International Students

Dakota College is planning to hold classes face-to-face as normal in the fall. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but there are a lot of ways for you to continue meeting your goals during this difficult time. Please see the below Frequently Asked Questions about coming to Dakota College this fall.

Because international travel is changing so quickly and without warning, every student's case is unique. This page provides general advice for many diverse groups of students in F-1 visa status, including new and returning students, as well as Canadian and overseas students. Please keep in mind that these are broad guidelines written to fit the needs of large groups of students.

It is important to remember that this information may change without notice, so you will need to carefully and frequently check Dakota College's website and all college communication when making your travel plans. Pay close attention to the communications you receive from Dakota College and the Fall Opening section of Dakota College's website.

 

Are International Students Exempt from quarantine?

The North Dakota Department of Health has issued an updated State Health Officer Order (SHO) #2020-02.3 that exempts international students from the 14-day quarantine upon entry to the state. However, this exemption does require a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival within the state of North Dakota. Students are subject to quarantine in accordance with this order until receiving notification of a negative test result.

More specifically, the SHO states in part:

THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE ARE EXEMPT FROM THIS ORDER:

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (STUDENTS) TRAVELING TO NORTH DAKOTA WHO ARE:

  1. ENROLLED IN THE FALL 2020 TERM AT A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY LOCATED IN NORTH DAKOTA; AND:
  2. WHO ARE TESTED FOR 2019-nCoV/COVID-19 WITHIN 48 HOURS OF ARRIVAL IN NORTH DAKOTA AND HAVE RECEIVED A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT IN WRITING. STUDENTS ARE SUBJECT TO QUARANTINE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS ORDER UNTIL RECEIVING WRITTEN NOTIFICATION OF A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT.
 

What will I need to enter the U.S. for fall 2020?

You will need all of the normal travel documents, including your I-20 with a DSO signature no older than one year on page two. You also need an active visa and passport.

New Students: You will need to arrive on campus on Tuesday, August 18th. In order to enter the U.S. to study at Dakota College at Bottineau, you will need to travel with the following documents. Without proper documentation you may be denied entry until you have all documents present.

  • Form I-20: you will need to print your name, sign and date the bottom of page one of the I-20 that was sent to you.
  • Passport.
  • Visa (Except for Canadian Citizens)
  • Admission letter: Sent by Student Services with your I-20.
  • I-901 SEVIS fee receipt: Instructions sent by Student Services in a letter included with I-20 with instructions on how to pay the SEVIS fee.
  • Financial documentation: The same documents you sent to Student Services to prove eligibility to receive an I-20.

Continuing Students:Continuing F-1 students who leave the United States must show the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:

  • Valid U.S. visa stamp (except for Canadian citizens)
  • Passport
  • Valid I-20 with a DSO travel signature within the last calendar year.
  • An I-94. If you arrived by land, you will have a physical I-94 stapled in your passport.
  • A printout of your fall 2020 classes from campus connection just to show you are enrolled in on-campus classes.

Students with pending or approved Optional Practical Training, please visit with Student Services regarding guidance and regulations currently affecting OPT.

 

The consulate in my home country is closed, what happens if I can’t travel to Bottineau?

New students

If you are not able to get a visa in time to arrive on August 18th, you will need to defer your arrival to Bottineau until spring 2021.

Depending on your situation, you may still be eligible to take online classes during fall 2020 from your home country to keep your educational goals on track. Please inform the Student Services Clerk if you wish to do online classes from your home country in Fall 2020 and begin your F-1 status in Spring 2021. To defer your admission to Spring 2021, you will need to contact the Student Services Clerk to do so. You may be asked to provide updated financial documents for the Spring 2021 semester.

Please email heidi.hauf@dakotacollege.edu with any questions you have about deferring to Spring 2021.

Continuing students

If you are outside of the U.S. and you are not able to renew an expired visa, you may need to stay home for a semester, forfeit your current F-1 status and return to Dakota College at Bottineau at a future date.

