Updates Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This webpage provides updates and guidance for all new and current Seattle Colleges international students.
- Last updated on May 15, 2020 (12:00pm PST) -

Seattle Colleges is currently on remote operations until further notice. This means that campus buildings and offices are closed to the public, and employees are working from home. Seattle Colleges has not decided on a specific date when staff and faculty will return to campus.

All instruction of Spring Quarter classes is online, except for programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements.

Online instruction will continue through Summer Quarter. During both Spring and Summer Quarters, F-1 students are able to take all of their classes online without violating their immigration status, apart from students enrolled in programs still offered on site, listed below.

At this moment, Seattle Colleges has not decided whether classes will be taught online for Fall Quarter or not. Information will be posted here, and on your college’s website, once Seattle Colleges has made a decision.

While the colleges are on remote operations, International Programs staff will remain available to assist students via email. Our teams are committed to supporting all new and current students as best as possible during these unusual times, and to providing all the tools necessary for students to complete their classes and maintain their immigration status.

Please click on the appropriate tab(s) below for further guidance. The information provided here is correct pending new announcements from Seattle Colleges.

Admitted Students Arriving Summer Quarter 2020

Seattle Colleges will offer classes for Summer quarter 2020, starting on June 29th. All classes will be taught online, except for programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements.

We know that this is different from what you were expecting when you decided to study in the United States. If you have your visa and would like to travel to the United States for Summer, you may do so. If you prefer not to travel to the U.S. for Summer quarter, you can take classes online from home.

Orientation and immigration check-in is required of all students before their first quarter of enrollment. Orientation for Summer Quarter will be conducted online by staff at each campus. To access orientation and any required testing, please follow the instructions for each campus below.

Seattle Central College

Intensive English Students

Orientation and Placement Testing

The in-person SCIE orientation on June 22nd, 23rd and 25th is canceled. Instead, we are offering an online orientation, which students should complete by June 26th, so they can be prepared for the first day of class. The orientation will be offered through Canvas, an online instruction tool.

Placement testing and class registration will be conducted the week of June 22nd – 26th, prior to the start of Summer quarter online instruction (June 29th).

To get access to orientation and sign-up for placement testing, please register here: https://tinyurl.com/IntlCentral.

College and College Bridge Students


The in-person College / College Bridge orientation on Thursday, June 18th has been canceled. Instead, we are offering an online orientation, which students should complete by June 26th, so they can be prepared for the first day of class.

The online orientation is offered through Canvas. To gain access to Canvas, please register here.

English and Math Placement Testing and Class Registration

Students with an IELTS, TOEFL iBT, ACT, or SAT score high enough for direct college placement should pre-register for classes, using the instructions provided in their acceptance materials. Also, students can take the college Math placement test online. Visit the Math Placement Test webpage for more information.

Students without direct college placement must take a placement test before registering for classes. Students who must test should follow the directions for placement testing for Intensive English Students (above). Students will be able to register for classes once their test results are available.

North Seattle College

Orientation, placement testing, and registration will be offered the week of June 22nd through June 26th. Our IP Office will contact students directly via email, and provide the necessary information so they can participate.

If you are in the United States, planning to enroll for Summer quarter, and have not already received information about orientation, please contact IntlNorth@seattlecolleges.edu.

South Seattle College

New student orientation will take place online during the week of June 22nd, including English placement testing. To receive orientation details, please first complete document check-in by emailing IntlSouth@seattlecolleges.edu.

South Seattle College's Summer 2020 orientation is accessible at https://canvas.southseattle.edu/enroll/6W9XFX.

If you have any questions, you can email us at IntlSouth@seattlecolleges.edu, or call us at 206-934-5360 during normal business hours (8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday).

If you need to contact our International Programs offices, please email:

Seattle Central College - IntlCentral@seattlecolleges.edu
North Seattle College - IntlNorth@seattlecolleges.edu
South Seattle College - IntlSouth@seattlecolleges.edu

Online Instruction and Technology Requirements

Online classes can be taught in two different ways:

- At the same time every day (called “synchronous” class)
- At no specific time: students can do the work at any time (called “asynchronous” class)

Each instructor will decide how the class will be offered. Some will choose one way or the other, or and some may teach the class in both ways. Students can try to contact the class instructor to find out if a class will be taught synchronously or asynchronously. In general, at least part of the classes in the Intensive English Programs at each campus will be taught synchronously.

