COVID-19 Information and FAQs
notice of online classes
Note: For the fall 2020 session, all classes are online.
Is the Tutorium in Intensive English open?
Our physical offices at 1333 S. Halsted and SCAILAB are closed. We are not in our office, but we are all still working hard remotely/online to support our students. You can reach us by email at email@example.com.
With an email request, you can still receive our usual services, such as:
- Immigration work: status, travel, transfer, change of address, and everything else
- Registering for future sessions
- Special letters
- 8843 tax forms for 2019 – Mail them to the address on the form
- Weekly Newsletters
- Payments or other financial transactions
- Any questions or concerns that you have
- Need to hear a friendly voice
Learn what UIC students are doing to stay positive during the pandemic
Answers to FAQs on COVID-19
Before you email your questions to us, check the frequently asked questions below to see if the answer you are looking for is here.
How can I attend my classes online?
Class time will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous. This means that sometimes everyone will be meeting together on video and sometimes students will do work on their own.
Teachers will give directions about when work is due and when students must be online.
Can I access American websites like Blackboard or Google Applications in my home country?
We are not sure if Blackboard or Google Applications work in each country since some countries block different websites. Before you plan to return to your country, you may want to ask a family member to test it for you.
UIC offers free VPN software for students to connect to UIC securely. This VPN software has allowed employees who travel to countries like China to access Blackboard and Google. You will need to download the VPN software to your computer. You can view the download instructions here.
According to Blackboard, their Blackboard Collaborate tool is accessible in China. You can view information here. Students should access Bb using a LAN connection or Ethernet connection (a wired connection instead of a wireless connection) to get better connectivity than WiFi.
Can I return home to take courses online?
SEVP (Student Exchange and Visitor Program or USA immigration) is being flexible. They are allowing online learning from anywhere in the world for the spring semester only. They are allowing students to remain in the USA or return to their home country. The Tutorium, however, is recommending you do NOT travel or return home during this time. At the same time, we want you to be safe, and we understand any decision you make.
There are some items you need to consider if you plan to return home:
- Online classes means you must attend online classes. As an international student, you still must attend classes (in this case, online classes) to remain in status.
- Do you have access to the internet at home? How is your video and audio at home? Can you access Blackboard and Google? You need to think about how you will access your classes.
- Blackboard does NOT work in all countries; for example, we know Blackboard (and Google) are not accessible in China. It will be harder to study if you cannot access Blackboard and Google.
- Online classes may be part synchronous (teachers and students online at the same time). If you are in a different country, you may need to attend class early in the morning or in the middle of the night. Parts of classes may be asynchronous, you can complete assignments at any time by a certain deadline.
- If you return to your country, you might be sent to a hotel or other place to live for 2 weeks before you can go home (quarantine). Each country has its own plans. Find out what your country is doing before you go home. Look at the embassy website for your country.
- We cannot guarantee you will be able to return to the US if you decide to study online from your home country.
We understand this is not an easy decision. We are here to help you make the best decision for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your situation.
Do I need a travel signature to leave the country? How will I get my I-20 signed? What if my I-20 expires?
Normally, a signature is needed to travel before you leave; however, we can mail you a new I-20 if you do not receive a travel signature. If your I-20 expired or will expire, we can mail you a new I-20.
Email email@example.com to find out what we can do for you.
I may NOT want to go back home. Do I need to go back to my home country? How will I get back to study if I go home?
- You do NOT need to go back to your home country. You can stay in the US. We understand why you may choose to stay in the US. For many of you, staying in the USA might be the best decision.
- At this time, travel is very restricted. We cannot guarantee you will be able to return to the US if you decide to return to your home country.
- If you return to your country, you may be quarantined for two weeks after you get home.
What resources are there to help me if I stay in the US?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for resources you may need.
If you live in the dorm, use the information on https://housing.uic.edu/contact to contact housing for available resources.
The Dean of Students office may also have resources available. The Dean of Students website is https://dos.uic.edu
Where can I get the most recent information on the coronavirus?
- Check https://today.uic.edu/coronavirus to see the most recent UIC information.
- Check your uic email for messages from the TIE office or your teacher.
- Check https://tie.uic.edu for updates.
- Visit the Center for Disease Control website https://www.cdc.gov for the most current and correct information about the virus.
Keep yourself informed and remember to contact email@example.com for updates on classes, immigration, travel, and your specific circumstance.