The University of Iowa

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, ISSS

This web page will be updated regularly with answers to frequently asked questions about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, particularly as they relate to our community of international students and scholars.

For additional information about campus coronavirus updates, go to




International Student and Scholar Services has learned that, effective December 23, China will no longer accept the PCR and IgM tests administered by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. If you have a flight to China which leaves on or after December 23rd, you should make alternate arrangements. We understand that this is a sudden and inconvenient change of plans for many, but we wanted to alert you as soon as we could.

You can find out more information about why this change was made as well as what the new requirements are on the website for the Chinese Embassy (the English-language notice is here).


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has updated their guidance for those who have traveled internationally. In their latest update, they have removed their recommendation that international travelers self-isolate for 14 days after entering the U.S. 
This means that anyone who has entered the U.S. in the past 14 days or anyone who enters the U.S. in the coming days is not required to take any extra steps beyond what is normally advised for social distancing. The CDC has an excellent website summarizing the steps everyone should follow after travel: If you begin to show any symptoms of COVID-19 at any point in the semester, please refer to the University of Iowa’s helpful guide for everyone on campus:
And as always, we in ISSS are here for you and will help in any way we can. If you find yourself unsure of what to do next and need assistance adjusting to campus life – either virtually or in person – please don’t hesitate to contact us.  And anyone in need of additional support should not hesitate to contact the resources below:
•    University Counseling Service (319-335-7294) or click here to schedule an appointment
•    Student Care and Assistance (319-335-1162) or

On Friday, July 24th, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) provided additional guidance which clarified how international students may begin their studies in the U.S. for the fall 2020 semester. 
This latest guidance says that brand new international students coming to the U.S. must plan to take at least one course which requires physical presence as part of their full-time registration (12 semester hours for undergraduates and 9 semester hours for graduate and professional students). Any course which is coded as having an in-person component would satisfy this requirement, including research credits. New international students who plan to begin their programs from outside the U.S. do not have any hours or course delivery mode requirement from an immigration perspective.
This means that new international students are treated differently than continuing international students.  Continuing international students can take online or in-person credits from either inside or outside the U.S. as long as they are registered on a full-time basis or have received part-time authorization.
When the University of Iowa moves to fully online instruction later in the semester, all students will have been registered in SEVIS and will be able to continue taking their courses online from either inside or outside the U.S.
While we believe this is the final guidance that will be issued before students arrive prior to the fall 2020 semester, please be aware that new guidance can arrive without warning. If any additional guidance is released which changes the requirements for international students to enroll at the University of Iowa, we will provide another update.
ISSS and the UI wish to reaffirm their support for our international students and our international community during this unsettling moment. We realize that the constant delivery of news is confusing and disruptive. Please know that we will do everything we can to lend assistance at this difficult time. You should not hesitate to reach out to us. ISSS stands in solidarity with you and will help you navigate these complicated circumstances as we all move forward.


See this presentation (hosted on UICapture).*

*Please note that this presentation originally included questions related to the now-withdrawn SEVP guidance.  That information was removed to prevent confusion.

From a letter dated July 15th, 2020:

Dear International Student Advisory Board Members,
Thank you for your recent letter. Please know that the University of Iowa stands in solidarity with our international students and with our international community. You have firm allies and advocates in UI senior leadership. 
We are indeed pleased by yesterday’s announcement that the Trump administration has withdrawn the guidelines that threatened the ability of international students in the U.S. on F-1 visas to take classes via remote instruction. Here is the message we shared on the International Student and Scholar Services website yesterday.  
There remain some questions, however, and we will continue to monitor developments. For the moment, we affirm that continuing students will be allowed to study fully online both inside and outside the United States without jeopardizing their F-1 immigration status. This also means that no one will be required to leave the U.S. after Thanksgiving or at any time during the semester if classes move to being completely online.
The UI will continue its advocacy as future challenges present themselves. We are proud of you and the way you have shown resilience in the face of repeated attacks on your status and on your freedom to pursue your life goals. The amount of stress must seem overwhelming at times, but the University of Iowa celebrates your presence and your accomplishments. There is much more work to do, and we look forward to partnering with you to address the challenges ahead. 
Please know that the UI will live up to its mission to create an open and inclusive environment for people for everyone in the campus community. 
In solidarity,
Bruce Harreld, President
Montserrat Fuentes, Executive Vice President and Provost
Tanya Uden-Holman, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the University College
Russ Ganim, Associate Provost and Dean, International Programs
Joe Yockey, President, Faculty Senate
Teresa Marshall, Vice President, Faculty Senate
Ana Rodriguéz Rodriguéz, Secretary, Faculty Senate

