Resources for the 2020-2021 Academic Year and the 2021 Fall Semester

Table of Contents

A.  OWU Connection / IOCP Office – Contacts & Hours of Operation, Merrick Hall

Please note the following contact information:  

  • International Students: Darrell Albon   +1-740-368-3072
  • Study Abroad / Domestic Off-Campus Programs: Lisa Ho  +1-740-368-3075
  • OWU Connection Programs: Darrell Albon  +1-740-368-3072
  • Office Hours:  Monday through Friday 08:30 to 17:00 hrs (EST, NYC time)
  • After-hours / weekend contact  number:  +1-614-579-5398   (Please do not text this number.)
  • When calling, if no answer, please leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

B.  Travel and University-Supported Activity Restrictions

  1. All University-sponsored international travel and activity are prohibited until further notice, including study abroad. This prohibition will remain in effect until, at least, 30 June 2021. This prohibition may be extended.
  2. An update regarding July and August 2021 international travel should be made on or near 15 May.  An update regarding fall semester 2021 should be made on or near 15 June.
  3. The University's international travel policy prohibits institutionally sponsored travel to countries with U.S. Dept of State or U.S. CDC level 4 travel advisories.  Travel to countries with level 3 Dept. of State and/or CDC advisories is restricted and will only be allowed if a petition to travel is approved. Contact Darrell Albon, at, if you have questions or would like more information. All University-supported domestic travel and activities, including domestic semester-long programs, are restricted until further notice.
  4. Students wishing to engage in domestic off-campus activities will need to seek approval. Students needing additional guidance on domestic travel should contact the IOCP Office.
  5. Through 1 July 2021, essential domestic travel for employees must be approved by their VP or Provost.
  6. The New York Arts Program has been canceled for the 2020 Fall Semester. The Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 Semester Programs are taking place. (See below for more information.)
  7. Through 1 July 2021, all planned University-sponsored group overnight student travel has been restricted. Travel must be approved by the appropriate VP or Provost.  Contact Darrell Albon at if you have questions.