When you are ready to return to DCB in January or August 2021, you may need to apply for readmission through the Registrar’s Office. You will also need to apply for a new I-20 and visa. You can start the process by contacting the Student Services Clerk.

There are no emergency visas for students, so you may need to wait several months before you can apply for a new visa. If you are unable to return for fall classes, you have the option of completing online classes from your home country as a back up to continue meeting your educational goals.

 

What travel restrictions do I need to know about?

Before you make travel plans to Bottineau, you should carefully monitor entry restrictions into the U.S. Some students from (or traveling through) Brazil, China, Iran, and certain European countriesare currently subject to an entry ban unless they have spent 14 days outside any of those countries. Please keep these restrictions in mind when planning your travel to the U.S.

Remember that this information may change without warning, so you should check the following resources frequently before your travel takes place. Carefully research the situation before purchasing a ticket to the U.S. and remember that changes may occur.

 

Will I need to quarantine for 14 days when I return to Bottineau?

At this time, travelers from countries outside of the U.S., including Canada, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, immediately upon arrival (the quarantine is required each time you enter the U.S.). This mandate has been established by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Health.

EXEMPTION TO QUARANTINE ORDER – INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (Includes Canadian students)

The North Dakota Department of Health has issued an updated State Health Officer Order (SHO) #2020-02.3 that exempts international students from the 14-day quarantine upon entry to the state. However, this exemption does require a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival within the state of North Dakota. Students are subject to quarantine in accordance with this order until receiving notification of a negative test result. More specifically, the SHO states in part:

THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE ARE EXEMPT FROM THIS ORDER:

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (STUDENTS) TRAVELING TO NORTH DAKOTA WHO ARE:

  1. ENROLLED IN THE FALL 2020 TERM AT A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY LOCATED IN NORTH DAKOTA; AND:
  2. WHO ARE TESTED FOR 2019-nCoV/COVID-19 WITHIN 48 HOURS OF ARRIVAL IN NORTH DAKOTA AND HAVE RECEIVED A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT IN WRITING. STUDENTS ARE SUBJECT TO QUARANTINE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS ORDER UNTIL RECEIVING WRITTEN NOTIFICATION OF A NEGATIVE TEST RESULT.

The State Department of Health has tentatively arranged a mass testing day for Dakota College at Bottineau students and staff on Thursday, August 20th in the city of Bottineau. With this date in mind, the housing staff at DCB are coordinating move-in times and dates for international students to ensure that students can take a COVID-19 test within the required 48 hours. More information on the schedule and specific location for the COVID-19 testing day will be provided once it is received from the Department of Health.

Travelers coming to North Dakota from other U.S. states are also recommended (not required) to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Bottineau.

  • If you will be living on-campus, Residence Life and Dining Services are planning ways to provide special quarantine housing and meal delivery. Details about how you will be supported during quarantine will be sent by Residence Life to students who have signed up for campus housing. Make sure to communicate with Residence Life about your arrival date and check-in time.
  • If you will be living off campus, you will need to make your arrangements for groceries/other personal needs. Your self-quarantine will not be monitored by Dakota College at Bottineau. Guidelines to perform quarantine are provided by the North Dakota Department of Health.
  • You will need to bring a thermometer from home for self-temperature checks.
  • Coursework during quarantine: instructors will work with individual students who are required to quarantine during the first 2 weeks of classes to ensure that assignments and class participation can be completed remotely during that time.

Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Traveler's Map to view the current guidelines regarding entry to the U.S. after traveling through your country and any other countries through which you transit. You will be required to follow CDC guidelines and guidance from the North Dakota Department of Healthwhen you arrive to campus.

 

When should I arrive on campus?

New students

  • Plan to arrive on campus on Tuesday, August 18th.
  • The health insurance plan for international students does not begin until August 15, so you should not arrive in the U.S. any earlier than August 15 to be safe.
  • Canadian students should check with their home health insurance plan for coverage and questions about COVID-19. If testing and treatments for COVID-19 are not covered in the U.S., DCB strongly recommends that you purchase the North Dakota University System insurance policy.
  • Make sure to communicate with Residence Life about your arrival date and check-in time.