From an email sent to international students on July 14, 2020

We're glad to be able to bring you happy news! Today, the U.S. government announced that it is withdrawing the guidance issued last week and that schools can continue operating under the same rules that it used last spring. This welcome news means that continuing students will be allowed to study fully online both inside and outside the United States without jeopardizing their F-1 immigration status. This also means that no one will be required to leave the U.S. after Thanksgiving or at any time during the semester if classes move to being completely online. Students must simply be registered for a full-time number of credits (9 s.h. for graduate students and 12 s.h. for undergraduates) or submit a part-time authorization request to be enrolled below full-time.
We are pleased the recent guidance by ICE has been rescinded and will continue to advocate on our students’ behalf.
Russ Ganim

As you may have seen, a new presidential proclamation affecting immigration was signed, which goes into effect on June 24 and lasts until December 31, 2020. However, this proclamation does not affect anyone who is inside the U.S. on June 24 or anyone who has a visa which is valid as of that date. Additionally, this order does not affect F-1 students, J-1 Students, or J-1 Scholars.
This order only affects those applying for H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L-1, L2 visas and some categories of J-1 and J-2 visas. Those categories are au pair, camp counselor, intern, summer work travel, teacher, and trainee. Notably, J-1 students and J-1 scholars are not included in this order.
All of this means that this order should not affect any current University of Iowa students or scholars.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at or 319-335-0335.

A Presidential Proclamation signed on March 11, 2020, added the Schengen area to the existing restrictions applied to China and Iran. Effective March 16, 2020, the United Kingdom and Ireland were also added. This proclamation prevents any nonimmigrant from entering the U.S. directly from an affected country.

This means that any international student who travels through China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom would have to spend 14 days in some other country before they could enter the United States. This is true even if you only have a connecting flight in one of these countries.

If you have any questions about how this will affect your travel plans,  please call 319-335-0335 or e-mail

While you may not be planning to travel home anytime soon, we do not know when these travel restrictions will expire or if they will be modified. Because of this, we recommend that you check in with ISSS before making any new plane ticket purchases. ISSS advisors will be up to date on any restrictions and will be able to advise you whether you will be able to return to the U.S. directly or whether CDC guidelines and immigration regulations will require special arrangements.

As always, you should feel free to contact ISSS at 319-335-0335 or e-mail with any questions or concerns you may have.  And anyone in need of additional support should not hesitate to contact the resources below:

According to a recent campus update, courses will now resume on March 30, and will be conducted virtually through the rest of the spring semester.

If you want to leave the U.S. or have already left the U.S., please ensure that you have a recent signature from an ISSS advisor on the second page of your I-20 for F-1 students or the front of your DS-2019 for J-1 students. These signatures are valid for one year. If you realize that you do not have a valid signature, you can complete an eShipGlobal Mailing fee e-form in iHawk and we will mail a new I-20/Ds-2019 with a travel signature to you wherever you are in the world. You can find this e-form by logging into iHawk and clicking on Other Services in the menu on the left.

If your program is scheduled to end soon and you would like to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), please take some time to watch this presentation on how to apply for CPT/OPT. Please note that you must be present in the United States to apply for OPT.

If your program is scheduled to end soon and you do not believe that you will be able to finish this semester for any reason, please apply for a Program Extension. You can complete the program extension request from anywhere online. If you are outside the U.S., please also submit the eShipGlobal mailing fee described above in order to receive your new I-20.

If your program is scheduled to end soon and you do not wish to return to or remain in the U.S., then you do not need to take any further action. 
For any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact ISSS. We will continue to operate and to answer all of your F and J immigration questions, but we will not see students in-person during walk-in hours. Unfortunately, this means that some things, like getting a new I-20 for OPT, CPT, and for Program Extensions will take a little bit longer since we will not be able to give them to you in person. 

