COVID-19 Office of International Education Updates

Office of International Education (OIE) COVID-19 resource page with important updates, we encourage you to check it frequently.
In this Section

COVID-19 has significantly disrupted inbound and outbound student, faculty, and staff mobility at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  This page is intended to be a resource with important updates.  

Students, faculty or staff, with questions or concerns about past, current, or future programs, both at UW-Stout and away, are encouraged to check their official UW-Stout email account regularly for important announcements from OIE staff.  Please direct immediate questions and concerns regarding study away to studyabroad@uwstout.edu and study at UW-Stout (for international students and scholars) to globaled@uwstout.edu.

We wish everyone good health and look forward to resuming high-impact programming soon!

Study Away (Abroad and Domestic)

Due to continued health and safety concerns, all study away in-person programming has been suspended through summer 2021.  UW-Stout is tentatively planning to resume study away programming during the fall 2021 semester on a destination-by-destination/program-by-program basis. Consult with OIE study abroad advisors for more information. Virtual education abroad experiences and our National Student Exchange programs remain available for interested students.  Note that we continue to develop new faculty-led, semester and year-long opportunities. Up-to-date offerings can be viewed online here.

We encourage all students to begin/continue their search today!  OIE study abroad advisors are available for virtual appointments every weekday.  We look forward to connecting and exploring study away options with our students.  Appointments may be booked here.

Note: students interested in study away programs are encouraged to obtain a Covid-19 vaccine series and a passport, and submit complete applications.  If a program is cancelled due to COVID-19, application fees will be refunded.  OIE does NOT recommend paying non-refundable deposits and purchasing airfare until programs have been officially approved by UW-Stout's leadership as these costs are not reimbursable by the University.

Regarding DHS policy updates

The University of Wisconsin-Stout welcomes and embraces diversity and is proud to have international students both on our campus and in our community.  During the pandemic, flexibility was provided by the Department of Homeland Security which provided international students the opportunity to fulfill their educational objectives in the United States without debilitating restrictions.  On August 19, 2021, UW-Stout announced its Return to Fall 2021 plan, which resemble pre-pandemic course delivery modalities (approximately 80% of all classes are offered in person, and 20% are offered through virtual instruction).  Resulting from this return to normal operations, international students studying at Stout on a foreign student visa must maintain DHS' distance education limit, meaning no more than one three credit online class will count toward full course of study requirement.

Can I take all courses online?

No.  Due to our return to standard operations in so far as course delivery is concerned, students must take a majority of courses in person.  Under F-1 regulations, only one three-credit course taken via distance (online) education will count toward the full course of study requirement.  (Undergraduate students must enroll in a minimum 12 undergraduate-level credits; graduate students must enroll in a minimum 9 graduate-level credits.)  Students with questions or concerns regarding the physical presence requirement should contact the Office of International Education at globaled@uwstout.edu

Newly Admitted International Students

UW-Stout is excited to welcome new students to campus.  Due to health and safety concerns around COVID-19, new students and their families likely have many questions about the fall 2021 semester.  UW-Stout is fully operational and has implemented significant measures to protect the health and safety of our academic community during the fall term. UW-Stout welcomed a limited number of new international students during the spring 2021 and is excited to welcome more international students in late August for the fall 2021 term.

We ask that all newly admitted international students notify the Office of International Education by email at globaled@uwstout.edu of their plans as soon as possible. 

Have questions? Join one of our upcoming Covid Call-in virtual meetings.  Check your UW-Stout email for detailed information and links to access the meetings.

I plan to begin during the fall 2021 term. What do I do?
  1. Secure a visa appointment with a U.S. Consulate as soon as possible.  Many consulates are currently not fully operational, but operations are starting to resume.  Students should check their respective consulates here.
  2. OIE will mail/email students their Forms I-20s, which references our operational plan for the fall 2021 term.  This document will need to be presented at the U.S. Consulate and at the border (port of entry) upon arrival in the Untied States.
  3. Plan to arrive on August 30 or 31, 2021.  Additional details regarding any applicable mandatory quarantine period and our comprehensive new student orientation will be forthcoming.
How do I obtain my F-1 non-immigrant student visa?