C.  Information for International / Global Nomad Students

  1. OWU instructional procedures for the 2021 Spring Semester will be HYBRID.  Most classes will be in-person with the option to move to online if public health conditions warrant.  
  2. The start of the 2021 Spring Semester will be delayed.  Highlights from and notes about the 2021 Spring Semester Calendar:
  3. Students returning to campus for the 2021 Spring Semester must follow the instructions of the Residential Life Office and consult the Return to Campus website.
  4. IOCP will be reviewing each student's SEVIS record and updating I-20 records as needed.  We will prioritizing the issuance of I-20's based on known travel dates and other factors.  Please read the IOCP Bulletin for updates. Please advise us of your travel dates as soon as you have them.
  5. F-1 Visa Students:  DHS ICE SEVP guidance for regulatory adaptations will be extended for the 2021/2022 Academic Year.  Please review this website for the latest updates.
  6. The DHS ICE SEVP guidance issued in March, for the duration of the emergency, is current.  Please also note, DHS ICE SEVP released additional guidance ("Clarifying Questions....").  
  7. New F-1 Visa Students and Students with an Initial Status I-20: must be enrolled in a minimum number of in-person/hybrid classes.  If you entered with a new or initial status visa for the Fall 2020 semester, then for the Spring 2021 semester you will need to be enrolled in at least 2.25 units of in-person or hybrid classes. New remote students without a visa should note that remote enrolment at OWU does not guarantee an F-1 visa in the future.  Contact Darrell if you have questions.
  8. New F-1 Visa Students and Students with an Initial Status I-20:  Travel with your updated 21/SP I-20 form (with the February start date for the semester) and also your original SP/21 I-20 form (with the January start date for the semester) and also your OWU certification letter.  You may need to show both I-20's when you enter the USA.
  9. Continuing F-1 Visa Students:  If you are enrolled in a full-course of study and are otherwise maintaining your visa status, for the FALL 2020 and the Spring 2021 semester you will be maintaining your status whether you are inside the USA or outside the USA (remotely enrolled). Students maintaining their F-1 visa status while outside the USA may re-enter the USA at any time with an updated I-20. 
  10. Students must also understand that they assume visa status risk anytime they exit the USA.  
  11. F-1 Visa Students Returning from a Leave of Absence:  After being approved to return by the Registrar's Office, you must go through the process and complete the requirements for a new I-20 form.  Well in advance of your intended date of return, you must complete a new Certification of Finances Form and submit it to the IOCP with required supporting documentation.  Please note that your eligibility clock for CPT and OPT will reset following your leave -- a full two semesters of enrolment are required before you can apply for CPT or OPT.  If your F-1 visa is expired, then you will also need to apply for a new visa. Check your passport expiry date -- passports must have at least six months of validity.  (Important:  If you have been out of the USA for fewer than five months, there is a possibility that your terminated record may be re-activated.  Contact Darrell to discuss.)
  12. Prior to traveling review guidance provided by the government of your home country, of your country of citizenship, of the countries through which you are transiting and of the USA.
  13. The general suspension of visa services at USA consulates and embassies abroad has been lifted and most consulates and embassies are now accepting appointments; some of these appointments, however, are being scheduled far in advance. Emergency appointments and pre-ponements may be available.  Consult the website of the consulate or embassy, or contact them directly, for more information.  Please see US Dept of State visa website for more information, including:  US visa news, links to embassies and consulates, visa appointment wait times, FAQ's, etc. 
  14. Students are exempted from the strict limitation of travel into the USA from Canada and Mexico, having been deemed essential travellers. Restrictions on entry for travelers entering to attend educational institutions from countries of the Schengen Agreement, Ireland and the UK have also been lifted. Restrictions still apply for those students who are traveling from Brazil, China, and Iran. Students from these countries may consider transiting through a country at which they can quarantine (for up to 2 weeks) prior to entering the USA.
  15. For students who can travel to the USA, check viral testing and quarantine requirements for jurisdictions through which you will be transiting.  Please note that the USA will be requiring a negative cover test to travel to USA. Those arriving in the USA from abroad must quarantine for 7 days and be tested again on the 3rd, 4th or 5th day of the quarantine.
  16. For more detailed information about travel restrictions for all countries, one of many resources is the International Air Travel Association (IATA) -- Interactive Travel Regulations / Restrictions Map.  See also the IATA Know Before Your Go TravelCentre, which provides information about health requirements and regulations, required immigration documentation, and travel restrictions.
  17. OWU has a viral testing program in place for all students including those who enter the USA and travel directly to campus. OWU will test all students as they arrive on-campus.  Students who test negative for the virus will not have to isolate/quarantine, though students will need to quarantine awaiting results of testing. There are facilities on-campus to isolate/quarantine those who test positive or who have had a high risk of exposure. Faculty and staff will also be tested. For more information see the OWU Safe Campus Guide -- Returning to Campus.
  18. For further information regarding travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, and documentation, Fragomen LLC has a very helpful online guide – look at the pdf titled Immigration Situation Overview for country-specific information.  Another helpful resource for information on travel issues and restrictions on entry to the USA is the NAFSA Travel Resources (international education organization) page. 
