International Students

Contact Information

1. How will the fall semester work for first-year international students?
After careful review of new fall guidance issued this past Friday by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), we can confirm that first-year international students who wish to begin their studies at Bowdoin on campus will be permitted do so, provided they are able to obtain an F-1 visa. 
The new guidance states that anyone enrolling for “initial attendance” at a college or university may not take all online courses. But as long as students take their first-year writing seminar in person, they will be permitted to be here. If, on the other hand, students wish to take all online classes, they must do so from your home country.
While this is very good news, it is still possible that some students may run into problems at different consulates or at Customs and Border Protection on their way to the United States. The consulates, in countries where local conditions permit them to do so, have begun the process of the phased reopening of visa processing. However, visa processing will be reduced. The US Department of State has said that the scheduling of F-1 visa appointments is a high priority, but it may require that students request an emergency appointment. If first-year international students need a letter from Bowdoin in support of an emergency appointment request, please contact Khoa Khoung. Further, please be aware that, though visas may be issued, other travel prohibitions remain in effect and may require additional exemptions.
It is important that students review all requirements in advance of their appointment so that they are prepared to request any exemptions they may need. If a Bowdoin first-year student is denied an F-1 visa by the US Department of State at a consulate, if an airline does not allow a Bowdoin student to board a flight, or if a Bowdoin student is denied entry into the country on a preexisting visa by Customs and Border Protection, please reach out to the College's immigration attorney Marcus Jayes at or call 207-775-6371 x 232. 

2. I am an incoming first-year international student; when do I need to let you know what my plans are for the fall semester?
We are asking that first-year international students let us know their plans by August 26, at noon (EDT), by submitting the deferral request form that is available in their application portal. Students should be in touch with Melissa Quinby, dean of first-year students if this deadline presents difficulties.

For answers to other questions, please contact one of the following:

Khoa Khuong, associate dean of upperclass students (general questions)

Melissa Quinby, dean of first-year students (to enroll fully online)

Claudia Marroquin, director of admissions (questions about deferring enrollment until next year).

Student Aid Office (questions about student aid packages)

3. How will the fall semester work for returning international students?
Returning international students who qualify to be on campus, and who can get to Brunswick, will be able take their classes as described in President Rose's June 22 message about the College's plan for the fall without any impact to their visa status. Those students who plan to participate in online classes from their home countries or other locations will also be able to proceed without worrying about their visa status.

4. When is the deadline to apply for housing for international students?
The deadline to apply for campus housing for international students who qualify to be on campus was Sunday, July 19, at noon (EDT). International students with questions should contact Khoa Khuong, associate dean of upperclass students. 

5. Can I take a full course load online outside of the U.S.?
Yes. International students can enroll at Bowdoin and take a full online course load outside of the U.S. 

6. I am currently an upperclass international student; may I request a Personal Leave of Absence after the July 12 deadline?
International students will have until 5:00 p.m. EDT on August 31 to request a Personal Leave of Absence from the College (PLOA).

Any leave of absence from the College, including a PLOA, must be approved by a dean and students must also consult with their academic advisor. To schedule an appointment with a dean about a PLOA, please contact either Kathleen King (Class of 2023) or Lynne Yanders (Classes of 2022 and 2021).

Students should also consider who else they may need to consult with regarding a PLOA, such as athletic coaches, on-campus employers, student aid, and so on.