To prepare for both placement testing and online classes, students must have the following technology:

Computer (desktop or laptop)
- Reliable internet access
- Web camera
- Speakers and microphone

In addition, students may want to have access to a printer, as students may be asked to print some class materials.

Students should not plan to rely on a smart phone alone to participate in classes.

Many teachers will use Canvas, an online learning system, and ask students to join the class through video-conferencing (Zoom/Skype/Google Meet). Instructors will provide detailed expectations for their class and directions on how to set up / use these online systems.

Current Students

Health Insurance

If you are sick, the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself in partnership with your doctor. As an international student, you have access to health insurance through the Lewer agency. Treatment of the coronavirus is covered under your healthcare plan, similar to other illnesses.

You have access to 24/7 medical advice by calling MyNurse (1-866-549-5076) to speak with a consulting nurse, or Teladoc (1-800-835-2362) to speak with a licensed doctor. For accelerated customer service, you can also use the Teladoc mobile App (IOS or Android) or website to request a visit, or to review information that will help you evaluate personal risk of COVID-19 and related complications.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we recommend that you use the services listed above first, rather than go directly to a doctor’s office. Also, make sure to set up your account on the website or mobile app, and provide your medical history. This will help accelerate your request(s) and allow doctors to prepare for your call/visit. If you do go to the doctor, you will need your health insurance card.

You also have access to Morneau Shepell (mySSP), an international counseling organization, offering culturally relevant mental health support to international students. MySSP is available 27/7 to support students, and can provide the following:

a. Advisors who speak the member’s language and understand cultural needs.
b. Complete confidentiality, and availability for as many appointments as needed.
c. Accessible support via mobile interface, web chat and over the phone.

Students can download the mobile app, “MySSP”, or call 1-866-743-7732. To initiate a mobile chat, students should visit https://us.myissp.com/Home/UniversitySearch, select their school and country of origin, then begin the chat.


In response to the spread of coronavirus, many countries have implemented travel restrictions or bans, and/or quarantine orders. If students plan on returning home during the upcoming Summer quarter, we recommend that they check the website for the U.S. embassy in their country regularly, to stay up-to-date with any new developments.

Also, in case they cannot return, or choose to stay in their home country past Summer quarter, students should contact their primary advisor to let him/her know of their situation. In order to maintain their immigration status, students may need to apply for a vacation quarter or leave of absence.

Summer 2020 Classes

Seattle Colleges will offer classes for Summer quarter 2020, starting on June 29th. All classes will be taught online, except for programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements.

As classes will be offered using alternative methods, our colleges will be providing a wide-range of online support services: e-tutoring, teleconferencing software, and online library services, among many others.

Additional Student Resources

In addition to online support services, Seattle Colleges offers additional resources to international students impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. For more details, review our dedicated PDF.

For more information, please visit:

Seattle Central College - https://newscenter.seattlecentral.edu/coronavirus-update
North Seattle College - https://northseattle.edu/coronavirus
South Seattle College - https://southseattle.edu/coronavirus

Applicants for Summer and Fall 2020

Processing of Admission Applications

During remote operations, our staff will continue processing applications for admission.

Issuance of Acceptance Materials

Admissions will provide online copies of acceptance letters and other materials, and digital copies of I-20 forms. The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has made an exception to its normal policy, and has allowed schools to send I-20 forms electronically to their students. I-20 forms are signed using a secure and encrypted digital signature. This I-20 form may be used to apply for a student visa just as you would use a paper form with an original signature.

Applicants may experience delays in processing and/or response times in the next few weeks, given these unusual circumstances. We appreciate your patience during this time.

English Proficiency Test

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test. The test is identical to the TOEFL iBT test offered at a test center, but taken on your own computer at home and monitored by a human proctor online. For more details, please visit https://www.ets.org/s/cv/toefl/at-home/.

Deferral Instructions

Seattle Central College: Students who applied online can submit a deferral request via the online admission application portal, by clicking on the corresponding link at the bottom of the student's dashboard. Requests can also be completed via email, by completing the required Deferral Request form.

North Seattle College: Students can submit a deferral request via the SCD Global portal, following the instructions provided here.

South Seattle College: Requests can be completed via email, by contacting the International Admissions office at IPAdmissions@seattlecolleges.edu.

