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US Universities Return to On-Campus Instruction

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

Great news! US universities will be returning to on-campus instruction and on-campus residential living as administrators and students strive to return to a pre-pandemic campus life.

Survey results conducted by Institute of International Education (IIE) in June 2021 confirm 86% of US universities are planning some type of in-person study for fall 2021, which commences next month. Additionally, none of the universities surveyed intend on offering only virtual instruction which was the model campuses were forced to implement on short notice at the start of the pandemic last year. The remote model continues to be used by Australian universities until COVID numbers are under control.

“(US) universities are prepping for a strong recovery in international education enrolment as they emerge from the pandemic,” said Mirka Martel, IIE’s Head of Research, Evaluation and Learning. “We anticipate the recovery to come in phases, tied to vaccinations and travel guidelines. But there is definitely a concerted effort by U.S. higher education institutions to reopen their campuses and encourage all students, including international students, to return to in-person study.”

COVID vaccination rates vary per state in the US. California and New York, two of the most popular states for international students, have vaccination rates of 66% and 70% respectively for people 18 years and over. These rates continue to grow each week. Many US campuses will provide students, both domestic and international, the vaccine for free either at the campus health centre or at a nearby vaccine clinic. Some US universities may require students to have a vaccine in order to live and study on-campus.

In Australia, where our borders remain closed, students who are planning to study in the US need to apply for a waiver to leave the country. In our experience students have been 100% successful in securing this waiver from the Australian government once a US student visa is applied for and issued.

There are over 4,000 degree granting institutions from which to choose in the US and students are spoilt for choice. With a thriving university system, flexibility in the degree offerings, and university life returning to pre-pandemic status, studying in the US and earning a US university degree is something you should strongly consider.

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