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Coronavirus COVID-19

Announcement: Health & Safety Updates: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated 1/29/2021

The International Center continues to monitor the worldwide situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, both locally and globally. The safety of our students and employees abroad and of international students and scholars on campus is our highest priority. We are in communication with the CSU, campus stakeholders, and San Luis Obispo County Public Health in our response to the novel coronavirus.

Study Abroad Programs

  • Winter/Spring 2021 study abroad programs that operate entirely abroad are suspended.
  • Winter/Spring 2021 study or internship programs that are offered entirely virtually are open for students.
  • Decisions about study abroad programs operating in June and July can be expected in March; decisions about study abroad programs operating in August and September can be expected in May.
  • For any future university-related travel, students and other travelers should wait to purchase airfare or make other financial commitments that are not refundable. Travelers for all programs should monitor how the global health situation develops. At the time of purchase, participants should insure their flights against trip disruption and/or cancellation or have fully refundable tickets. 
  • Students preparing for any future programs abroad should consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and  U.S. Department of State for ongoing recommendations.

Virtual Internship & International Study Opportunities

  • Students have opportunities to gain valuable work experience in international settings from the comfort of their own homes. Our study abroad partners are offering virtual internship programs in various disciplines. Summer options include public health in Kenya, engineering in Germany, and event planning in China and Italy!
  • Virtual study abroad coursework opportunities are also abundantly available, including an exciting International Virtual Innovation Challenge course based at one of our exchange partner universities in Munich, Germany. Students can browse Virtual Programs on Study Abroad.
  • The International Center offers consultations and resources for faculty interested in integrating Virtual Exchange into their classes on the Virtual Exchange Resources webpage. We also encourage faculty to contact us at  for more information. 

International Students & Scholars

  • Continuing F-1 students should stay enrolled full-time to maintain F-1 visa status whether in the U.S. or outside the U.S. By keeping active status, you will maintain eligibility for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and/or Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the future. However, students who are graduating and want to maintain eligibility for OPT are advised to return and take classes within the U.S. in their final quarter.
  • Students admitted during the 202-21 academic year
    • Currently in the U.S. should stay enrolled full-time to maintain F-1 visa status
    • Currently outside the U.S. We can re-issue I-20s for students who were not able to enter the U.S. this quarter to start F-1 status beginning with the next quarter that they will take at least one class in person. Please complete a Request for I-20 if you will need an I-20 to enter the U.S. for a future quarter.
  • J-1 visiting professors and research scholars and student interns will only be issued a DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa if the campus is open and able to host them, and physical presence is necessary to achieve their academic goals.

All University Travelers

  • Strategic Business Services posts that “Cal Poly has suspended all non-essential international and domestic travel for all faculty, staff, students and its auxiliary organizations, including Cal Poly Corporation, Associated Students Inc. and Cal Poly Foundation through June 30, 2021.” In addition, SBS requested that all travel expenses go through the Concur process on Poly Travel.

Out of an abundance of caution and care, the International Center office continues to operate virtually, and our staff are happy to serve you in the following ways: