phone: +1 (336) 841-9280
Mailing Address:
High Point University
Office of Global Education
One University Parkway, Drawer 24
High Point, NC 27268  USA

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