Updates Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This webpage provides updates and guidance for all new and current Seattle Colleges international students.
- Last updated on April 02, 2020 (11:00am PST) -

As of Monday, March 16th, all Seattle Colleges have moved to remote operations. All on-site operations have ceased, except for instructional programs that must meet face-to-face to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements. As a result, Winter quarter 2020 will finish using alternative modes of instruction (online format).

Also, remote operations and alternative modes of instruction will continue for Spring quarter 2020. While Seattle Colleges continues with remote operations and alternative modes of instruction, F-1 students are able to take all their classes online without violating their immigration status. Exceptions for specific programs are noted for each college below. Spring 2020 classes are now scheduled to start April 13th.

To prepare for online classes, students should have a computer (desktop or laptop), regular access to the internet, and possibly a printer (students may be asked to print some class materials). 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. For students who are not in Seattle, or for whom it is difficult to join at that specific time in their time zone, teachers will work with students directly to find a solution to this problem.

During remote operations, International Programs staff will work remotely, and 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/or 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 the Seattle Colleges.

Admitted Students Arriving Spring Quarter 2020

The Seattle Colleges will be offering classes for Spring quarter 2020, starting on April 13th. 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 go study in the United States. If you are not already in the United States, the Seattle Colleges and U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommend that you stay home and defer your enrollment to Summer or Fall quarter instead. Deferral instructions are provided below.

Also, if you submitted English proficiency scores sufficient for a direct placement into college-level classes, and you prefer to not travel to the U.S. for Spring quarter, you can take classes online from home. Please contact your International Programs office for further assistance.

If you are already in the U.S., please check in with your International Programs office via email. Our staff will provide you with the information usually given during orientation and help you register for classes. In addition, check your school section below for further details regarding orientation, testing, and class registration.

Seattle Central College

Intensive English Students


The in-person SCIE orientation on March 30th, 31st, and April 2nd is canceled. Instead, we are offering an online orientation, which students should complete by April 12th, 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: http://tinyurl.com/SeattleCentralSCIE.

Placement Testing and Class Registration

Placement testing and class registration will be conducted the week of April 06th - 10th, prior to the start of Spring quarter online instruction (April 13th).

College and College Bridge Students


The in-person College / College Bridge orientation on Thursday, March 26th is canceled. Instead, we are offering an online orientation, which students should complete by April 12th, 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. Students who tested before March 13th can contact our office via email with their full name and student ID number to get assistance. Students who test on April 06th or later will receive guidance on registering for classes after completing the placement test.

North Seattle College

Orientation, placement testing, and registration will be offered the week of March 30th through April 3rd. 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 spring 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 March 30th, including English placement testing. To receive orientation details, please first complete document check-in by emailing IntlSouth@seattlecolleges.edu.

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).

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 International Programs offices, please email:

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

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 spring break, 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 spring break, 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.

Spring 2020 Classes

Remote operations and alternative modes of instruction (online format) will continue for Spring quarter 2020. Spring 2020 classes are now scheduled to start April 13th.

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.

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 Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020

Processing of Admission Applications

During remote operations, International Programs staff will work remotely, and continue to process admission applications as they arrive.

Issuance of Acceptance Materials

Admissions will provide online copies of acceptance letters and other materials. Hard copies of acceptance materials, including I-20 forms will be issued after April 7th, once International Programs staff are able to return to campus. Shipping information will be provided once materials are sent.

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

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

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

Some instructional programs are still offered on-site, to satisfy regulatory or accreditation requirements.

Seattle Central College

- Apparel Design and Development
- Culinary (Culinary Arts and Specialty Desserts and Breads) - final quarters only
- Dental Assisting
- Dental Hygiene
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Assisting Apprenticeship
- Nursing
- Respiratory Care (only from April 13 - April 24)
- Science Labs (only some - check with instructor)
- Surgical Technology
- Wood Technology (Boat-Building, Cabinetmaking, Carpentry)

North Seattle College

- Pharmacy Technology
- Medical Assisting
- Phlebotomy
- Watch Technology
- Electronics
- Engineering Graphics
- Parent Education
- Apprenticeships
- Science Labs
- Lower level ESL/ABE/GED

South Seattle College

- Aviation Maintenance Technology / Aeronautical Technology
- Automotive Technology
- Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology
- Nursing
- Welding Fabrication Technology and Maritime Welding

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I study online for Spring 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 Spring Quarter. Seattle Colleges is going to teach classes online for spring 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 spring 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’re 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’m a new student but I can’t arrive to the U.S. for spring 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 fees the student would not pay.

Q5: I’m 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’m 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 Spring (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.

Q9: I’m 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. International programs can email a PDF letter describing your situation for you to use when you travel.

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

A11: Yes, concurrent enrollment practices remain the same.

Q12: How can I take my classes online in spring quarter if I don’t 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 spring quarter if my department is open?

A13: Yes. International students can work up to 20 hours a week on campus. Please connect with your supervisor 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. Students are still required to either depart the United States or start a new program within 60 days.

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