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Preliminary Guidance for International Students

June 23, 2020

It is hard to believe it has been over three months since many of you departed campus. It feels both like yesterday and like it's been too long. During this time, Seaver College has been developing plans for the resumption of in-person classes on the Malibu campus in the fall while also considering how best to accommodate those students unable to return. Additionally, the University is closely monitoring travel guidelines. The intent of this communication is to provide you with preliminary guidance regarding your arrival to campus as a new or returning student and to provide an update on plans for online classes. I am hopeful this information is helpful as you continue your planning for fall semester and beyond.

Travel to the US

Seaver College international students who are currently living abroad and planning to return to the US and Malibu for fall 2020 classes should be aware of the following entry requirements to the US:

  1. All travelers entering the US from abroad are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry. Full details here.
  2. International students may not enter the US if they have been in any of the following countries in the 14 days preceding their planned arrival in the US. Instead, these students will need to travel to a third country not included in the following list for a minimum of two weeks before traveling to the US (details). Countries currently include:
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Iran
    • Republic of Ireland
    • United Kingdom
    • European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)

Individuals should note that the quarantine periods listed in the two requirements are independent and cannot overlap with each other. Accordingly, a student who currently resides in Italy (as an example) will need to travel to another country not listed above and stay for at least 14 days to be allowed entry to the US. Upon entry to the US, the student will need to self quarantine for 14 additional days. This means students in any of the aforementioned countries will need to leave their homes a minimum of 28 days before the first day they will be able to interact with the Pepperdine University community.

University and college leaders understand the challenges these requirements present for students and their families. For that reason, we have reached out to contacts at the US Department of State to advocate for change. We will continue to monitor all travel and quarantine requirements carefully and update the Seaver College community should requirements or conditions change.

Quarantine Location

If you are scheduled to live on campus in the fall semester, the University can assist by providing a location for your 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the US. All residential students are encouraged to contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life to seek the University's assistance in providing a quarantine location.

Students living off campus in the fall semester are responsible for providing their own 14-day quarantine location. The University may be able to assist with reserving accommodations in nearby hotels. Additionally, anyone using University assistance to reserve a quarantine location will need a negative COVID-19 test in the seven days prior to interaction with the University community. The Student Health Center is exploring solutions that would allow students to order self tests to be delivered to their quarantine location. The University will update this guidance as more information becomes available.

Required Arrival Dates

New Students

  • July 26: Required arrival date to the US
  • August 10: Move in
  • August 17: Classes begin

Returning Students

  • August 1: Required arrival date to the US
  • August 16: Move in
  • August 17: Classes begin

Students who cannot arrive in accordance with these schedules should contact the Office of International Student Services (OISS) at oiss@pepperdine.edu with questions.


Obtaining visas to study in the US may prove challenging as many consulates remain closed or are functioning at minimum capacity. For the most up to date information, please refer to the US Department of State website. If you have challenges obtaining your visa by the dates listed above, please contact the OISS.

Students with I-20s that show "Initial Attendance" or "Transfer Pending" under the Form Issue Reason must complete the Mandatory Arrival Report (MAR) form after they arrive in the US and within 10 days of their program start date printed on the I-20. Please contact the OISS with questions.


Seaver College is presently scheduling and developing online courses to meet the educational needs of international and immunocompromised students who are unable to return to campus in the fall semester. To help with these planning efforts, we need to know your plans for the fall semester. If you have been contacted by Seaver College to communicate your plans, please respond as soon as possible as your support in this effort is critically valuable. If you have yet to be contacted, please email Holly Calantog and provide a current email address and phone number. We will reach out to you as soon as possible.

It is our intent to provide courses to the greatest extent possible that allow each Seaver student to either begin or continue their educational journey uninterrupted. Currently, we are developing several online first-year general education courses to meet the needs of new students. Once we have accurate information on returning students, we will do our best to schedule online courses that meet as many needs as possible, including upper division and major courses.

New international students who are unable to return to campus will receive their online course schedule in late July. Returning international students unable to return to campus will have the opportunity to enroll in online courses when add/drop resumes on July 15. We ask for your patience as we adapt our courses and course schedules to serve the best interests of all international students. Please contact Holly Calantog with any academic related questions.

If you are unable to return to Malibu for the fall semester and must enroll in online courses, we are unsure at this time if your SEVIS record will remain active. In this case, you may be required to obtain a new SEVIS record and I-20 from OISS and pay a new SEVIS fee prior to the semester you return to Pepperdine. Please be sure to update the OISS on your plans.


For additional general questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at covid19info@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.8111.

I echo the sentiments of Seaver College faculty and staff when I say I miss you, and I hope you are continuing to find rest this summer. We all continue to navigate a confusing and uncertain time, but the University is here to support you as you prepare for the fall semester. In the meantime, you remain in my prayers for health and safety.


Michael Feltner
Dean, Seaver College