International Students

Updated January 5, 2022

Spring 2022 SEMESTER

For all F-1 and J-1 students:

Rhodes will begin the semester on January 12 in our remote learning environment. All classes will be on Zoom from January 12 through January 28. Starting January 31, classes will switch to in-person instruction. Your instructors will share the Zoom classroom information with their classes, so please check email frequently. Please read the Spring 2022 Return to Campus FAQ for more details. And, you can also read the Guidance for International Students site for details, too.

If you need to move onto campus earlier, as in the case of new international students, RAs, some athletes, etc., you may request permission to move onto campus earlier via the Spring 2022 Early Return Request form. The deadline to complete this form is January 5.  

Please understand that in-person services will be limited while the campus is in remote status through January 31. For instance:

  • Meals will be available on campus as pick-up/take-away meals; no dining halls will be open for eating inside. 
  • The gym will be closed.
  • The library will be closed, generally, unless students request special permission to use the library at special times.
  • This does not include Campus Safety; there will be safety officers on hand to assist students as usual.

Even though in-person student services will be limited, you may still find help from Rhodes staff working remotely during usual work hours via Zoom, email, and phone.

As far as the international student services office goes, there will always be at least one member of the Buckman Center staff on campus during work hours through January 31 to assist you. The other two members of the team will also be available, though they may be working remotely.

Regarding COVID Vaccinations: 

Please upload your COVID vaccination document to Medicat prior to your arrival.

If you are unable to obtain a WHO-Approved vaccine before arrival, but you do want to be vaccinated, email Dr. Erin Hillis right away.  If you can’t be vaccinated, contact Melissa Butler ( immediately.

*WHO-Approved Vaccines

  • Pfizer 
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • Moderna
  • Sinopharm / BIBP
  • Sinovac
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • CoronaVac

Information for New Students (Class of 2025) 

Traveling to the U.S.: Your arrival date to campus is set for Saturday, January 8, 2022.

  1. Before departing for the U.S., you need to have a negative COVID test within tone day prior to boarding your plane to the U.S.
  2. Students who are fully vaccinated with a WHO-Approved vaccine: Please upload your vaccination documentation to Medicat. After your arrival, you may move freely about the campus; you will not be required to test or to quarantine.

Here’s what you can expect for arrival and orientation:

  1. Even though Rhodes is beginning the semester in our remote environment, the International Student Orientation will be in-person. Check your email for times and locations.
  2. Rhodes staff or student volunteers will pick you up at the Memphis International Airport on January 8, no matter how late at night you arrive – even midnight!
  3. You will go from the airport to your residence hall; we will assist you in moving in and getting settled.
  4. Students will be required to begin isolation immediately if they begin to develop symptoms or if the test result is positive. In-person International Student Orientation will begin on January 9. Orientation is full of important items such as the academic culture at Rhodes and where and how to get help if you need it, but also helpful logistic assistance, too, like setting up bank accounts, getting appointments at the social security office, and making friends with your new international family.
  5. On January 10, you will attend the regular new student orientation under the direction of New Student Programming. There you will meet students who are also new to Rhodes; these other new students will be from the US.
  6. Classes begin after regular new student orientation.

“Intercultural Adaptation” Course: We will enroll all new international students in the in-person class on intercultural adaptation. This course meets during seven weeks of the semester. 


Regarding Non-WHO-Approved Vaccines and/or Mixed Vaccines: We have consulted with doctors about these questions, and this is the advice we have received:

  • We strongly recommend that you consult with your physician about your vaccination status and questions. This is especially true if you have a non-WHO-Approved vaccine, or you have a mixed vaccine series, or you, in any way, will not have had a full vaccination series of a WHO-Approved vaccine.
  • A person should compete a full vaccination series. So, if Astra Zeneca is the first shot, the second shot should be Astra Zeneca as well.
  • If the person has started a series other than Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson, and then has to travel to the United States before the series can be completed, they would need to start over with two shots of the Pfizer/Moderna or one shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. If you had one shot of either Pfizer/Moderna/Johnson and Johnson before traveling, then you’d simply complete the series in Memphis.
  • The Pfizer or Moderna is recommended more strongly than the Johnson and Johnson.
  • Having only 1 shot of any vaccine (except Johnson and Johnson) is like being unvaccinated.

Students who have received a vaccine which has NOT been approved by WHO (any which do not appear on the list above) or have received mixed vaccines should email Dr. Erin Hillis right away.  

Commonly Asked Questions

Does my international student insurance cover COVID-related issues?

The international student health insurance plan, GeoBlue, will cover medically necessary COVID testing and treatment, when you are present within the U.S. (or even worldwide, except for when present in your home country). GeoBlue does not cover asymptomatic COVID testing. Please read these links by GeoBlue for more information, and contact  Rachel Gasser if you are not sure whether or not you are enrolled in the GeoBlue policy.

My Rhodes medical forms say that I must have other vaccinations to come to Rhodes, but I can’t get some of those vaccinations in my country. What do I do?

You must have the following vaccinations/immunizations before you can attend class at Rhodes:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (2 doses of each, normally given together as MMR)
  • Varicella (2 doses or credible history of disease)
  • Meningococcal
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) – only for health science students expected to have patient contact (before patient contact begins).

If you can’t obtain these vaccinations in your home country, we will assist you in getting them in Memphis once you arrive. Please write an email to Ms. Adora Browne to tell her that you plan to obtain the vaccine for: (list the specific vaccines) when you arrive in Memphis.  See this site for more information.

Do I need to have my I-20s signed?

You may lawfully enter the US if: 1) The travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 is no more than a year old when you attempt to reenter AND 2) your F-1 visa in your passport is still valid. If you need a new travel signature, email Dr. Erin Hillis.