New students in need of F-1 student visas should note that U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions are currently operating under limited or suspended visa services. The U.S. State Department announced on April 26, 2021 that additional countries have been added to the National Interest Exemptions for travel.  Students from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland are now permitted to enter the U.S. under the student visa program.  Students are encouraged to contact their respective Embassy/Consulate to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.  Wait times can be accessed here. Note that in order to travel to the United States from certain countries, a National Interest Exemption (NIE) is necessary. 

When should I arrive on campus?

All students traveling to Menomonie via international or domestic air travel may be required to quarantine in a designated self-quarantine location on campus, after which they will be allowed to move to their permanent on-campus housing assignment. If planning to arrive by air, new students should prepare to arrive on August 30 or 31, 2021.  If quarantine is needed, UW-Stout's Office of International Education will be providing a comprehensive virtual new student orientation program during the self-quarantine period.  More information will be forthcoming.

Will I have difficulty traveling to the U.S.?

In addition to concerns about visas and quarantines, there are complexities involving air travel.  There might be last-minute changes or cancellations, and several layovers upon entering the U.S.  Additionally, with limited availability, flights may be quite expensive.  Per the April 26, 2021 State Department notification, students who have traveled to China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and/or Ireland who plan to enter the U.S. on or after August 1, 2021 to begin or continue an academic program will no longer need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek a National Interest Exemption to previous Presidential Proclamations.  

Please contact the Office of International Education with any questions or concerns related to travel. 

How can I stay informed?

We realize that the situation remains fluid with many more questions than answers for new students at this time, and encourage new students to visit this site frequently as well as to check their Stout email at least once a week to ensure important updates are not missed. Students with questions or concerns regarding their unique circumstances may call the International Office at 715-232-2132 or email globaled@uwstout.edu to connect with an advisor.

Continuing International Students

Depending on student circumstances, there are a variety of items to consider when planning to return to UW-Stout.  

  1. Note that students returning to Menomonie by air are required to complete a mandatory one-week quarantine period before they can attend classes.
  2. If your visa is expired and you are currently outside the U.S., you will need to renew your visa prior to your return.  
  3. Finalize your flight plans to return to campus.  Be sure to purchase travel insurance and note that flights may be limited and/or disrupted.
  4. Check your UW-Stout email for detailed information.

If you have any questions or concerns about your return, please contact the OIE by phone at 715-232-2132 or via email at globaled@uwstout.edu.

I’m returning by air. What date should I return to campus?

All students traveling to Menomonie via international or domestic air travel may be required to quarantine in a designated self-quarantine location, after which they will be allowed to move to their permanent on-campus housing assignment. If planning to arrive by air, continuing students should prepare to arrive on August 30 or 31, 2021.  More information will be forthcoming.

When can I get my visa renewed?

U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions across the world are slowly starting to resume non-immigrant services. If you are outside of the U.S. and need to renew your visa before returning, you can view the current Embassy/Consulate wait time information here. Please contact the Office of International Education to let us know the progress of your visa renewal.

Will I experience difficulty traveling back to the U.S.?

In addition to concerns about visas and quarantines, there are complexities involving air travel.  There might be last-minute changes or cancellations, and several layovers upon entering the U.S.  Per the April 26, 2021 State Department notification, students who have traveled to China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and/or Ireland who plan to enter the U.S. on or after August 1, 2021 to begin or continue an academic program will no longer need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek a National Interest Exemption to previous Presidential Proclamations.  

Please contact the Office of International Education with any questions or concerns related to travel. 

I am still confused. What should I do?

In addition to checking their Stout email accounts at least once a week for updates, we encourage continuing students to revisit this page frequently. Students may also attend one of our upcoming COVID Call, or email the Office of International Education at globaled@uwstout.edu to connect with an advisor.