If you need to contact our Admissions Office, please email:

Seattle Central College - SeattleCentral.IntlAdmissions@seattlecolleges.edu
North Seattle College - NAdmissions@seattlecolleges.edu
South Seattle College - IPAdmissions@seattlecolleges.edu

Agents and Advisors

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our Marketing and Outreach staff has been advised not to travel at this time, per state and health officials' guidelines. As a result, our team has shifted its efforts to online platforms and is actively participating in remote events and webinars. If you have any questions, inquiries, or proposal for us, please email IntlPartners@seattlecolleges.edu.

Seattle Colleges Study Abroad Students (Global Impact, WCCCSA, etc.)

Our top priority is making sure that our students, faculty, and staff are safe and healthy. Therefore, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, some programs have been cancelled or postponed.

If you need to contact our Study Abroad Office, please email StudyAbroad@seattlecolleges.edu.

Berlin Spring 2020 (WCCCSA)

The Berlin Spring 2020 program has been canceled.

China Summer 2020 (WCCCSA)

The China Summer 2020 program has been postponed. WCCCSA currently plans to offer the program in Summer 2021.

Costa Rica Summer 2020 (WCCCSA)

WCCCSA is currently in contact with ICLC (the program provider) and will determine the next steps for this program. At this moment, we have not made the decision to cancel or postpone the program. Updates can be found on www.wcccsa.com.

London Fall 2020 (WCCCSA)

No decision has been made at this time. Updates can be found on www.wcccsa.com.

Global Impact Programs

In consultation with the program leader and public health advisories, we have decided to cancel our Global Impact programs this year.

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships

The Gilman Scholarship Program recently announced:

“On March 12, a Global Level 3 Health Advisory – Reconsider Travel was announced by the U.S. Department of State. Given the nature of the current health situation, ECA is authorizing, effective immediately, all Gilman Scholars globally to return to the United States and to halt all outbound Gilman Scholars through August 1, 2020. Please note that this decision does NOT require that any funding be returned to the Gilman Program. […]

Though the Gilman Program is currently still reviewing applications from the recent open competition, we are requiring all future Gilman scholars to defer awards to programs that start no earlier than August 1, 2020. We will advise selected students to work with their study abroad advisor or program administrator to identify options for future study abroad opportunities. Note that deferring a program or changing to another eligible location this fall will not impact their status as a Gilman Scholar, nor will it require that any funding be returned to the Gilman Program.

In the event that a student is selected for the Gilman Program and a Level 3 Health Advisory is still in place when their program starts, then the student would be required to change their program or defer for a longer period of time.”

Programs Still Offered On-Site / In-Person

Summer Quarter classes will be taught online, except for programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements, as noted below.

Seattle Central College

- Apparel Design and Development
- Culinary (Culinary Arts and Specialty Desserts and Breads; final/5th quarter students only)
- Dental Assisting
- Dental Hygiene
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Assisting Apprenticeship
- Nursing
- Respiratory Care
- Science Labs (mostly online, some hybrid; check with instructor)
- Surgical Technology

North Seattle College

- Electronics
- Engineering Graphics
- Medical Assisting
- Pharmacy Technology
- Phlebotomy
- Watch Technology

South Seattle College

While most classes will be offered remotely this summer, there are limited exceptions planned in our Career Training programs, in accordance with public health and social distancing guidelines. Those exceptions are:

- Two Welding classes (WFT 120 and WFT 121) will be offered at Harbor Island Training Center
- Aviation Maintenance Technology will hold AMT 214 and AMT 234 classes for students closest to graduation, with one class held on campus (AMT 234) and the other at Boeing Field Hanger (AMT 214)

The remaining Career Training programs (Culinary Arts, Wine Studies, Landscape Horticulture, Automotive Technology, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technology) will not teach in-person technical courses this summer, but students may still enroll in general education courses required for their certificates and degrees, remotely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I study online for Summer Quarter? Is it okay to take 12 credits listed as online in the registration system?

A1: As an international student, you must still enroll full-time for Summer Quarter. Seattle Colleges is going to teach classes online for Summer quarter (with some exceptions, noted in the blue tab above, "Programs Still Offered On-Site"). This means you may register for all online classes in the registration system, unless your program is on this list. From Governor Jay Inslee’s Executive Order, faculty may still teach in-person some lab portions of some classes while following a strict social distancing.