ISSS will now email new I-20s created to F-1 students. Recent new guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection gives permission to send electronic I-20s with digital signatures added. The ISSS Advisor’s digital signature is valid for one year, or until the I-20 is updated and a new physical copy is created. Note:  this change does not apply to J-1 students receiving new DS-2019 forms. J-1 students will require new DS-2019 forms be mailed.

 You will still be able to call and speak to an ISSS advisor during regular business hours at 319-335-0335 and you can still e-mail us at   
I hope that this e-mail answers some of the questions that many of you have. The University is constantly evaluating the situation and we in ISSS will update you as soon as we find out about any potential changes. And ISSS will continue to advise and consult with students – whether through e-mail or other means – no matter what else happens in the world. Of course we understand that this is a stressful time – especially for those of you deciding whether to travel internationally and wondering when you will be able to return. Please know that we are here to help in any way that we can. And if you need additional support, please do not hesitate to contact the sources below : 

Finally, no matter where you are in the world, if you are taking steps to self-isolate and slow the spread of Covid-19, thank you for taking appropriate steps to self-isolate in order to protect your health and the health of those around you. We understand that self-isolation may be stressful, particularly those who have pre-existing mental health concerns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has helpful resources for managing anxiety related to Covid-19. Recommendations include: 

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of Covid-19. 
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals; exercise regularly; get plenty of sleep; and avoid alcohol and drugs. 
  • Make time to unwind and take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. 
  • Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. 
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking. 

If you develop a fever or cough, please contact your local health care provider or call the University of Iowa 24/7 Nurseline at 1-800-777-8442. The university will continue to provide updates regularly on and is committed to facilitating the completion of your academic work for this term. Please take care of yourself during this difficult time. 
Michael Bortscheller 
Associate Director, International Student and Scholar Services 
International Programs 
1111 University Capitol Centre | Iowa City, IA 52242 
319-335-0335 | 

Please visit this web page for details about moving out of your residence hall.

We realize that we have some students that are housing insecure or are unable to return home due to travel bans. You are able to sign up for housing within the Spring 2020 Moveout Form. Once University Housing & Dining has reviewed your request, you will hear from their office with further instructions.  

Please contact University Housing & Dining at 319-335-3000 or if you have questions.

Due to the closure of most residence halls and dining facilities on March 19, 2020:

  • Each student’s remaining room and meal plan charges will be credited to their U-Bill no later than May 1, 2020.
  • The credit will be equal to 48.739 percent of room and gold, black, or hawkeye meal plan semester charges. This was calculated based on 119 contract nights in the spring semester, of which 58 remained when the residence halls and dining facilities closed.
  • Students who purchased meal plans but live off campus will be issued a credit of 48.739 percent. If off-campus students would like to continue to use their meal plan in the open locations for the rest of the spring semester, they must respond to this email by April 6.
  • Students with Herky Booster Packs will not receive a refund, but use of the Herky Booster Packs will be extended through May 2021. Students with Herky Booster Packs who will not be returning to campus can apply for a prorated refund here by May 31.

 All Hawkeye Dollars in students’ accounts will remain and can continue to be used until they graduate or leave the University of Iowa.
Housing and dining credits will be posted to each student’s U-Bill. Due to the unique nature of each student’s specific housing circumstances and specific meal plan, the exact credit amount is not being provided via email. Please review your statement in full to determine the extent of credits and charges assessed by the university. If your student is a financial aid recipient, the refund will still be provided and will not cause a reduction in financial aid.
Students who have been granted approval to remain in the residence halls will maintain their spring 2020 housing and dining contracts and will be sent a separate e-mail regarding their remaining spring housing and dining bill.

问题 | 学校宿舍关闭后的返款政策如何?

