We Stand With Our International Students

July 9, 2020

Dear FIDM Community F-1 International Students,

We are writing to you with a message of support and encouragement regarding this week’s announcement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the temporary spring and summer exemptions for F-1 students taking fully online/remote classes have been modified for fall 2020. 

 According to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) July 6 announcement, international students cannot remain in the U.S. if they are exclusively attending online classes this fall. Students living and studying in the United States for the fall 2020 quarter must now attend a school which offers full time in-person classes, or a hybrid structure which combines in-person and remote classes. (Students living outside the U.S. may continue with fully online/remote classes, however they may not be able to retain their F-1 status if FIDM has resumed face-to-face instruction or an approved hybrid structure.)

We know that the announcement is unsettling and stressful for our international students, and we are committed to supporting you in any way we can. While we are hoping to resume in-person instruction for the fall 2020 quarter, it is dependent on up-to-date health guidelines. In response, we have developed a back-up plan with a hybrid mode of instruction that incorporates hybrid courses which are 50% in-person and 50% online, remote courses (online courses taught live through interactive video conferencing), and pure online or elearning courses with access to labs and student services.

This hybrid approach is a good direction for our I-20 students and will be outlined in FIDM’s official Change in Operational Plan, subject to approval by the SEVP.

We will continue communicating with students and families with updates prior to the fall 2020 quarter. You can view the official guidelines provided by the SEVP here: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/sevisFall2020_FAQ.pdf.

We are proud of our international students and the contributions you make to our vibrant learning community, and we value each and every one of you.

Please know that FIDM stands with you during this challenging period. We will be in touch with you as we move forward, and will continue to strategize how best to support you.

Sincerely and with best wishes,

The FIDM Board of Administration

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