  19. Read all emails from us, including the IOCP Bulletin, and follow IOCP guidance, especially the important information given regarding maintenance of immigration status for F-1 visa students and mandatory reporting. 
  20. OWU will provide sufficient spring semester remote learning options for continuing students who are unable to return to campus for personal medical or for travel limitation reasons.  
  21. New students outside of the USA who are not able to get a visa or otherwise to enter the USA will have course enrolment options so that they can take classes remotely for their first semester. Students must consider the risk of completing OWU coursework outside of the USA prior to getting their US F-1 visa.  Taking remote courses at OWU does not in any way guarantee getting a USA F-1 visa.
  22. All students: Please carefully review the DHS Study in the States website: Study in the States – COVID-19 Page, also see the Study in the States -- Updates Page and, for more detail, see the SEVP FAQ Page. The US government has adjusted immigration regulations for international students to accommodate the exigencies created by the coronavirus pandemic, including the restrictions on online course registration, remaining in-status whilst out of the USA, and the "5-month" rule.  All students in F-1 visa status should review these websites. Please also review the DHS main Study in the States student website: Study in the States – Students.  
  23. Employment -- Current Students:  There have been no changes to employment authorization regulations for students in F-1 visa status (except for some limited relaxing of restrictions on remote work). Reminders:  F-1 students cannot work off-campus without permission. On-campus work for an OWU department done remotely is permitted. Those currently authorized for CPT must notify Darrell within 10 days of any change in their CPT status. If you have any questions about your eligibility for employment, contact Darrell prior to agreeing to be employed. 
  24. OPT:  Please review the DHS FAQ's about OPT (starting on page 14 of this document). DHS is allowing some procedural adaptations for OPT for the duration of the current emergency. Students engaged in OPT and STEM OPT must update their SEVIS Portal when required, as always. Students must be in the USA in order to apply for OPT.  Contact Darrell if you have any questions. 
  25. International non-resident alien students are not eligible for the U.S. Government CARES Act funding. US Global Nomads and other US persons (such as permanent residents living in the USA) are eligible US persons for CARES Act funding. Please note:
    • CARES Act funding, including the Economic Impact Payment (the "stimulus check" of $1,200 for most) of spring 2020 and/or the Economic Impact Payment (the "stimulus check" of $600 for most) of January 2021.  If you are an international student and you received this, according to the US IRS, you should return it as soon as possible--please see "Topic A" (A.1 specifically) and "Topic I" on this IRS FAQ website.  If you have questions about the above, please consult the IRS or an accountant. 
    • Information regarding any possible subsequent US government stimulus payments to individuals will be released when available.
    • Some CARES Act funding received by the University has been disbursed to eligible students. In 20/SP, international students received a disbursement from the University, not from the US Government, to match the CARES Act funds that were provided to eligible US students at that time.  Recently the University distributed to eligible US students some additional CARES Act funds to off-set costs associated with COVID-19 testing.  Although international students are not eligible for CARES Act funds, students who cannot afford the required COVID-19 testing and have a demonstrated financial need, may request WCSA emergency funds assistance HERE.
  26. Proposed changes to the regulations regarding "Duration of Status" upon entry to USA:  DHS ICE SEVP is reviewing the comments which were submitted during the review period for the proposed regulatory changes. These changes, in toto, would not be good for our international students in F-1 status. For more information please visit this website.  We will update students when we receive new information. [The new Administration on 20 January "froze" the review of this regulatory change. We are hoping and somewhat confident that it will not go into effect.]
  27. Returning books to the OWU Bookstore: The Bookstore understands the difficulty that international students who are remote might have in returning books. Please contact the Bookstore to make alternate arrangements for the return of your books.  
  28. Health insurance: LewerMark enrolment for 2020/2021 will commence 1 August for those starting the Fall Semester and 1 January for those starting the Spring Semester. Charges will appear on student bills in September or October for those starting in the fall, and in February or March for those starting in the Spring. The cost for 2020/2021 is anticipated to be about what it was last year ~$1,400 for 12 months, and ~$825 for seven months for those students starting or entering the USA for the Spring Semester.  Continuing students will be automatically re-enrolled. The same waiver process as last year will be in-place.  If you will be learning remotely outside of the USA for the fall semester, your coverage will be waived and commence when you return to the USA. For those who have a petition for a waiver approved, charges will be removed per standing policy. If students file a claim on the LewerMark insurance, then they will be billed for the policy coverage automatically. Students on OPT will need to advise the IOCP about their coverage through the OPT Reporting Form. International athletes must note that there is an insurance coverage gap with the LewerMark policy -- please see email communications regarding this.  
  29. If you have any questions, please contact Darrell directly. Do not hesitate to call the 24/7 cell number above if you have questions or concerns after business hours or on the weekend.

