COVID-19 FAQ for Incoming Students

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign places a high priority on the health, safety, and security of students, faculty, and staff during their time on campus. The university is monitoring developments surrounding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) globally. This page includes updates and FAQs relevant to incoming exchange students currently attending or accepted to Illinois.

All students, including international and exchange students, are welcome on our campus. Residence halls are open. However, the university has asked that all students who can go elsewhere consider doing so. Campus units will work with students who cannot leave to ensure they have a safe and supportive home here as they continue their studies. As of March 23, academic instruction will move to an online format for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. The university has created a website intended to be a central starting point for information and updates about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on our community:

To find answers to questions related to your DS-2019 or other visa related issues, please refer to the International Student and Scholar Services COVID-19 webpage.

Spring 2020 Exchange Students Returning Home

No. There are currently no plans to issue refunds. The Student Health Insurance covers students while they are on campus and abroad, and has been utilized to protect students during the current pandemic, no matter where they may be. Refer to the Student Health Insurance website or email them directly at

No. Students should carefully review their lease. Student Legal Services advises that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would serve as a basis to terminate one’s lease. Non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 will lead to a Five Day Notice and potential eviction, which goes on record. Locally the courts are temporarily closed but once reopened, evictions will likely be filed for non-payment.

Refer to the Housing website for informaiton on how to receive a refund.

No. A travel signature is only required for entry. If a student needs to return, ISSS will mail them a signed and updated DS-2019.

Each course will have unique instructions, so reach out to your professors for additional information and accommodations.

Email International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) at or call them at 217-333-1303 and one of their advisors can assist you.

Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 Incoming Exchange Applicants

University leadership has made the difficult decision to suspend all study abroad programming, including inbound exchange programs, through January 15, 2021. This decision applies to the Fall 2020 (August through December) and Academic Year 2020-21 (August through May) terms.

We will be withdrawing all exchange applications and we recommend speaking with your home university about your options moving forward.

You may be able to defer your term, but we recommend speaking with your home university about your options first. Some Illinois units are allowing our partner universities to defer exchange spots (and applications), but you must receive approval from your home university first.

Additional Resources