A Message from Lisa Eli, Assistant Vice President, Global and Continuing Education
This pandemic has hit all of us hard, including international students. However, our international students have proven to be quite resilient, and with strong support from our leadership and administration, most international students continued studying at Valencia through the spring and summer.
Fall has been challenging with various rulings issued by the government that were confusing and were released late in the summer. A controversial ruling issued on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, which would have impacted all international students in the fall term, was rescinded the following week, while a new, very late ruling was published on Friday, July 24, 2020, which prohibited new international students from entering the U.S. to study in fully online classes at U.S. colleges and universities.
Since Valencia is a hybrid institution (offering online, mixed-mode and in-person courses), new international students are able to attend Valencia by enrolling in a hybrid New Student Experience course and taking the remainder of their courses online for a full program of study — which will satisfy the requirement. The Global team is working with Learning Support, Facilities and administration to coordinate this class, which is expected to have 15 to 20 students.
While many embassies have re-opened, not all have, and there are challenges with students being able to make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy in their country so that they can be approved for a student visa. Due to this challenge, for the first time, we are now admitting international students to study from abroad. These students will enroll in online Valencia classes from their home country.
The International Student Services department has already hosted a series of orientations for these students and is assisting them with the registration process. We were pleased to work with stakeholders across the College to remove barriers to studying from abroad, including assessment, deans, the Campus Store and more. We are expecting approximately 60 students to start their academic journey at Valencia College from abroad.
Despite all of the challenges international students are facing, we have experienced a record high of applications, which is a sign that Valencia College is a much desired institution for international students and that these students are determined to pursue their educational goals, despite the pandemic. At this time, we are hoping to enroll approximately 1,000 international students from 112 countries for the fall term, including about 190 new students.
We very much appreciate Valencia’s support and embrace of these students, and look forward to the start of the Fall 2020 term.