D.  Internationalization Resources for Faculty -- virtual opportunities

Some of our international partners are offering resources and opportunities that will enhance the class experience for our students. Restrictions on travel  are creating many opportunities for innovation in international education. Our partners are continuing to develop new initiatives--check back for updates. 

  1. The Forum on Education Abroad's Online Global Learning Experiences is an excellent background resource.
  2. Arcadia University, a partner since the 1980's, has educational centers in eight cities in Europe and also one in Cape Town.  Guest lectures, virtual tours, virtual group talks are available.  For more information, please contact Darrell.
  3. CEA Abroad, a partner for over ten years, is offering a virtual on-line lecture series.  It is also offering virtual global internships for qualified students.
  4. The GLCA / GLAA offer internationalization resources.
  5. The School for International Training ("SIT") has been an OWU partner for decades (since the early 60's, and likely earlier when it was known as The Experiment in International Living ).  It has recently announced a new program:  Global Curricular Enhancement (GCE) program.  Through this program, faculty, administrators, and students can gain access to and engage in dialogue with SIT's outstanding global network of academics, practitioners, and community partners.  All GCEs can be tailored and customized to fit the specifications and needs of partnering schools. Contact Darrell for a program prospectus.

E.  Information for Students Studying Away (Study Abroad and Domestic Programs)

  1. Fall 2020 -- Participation in all 2020 study abroad programs is canceled. Domestic study away programs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 
  2. Spring 2021 -- Participation in all 2021 spring study abroad programs is canceled. Domestic study away programs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Domestic study away students are encouraged to enrol in on-campus courses in addition to continuing with their plans for their domestic off-campus experience. 
  3. Summer 2021 – The status of Summer 2021 study abroad programs at partner institutions and organizations starting after 30 June 2021 is pending.  All institutionally sponsored international activities prior to this date are canceled. Domestic study away programs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  
  4. Fall 2021 -- It is anticipated that some OWU-approved international partners will be accepting US students into their exchange programs for Fall 2021. Those wishing to have an option to study abroad for the Fall 2021 semester should apply for off-campus permission in advance the OWU study away application deadline.
  5. Students must plan to be flexible and keep the keep the option for remaining on-campus open.  Enrol in on-campus courses.  Apply for on-campus housing (advising Res. Life of your plans).
  6. Students in majors requiring study abroad should consult with their advisors and plan for alternative ways to complete their major if studying abroad is not possible.  
  7. Domestic study away programs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 
  8. Also please note:  There will be changes to billing and financial aid policies for the 2021/2022 academic year that will effect the cost of study away for all students.
  9. (Please also note Section B above.). 
  10. Students who have a study abroad requirement for a major and who are unable to study abroad because of travel restrictions must contact the Dept. Chair or Program Director of their major to discuss accommodations.
  11. The University's international travel policy prohibits institutionally sponsored travel to countries with U.S. Dept of State or U.S. CDC level 4 travel advisories.  Travel to countries with level 3 Dept. of State and/or CDC advisories is restricted and will only be allowed if a petition to travel is approved. Contact Darrell Albon at if you have questions or would like more information.
  12. Changes are coming to the billing and financial aid system for semester-long off-campus programs for the 21/22 academic year.  Please contact Lisa Ho at for more information.

F.  Information about Travel-Learning Courses

  1. All 2020 May Travel-Learning Courses have been postponed.
  2. All 2021 Spring & Summer Travel-Learning Courses (including the postponed 2020 May courses) have been postponed or canceled.  Domestic Travel-Learning Course for 2021 and other student group travel may be be approved.  
  3. Updates will be posted on this website and in the OWU Daily as soon they are available. 

G.  Information About Theory-to-Practice Grants, Small Grants and other Institutionally Sponsored Travel

  1. Theory-to-Practice, Small Grant, and institutionally sponsored student travel for the summer of 2020 have been canceled or postponed. Some very limited exceptions have been granted by the Provost for domestic experiences in laboratory settings. For questions about this, please contact Lisa Ho.
  2. Third Round (2020 March) of the 19/20 academic year: TPG proposals submitted for this round have been evaluated and feedback offered. Those which have been awarded have been postponed until restrictions are removed or have been canceled. For more information, contact Darrell.
  3. The Small Grant Program for 2020/2021 is open.  Travel restrictions (as noted above) still apply.
  4. The Theory-to-Practice Grant Program for 2020/2021 is now open. Travel restrictions (as noted above) still apply.  Students are encouraged to consider planning well and applying early for projects that commence later in 2021 and in 2022.  TPG grants can be awarded for projects scheduled to commence up to three years in advance.

H.  The OWU Connection Student Symposium

  • The 2020 Student Symposium is now online. The Student Symposium showcases the research and creative work of students across the academic spectrum and provides an opportunity for students to share their work with the OWU community and enter a dialogue that can spur ideas for new projects. Please visit the Student Symposium website.   
  • The 2021 Student Symposium will be online. Students wanting to present virtually should contact Lisa Ho at

I.  The New York Arts Program (NYAP)

  • The Fall 2020 Semester for the NYAP has been canceled. Deposited / enrolled students may elect to be moved to 2021 Spring or 2021 Fall.  The 2021 Spring Semester is operating with appropriate adaptations for health and safety.  The 2021 Fall Semester will be operating.
  • The NYAP office is opened on a limited schedule during July and August.  

Contact Info


International & Off-Campus Programs Office
Merrick Hall & Hamilton-Williams Campus Center
Delaware, Ohio 43015
P +1-740-368-3075
P +1-740-368-3070
F 740-368-3073

Office Hours

Academic Year (August through May): Monday to Friday from 08:30-12:00 and 13:00-17:00
Summer (June and July): Monday to Friday from 08:30-12:00 and 13:00-16:30