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Updates for our Students

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

The International and Area Studies office alongside its Centers and Programs is dedicated towards helping our students. This page will be updated for new informaton that may be useful to a number of our students, so please keep an eye out on this page. If you have any immediate questions that have not been addressed either on this page or through an advising appointment, please email ias@utah.edu and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. Thanks for your patience. We know the university’s responses to COVID-19 have significantly disrupted many of your plans and the sense of academic accomplishment and celebration that come with the end of the school year. We hope you know that these changes are meant to protect you, your family, and the members of our community.

The U of U has a page dedicated to COVID-19 updates for everyone to access.

Student ResourcesThis is your one-stop-shop for many important resources for students, including emergency funds, the Feed U Pantry, student wellness, health, and counseling, advising, IT services, laptop loans, student success advocates, equity, diversity & inclusion centers, bias and discrimination reporting, victim-survivor advocates, parking proration, virtual recreation, and career & professional development.


Student Updates

We are very supportive of the University's efforts to encourage social distancing as a preventative measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. Advising in our office (and across most, if not all, units on campus) is moving to video or phone. Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, be sure to set up a FERPA pin in CIS (https://advising.utah.edu/release-of-information/index.php). Your advisor will need to verify your identity before being able to discuss your academic records by phone or video. We anticipate that video appointments will be available starting March 23rd. 

If your international or signature experience has been cancelled and had planned to graduate in the Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 semesters and you haven’t yet spoken to our advisors, please email Faith Brown faith.brown@utah.edu or Nichole Hutchins nichole.hutchins@utah.eduWe are working to make sure that students can still graduate on time, so make sure to reach out. 

Waiver of the International Experience for 2020 Graduates 
Please know that Hugh Cagle, Director of International Studies and the International Studies staff are with you and doing everything we can to minimize the disruption to your university experience as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the inevitable challenges that the pandemic will pose—especially for those of you still planning your international experience as you near graduation—the International Studies program will adopt the following changes. Please read the following information with great care and attention.

Short-Term Changes to the International Requirement
International Studies will waive the international requirement for all IS majors who will graduate during the 2020 calendar year, including the spring, summer, and fall 2020 semesters. In those cases where it does not conflict with University guidelines, these students may still pursue an international experience in the summer and fall if they so choose but they will not be required to do so as part of the requirement for the major. 

Important Details
International Studies cannot make any adjustments to the total credit hours required to complete an undergraduate degree at the University of Utah (which in most cases is a total of 122 credit hours). This is a requirement for which the University cannot make exception. Therefore, students who had intended to use credit hours earned abroad toward the total needed for graduation will still need to complete coursework in order to reach that number.

Know Your Situation
Students intending to graduate in the summer 2020 or fall 2020 semesters will need to plan accordingly: take a close look at University course offerings, identify courses related to your focus area or general area of interest, consult with our advisor, and enroll in courses that meet University and program degree requirements. Courses that you had originally intended to take abroad are good guides to what you should look for as substitutes here at the U.

Students intending to graduate at the end of the current spring 2020 semester may be in a different situation. Since classes for the present semester are already well underway, they will be closed to new enrollments. In these cases, our advisors, Faith Brown and Nichole Hutchins, and Prof. Hugh Cagle will work with you individually. To get this process started, we ask that you please get in touch with Faith or Nichole right away.

The International Studies program values your success and will do everything within our power to support you in the weeks and months ahead. Prof. Hugh Calge reminds everyone that, like all of you, University faculty and staff are dealing with an unpredictable and rapidly evolving situation. So, while we encourage you reach out to us with any questions or concerns that you may have, we also ask for your patience as we work to respond as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Given this uncertainty, we are delaying the announcement of Summer FLAS, Dee Grant, Tinker Field Research Grants (please see below), and other travel related scholarships awarded through the Asia Center, the Center for Latin American Studies, International Studies, and the Middle East Center until after April 1, 2020. Our current plan is still to announce awards in time for students to make summer plans, assuming no further travel restrictions are imposed by the University.  If travel continues to be restricted, we may not be able to make some awards this year.  

On March 30, 2020, The University of Utah announced that we will be shifting ALL summer courses online this year—first session, second session, and semester-long summer courses. The change also will apply to continuing education courses. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns about this transition, and please keep an eye out for more information on summer orientation. 

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) would like to thank all 2020 Tinker Field Research Applicants for their submissions and is pleased to announce that we will move forward in announcing grant recipients after April 6th.

Based on guidance from the CDC and in an abundance of caution, the university has suspended all university-affiliated student programs and travel in international locations through the end of Summer Term 2020. We understand that students are confronting a range of travel restrictions from the University as well as other national and international entities and we join these entities in prioritizing student health and wellbeing. As a result, we recognize that many students may be unable to or may choose not to conduct their planned field research during 2020. In response to these unprecedented circumstances, the Tinker Foundation will allow all 2020 Tinker Field Research recipients to defer their grant award and use the awarded funds for travel any time before September 30, 2021.

All participants in University-related international travel should inform themselves fully about the travel risks involved with travel to their foreign destination(s). In particular, before making travel arrangements, travelers should review the information available on the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for updated information regarding Travel Warnings and Travel Health Notices. Please note that recipients must request the release of their funds from CLAS at least 45 days prior to their departure date.All funds will be released by CLAS in accordance with University and other travel restrictions. The University reserves the right to prohibit or suspend travel if (1) health, safety, or security concerns pose unacceptable risks; (2) travelers have violated laws, regulation, or University policy (including the Student Code of Conduct); or (3) there is other good cause. If the U.S. Department of State issues a Level 03 or Level 04 Travel Advisory or the CDC issues a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for a given country or region, the University may require a University member currently traveling in such a location to depart that location or to request approval to remain in that location. CLAS will provide additional information with the student’s award letter regarding the approval process, updating travel itineraries, travel registration, and other related information.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through these unprecedented challenges. If you have any additional questions please reach out to clas@utah.edu.

Last Updated: 7/20/21