回答 | 学校主要宿舍楼和食堂于2020年3月19日关闭。



持有Herky Booster Packs的学生不会收到返款,Herky Booster Packs使用期限延长至2021年5月。不再返回学校的学生可以于5月31前申请Herky Booster Packs返款。

学生可以继续使用帐号上的Hawkeye Dollars,有效期至学生毕业或离开学校。





Yes, please visit this web page for information about the Student Emergency Fund. The application for funding can be found here. Please contact a staff member in Student Care & Assistance at 319-335-1162 or regarding any questions or to find out more about the application process. 


Notice of Contract Acceptance & Room Assignment Updates for Virtual Instruction 2020
Please save this email for your records.

April 02, 2020
Jane Doe
University ID: 00000000
Hawk ID: jdoe

Dear Jane,
You have been approved to live in the residence halls during the Virtual Instruction period. This email outlines updates to your housing contract, room assignment, and meal plan information for Spring 2020.

Contract Terms & Conditions
Your housing contract remains in effect for the remainder of the Spring 2020 academic semester.  You will be held to the Housing Contract Terms & Conditions for the Residence Halls you agreed to when you submitted your housing application.

If you need to cancel your housing arrangements for Spring 2020, please contact

Your Room Assignment
Your Room: {Description1}
Room Type: Single with AC
Room Cost Per Semester: $3437.50 (billed at a double with AC rate and prorated for the remainder of the semester)

To support social distancing, students will either be assigned to a single room with a private bathroom, or have one of the pod-style bathrooms designated for their individual use. University Housing and Dining has changed the bathroom locks to match an individual student's room key and only be used by the assigned resident. Please see bathroom signs for your specific bathroom.

Your mailing address for letters and packages is:

Jane Doe
123 Main St.
Iowa City, IA 52242

Your physical address, which can be used for a GPS or other official documents (including a driver's license), is:
Jane Doe

{Description} Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242

Your Meal Plan
Meal Plan: {Description5}
Meal Plan Rate Per Semester: 

Meal service will be provided in Burge Market Place during Virtual Instruction. All products will be served in to-go containers so that students can leave and consume their meal elsewhere. Seating in the market place will not be allowed, and, to minimize the spread of pathogens between students, dining staff will serve all products.

If you are a student in need of individually-prepared meals due to allergies or special diets, please make arrangements with Laura Croteau, registered dietitian, at . The Burge Market Place is equipped to meet a variety of needs.

Each room in Stanley and Daum Hall will have a MicroChill (a small refrigerator and freezer with a microwave) provided at no additional charge. If you rented one from College Products, please clean it and leave it in your originally assigned room. University Housing and Dining staff will help return it to College Products. 

Room changes
We will not be offering room changes for the remainder of Spring 2020 due to available space as well as navigating COVID-19.

Room/meal plan credits/refunds
Depending on the rate difference between your originally-assigned Spring 2020 room and your new Virtual Instruction room, you may see a credit on your upcoming U-Bill. Virtual Instruction rooms will be billed at the same rate as a double with AC. If your Spring 2020 room rate was more than a double with AC, you can anticipate a credit to be posted to your U-Bill. Please note that if your Spring 2020 room rate was less than a double with AC, you will not be charged more for Virtual Instruction Housing. 

Meal plans will remain active for students living on campus and because Burge Market Place is open, no credit will be issued for meal plans. All students who will be living in Stanley or Daum are required to have a meal plan.

Need on-call staff?
If you are in need of an on-call staff member, please contact the Daum Hall Front Desk (open 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) 319-353-2950 or the Currier Hall Front Desk (open 24 hours) 319-335-2982. If you have an emergency, please contact University Police at 319-335-5022, or dial 911. 

Summer housing
We will have summer housing available for students who are taking courses or who are unable to return to their home due to COVID-19. More details to come.

Moving assistance from the West side and Mayflower
Students relocating across the river can request moving assistance using the instructions below:
•    Sign up for a one-hour moving timeslot here.
•    Pack all of your belongings and place into a moving cart(s) (available at your front desk). 
•    Ten (10) minutes before your moving timeslot, please be present at the front of your building. 
o    Please note that staff transporting personal belongings are not available to help move/load furniture or other items. 
o    Your items will stay in the cart, and the entire cart loaded into a box truck.
o    You will ride to your new building in a van.
•    After items are unloaded from moving carts, return carts to the lobby of your new building (Currier or Daum Lobby). Please return carts within two hours of moving so our staff can sanitize and return to original building for other students to use.
•    Return the room key from your original assignment to Currier or Daum Front Desk.
•    Check in to your new room at your new building's desk (Currier desk or Daum desk).

