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Will I have to do a 14-day quarantine upon arrival?

Last Updated: 2020-08-07 03:04 pm

All students are asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to their arrival to Boston/campus. 

Self-quarantine is defined as: 

  • Staying in your residence except for essential travel (work, medical appointments, preparations for your return to campus). 
  • Wearing a face covering when outside the home
  • Maintaining at least six (6) feet of physical distance from others when outside the home
  • Refraining from large gatherings and crowds
  • Practicing good hand hygiene (wash hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizers when soap is not available)
  • Beginning to check your daily symptoms online. You should not report for residence hall move-in or for the start of in-person classes if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

Note that this does not mean that you need to travel to Boston or campus early in order to quarantine; we are asking you to self-quarantine wherever you will be for the two weeks before your arrival back on campus. For example, if the first time you will set foot on campus will be August 25, you should start quarantining at home on August 11.  

Category: COVID-19, Health, Wellness, & Prevention, Public Health Response & Testing, Campus Safety Protocols, Quarantine, Testing

Audience: Students

When is the last date to decide to defer attendance to Spring 2021?

Last Updated: 2020-08-03 04:33 pm

If you are interested in deferring, students are encouraged to complete the deferral request form in the admission portal no later than August 15. First-time graduate students should contact their admission representative directly or email gradadmission [at]

Category: Academics, College Operations

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

Would housing remain open over the winter break if I wanted to remain in the country or could not get home?

Last Updated: 2020-07-21 11:58 am

Students with limited accommodation options will be able to fill out an application with Housing and Residential Education to request to stay during the break. Questions about remaining in Emerson housing during the winter break can be directed to hre [at]

Category: International Student Concerns, College Operations, Campus Access & Availability, Housing & Dining

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

Will I be able to work on campus if I haven’t worked on campus previously?

Last Updated: 2020-08-04 10:03 am

U.S. work permission for international students is tied to immigration status. Students must be physically in the U.S. to verify employment authorization and to apply for a Social Security number. If a student is unable to enter the U.S., they may not be eligible to begin U.S. employment (including on-campus employment).

Category: Student Employment, International Student Concerns, Campus Access & Availability, Miscellaneous, College Operations

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

What resources are available if I have to depart campus in the event of a closure?

Last Updated: 2020-07-21 11:57 am

The College came together quickly to help secure transportation, housing, food, and other needs during Spring 2020, and will respond similarly in the event of a future closure. Emerson is a caring community and we want to do everything we can for our students. 

Category: Campus Access & Availability, College Operations, COVID-19, Miscellaneous

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

If I cannot return to the U.S., and prefer not to study online or at a partner institution, can I take a leave of absence for Fall 2020?

Last Updated: 2020-07-21 11:57 am

Although you have the option of requesting a temporary leave of absence through the Office of Student Success, please be aware that this action would interrupt your continuous SEVIS immigration status.

After your approved leave, you would need to (1) request a new “initial” I-20 to return to the U.S., which would require you to (2) pay a new I-901 SEVIS Fee, and (3) apply for a new F-1 visa, if needed. IMPORTANT NOTE: Taking a leave of absence near the end of your program might impact your U.S. work permission as you will need to be enrolled for two full semester after your return in order to qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Category: International Student Concerns, Miscellaneous, Travel & Study Abroad, Campus Access & Availability, Flex Learning, Remote Learning

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

What if I am enrolled in hybrid study, but am unable to enter the U.S. due to a travel ban, delays in visa issuance, or flight restrictions?

Last Updated: 2020-07-21 11:57 am

An undergraduate intent form was due July 12 for students to confirm their Fall 2020 plan—either to return to the U.S. for hybrid study, a request to study online only from abroad, or a request to study at a global partner. 

Graduate students received communication from their Graduate Program Director with instructions on selecting flex (hybrid) or online classes. 

Students who expressed a plan to return to hybrid study in the U.S. (Boston or Los Angeles), but believe they will be unable to return to the U.S. prior to the start of classes, should inform the following offices that their arrival on campus will likely be delayed: 

First-time undergraduate students: admissions [at] (or your admissions counselor directly)

First-time graduate students: gradadmission [at] (or your admissions representative directly)

Returning undergraduate students: Please contact these offices so that we can coordinate a response that includes immigration assistance, as well as academic and housing accommodations: 

  • International Student Affairs at oisa [at]
  • Student Success at success [at]
  • Housing and Residential Education at hre [at]

Returning graduate students: Please contact these offices so that we can coordinate a response that includes immigration assistance and academic accommodations:

  • International Student Affairs at oisa [at]
  • Graduate Studies at gradstudies [at]

Category: International Student Concerns, Miscellaneous, Travel & Study Abroad, Campus Access & Availability, Flex Learning, Remote Learning

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

I need to apply for an F-1 visa. Are U.S. consulates open for routine visa services?

Last Updated: 2020-07-21 11:57 am

U.S. consulates began a phased reopening of routine visa services on July 15. However, it is likely that consulates will face significant backlogs as visa services had been suspended at U.S. consulates worldwide since March 20, 2020.

Category: International Student Concerns, Miscellaneous

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

Are there still bans on travel to the U.S.?

Last Updated: 2020-08-03 02:39 pm

On July 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) confirmed that travel bans in place would prohibit international students from traveling to the U.S. if they have been in China, Iran, Europe, UK, Ireland, or Brazil within the last 14 days. Note: These restrictions may limit or prohibit students’ ability to travel to the U.S. before the beginning of the Fall 2020 term.

On July 16, 2020 DOS announced national interest exceptions for certain travelers from the Schengen Area, UK, and Ireland. Students from these areas who hold a valid F-1 visa can travel directly to the U.S. Students who do not yet hold a visa would need to seek a national interest exemption from the travel proclamation to travel. 

Students who enter the U.S. under a national interest exception must plan to enter the U.S. through one of 15 designated airports equipped to offer advanced etry screening, which may include questions about medical history and contact information. After entry, travelers arriving from countries on the Presidential Proclamation list will be directed to quarantine for 14 days according to CDC recommendations. 

In addition, there are bans on entry to the U.S. via the land borders from Canada and Mexico. These bans limit entry to the U.S. except for “essential travel”. Note: The exemption for land border bans includes individuals entering “to attend educational institutions”.

Entry to the U.S. may be possible if you can safely travel for a period of longer than 14 days to a country from which entry is not banned. Students who opt to do this should carefully consider travel safety and should research whether there are any restrictions in place that would limit travel through the country of transit. 

Questions related to travel bans can be directed to Andrea Popa at andea_popa [at] or oisa [at]

Category: COVID-19, International Student Concerns, Travel & Study Abroad

Audience: Students, Parents & Families

Am I eligible to study online or matriculate at a partner institution if Fall 2020 is my last semester of study at Emerson?

Last Updated: 2020-07-21 12:56 pm

Partner programs and online study from abroad may not be well suited to students in their final semester of study who plan to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the U.S. 

For students planning to matriculate Fall 2020 at a partner institution whose academic calendar goes beyond December 30, 2020, degree conferral will be pushed back to May 2021. This may impact your eligibility to apply for OPT since (1) you must be in the U.S. to apply for OPT; (2) you cannot enter the U.S. after completion of your degree; and (3) you must usually be enrolled in the semester in which you will be granted your degree.

Category: Academics, College Operations, Flex Learning, International Student Concerns, Remote Learning, Travel & Study Abroad

Audience: Students, Parents & Families