Keep on Learning

International Students

DBU remains committed to serving and supporting our International Students. Whether you remain on-campus or are currently overseas, the DBU International Affairs staff remain focused on meeting your needs. We have been praying for you and your family, and we will continue to do so.

As you continue your studies online, please know that we are still working to support your educational goals. Our Admissions Office, Immigration Officers, Student Services, IEP, Student Housing, and Campus Dining are all continuing to function. Should you or your students need anything, do not hesitate to contact our staff. The safety and success of DBU students is our priority.

The information below will help answer questions as we move forward together.

Virtual Advising Center Blackboard Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Services FAQs

Will there be off-campus shuttles?

No. The "shelter-in-place" order does not allow DBU to continue shuttling students to/from off-campus apartments such as the Westchester Apartments at this time. 

Will there be shopping trips?  

Yes, the "shelter-in-place" order does allow for DBU to continue taking on-campus students to the grocery store. These trips will ensure that students can purchase food and other necessary items. These trips will go to Kroger (a grocery store) and will take place Monday – Friday at 9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. Please email intltransportation@dbu.edu to sign up for a space. 

Is the International Office (IO) building currently open?    

No. The building is closed, but our staff is still working and available to you by phone or email. You may contact us by calling 214-333-5427 or by emailing us at issd@dbu.edu.   

Will there be International Tutoring? 

Yes, we are still available to help you with your academic needs during this time. Our tutoring sessions will now be held online. You can schedule your next tutoring session at https://calendly.com/intltutoring/international-tutoring.  

What do "online classes" mean? 

DBU has put all classes online to accommodate the CDC's recommendation for Social Distancing. Each professor will handle their classes differently. Some may operate the class as a typical online course, while others may hold a class at the regularly scheduled time via the Collaborate Virtual Classroom. Check for instructions from your various professors on Blackboard. 

I don't feel well. What do I do?  

The DBU Health Services Clinic is available help you with any health issues during this time. However, in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, and as a means to keep everyone safe, DBU is requiring that anyone wishing to see a DBU nurse first contact them by phone (214-333-5151) or by email (healthservices@dbu.edu) and allow them to provide you with additional information for next steps. 

Also, if you would like to use a doctor’s office or an emergency room, Dallas County Health and Human Services advises that you first call ahead prior to leaving so that you can receive proper instructions and avoid contact with others.  For additional information regarding your DBU student health insurance coverage, you may visit the insurance website https://dbu.myahpcare.com.

Please keep in mind that if you are running a fever of 100 degrees or more, in addition to having a cough and experiencing trouble breathing, please do seek medical attention, either through the DBU Health Services clinic or through a doctor’s office of emergency room.  If you are having trouble with knowing what to do, as always, you can contact the International Student Services Department at  214-333-5427 or by email us at issd@dbu.edu.

What about registration for summer and fall classes? 

Advance Registration will begin on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, as scheduled. Your advisor is ready to meet with you (over the phone, email, or virtually) to discuss your options when you are ready.  

Would you advise me to return to my home country during this Coronavirus situation?

We desire that you remain safe and healthy. DBU is committed to keeping our housing and food service available unless told otherwise by the government. International travel is not advised, and the United States government has warned all US citizens to avoid travel. In some cases, if you return home, you may be subject to quarantine upon arrival. You also need to verify your visa will allow you to return once the Coronavirus restrictions improve. However, it is up to every person to make the decision that is best for you. If you decide to travel home, email dso@dbu.edu to schedule a time to have your I-20 signed. Please allow ample time as our physical offices are currently closed.

Other than study, what can I do to pass the time? Do I have to stay in my room?

We recommend you do your best to be constructive with your time. Keeping a daily routine can be very helpful. We suggest you focus on what you can do instead of what you cannot do. You may call your family and friends, read a book, enjoying a new TV series, work on homework, or create online parties with friends. If you begin to feel isolated, go outside for a walk and fresh air. You are welcome to walk around the campus, but you keep 6 feet between you and others. You are NOT allowed to congregate in groups; this will help prevent the spread of the virus. 

You are free to buy food or seek medical attention should you need it.

Am I able to gather with my friends in our room if we keep the group small?

No, unfortunately, under the "shelter-in-place" order from Dallas County, you cannot gather with others in person. The only people allowed to be together are those in the same household. But you could consider creating a virtual gathering with friends online using Facebook, Zoom, or Jitsi.

What about church services?

The "shelter-in-place" order from Dallas County prevents all churches from meeting in-person. Many churches are being creative and moving their services to various online platforms. If you are looking for a church service to watch, there are many online!

If you serve on a worship/technical team, a maximum of 10 people are allowed to help broadcast a church's online services. Remember, the order states that you should still stay at least 6 feet from others. 

What if I ignore the Dallas County order?

We strongly encourage you to take the "shelter-in-place" order very seriously. This order was only given in efforts to stop the spread of the virus. We encourage you to be a part of the solution and care for others by taking this order seriously. 

The County Judge has indicated that a fine and jail time are possible. As an international student, this would count negatively toward your immigration record and could impact future opportunities like the H1B visa or permanent residency. This is not legal advice. Please contact an immigration lawyer if you have questions.

Immigration FAQs

May I take all my Spring 2020 classes online even though the law normally restricts me to one class?  

Yes. All international students may continue their classes online due to the unique circumstance posed by the Coronavirus.   

"SEVP will allow F-1 ... students to temporarily count online classes towards a full course of study in excess of the limits stated in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)... This temporary provision is only in effect for the duration of the emergency..." (source).

You will remain in-status as long as you maintain a full course load (generally, 9 credit hours for master's and 12 credit hours for bachelor's students) and continue to make regular progress towards graduating.  

Can I stay in the USA?  

Yes. You may remain in the USA even though you are taking online classes during the COVID-19 class adjustments.  

Make sure that you: 

  1. Keep a full course load.    
  2. Report any changes in your physical address to the International Admissions and Immigration office immediately. There are no legal limitations on where you live as long as you report where you are at within ten days. You may report an address change to dso@dbu.edu

Can I leave the USA? What do I do with my I-20?  

You may leave the USA and study your classes online during the COVID-19 class adjustments. If you wish to keep your I-20 active, you may study outside of the USA as long as you maintain a full course load, and your courses remain entirely online.   

If you wish to travel, first make sure you: 

  1. Report your travel before you leave to the International Admissions and Immigration Department. 
  2. If you intend to return, you must get a travel signature before you leave, or you will need to arrange to have the I-20 shipped to you.  
  3. Check your visa expiration date as well as your passport and I-20 expiration dates.  
  4. [Tip] Consider carefully the risks of traveling long distances on airplanes with potentially sick individuals and international travel restrictions. Make wise decisions for you and your family based on the best available information. 

You still must have a valid visa and I-20 to return to the USA. Students are encouraged to keep in mind the challenging nature of getting a new visa. In some cases, embassies are canceling visa services for the time being. Border closings and required quarantines also may be encountered at any time. Even if they are not in effect when you leave, the border may close unexpectedly.    

Can I still do Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?  

Yes. If you have an academic requirement to do an off-campus internship (paid or unpaid), then you can still apply for CPT. If your internship location wants you to work from home, please make sure that they clearly indicate this in your offer letter. We need to know your worksite address.    

Can I still apply for OPT?  

Yes, you can still apply for OPT as long as you are in the USA before your program is completed. The F-1 status only requires that you finish all the requirements to complete your program.   

ImportantIf you are outside the USA when you graduate, you will lose the ability to apply for OPT. You must be inside the USA to apply for OPT. You will also not be able to re-enter the USA after graduation unless you have a new I-20 for a new degree. 

How does COVID-19 affect me while on OPT?  

At this time, there are no significant immigration changes for you while you are on OPT. DBU will need to confirm your current physical address.   

May I work from home on OPT?  

Traditional 12-month OPT: Yes. You may work from home during the traditional 12-month OPT. If this change is temporary (2 weeks or less), there is nothing you need to do. If the change is more prolonged, please report to dso@dbu.edu that you are working from home. We will update your SEVIS record to reflect this update. If it changes in the future, again, just let your DSO know.  

24-month STEM Extension: We do not have any guidance at this time. Temporary travel should not be a problem. Long term work from home could be a problem based on previous government guidance. The OPT STEM requires you to work at your company location where you will be trained. We are seeking updated guidance from the federal government on this issue.  

