Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College

Message of Support for Our International Community

July 10, 2020

To the Simon’s Rock International Community,

We hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy.

We are reaching out in response to the latest regulations from the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)—the government branch of the Department of Homeland Security charged with oversight of international students and scholars in the U.S. with F-1 and J-1 visas.

These regulations are deeply discouraging, are still confusing to many, and show complete disregard for international students and the careful planning we and other institutions of higher education have been working toward for the fall semester. However, Simon’s Rock is fully committed to supporting you. No ill-advised or xenophobic decision on the part of the government will shake our commitment to advocating for our international students; we would not be the same without you, and we are determined to do our best to continue to provide concrete and helpful guidance as you plan for your fall academic semester.

Simon’s Rock plans for primarily in-person, socially-distanced classes in the fall—with options for online classes in some circumstances. However, the school will continue to be in regular correspondence with students and families in the case that the public health situation necessitates a change to that plan.

While we are continuing to review these regulations and corresponding FAQs , and hope to have more clear information soon, we want to convey the following information:

  • We welcome all international students back to campus. Because we have adopted a “hybrid” model of in-person and remote classes, under the new regulations we are allowed to do this. We hope you can return, and you are welcome to remain on campus until the end of the semester.
  • To the best of our ability, we plan to offer remote accommodations to students unable to return to campus due to visa or travel restrictions, in addition to finding ways for these students to engage with the Simon’s Rock community from outside the U.S.
  • There is no immediate effect on your F-1 immigration status, and we still have time to properly advise you on your fall semester plans.
  • If you are considering any decisions regarding your program of study, please consult your academic advisor and the International Student Support Team (ISST), isst@simons-rock.edu.
  • Please also know that this week’s announcement may be subject to change; there is an expectation that additional guidance and amendments may be forthcoming, and legal challenges to these regulations are already underway.

We will do everything in our power to make Simon’s Rock a safe place for you to continue your education, and we will be in touch with further information as soon as we have it. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at isst@simons-rock.edu.

Thank you,

The International Student Support Team (ISST)