Q2: Can I go home and take classes online?

A2: Yes, please communicate your plans with your advisor so we can best advise you on your options.

Q3: I heard that classes will be mostly online for Summer quarter. Do I need to change my class schedule so it shows only online classes?

A3: No, your teachers will be in-contact with you directly regarding plans for the specific classes you are registered for. Please refer to the online class schedule to see if your class may need to meet in person (if it is on the list above), or if it is meeting online at a specific time.

Q4: I am a new student but I cannot travel to the U.S. for Summer quarter, but I want to start taking college level classes. Can I enroll online?

A4: Any students who cannot be in the United States for their first quarter, who are also eligible for direct placement in college classes (i.e., no English testing required), can take online classes from home. Tuition for online classes is the same as for regular in-person classes, but there are some fees the student will not pay.

Q5: I am in my final quarter of study and I only need one class to graduate. Can I take it online?

A5: Yes. Please communicate with your advisor about your course selection. Please also remember to request permission for reduced course load for your graduating quarter.

Q6: I am in my final quarter of study, can I complete my degree in my home country by taking all online classes?

A6: Yes, please make sure to communicate your plans with your advisor.

Q7: If I complete my degree online in my home country, will I still be eligible to apply for OPT?

A7: As long as you are enrolled in full-time classes in Summer (or authorized for reduced courseload for graduation) and you otherwise meet requirements for Optional Practical Training (OPT), you may apply for OPT. Please follow regular OPT application requirements in communication with your advisor. Please be advised that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not changed the regulation requiring students to apply for OPT while inside the United States. The I-765 form requires a mailing address in the U.S., to which any correspondence and your EAD would be sent.

Q8: What should I do if I am on OPT and my place of work closes?

A8: If your place of work closes, communicate with your employer about opportunities to work remotely to maintain your employment. If you are not able to work remotely, consider any volunteer opportunities in your field of study which you could engage in. Remember that volunteering in your field will also count toward full-time employment. Be sure to update any changes in your employment in the OPT portal, or by contacting your advisor. For the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, SEVP considers students who are working in their OPT opportunities fewer than 20 hours a week as engaged in OPT. You will only begin to accrue days of unemployment if you are not working at all.

Q9: I am having a hard time registering full-time due to unexpected class cancellations. What can be done?

A9: As in other quarters, communicate with your advisor to find open sections of courses with space which will meet your degree requirements.

Q10: I left the U.S. without a valid travel signature on my I-20. What should I do?

A10: Please email your advisor and include information about when you plan to travel, or you can request an I-20 reprint on SCDglobal. Your advisor can email you a digitally signed copy of your I-20 to your email address that is listed in SEVIS.

Q11: Can I enroll concurrently at another college for Summer quarter?

A11: Yes, concurrent enrollment practices remain the same.

Q12: How can I take my classes online in Summer quarter if I do not have access to a computer/internet?

A12: If you are staying in the United States, contact the International Programs office at your campus to inquire about options for borrowing technology.

Q13: Can I work on campus during Summer quarter if my department is open?

A13: Yes. International students can work up to 20 hours per week on campus. Please check-in with your supervisor to learn about other limits for on-campus employment and to inquire about the possibility of continuing part-time on-campus employment during remote operations.

Q14: The college says that part-time employees who are not working can apply for unemployment. How does this apply to me as an international student?

A14: Generally international students are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits. If you have another visa status in addition to your F-1 status, we recommend you consult with an immigration attorney before collecting benefits.

Q15: If I have completed my program of study or OPT, but travel restrictions prevent me from returning to my home country, can I stay in the United States longer than the sixty-day grace period?

A15: At this time, the grace period benefit has not changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If your program has ended, you will still be required to take action within your 60 day grace period: Apply for OPT, depart the U.S., transfer out, change your education level, or apply for a Change of Status. If your OPT has ended, you will still be required to take action within your 60 day grace period: Depart the U.S., transfer out, change your education level, or apply for a Change of Status. Please connect with your advisor to discuss your specific plans.

Q16: As an F-1 student employee, can I work from another country while the colleges are in remote operations?

A16: No. The Seattle College Human Resources office has advised us that students may not work for the Seattle Colleges from outside of the United States during the college closure.

For more information, visit https://seattlecolleges.edu/district/emergencies/coronavirus.aspx.