Returning students

  • Living on-campus: move-in starts on Tuesday, August 18th. You can start your quarantine when you arrive. Make sure to communicate with Residence Life about your arrival date and check-in time.
  • Living off-campus: We recommend you arrive by Tuesday, August 18th to begin self-isolation. If you want to finish your quarantine early, you are welcome to move into your apartment/house early to finish the 14 day quarantine before classes begin.
  •  ***Instructors will work with students who are required to quarantine during the first 2 weeks of classes to ensure that assignments and class participation can be completed remotely during that time. You may access your classes remotely during self-isolation at the beginning of the semester regardless if you live on or off campus.

Athletes

  • If you have been instructed by your coach to arrive before the dates listed above, follow the dates and guidelines provided by the athletic department.
  • Early arrivals health insurance coverage: F-1 students who are required to arrive at Dakota College at Bottineau to start athletic practices BEFORE August 15th must enroll in the United Healthcare policy by contacting the Student Services Clerk to begin paperwork to start coverage on the day you arrive in the U.S. (Canadians are exempt).
 

Will my health insurance cover COVID-19 testing and treatment?

Yes. International students* at Dakota College at Bottineau in F-1 status are required to carry the official health insurance provider for North Dakota public institutions through United Healthcare. The policy is comprehensive and provide excellent benefits. General information about the insurance policy and enrollment process can be found here: Health Insurance for International Students.

Specific information regarding COVID-19 coverage can be found here:www.uhcsr.com/faqs.


*Canadian citizens  are not required to carry the North Dakota University System insurance policy through United Healthcare. You should refer to your Canadian private and provincial health insurance providers for more information about what sort of coverage you have while attending university in the United States.

*During the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important that you contact your Canadian health insurance provider to learn if testing for COVID-19 and treatment for COVID-19 related illnesses will be covered while you are in the United States. If testing and treatments for COVID-19 are not covered in the U.S., DCB strongly recommends that you purchase the North Dakota University System insurance policy.

If you are interested in purchasing the North Dakota University System insurance policy, read through the policy details on this webpage. An email will be sent by ECI Services that will allow you to opt-in to the policy at the beginning of the semester.

 

What kind of classes should I enroll in for fall 2020?

All regular F-1 regulations are in place for fall 2020. For example, F-1 students are still limited to on-campus work and you must still take a full load of face-to-face classes.

DCB isnotgoing fully online for fall. The new ICE guidance for F-1 visas is being taken into account as the university makes further decisions for fall.

For fall, you should enroll for a normal F-1 course load:

  • Undergraduate: 12 credits total including at least 9 face-to-face credits.

Face-to-facecredits require your physical presence in the classroom with the professor.

You may take additionalonline creditsonce you hit the full-time threshold (for example, 9 face-to-face credits and 6 online credits would be fine).

The recent ICE guidance is very new and we expect it will go through several updates before the semester starts. Please check this webpage frequently for new information as it becomes available.

 

What if I don’t feel ready to come back? I’m worried about getting sick?

If you would like to sit out a semester or take classes online from your home country, you will need to forfeit your current F-1 status. When you are ready to return to DCB in January or August 2021, you may need to apply for readmission through the Registrar’s Office. You may be asked to provide updated financial documents. You will also need to apply for a new I-20 and visa.

Please inform the Student Services Clerk if you wish to forfeit your F-1 status to do online classes from your home country in Fall 2020.

 

What will the Student Services office be like when I return?

We will continue to provide as many services as possible over email, so please use email as your first mode of communication with us. To protect the health of students and staff, our office is currently closed to students, but appointments can be made as needed. We have set up a meeting room in the Library to accommodate appointments. If you must visit the office physically, please use the window for communicating to setting up an appointment. We will send materials to students through the mail/email rather than have them picked up in the office.