Student Arrival

Fall Attendance Questionnaire

All new and returning students are asked to declare their intention by July 9, 2020, either to be on campus for in-person learning or to be off campus for remote learning for the fall 2020 semester.

Complete the Questionnaire

  1. Log on to the Garnet Gateway
  2. Under the To-do Menu, Select Fall Attendance
  3. Complete and Submit Questionnaire

While we plan to welcome all students to campus this fall, we are preparing to make courses available remotely for those students for whom coming to campus may not be possible. 

While we understand that some plans may change, this snapshot is important in order to plan for space in residence halls, classrooms, and dining to deliver the best possible campus experience.

For More Information

Bates will communicate via email detailed information about your arrival. Please be attentive to your Bates email.

Pre-Arrival Public Health Education

All students will receive access to a Public Health Education course about COVID-19 in Lyceum, the college’s academic management system, in mid-August. This course provides information about COVID-19, information about campus public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and information about best-practice public health behaviors that we can all follow to reduce transmission risk of COVID-19 on-campus. 

Any student studying in-person will be required to complete all portions of this course and should not attend classes in-person until the course is complete.

What You Can Expect When You Arrive

For new students and returning students, Bates has developed an arrival plan that sets the stage for a safe beginning to our academic year. For complete information for new students, please see the Orientation site.

Phased Arrival

We will ask students to return to campus in phases that will likely begin during the third week of August and conclude prior to the start of classes Sept. 2.  

The Office of Residence Life and Health Education will communicate to students their assigned arrival date in mid-July. 

Our arrival plan anticipates the staged arrival of students in four groups and two rounds of testing for COVID-19 leading up to the first day of classes. 

The staged arrival allows ample time for testing while reducing arrival traffic on campus. The two rounds of testing, recommended by public health officials, will ensure that we (1) identify individuals with COVID-19 upon their arrival and (2) identify those who may have contracted COVID-19 during their travel to Bates. 

Traveling to Bates

We strongly encourage that students plan their travels to minimize the total travel time between their home and Bates.  

As of July 3, residents of Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont are exempt from a Maine state order requiring individuals entering the state to either (1) demonstrate proof of testing negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival or (2) complete a 14-day quarantine. Notwithstanding state guidance, all students will be tested upon arrival at Bates.

Persons outside the five-state exemption who accompany students to campus should plan to either comply with the state order — i.e., negative test or 14-day quarantine — or depart campus immediately after dropping their student off. 

Major points to know about your arrival:

  • An important milestone in the decision-making process around reopening, the capacity to test and screen students effectively is essential to the reopening of the campus to students.
  • All students who arrive on campus will need to undergo screening and testing. Residence access will not be granted until this is complete. 
  • Everyone moving in needs to follow the college’s universal face covering policy.
  • Families, guardians, and parents will not be allowed into campus buildings. Only those individuals with access can enter the buildings.
  • Move-in days and times will be staggered to reduce traffic at residences. 

Results of the test will follow the college’s policies and protocols for Containment and Contact Tracing.

The college will be in a position to provide more details about the COVID-19 testing program, which will occur for the duration of the fall semester, by mid-July.

New Student Orientation

Bates student leaders, staff, and faculty can’t wait to welcome you to Bates on your move-in day. All new students will join in the phased arrival to campus as outlined in the Student Arrival section. Please complete your First-Year Forms prior to your arrival on-campus.

Throughout the summer, we will update you on new-student arrival plans and continue to stay in touch with you through Facebook, email, and Facebook Live “Ask Me Anything” sessions with upperclass students, faculty, and staff. 

In early August, you will receive information via your Bates email about how to access the remote portion of Orientation. This will be a series of online lectures, videos, activities, and live Zoom discussions. You will need to complete much of this Orientation prior to your arrival.

We have also made the difficult decision to suspend all off-campus trips as part of the Annual Entering Student Orientation Program (AESOP). The student AESOP Coordinators and Leaders remain excited to connect with new students in other ways to maintain the goals of the program: connection to Maine, connection to Bates, and connection to other first-year students. You will receive more information about plans in the coming months.


If you have questions about Orientation, email 

Bobcat First!

In addition to the remote portions of Orientation, first-generation students registered for Bobcat First! and their support networks will receive an invitation to participate in a variety of virtual programs and sessions. Pre-orientation information will be available here, @bobcatfirst on Instagram, and from the Office of Intercultural Education staff. We look forward to welcoming the Bobcat First 2024 cohort to Bates.

International Circle

In addition to New Student Orientation, the Center for Global Education will host a series of virtual sessions for anyone who considers themselves part of the International Circle: international students and students who grew up or attended high school outside the U.S.

Information on these sessions will be made available online and sent directly to relevant students. Returning international students are excited to help welcome you into the International Circle of Bates!

International Student Services and Support

The global COVID-19 pandemic has created much uncertainty for international travel and immigration processes. The Center for Global Education (CGE) continues to monitor relevant resources and timelines for visa processing and travel restrictions. 

While many aspects of the current situation are beyond the control of Bates, CGE staff will assist students in evaluating their situation and making informed decisions. Please contact Associate Dean of Students for International Student Programs James Reese ( and Shelley Palmer (

International Students Currently Living On-Campus

Given the complicated global travel landscape, students are advised not to return home prior to the start of the academic year. CGE and other campus partners will continue to support you on campus.

Returning International Students

Returning international students have shared their concerns about the possibility of having a delayed return to campus because of travel restrictions. Students in this situation may elect to enroll in remote learning for the fall semester until they are able to return to Bates.

If travel guidelines permit, international students unable to travel to campus for the start of the fall semester may elect to return to Bates at the beginning of Module B or at the beginning of the winter semester. In these situations students will need to work closely with the Center for Global Education staff and the Office of Residence Life and Health Education to coordinate plans and apply for housing.

Incoming First-Year International Students 

This year, there are complicating factors that are impacting incoming students’ ability to obtain U.S. consular appointments for F-1 visas in order to study at Bates for the fall 2020 semester. If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining your U.S. consular appointment or F-1 visa, we recommend the following:

  • Email Global Education Coordinator Shelley Palmer ( and  Associate Dean for International Student Programs James Reese ( about your situation.
  • Accept the earliest U.S. consular appointment offered to you.
  • Apply for or request expedited (or similar) processing, if available.

If you are unable to obtain an appointment or visa,  or travel to the U.S. due to travel restrictions or flight availability, you have two options:

  • Bates will allow you to enroll in courses remotely. An update to your status will be necessary, and you will need to contact Shelley Palmer ( by Aug. 1, 2020. She will assist in updating your SEVIS records, and James Reese will work with you to enable you to join us on campus for either Module B of the fall 2020 semester or winter 2021 semester.
  • You may request to defer your entry into Bates to either the winter 2021 semester or fall 2021 semester. Please email Bates Director of Admission Darryl Uy (


If you have questions about international student support, email