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All University of South Carolina system institutions will be closed through the end of the spring semester. Columbia campus virtual instruction will continue through the conclusion of final exams in May. Details can be found on the coronavirus landing page.

International Student Services

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for International Students

Newsletters to International Students 

Information is rapidly changing, so the most recent newsletter should be consulted for the most up-to-date, accurate information. 

  1. How is UofSC monitoring the COVID-19 situation worldwide?

A team of university officials, including Global Carolina staff members, is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19 worldwide. To assess risks related to international travel, the university uses a number of resources, including governmental agencies, news reports, professional health organizations, and more. The University has created a webpage that is consistently updated with the most recent available information. Student Health Services also has FAQs that focus on health-related information. The International Student Services Office is also sending regular communication with coronavirus-related updates.

  1. I am returning to my home country for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. What should I be aware of?

Please review our March 20, 2020 newsletter for more information.

  1. I am remaining in Columbia. Wiil the University continue to support me?

Yes, the University will continue to support you. UofSC is home to all of our international students, and ISS staff are diligently working to support you during this time, even though they are not physically in the office.

4. What does the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) say about COVID-19 and my status as an international student?

SEVP has advised universities to be flexible with students who are affected by COVID-19. Any student who has concerns about their immigration status should contact International Student Services at or at 803-777-7461.

5. What are the current Department of State (DOS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel advisories?

  1. Should I wear a facemask?

The Centers for Disease control (CDC) recommends that you wear a facemask if you are infected with Novel Coronavirus. While wearing a facemask is commonplace in many cultures, it is not commonplace in the U.S. In American culture, wearing a facemask signifies that you are carrying an infectious disease. It is not common for Americans to wear masks if they are not ill.

The University of South Carolina recommends that you follow CDC guidelines as well as your own comfort levels regarding whether to wear a face mask.

  1. What should I do if I see someone else wearing a facemask?

In many cultures, people choose to wear facemasks to prevent catching an illness. It does not necessarily mean that person is ill. If you see other students wearing facemasks, it is not cause for alarm or unease.

  1. How do I know whether the information I’m receiving about COVID-19 is reliable?

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a massive “’infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” You can read more from the WHO here. Make sure that you are reading your news from a reliable source of information. Anything that you read on UofSC’s coronavirus resource page has been vetted and verified by official sources.

  1. I’m feeling stressed and worried about my family and friends back home. What can I do?

Talk to someone! International Student Services is here to help you. Chat with us during our extended online chat hours (M - F from 9 to 4) or email us at

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.