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Education Abroad Office

Incoming Exchange Student FAQ and Resources

The University of South Carolina has made the decision that all Summer classes will be conducted virtually. After weeks of analysis and consideration, and in consultation with the Board of Trustees, we are pleased to report that the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina will resume in-person instruction in mid-August.  Please check back to this webpage for appropriate updates.

The United States Department of State has indefinitely suspended routine visa services, including F-1 student visas, at embassies worldwide. However, the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has not suspended the issuance of I-20 immigration documents. SEVP has advised universities to be flexible with students who are affected by COVID-19. Therefore, UofSC will continue to issue acceptance letters & immigration documents for Fall 2020 incoming students as we await further announcements from the State Department. Any student who has concerns about their immigration status should contact International Student Services at or at 803-777-7461.

Fall Semester 2020- FAQ


1. When does the Fall 2020 semester begin? *New Update*

Fall 2020 semester classes will begin in mid-August. The University of South Carolina has determined that classes will be conducted with in-person instruction in mid-August. For more information, please see  President Caslen's May 6 message.

2. When is the application deadline?

Our application deadline was April 15. However, we are still collecting  Fall semester 2020 application materials on a rolling basis in order to complete the application process. 

3. Can I apply for a student visa?

At this time, the US Department of State has suspended visa services. However, UofSC is still able to issue I-20 immigration documents, required to apply for F-1 visas. Please see the Incoming Student Exchange Application Process for more information.

4. I do not currently have access to my medical provider. What should I do about my immunization form?

The university understands that there is limited access to routine medical services worldwide, including access to immunization records. Therefore, the Education Abroad Office and Student Health Services are prepared to receive immunization forms at a later date in the summer. Thus, failure to submit immunization information will not affect official acceptance to UofSC or issuance of I-20 immigration documents.

5. My English language proficiency exam (TOEFL / IELTS) has been cancelled/postponed. Are there alternatives to this requirement?

Proof of English language proficiency is required for all international students, with some exceptions. The university Office of Undergraduate Admissions is currently reviewing options for students who are unable to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores as a result of cancellations or postponements due to COVID-19. We will notify affected nominees one acceptable alternatives have been determined. Please check back to this webpage for updated information as it becomes available.

 *For additional information and questions, please visit our Incoming Exchange Student page and contact the study abroad office at .

When can I expect a refund for housing, meal plans, etc.?

The university is continuing to work on all refunds and reimbursements for students. Carolina Card (meal plans) and Housing refunds have not been uploaded at this time, but should be by the end of the day Friday, April 10. The next step is for the Bursar’s Office to pull the refund file to begin disbursement, which will include identification of any international student refunds and determine the options available to receive that money. The university has shared that these will be completed by April 22 at the latest. In the meantime, exchange students will need to reach out to the Bursar’s Office to ensure that they have the correct bank account to which they can wire refunded money. Bursar contact information and the Spring 2020 refund policy can be found at the UofSC Bursar’s Office website.

As you are aware, yesterday the University of South Carolina made the decision to close campus through the Spring 2020 semester.  Virtual instruction will begin on March 23 and last through the conclusion of final exams.

University instructors are working to create innovative an engaging online content for students. Our goal is to ensure this public health crisis does not impede students’ ability to complete the courses needed to transfer credit to the home university. Please see UofSC Academic Resources for more information.

We understand that many students have already made the decision to return home or are preparing to travel. However, many have chosen to remain. Any student previously granted permission to remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances will be allowed to stay. The Housing Office is working with University & State officials to issue refunds for your time lost. That being said, with a campus as large as ours, this will take some time. More information will follow from University Housing.

Please be sure to complete these forms in order to keep the Education Abroad Office and International Student Services informed of any updates to your plans.

The rise of COVID-19 worldwide has created much stress & anxiety for all, but your health & safety has remained our first priority. We would also like to thank you for your patience & understanding in these challenging times. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Sam Crook  individually.

This page was last updated at 1:20 PM EST on May 7. It will be updated continuously as we receive new information. 

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