Fall and spring updates for international students and parents

International students and parents received this message on July 22, 2021.

Dear students and parents,

We hope that you are doing well and have been able to find some time to relax this summer. DKU continues to seek permission from the government for our international students to return to China for the 2021-2022 academic year. Unfortunately, we have not yet received that approval, nor do we know when it might be granted. We know that you have many questions about the upcoming fall and spring semesters. While we don’t have many definitive answers, we can provide some important updates and candidly discuss how we are preparing for a range of possible outcomes.

For Fall 2021

While we hope that international students will be permitted to enter China at some point during the fall semester, even if that occurred immediately it will not be possible for students to complete quarantine before the start of fall 2021 classes. Students who are currently committed to enroll at Duke or who are participating in DKU GO/GO-FLEX programs should proceed as planned and expect to complete the entire term in those programs.

Students enrolled at Duke or in DKU GO/GO-FLEX programs should drop DKU classes no later than their arrival onsite in their program, or once they are certain they will not face challenges enrolling in and arriving at their program. A separate email will be sent to students with instructions.

If international student returns are approved during the fall semester, students will need to apply for visas at the nearest designated Chinese consulate. In that event, students enrolled at DKU remotely should plan to travel to China as early as possible. Students at Duke or on DKU GO/GO-FLEX programs should prepare for return once courses have concluded in the location where they are enrolled (mid to late December). 

We will continue to support and advise students who are studying remotely in the fall.

NEW: All DKU seniors (international and U.S. citizens) studying at Duke in the fall will have the opportunity to enroll in Signature Work (SW) Capstone 495 as a Duke  independent study course. This class will transfer back to DKU as Capstone 495. If you are studying at Duke in the fall, please look for a separate email with instructions, course sections and schedule adjustments. You will still be working with your DKU SW mentor, even if you are enrolled in the Duke independent study course.

All seniors (Class of 2022) students should take the SW Capstone 495 course in the fall semester (whether remote, at DKU or at Duke):

All seniors (Class of 2022) students should review their progress report in DKU Hub and confirm your remaining graduation requirements. Please consult your advisor if you have any questions.

We are reviewing Signature Work project proposals and flagging those where we have concerns about completing projects remotely. We will be reaching out to those students and mentors directly. However, we also encourage you to speak with your SW mentor and the SW office if you have questions about completing your SW remotely.

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, we will continue to support all seniors who are pursuing graduate school, fellowships, and career opportunities beyond graduation through the Pathways to Success program. All students will have the full support and primary coordination from DKU Career Services, and will have access to Duke’s career services databases and alumni network. Programs, announcements and resources from DKU and through Duke will continue to offer the best support available for future success beyond DKU.

For Spring 2022

Again, we hope and expect that international students will be permitted to enter China in time for the spring 2022 term, but we also don’t know if, when and in what form that approval will be delivered. For that reason, we have developed a range of options for students, particularly our seniors who are preparing for graduation.

If permission is not forthcoming by early in the spring 2022 semester, it is unlikely that international Class of 2022 students will be able to return to campus in time for a spring 2022 in-person graduation ceremony at DKU. Similarly, even if students are permitted to return to China, it is possible that relatives or guests might not be permitted to enter on tourist visas.

There will be an in-person graduation ceremony at DKU, and we are committed to providing all students and families the opportunity to celebrate this important milestone. Some of our options include:

  • An in-person graduation ceremony for students at Duke (either joined with Duke’s ceremony, or separate for DKU students)
  • Inclusion of remote students in the live DKU ceremony on campus
  • A deferred, in-person ceremony for international students unable to attend a live graduation later in the summer or in the following fall 2022

Seniors who are studying at Duke will be able to take Capstone 496 through a Duke independent study. Further announcements will also detail adjustments to final Signature Work presentations and completion. The DKU independent study will count as a Duke course.

Should seniors be unable to return in spring 2022, DKU will ship personal belongings still in storage in China back to the country on your passport.

We are still working with Duke to evaluate potential spring 2022 capacity, and an email detailing what students will be prioritized for spring applications will be sent to all students by late September.

All DKU students at Duke will be able to dual-enroll in up to two DKU courses for spring 2022. DKU international students will have the opportunity to identify in-person academic experiences through DKU Global Opportunities (DKU GO) and DKU GO-Flex study away programs around the world.

Student Affairs will continue to facilitate programs, initiatives and services in a hybrid mode to accommodate students regardless of their location. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts about how the co-curricular student experience can be enhanced at dku-studentaffairs@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

Miscellaneous Notes, Relevant to Fall and Spring

We have carefully reviewed feedback from students and faculty regarding hybrid course instruction in AY2020-21. Our Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, and the division chairs are continuing to work with faculty to make improvements and ensure the quality of the academic experience for all students.

With all of these challenges, we are committed to helping students have the smoothest remote experience possible. Students who will be remote in the fall term with IT problems or challenges should contact:

  • China-based faculty/staff/students: 400-816-7100, (+86) 0512- 3665-7100
  • US-based faculty/staff/students: (+1) 919-660-1810
  • International-based faculty/staff/students can use either telephone option (recommend using tools like Skype calling)
  • Live Chat: https://oit.duke.edu/help
  • Email: service-desk@dukekunshan.edu.cn

If you need financial assistance to improve internet access, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies at ugstudies@dukekunshan.edu.cn.

Students considering a Leave of Absence (LOA) for any term should contact the Office of UG Studies prior to the start of the semester.

Be assured that we are working tirelessly to secure the return of international students to DKU, and we share your deep disappointment over the delays and uncertainly. The past 18 months have been the most trying time in our brief history, but we have all been inspired by the resilience of our global DKU community. We will be together again. Until then, we will continue to make plans to ensure the best and safest learning experiences possible.

With deep regard,

Office of Academic Affairs

Office of Student Affairs

Office of Undergraduate Studies

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Email: gareth.mcpherson@dukekunshan.edu.cn

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