What does the Learn from Anywhere (LfA) instruction plan for fall mean for international students?
All undergraduate programs will be offered in the LfA format for the Fall 2020 semester, as will many of our graduate programs. The University is committed to providing in-person instruction in the Fall semester while following all guidance from medical health professionals to provide a healthy and safe experience on campus. We encourage international students to plan be in Boston, if possible, to commence classes in the fall. The Universtiy’s LfA format is a blended teaching modality that is designed to allow maximum flexibility for learning on campus during the pandemic. It allows:
- for efforts to de-densify classrooms on campus for appropriate physically safe distancing
- international students to begin studies remotely from their home country and arrive a bit later in the fall if they are unable to obtain a visa or travel to Boston before class begins
- provides an overall effective way to be flexible to ensure the health and safety of our community.
Students will be expected to participate in-person in on-campus instruction in the new LfA modality as soon as they arrive in Boston.
F-1 regulations restrict registration in online classes as they emphasize that students need to be physically present in the US to attend class. The regulations permit students to enroll in one traditional online class per semester towards their 12 credit minimum registration requirement to maintain full-time registration. The LfA format will allow the flexibility to learn and minimize exposure to COVID-19.
The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has already provided regulatory and SEVIS recordkeeping flexibility during the COVID outbreak. This flexibility has allowed international students to study remotely from both inside and outside of the US and for schools to maintain active SEVIS records. We hope further guidance from SEVP providing continued flexibility for the Fall semester, and we also hope most of our international students are able to be in Boston and ready to resume classes in the new LfA modality this fall.
If international students choose to remain in their home country for the fall and study remotely, further guidance from the US government is needed before we can confirm how studying remotely from outside the US may impact, if at all, their current SEVIS record and visa.
We will continue to keep our international community updated as we receive new SEVP regulatory guidance during this time.