This message was sent to all undergraduate international students.

August 18, 2020

Dear international students,

We hope this message finds you healthy and able to find moments of peace during these unsettling times. While these have been stressful moments for all of our students, we know that the uncertainty you all have faced has been particularly challenging. We have said it before, but we want you to know that we see you, and we are here for you.

As we enter the drop-add period, we wanted to reach out to ensure you are equipped with information to access classes that best fit your circumstances.


The best way to find accurate information regarding online asynchronous courses is through DukeHub, where students can easily search by this designation. Some faculty are willing to work with students studying remotely to ensure access to their class, even if the course is hybrid or in-person. We encourage you to contact faculty directly for more information about their courses. Many faculty are aware of the challenges faced by international students and expect to receive these types of messages.


Provost Kornbluth sent a message to all faculty several weeks ago indicating that if a student needs a particular course for a major or a graduation requirement, they can contact the instructor and academic dean to request an accommodation, allowing you to participate remotely. This class experience may not be identical to that of local students, but this is an option if you need a particular course to progress towards your degree.


As you may have seen, we recently implemented a new part-time policy for juniors and seniors for the fall semester. We took great care to learn what this would mean for international students, and we encourage you to review the policy details here: As always, you should contact Duke Visa Services and your academic dean for more information.


Please consider visiting your faculty members’ virtual office hours. These are a great way to get to know your instructors, seek support, and deepen your understanding of course content. Unfortunately, we’ve had to pause Flunch this semester, but the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) will soon launch VLearn, a new way to bolster faculty and student interaction this fall. You can learn more about VLearn at


During the semester, if feelings of stress, anxiety, or emotional state affect your daily activities, many resources are available to you (including those listed below). Duke encourages all students to access these resources, particularly as we navigate the transition and emotions of this time. Duke Student Government has worked with DukeReach and student advocates to create the Fall 2020 “Two-Click Support” Form, and Duke Reach has expanded its drop-in hours as well.

  • DukeReach. Provides comprehensive outreach services to identify and support students in managing all aspects of well-being. If you’re concerned about the physical or mental well-being of yourself or another student, visit the DukeReach website for resources and assistance.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS services available to international students include group counseling services and workshops and discussions. Due to licensure restrictions, individual counseling sessions are not available outside of North Carolina. Call (919) 660-1000 or visit to learn more.
  • Blue Devils Care. Offers 24/7 mental telehealth support to all students at no cost. To get started, visit Register once using your email address and Service Key DUKE2020, then you’ll be ready to use the service, using your US-based phone number.

Duke offers students several resources to seek assistance on coursework and improve overall wellness, some of which we list below.

We hope this information is helpful, and we look forward to making this a successful semester—together.

Go, Duke!

Gary G. Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost for Student Affairs