Below is a list of questions that the International Department has been asked over the past several weeks. We will continue to keep the international community at Eastern Christian School abreast of all of the changes occurring because of Covid-19. Please contact Anna DeJulia at AnnaDeJulia@easternchristian.org for more information.
Where can I obtain the most relevant, updated information regarding guidelines for COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Here are 3 helpful websites you can use for the most up-to-date information:
ICE Guidance on COVID-19 (click on ‘NONIMMIGRANT STUDENTS AND SEVP-CERTIFIED SCHOOLS’)
Is Eastern Christian School going to provide remote learning to students who cannot return to the United States for live classes? Will remote learning still be available for international students?
If international students cannot return for the beginning of the school year due to travel restrictions, Eastern Christian School will continue to offer remote learning for our international students so that their academic progress will not be delayed or negatively impacted. DSO’s are currently permitted to send I-20 Forms to students via email due to Covid-19. Students will stay in active status as a student of Eastern Christian School. We will provide a schedule for remote learning students in a few weeks. We are working to ensure that students can access an appropriate academic platform in a timeframe that would be more sensitive to international time zones.
When do we need to communicate our plans and flight information to Eastern Christian School?
Students need to communicate their plans and flight information to Eastern Christian School as soon as possible. Please complete this 2020 Fall Semester Plans Form.
If we need to quarantine, can we still attend school through remote learning?
Yes, students will be fully supported during their entire quarantine period. Eastern Christian School is committed to following SEVP guidelines and will make sure the guidelines are met during this quarantine period. More information will follow as we approach the start of the fall semester.
Will I need to be quarantined separately when I return to the school in August?
Eastern Christian School will work to make effective decisions to ensure the welfare of our international students and community. We anticipate that students will need to either quarantine or demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test result. More information will be available shortly. International students will have to comply with NJ state entry requirements upon entry into the U.S. Currently, this requires a 2 week quarantine. Students will not be permitted to quarantine with their host family.
Where will students stay during quarantine when they re-enter the U.S.?
Eastern Christian School will provide various options depending on CDC and State-issued Department of Health guidelines at the time of re-entry. International students and their families will be responsible for any extra costs associated with a required quarantine period. If you need help with making quarantine arrangements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I take a year off until the Covid situation is resolved?
We highly discourage any student from taking a year off from school as students will lose their visa status. Therefore, Eastern Christian School highly recommends students return to the U.S. to continue their education. Please email Cathy Lagerveld at email@example.com for additional questions regarding your visa or I-20.
What is the health risk for returning to the U.S. this Fall?
At this point in time, the State of New Jersey has bent the curve and the spread of Covid has diminished. More information about New Jersey’s status can be found here: https://covid19.nj.gov/
What safety protocols does the school have in place for returning students?
At the very minimum, Eastern Christian School will be following best practices from local authorities, federal authorities and the CDC. We will continue to keep our community updated regarding safety requirements when Eastern Christian School buildings officially reopen. Maintaining the safety and well-being of our students remains our highest priority during this time. We will be sending a safety plan in early August to all Eastern Christian School families.
If my child gets sick, will they have health insurance to cover the illness?
Yes, all international students have student health insurance plans while studying in the U.S. that will cover them for sickness and accidents. This would include coverage for COVID-19.
Should I still apply if I am unsure of whether I will be able to start this fall of 2020?
Yes, we highly encourage all of our applicants to still apply to EC now and have their application processed and complete. If students are unable to start for the fall term, we will defer your application and any associated costs/tuition to the following school term. We want our applicants to be in a strong position to attend once the pandemic resides and will fully support our accepted students and families to that end.
If I am accepted to the school but I cannot travel to the U.S. for the Fall Semester, what will happen?
Initial status students have to enter the U.S. and attend in-school instruction to become active in status. They will not have the option to begin remote learning for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year so they must defer their application to the Spring 2021 semester, which begins on January 26, 2021. New applicants will not receive a tuition invoice until they have received their F-1 student Visa.
Will the school accept alternate methods of home-based English proficiency testing if students cannot take a TOEFL?
We will work with individuals on a case-by-case basis to help them complete their application as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Are application deadlines extended given the circumstances?
Eastern Christian School will accept new applications through July 31, 2020, in order to give a student enough time to arrive for the Fall Semester. New students will now be considered for Spring 2021.
Thank you for your support and trust of Eastern Christian School during this unprecedented time. We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all of our international students. If you have any specific concerns that weren’t addressed in this document, please feel free to contact Anna DeJulia, International Student Advisor at AnnaDeJulia@easternchristian.org.