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Feb. 14, 2020 – Message for International Students & Scholars

Posted by on Friday, February 14, 2020 in Community Messages.

Dear International Students and Scholars at Vanderbilt:

Today, Interim Chancellor Susan R. Wente shared information about the implications of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus with all Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and postdocs. A similar message was sent by Dean of Students Mark Bandas to all Vanderbilt students. This message provides additional information of special importance to our international students and scholars.

We appreciate how challenging the current situation is for every international member of our community. Vanderbilt is actively monitoring the situation, and we are here to support you.

We want to make sure you have accurate information about where things stand at present. The situation may change rapidly, and we will update this webpage as new information is available.

For context, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared that a public health emergency exists nationwide based on the novel coronavirus. The U.S. State Department suspended entry for visa holders who were physically present in mainland China during a 14-day period prior to seeking to enter the United States.

Vanderbilt University travel to any country with a State Department “Do Not Travel” warning (Level 4) because of COVID-19 is not permitted for any Vanderbilt students.  All Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and postdocs must have their university travel pre-approved by the Provost or other Vice Chancellor.

Personal travel by any Vanderbilt community member to any country with a “Do Not Travel” warning based on COVID-19 is discouraged.

Even if you travel to countries that are not subject to a “Do Not Travel” warning, you should be aware that you may encounter delays or other difficulties at the U.S. port of entry or at the port of entry of another country.  Delays in returning to Vanderbilt will have a direct effect on a student’s ability to maintain legal F-1 or J-1 status and an active SEVIS record. If you have an urgent need to travel, you should discuss your situation with an advisor in ISSS or OIS.
For undergraduate students who wish to stay on campus during spring break, please contact OHARE ( to register for housing.

ISSS and OIS are here to support you.  Please keep us updated on your travel plans and any concerns or questions you have related to your visa status.

We value your contributions, and we are grateful to have you as part of the Vanderbilt community.

Vanderbilt ISSS Team and OIS Team

ISSS: Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100,, 615.322.2573,

OIS: Baker Building, 110 21st Avenue South, Suite 1100,, 615.322.1788,