Dear members of the university community,
The new federal guidance for international students announced this week comes at a difficult time for the world, and in particular the United States. The current pandemic presents challenges for our international students seeking to further their education. We recognize these challenges are a strain on financial resources, travel arrangements, campus experiences, and now immigration standing.
At FIU we pride ourselves in our global and multicultural educational environment aimed at increasing understanding in the world. International is not just our middle name. It is our mandate and an idea that has been with us since day one, when Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant spoke at our groundbreaking ceremony in January of 1971.
International education is an important part of the mix at FIU because it is one of the ways we help our domestic students understand the world from the perspective of their peers. It also provides us in the U.S. with life-long friends around the world, which is ultimately good for America.
We have and always will be committed to supporting our international students. While the federal announcement is new and there may be clarifications in the next few days or weeks, our plans for the upcoming Fall term, which have been approved by our Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors, have the flexibility that will allow us to conform with the visa requirements for our international students in the federal announcement. Therefore, we are working through the details of the recent announcement to determine how we can better support our more than 4,000 international students. Our FIU has developed an academic plan for our fall semester that is designed to provide courses in four different modalities that include, face-to-face, hybrid, remote, and online. Our students will have the opportunity to enroll in courses that will allow them to begin or continue their studies and remain on track to graduation. We want every FIU student to have an opportunity to graduate from FIU.
At FIU, we will comply with the federal guidelines by making sure there are enough in-person and hybrid classes to accommodate the needs of our international students. We will take individual student’s circumstances under consideration and appreciate the sacrifices and personal investment our international students and their families have made in coming to study at FIU. We commit our best efforts to help them finish their degrees.
To that end, we are committed to implementing the following steps immediately in an effort to ensure our students successfully partake in and are able to complete the fall term at FIU:
- Ensure that students’ immigration status remains in compliance and that we meet our students’ educational needs by offering necessary courses in either a hybrid or face-to-face format.
- Assess the enrollment status of each of our international students to determine what, if any, courses are necessary to remain in compliance with immigration guidelines.
- Work with academic units to review current course offerings and communicate opportunities to international students.
- Ensure that new international students who have enrolled for the Fall term will have an opportunity to begin their educational journey at our FIU.
We want every FIU student to graduate from FIU. We will take individual student’s circumstances into consideration and appreciate the sacrifices and personal investment our international students and their families have made in coming to study at FIU.
We know there are many questions from our international students on what to do and who to contact. Please consult this resource guide or reach out to our International Student and Scholar Services Office at email@example.com.
In the Panther spirit,
Mark B. Rosenberg