COVID-19 Info for Incoming Exchange Students
Right now, there are many unknowns still about the fall semester at Iowa State University due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is some information about COVID-19 as it relates to classes and activities at Iowa State University. This information will most likely change for the fall semester. Changes will be made to this page when appropriate. Last Updated: 3/8/2021
If you want to stay up to date with COVID-19 in the state of Iowa as a whole, please see the COVID-19 in Iowa website.
Masks are required in all buildings on campus, and are recommended when outside. Some business in Iowa require masks, others do not. Iowa at this time does not have a state wide mandate on masks and most, if not all, businesses are open in some capacity.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, ISU has been doing a combination of some in person classes, some hybrid classes (sometimes the class is in person, other times it is online) and fully online classes. Most likely in Fall 2021, most classes will be either in-person or hybrid, with less fully online classes available.
Incoming exchange students should expect to take at least 12 credits of in person or hybrid classes while at ISU in order to keep their visa status. (12 credits is 4 classes)
It is not possible to complete a fully online semester while ALSO staying in your home country. If a student is not able to come to Iowa for the semester, they will not be able to do the exchange semester.
Visas and Flights
Iowa State University has no relationships with consulates around the world, so we would not be able to intervene on a student's behalf to get visa appointments, faster processing times, etc. Students should consult with their home university's international office or their local USA consulate to see if they would be able to get a visa to come to America.
We understand flights right now may be limited. Students should still try to arrive by the reporting date listed on their DS-2019 If students are having difficulties being able to arrive by the reporting date or the start of classes for the fall, they should contact their exchange coordinator.
Additionally, Iowa State is unable to refund visa costs or flight costs for incoming exchange students if they are unable to attend in the fall.
There is no expectation at this time that students coming for the fall semester are required to have the COVID-19 vaccination before arriving.
We understand that many exchange students come to Iowa State not only for our academics but also our campus culture. We are proud of the strong school spirit we have and the many activities we have during the spring semester including activities like campus activities and events, and football in the fall. Last year, attendence at football games was limited and tailgating was not allowed. Most likely some forms of tailgating will be allowed in the fall, and the number of attendees at the football games will be increased but this is all still unknown.
During the spring semester, students have been discouraged from gathering in groups, especially in enclosed spaces or without masks. Exchange students coming for the fall semester may see less or smaller campus activities than during a typical fall semester.
If you are no longer able to come or no longer want to come to Iowa State for the fall semester, there may still be a possibility you could come to Iowa State for the spring 2022 semester. You first need to talk to your home university to see if they would allow you to defer to a future semester and you also need to ask your exchange coordinator at ISU. Please email them both before emailing Iowa State Admissions about this option.
If you are no longer able to come or no longer want to come to ISU for the fall semester, and you also do not want to defer to a future semester, please contact your home university. Your home university should then contact your ISU exchange coordinator with this update. If you have already completed a housing contract, this will be canceled too, there is nothing you need to do and you will not need to pay anything for your cancelled contract.