COVID 19 and International Students

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 you have questions about international student support, email 

If travel guidelines permit, international students unable to travel to campus for the start of the fall semester may elect to return to Bates before Sept. 28, 2020 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 the 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 (

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!

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 (