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Announcements : Last updated 5/6/2021

Announcement: Health & Safety Updates: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Last updated 5/6/2021

Please review new information for students, faculty and staff.

The International Center continues to monitor the worldwide situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, both locally and globally. The safety of our students and employees abroad and of international students and scholars on campus is our highest priority. We are in communication with the CSU, campus stakeholders, and San Luis Obispo County Public Health in our response to the novel coronavirus.

Study Abroad Programs 

  • Study abroad programs are suspended through July 2021 with the exception of approved summer programs in South Korea.
  • Fall study abroad and programs starting in August 2021 remain under consideration with a decision date by June 15, 2021. Students wanting to study on approved programs operating in countries at Department of State levels two or lower may discuss their requests with study abroad staff in the International Center. Decisions for these programs are made on case-by-case bases.
  • Students who still want to be considered for study abroad in fall 2021 are advised to register for Cal Poly fall courses as a back-up.  
  • All non-credit programs are suspended until winter quarter. Exceptions will be reviewed 90 days prior to departure for programs in countries where CDC and Departments of State levels are at a 2 or lower. Go to International Travel on our website.
  • For any future university-related travel, students and other travelers should wait to purchase airfare or make other financial commitments that are not refundable. Travelers for all programs should monitor how the global health situation develops. At the time of purchase, participants should insure their flights against trip disruption and/or cancellation or have fully refundable tickets.  



  • Students are encouraged to explore alternate options for this summer, including Virtual Study Abroad programs (including options in Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and more!), Virtual International Internships, and Cal Poly Summer Session.

Virtual Internship & International Study Opportunities 

  • Students have opportunities to gain valuable work experience in international settings from the comfort of their own homes. Our study abroad partners are offering virtual internship programs in various disciplines. Summer options include public health in Kenya, engineering in Germany, and event planning in China and Italy! 


  • Virtual study abroad coursework opportunities are also abundantly available, including an exciting International Virtual Innovation Challenge course based at one of our exchange partner universities in Munich, Germany. Students can browse all of our Virtual Programs on the Study Abroad website


  • The International Center offers consultations and resources for faculty interested in integrating Virtual Exchange into their classes on the Virtual Exchange Resources webpage. We also encourage faculty to contact us at for more information.  

International Students & Scholars 

The Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) guidance from March of 2020 for F-1 students is extended through the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Students admitted for fall 2021 are required to have at least one in-person class on campus to maintain F-1 visa status.


  • Continuing F-1 students who want to keep their F-1 visa status active will need to be enrolled full-time, whether in the U.S. or outside the U.S., to maintain eligibility for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and/or Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the future.


  • Students wanting to apply for OPT are required to take classes within the U.S. in their final quarter.
  • Students admitted during the 2020-21 academic year who have only attended Cal Poly from outside the U.S., must log into the International Student Hub to access your User Home Page, then start a Visa Information Form for fall 2021 so we can issue a new I-20.
  • J-1 exchange students accepted for fall 2021 will need to have a majority of their classes in-person to maintain J-1 visa status. When applying for the J-1 visa, request to be granted a National Interest Exemption of the CDC travel restriction (if your country is on the restricted list).


  • J-1 visiting professors and research scholars and student interns will only be issued a DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa if physical presence on campus is necessary to achieve their academic goals. When applying for the J-1 visa, request to be granted a National Interest Exemption of the CDC travel restriction (if your country is on the restricted list).

Faculty/Staff Traveling without Students 

  • Strategic Business Services indicates that all travel requests and expenses go through the Concur process on  Poly Travel. 
  • For any future university-related travel, travelers should wait to purchase airfare or make other financial commitments that are not refundable.

Out of an abundance of caution and care, the International Center office continues to operate virtually, and our staff are happy to serve you in the following ways: 


  • Ongoing virtual support Monday - Friday (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. PST): 


  • International Students and Scholars should contact 


  • Study Abroad inquiries should be sent to or to specific study abroad advisors/coordinators. Students can also stop by our Peer Advising Drop-In Hours, which are listed on our Study Abroad Advising webpage