COVID-19

Correct as of 09.21.2020 at 10:00 (CDT)

Course-Related Information

Question Answer
Are both Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses available online? Yes. Virtual learning is the only option available for the Summer 2020 semester, and we plan on all students joining us at James Madison University in Fall 2020. If unanticipated issues, such as visa interview delays or travel bans, prevent you from arriving in Harrisonburg on time, an online option will be available for Fall 2020.
How many credits will I earn for my courses I take online? The number of credits per course for the International Year (IY) are the same for online courses as they are for on-campus courses:
  • 1-Semester: 12 credits
  • 2-Semester: 9 credits
  • 3-Semester: 6 credits
  • IEP + 3-Semester: 1 credit
Who will teach my courses? Your courses will be delivered online by the same highly trained university faculty who deliver our on-campus courses.
How will my online courses be conducted? Your courses will consist of high-quality interactive sessions that include live and recorded video and voice sessions. Some of our courses will be live while some courses can be completed on your own time. Some examples of interactive sessions you may participate in during your course may include
  • Participating in a live discussion online
  • Watching an online presentation and inserting your own video comments or questions throughout the video
  • Participate in a discussion board on your own time
  • Viewing a lecture and participating in a Zoom meeting with your professor to answer questions
Do I need to be available at a specific time to participate in the course online? The course material can be accessed at your convenience. There will be live interactive class sessions and recorded sessions that will be available for you to access. You will be informed of any required live interactive sessions well in advance so that you can plan ahead. Recorded sessions can be accessed at any time based on your own schedule.

Required interactive sessions may be scheduled in different time zones to allow students to interact with instructors and other students. When working on group presentations, you will have the flexibility to find a time which is convenient for everyone in the group.

While some class sessions may be scheduled at a specific day and time, most will not. As opposed to on-campus delivery, most courses will have no set class hours, except for any pre-scheduled interactive sessions. Students will be expected to have self-discipline and be active participants in the virtual classroom. Students will be required to check the class materials and assignments regularly, whether or not the class meets at a scheduled time each week. Students must be engaged in the program Monday through Friday and meet all assignment deadlines.
How will I be graded during my courses? ISC students will be graded on a traditional letter grade scale (A to F) during all sessions.
What is the attendance policy for online classes? Attendance may be taken at synchronous (real-time) class meetings. JMU students are expected to access all of their assigned learning materials in a timely fashion and are expected to complete all assignments, exams, quizzes, discussions by the deadlines. You should expect to check Canvas Mondays through Fridays to ensure you have all of the information you need to complete your assignments on time.
What type of materials and platform will I use for my courses? We utilize the virtual learning platform Canvas and additional platforms like Webex and Zoom to support your learning. Canvas houses course outlines, materials, discussion forums, recorded sessions, collaboration tools, and more as the learning management system that James Madison University uses for all classes, and it does not require a VPN. The online platform will include course materials and recorded sessions that will help you review those course materials. You will submit all assignments for JMU through the Canvas platform.
What tools do I need to start my courses at James Madison University? You will need the following resources to support your virtual learning:
  • Textbooks
  • Laptop or PC
  • Internet with good Internet connectivity
  • Webcam (for PC) or laptop camera for interactive discussions
  • Time – each course will require a significant time commitment (participation in sessions and online groups, assignments, etc.)
Since I’m studying virtually, is there a tuition discount?

The full tuition price is required for virtual learning at James Madison University. Your tuition price reflects the value of the high-quality education and the caliber of JMU instructors, which is the same as if you were studying on campus.

Study Group has discounted the Comprehensive Fee by 50% for International Study Center students for both Summer and Fall Semesters. 

  • Summer Semester IY Comprehensive Fee: $1,239
  • Fall Semester IY Comprehensive Fee: $1,270
ISC students will continue to have access to all of student support services online and our online engagement tools to help you feel a part of JMU’s community while studying virtually.
What if I decide I don’t want to spend the semester enrolled in a virtual learning course?

For students who decide to withdraw after beginning their online courses, ISC and DA students may receive a 100% refund on their tuition and deposit from the start of the course (August 26) to September 15, 2020, should they decide not to continue with virtual learning for the Fall 2020 Semester.

In the case of students who complete the course online and are not able to come to the USA because of visa issues, the following refund policy applies: For students who complete the semester online and 1) have achieved the required GPA to progress/matriculate and 2) have provided evidence of two (2) visa rejections, those students will receive a 50% tuition refund.

To cancel your place before commencement of your program or withdraw from your studies during the Trial Period, please use the following link: https://www.studygroup.com/request-withdrawal-NA

Health Information

Question Answer
What is the latest US health guidance on COVID-19? The official updates from the US government provide the very latest information, including health and travel advice (both for those coming into the country and those travelling abroad) and information on current travel restrictions. This is an evolving situation and advice is being regularly updated. Read more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
What can students do to protect themselves against infection? Our staff are ensuring that students adhere to basic hygiene recommendations about regular hand washing and how to look after themselves.
What healthcare arrangements are in place if a student becomes ill?

Students often fall ill with everyday colds, coughs and infections – and our staff are well trained to look after any student that is feeling unwell. Given the current situation, staff are being extra vigilant.

Please be assured that the US government is well prepared and has put in place infection control measures, and the hospital system is well prepared to manage any further cases should they occur.

If a student falls ill with symptoms that could be coronavirus, they will receive urgent medical attention and will be tested by medical professionals. If the virus is diagnosed, then they will be taken to the nearest appropriate medical facility.

I am worried about my health – do I have to come to campus?

In-person access to University facilities and services is extremely limited to protect the health and well-being of all students and staff. Read the University’s information on COVID-19.

We are carefully following the advice of the US government to ensure the health of our students and staff.

Please contact Center staff or email globalstudentsupport@studygroup.com for assistance if you have further questions.

Who should I contact with any other questions?

If you/your child are/is due to begin studies with us soon and you have an urgent inquiry regarding the coronavirus outbreak, please contact globalstudentsupport@studygroup.com for assistance. To help us provide the information that you need quickly, please include your student ID and James Madison University International Study Center in the subject of your email.

For inquiries related to students who are already at James Madison University, please contact Center Staff. Alternatively, please contact globalstudentsupport@studygroup.com for assistance.

Travel Information

Question Answer
Are there travel restrictions for entering the USA? The US government has implemented travel restrictions for foreign nationals into the USA from multiple countries due to COVID-19. The official updates from the US government provide the very latest information. This includes health and travel advice (both for those coming into the country and those travelling abroad) and information on current travel restrictions. This is an evolving situation, and advice is being updated regularly.

As of March 18, 2020, the US government has suspended all routine visa services in most countries worldwide due to COVID-19. Embassies and consulates in these countries will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020. Embassies will resume routine visa services as soon as possible. For more information, visit https://www.usembassy.gov/
What health tests are being carried out by health officials at airports and other ports of entry? At this time, travel restrictions and entry screening apply only to travelers arriving from some countries or regions with widespread ongoing spread of COVID-19. However, US policies are subject to change as the situation evolves. You can read further travel information on the CDC website.

The official updates from the US government provide the very latest information, including health and travel advice and information on current travel restrictions.
What should I do if my travel plans are affected by travel restrictions? If your travel plans are affected by travel restrictions, please email globalstudentsupport@studygroup.com to discuss your individual situation.

Additional Information

Student wellbeing is always our top priority and we understand this is a challenging period for you. Students are always welcome to speak with any member of our team at the International Study Center for support.

Alternatively, you can send inquiries to globalstudentsupport@studygroup.com.

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We’ll get you to where you want to be – Read our latest guidance for current students, or find out more about online learning.