Transportation will be available through Sunday, April 5, 2020. All moves must be completed by Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Please note: only students needing transportation need to sign up for a moving timeslot. 

Moving Instructions - East Side
•    Visit the Currier or Daum desk to pick up the key to your new room.
•    Carts will be available in your current building for use in transporting your belongings over to your new building.
•    When your move has been completed, return the room key from your original assignment to the Currier or Daum Desk.
•    Moving assistance is not provided for students currently living on the East side of campus.

Jane, if you have any questions about your new assignment, please contact Contracts & Assignments via email  Please include your full name and University ID number in all communication with our office.

Contracts & Assignments Staff
University Housing & Dining
4141 Burge Hall
Iowa City, IA 52240
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM CT
(319) 335-3000





University ID

Hawk ID











每学期房间费用:$3437.5 (带空调双人间价格,按本学期剩余天数比例收费)







1702 13th St


Iowa City, IA 52242





Iowa City, IA 52242



套餐类型: 此处信息因人而异,请查看邮件原文


网络授课期间,宿舍餐饮服务通过Burger Market Place提供。所有食物将装在餐盒中供学生在其它地点就餐。学生不允许使用餐厅内的桌椅,为减少学生和工作人员之间的病原传播。

如果学生因为过敏或特殊饮食习惯需要单独准备的食物,请与注册饮食师Laura Croteau联系(邮箱。Burger Market Place的配置能满足各类需求。



Stanley和Daum宿舍楼的房间均配有免费的小型冰箱和微波炉套件。如果你之前在College Products租用了该设备,请将其清洗干净并留在原寝室。学校宿舍和餐饮管理部门员工将替你归还至College Products。







Burger Market Place保持开放,继续住校学生的食堂套餐仍然有效,不会有返款。居住在Stanley或Daum宿舍楼的学生必须使用食堂套餐。




























如果你对新的宿舍安排有疑问,请发邮件至。请在所有邮件中注明你的姓名和University ID 。



UIowa UH&D: We are requesting an update to your Spring 2020 move out plans!

April 03, 2020

Jane Doe
University ID: 00000000
Hawk ID: jdoe

Dear Jane,

Hello, Hawkeye! We hope this email finds you doing well and settling into a new routine for Virtual Instruction.

The University of Iowa residence halls have closed for Spring 2020 and we are writing to follow up on your plans. We understand that Hawkeyes are navigating a variety of factors related to COVID-19 and have three options to complete your move out. Please login to your housing application and update your move-out plans no later than 12:00 p.m. on April 10, 2020.

Option 1: Move out by May 3, 2020
Please update your application with a date and time frame that you or a family member/friend will come to retrieve your belongings. You will be provided with additional move-out instructions when you select this option in your housing application.

Option 2: Pack and Store Your Belongings
University Housing and Dining has partnered with Lifeson Moving and Delivery Services to pack and store your items for an additional fee paid directly to Lifeson. The estimated cost for packing is $130 per student with all boxes and packing materials provided. Storage fees are $60 per month. Additional charges may be assessed for large items. More information will be provided when you select this option in your housing application.

Option 3: Pack and Ship Your Belongings
Lifeson Moving and Delivery Services has also offered an option to pack and ship your items for an additional fee. The estimated cost for packing is $130 per student with all boxes and packing materials provided. Shipping fees are $60 plus 110 percent of the shipping charge, which varies by destination. Additional charges may be assessed for large items. 
More information will be provided when you select this option in your housing application.

Jane, your response to this email by updating your housing application is required. Please make your selection by no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10. University Housing and Dining staff will be entering all rooms and removing trash left in garbage and recycling bins. No student belongings will be disturbed.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19. These move out plans are current as of April 3, 2020 and may adjust as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

Contracts and Assignments Staff 
University Housing and Dining 
4141 Burge Hall
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday




University ID

Hawk ID