I lost my job. What should I do?  

If your company still considers you an 'employee,' but not reporting to work, then there is nothing you need to do, and your status is ok. Check with HR. 

If you are no longer an employee, then you need to follow the unemployment procedures: 

  • On-campus job: nothing you need to do.
  • CPT: Check with your professor if you need to find another internship or if you have met the course requirements.
  • OPT: Report the end date of your employment to a DSO within ten days and watch the 90-day unemployment clock.
  • STEM OPT Extension: Report the end date of your employment to a DSO within ten days. Make sure also to submit your final I-983 evaluation, and take note of your 60-day unemployment clock.

How can we reach a DSO?  

During the current shelter-in-place order, our office is still operating online from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are still advising students and processing immigration requests. We are here to support you and reply back first come first served:  

  • Email: You can always send emails to dso@dbu.edu. Our team of DSOs is checking this from the office as well as from home  
  • Weekly Webinars: We will begin weekly open webinars where you can come and ask questions. Please watch for the time and the link.  
  • Phone/Video Meeting: To request a phone/video appointment, please email dso@dbu.edu, and we will send you a link so you can select a time that works best for you. Please provide your name, DBU ID, a good phone number.  Please follow this process as we are unable to take in-coming calls since some staff is working off-campus.  
  • In-Person (Restricted): Please limit in-person visits. The office is still open to pick up documents or to get travel signatures. But, the City has restricted the number of people allowed to gather, and we are strictly following the social distancing protocol. 

Please Note: We will not be able to proof documents in person. We are glad to look over them if you scan them to us by email. (This includes reviewing OPT documents) 

With the changes in the commencement schedule, will this cause me problems?  

Commencement is just the ceremony and does not affect your status. Your status is ok, and your degree will still be completed in May.

The program completion date is still 05/13/2020. For immigration purposes, the graduation ceremony is not required for your status, and you still qualify for the next higher level of degree as well as OPT.

Make sure you: 

  • Finish your classes so you will graduate. This disruption may make it hard but work hard to finish.
  • Understand that your 60-day grace period will start after the semester ends on 05/13/2020. If you are outside the USA after your program completes, you will not be allowed to re-enter the USA. Contact a DSO for more questions (see contact options at the end of this FAQ).

If you plan to remain home and not participate in OPT, you can still return for the graduation ceremony in August. You would come back on the "B tourist" visa.

Admissions FAQs

Will DBU continue to admit students?  

The Department of International Admissions and Immigration will continue normal operations to help students get admitted into the University. Our offices will be open fully online Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CST.

Will new Students be required to self-quarantine? 

Currently, any new or current student who has traveled internationally will be required to self-quarantine off-campus for 14 days upon their arrival to DBU. We hope to maintain the safety and security of our campus community, so we thank you for your understanding. 

Can I still get an I-20?

We will continue to provide immigration services to all of our potential students throughout this season. However, we are asking all new students to plan ahead to help find available interviews at their country's consulate.  

What if I am not able to get my transcripts due to my school being closed? 

We are committed to helping each student in whatever situation they might be in during this unique season. If you are having difficulty, please work with your admissions representative or email globalinfo@dbu.edu

What if I am not able to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or other English Proficiency exams?

DBU now accepts the Duolingo English Test (DET) for our English Proficiency requirements for international students at both the Undergraduate and Graduate levels. This test can be taken entirely online via the Duolingo Website at https://englishtest.duolingo.com/

Please direct any questions you may have about the DET to our admissions team at globalinfo@dbu.edu

What if I am not able to take the GMAT or GRE due to COVID-19 cancelations? 

Our International Admissions office will make special considerations for the admissions consideration of students who find themselves in this situation. Each program will have different applications of this consideration, so if you have any questions, please direct them to any of our admissions representatives for support.  

Future DBU Events FAQs

My school is a member of the Global Community program, and my teachers were planning to come to the International Forum this June. Has the International Forum been canceled?

The International Forum has not been canceled. If the Coronavirus situation makes it impossible to offer the forum in-person, DBU is preparing a plan to move the event online. As we get closer to June, more details will be sent directly to Global Community schools.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Follow the links below to head to the corresponding sections on our FAQ page.