Email Communication History

This page is an archive of all COVID-19–related emails sent from International Student Services to College and Conservatory F-1 visa holders (including alumni on post-completion OPT). The communications were emailed to students on the dates listed below.

August 6, 2021

Subject: Complete the Fall 2021 Arrival Survey by Wednesday, August 11

July 30, 2021

Subject: When Are You Arriving in Boston? Complete the Fall 2021 Arrival Survey

June 3, 2021

Subject: Fall Vaccination Update: Clinic Held Week of August 9

May 21, 2021

Subject: Fall 2021 Vaccination Policy Update

December 15, 2020

Subject: Registration Guidelines for International Students

December 11, 2020

Subject: Late Check-In and Arrival Procedures

October 15, 2020

Subject: Announcing a Hybrid Spring Semester. This email was sent by the college and includes a section addressing international student concerns.

July 22, 2020

Subject: International Student Fall Enrollment Update

July 7, 2020

Subject: Update regarding ICE/SEVP Guidance for Fall 2020

June 22, 2020

Subject: Important Fall 2020 Updates for International Students

May 15, 2020

Subject: ISS Summer Update

Dear International Student,

Beginning on May 18, ISS will temporarily have fewer staff members during the summer semester. We’ve summarized our plan to continue our commitment to supporting you: 

  • Virtual appointments: All students can choose to schedule an appointment with either Andrea or Nick.
  • Virtual drop-ins: The schedule may be temporarily adjusted throughout the summer; check the calendar.
  • (Note: Advisors will not be available for drop-ins or appointments on Fridays.)
  • Emails and phone calls: We always aim to respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner, but during the summer you may need to wait a little longer than usual for us to get back to you. Please be patient while waiting for a response.

The temporary staffing changes will present some challenges to both staff and students. We know it feels stressful to have to wait longer than usual for a response to an email or phone call. We want to assure you that the ISS team is here for you through this challenging time, and we will continue to make temporary adjustments to appointments, drop-ins, and our own schedules to better assist you.

We deeply appreciate your understanding and patience while we navigate these challenges together.

Sincerely,

Your International Student Services Team

April 24, 2020

Subject: Important Updates for International Students Regarding the Summer 2020 Semester

Dear International Student,

We know that you are receiving plenty of emails from the college. So from now on, email updates from ISS will be very brief and will include links for you to read the important details on the ISS COVID-19 page. It is very important that you read all of the information on our website before you schedule an appointment or attend drop-in hours.

Summer 2020 Enrollment

  • Students who enroll virtually at Berklee College of Music during the summer will remain in F-1 status.
  • If summer 2020 will be your vacation semester, you are not required to enroll.
  • If spring 2020 is your vacation semester, you are required to enroll full-time (or authorized part-time) during the summer.
  • Berklee Online is not the same as Berklee College of Music. Berklee Online classes do not count toward the 12-credit enrollment requirement for F-1 students. Read the online class policy.
  • Details about what you need to know and do are on the ISS COVID 19 page.

OPT Applications for Summer Graduates

  • ISS will begin accepting OPT applications on June 2.
  • You must be physically in the U.S. when you mail your OPT application to the government. More details are on the ISS COVID-19 page.

Please remember that the ISS website is the source to visit for accurate official information concerning F-1 students. Do not rely on social media posts or what you hear from your friends.

Sincerely,

Your ISS advising team

March 18, 2020

Subject: ISS Is Suspending In-Person Operations Beginning March 19, 2020

Dear International Student,

For the continued health and safety of students and staff, Berklee International Student Services will transition to online-only operations beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020. You can still meet with an advisor during virtual drop-in hours, or schedule a virtual appointment with your advisor.

Students who have applied for OPT: ISS staff will continue to receive and process regular postal mail from USCIS as usual. Read more.

Thank you for your patience while we transition to remote operations. ISS staff want to reassure you that we will continue to provide the same services while we are operating remotely. Continue to check your Berklee email regularly for important communications from ISS, and check the ISS website for the most up-to-date information.

Your ISS advisors,

Andrea, Ken, Nick, and Vu

March 15, 2020

Subject: Important Message About ISS Operating Hours This Week

Dear International Student,

ISS plans to have staff available in person in our office through Wednesday, March 18. However, as the situation continues to change daily, we cannot guarantee that we can have staff on campus every day.

We recommend that you take care of the following items as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, March 18, during extended drop-in hours:

  • Get your I-20 signed for travel (how to check if you need a travel signature).
  • Submit a request to replace a lost I-20.
  • Submit your completed OPT request packet to ISS.
  • Pick up a new I-20, an EAD (OPT card) or SSN card, or an OPT application that is ready to mail to USCIS. Before visiting ISS, check your Berklee email for a notification that these items are ready for pickup.

Later this week, we will email you with information about procedures for remote advising and services for international students.

Please do not worry if you cannot complete these items by March 18. ISS staff want to reassure you that we will continue to provide the same services while we are operating remotely, including email, advising appointments, creating/mailing I-20s, and receiving OPT cards and notices via mail. Continue to check your Berklee email regularly for updates from ISS, and check the ISS website for detailed information.

Sincerely,

ISS

March 11, 2020

Subject: Important Information for International Students Regarding Today’s Campus Announcement

Dear International Student,

ISS staff are here to help you. Please review the following information carefully. Later this week, we will email a link to a page on the ISS site that will include the following information and more. The information below is for guidance during these exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19.

Your F-1 Status

  • You do not need to worry about your immigration status. The U.S. government is allowing F-1 students to stay in valid status while completing all of their classes online, including labs and ensembles; speak to your professors for details about online classes.
  • You must stay enrolled in at least 12 credits even though all of your classes will be online. The same rules for part-time still apply while classes are online; you can read them on the ISS website.
  • You do not have to stay in Boston or the U.S. to complete your classes online. Your F-1 status allows you to leave and come back to the U.S. as needed while enrolled in online classes. You are still subject to port-of-entry entrance and quarantine/isolation restrictions related to COVID-19. Click here to read up-to-date government travel information.

I-20 Information

  • Check the travel signature on your I-20 to make sure it is valid until September 30, 2020. Click here to see how to check your travel signature.
  • Don’t worry if you need a new travel signature or need to replace a lost I-20. Email iss@berklee.edu to request a new I-20. ISS can pay to ship it to you anywhere in the world.

Students Applying for OPT

  • You must apply for OPT from within the U.S. You can leave the U.S. after mailing your application to the government.
  • ISS will have one advisor dedicated to review and assist with OPT applications on Tuesday, March 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m in the Center for Student Advising and Success. Read about the OPT process and come to drop-in advising with your complete OPT request packet.
  • You may also email your application documents to iss@berklee.edu. When your application is ready, advisors will mail it to you and pay for the shipping fees.

Drop-Ins and Appointments

  • ISS will have extended drop-in hours Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. through March 20.
  • Additionally, on Friday, March 13, we will have one advisor dedicated to issue I-20 travel signatures between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • You may schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor through March 18 and choose to meet in person or via phone/Google Hangout. ISS staff will continue to hold phone/web advising appointments with students throughout the semester.

ISS staff understand this news is overwhelming, especially for international students. We are here to help and support you as much as possible. Please read the March 11 Berklee-wide email announcement for information about alternative housing options during this time.

Sincerely,

Nick Poché

Director of International Student Services

 

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