Frequently Asked Questions

I need help from an ISSSO staff member.  How can I get it?

lnternational students and scholars have the following options to reach the advisors in our office:

  • You can still book an appointment with an ISSSO advisor here.  You and the advisor will determine whether the appointment should be on the phone or through videoconferencing.

  • Drop in on Zoom between 1-3pm on Mondays or between 10am-12pm on Thursdays to speak with an advisor. 
  • Our email inbox is always open!  Please feel free to continue to contact us with questions at

  • Our staff is available to take phone calls during office hours. If your call goes to our voicemail, please be sure to leave a message and we will respond to you promptly.


I will be traveling home during spring or summer break. Is there anything that I need to do as I make my plans? 

Students planning to travel internationally should first make sure that they have valid immigration documents, including a valid passport, visa, and I-20. The I-20 should also have a recent travel signature on it (within 12 months of the return date for enrolled students and within 6 months of the return date for OPT students). A new travel signature can be requested via iStart using the I-20 Reprint request in F-1 Student Services.  

If you are traveling internationally, make sure that you can re-enter the U.S. As of March 1, 2021, there are travel restrictions on entry from a number of countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), South Africa and the UK.  Please talk to an advisor if you plan to travel to one of these countries.

As of January 26, 2021, if you are traveling internationally and re-entering the U.S., you will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19.  If you are traveling domestically, some US states also have testing or quarantine requirements.  Please see the CDC's website for additional information.

If you have questions about returning to the U.S. after international travel, please contact the ISSSO at

I will be traveling internationally. Do I need to self-quarantine when I arrive to KSU? 

Students traveling internationally should follow the CDC guidelines regarding international travel, including any testing requirements or self-quarantining.

Where can I learn more about KSU’s plans for the spring or summer semester? 
Information about KSU’s return to campus and university announcements concerning COVID-19 can be found at   

Can I study online from within the U.S.?
Based on information from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the ISSSO anticipates that the flexibility extended to international students in Fall 2020 to take fewer in-person courses than normal will continue for the Spring 2021 semester. Please see the chart below for details.

No guidance has been provided for Summer 2021 or Fall 2021. At this time, students should plan on enrolling in the normal course load requirements for Summer 2021 or Fall 2021.

  • You must enroll full-time.  This is a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students. 

    • We anticipate that you must have at least one course that includes face-to-face instruction (hybrid of fully on-campus). 
    • We anticipate that you may not enter the U.S. to take a course load that is 100% online.
  • We anticipate that this includes those transferring from other institutions or continuing with a new degree at KSU. 

    You must enroll full-time.  This is a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students. 

    • If you are graduating in Spring 2021 and need less than a full-time course load to graduate, you may be eligible for a Reduced Course Load authorization.  You can apply for one here
    • We anticipate that you may take any combination of classes that KSU is offering this spring including in-person, hybrid or online courses, including a course load that is entirely online. 
  • If one of these situations applies to you, please contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office at or schedule an appointment at to discuss your individual situation. 

    • Had a change of status to F-1 approved and Spring 2021 is your first semester in F-1 status 
    • Are transferring to KSU for Spring 2021 and will be out of the country this semester 
    • Had a break in your F-1 status between March 9, 2020 and today 
    • Are otherwise not sure which rules apply to you 

Can I study online from my home country? 
Students may study online from their home country at any time. However, online study from home may require an update to your I-20. 

  • If you will start your degree online from home for the Spring 2021 semester, submit the "Defer I-20" e-form in iStart. This e-form will notify us of your intent to study online so that we can update your student file, and also initiate the process to update your I-20 to attend classes in person in a future term.

  • If you will study online for the Spring 2021 semester, submit the "Remote for Spring 2021" e-form in iStart. This e-form will notify us of your intent to study online so that we can update your student file appropriately.

What is an electronic I-20? Can I use it like a normal I-20? 
An electronic I-20 is a file of your I-20 with a digital signature from the DSO. Due to COVID-19, the SEVP, the Department of State, and Customs and Border Protection are recognizing electronic I-20s as officialI-20s. Once you receive your electronic I-20, be sure to print it for use at the embassy or U.S. Customs. For more information about electronic I-20s, please see the ICE COVID-19 FAQ.  

I have been admitted for Summer or Fall 2021.  What plans should I make?
We encourage you to monitor the situation in your home country and the U.S.  If travel restrictions ease and consulates are open, you may be able to complete the visa application process.

If there are still travel restrictions and/or visa appointments are not available, you may need to start your program online for or defer to a future semester. Please update us if you need to follow one of these options. 

The U.S. embassy near me is reopening, but I might need to arrive late to KSU. Is this ok? 
If you foresee arriving late for the spring semester, please contact one of our international student advisers at In some cases, students may arrive a few days late; in others it might be best to defer admission to the next semester or study online from home. When making plans, it is important to consider how the late arrival might affect a student’s adjustment to KSU and their academic success, including details such as quarantine requirements, payment deadlines, class registration and the drop/add period, and missed classes, quizzes, and homework.