International Student Frequently Asked Questions: Spring 2021

Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding Spring 2021: 

Application Deadlines 

Are there any changes to the application deadlines?

DVC has extended the application deadline until December 1. The deadlines for CCC and LMC remain the same.

Admissions Requirements 

English Language Proficiency  

 Financial Support Evidence

Do I need to show financial support evidence to be admitted for Spring 2021 even though I will be enrolling in online courses from my home country?   

Financial support evidence is not needed for new students who enroll in online courses from outside of the U.S. for Spring 2021.  However, financial support evidence will be required in order to be issued an I-20 and obtain an F-1 visa for on-campus, in-person instruction for Fall 2021. 

If you are transferring from a U.S. institution, you must provide financial support evidence to be admitted to DVC. 

I-20s and F-1 Visas

2. When will I-20s be issued for Spring 2021?

I-20s are issued 5-7 days after a student is admitted to DVC.

3. Will  DVC issue  I-20s even if students are unable to apply for F-1 visas now ?

Yes. I-20s will be updated as necessary with the appropriate program start date.

4. How will I receive my I-20?  

 All I-20s will be emailed. Original I-20s will only be mailed upon request. 

6. What if I cannot get a visa before the start of the Spring 2021 semester? 

Students admitted for Spring 2021 who are outside of the U.S. have the option to begin their program of study online from their home country. Students intending to study online from their home country dnot need a student visa. Please communicate with the International Student Office at DVC about your situation.  

7. If I've already received an I-20 for Spring 2021, may I defer to Fall 2021?

Yes, an updated I-20 will be issued with a new program start date. 

9. If I defer to Fall 2021, do I need to prepare updated financial support documentation?

If you have already been issued an I-20 for Spring 2021 and have not obtained a visa, it is strongly recommended that you prepare updated financial support documentation for the visa appointment

10. If I’ve been issued an F-1 visa for Spring 2021, do I need a new visa if I defer to Fall 2021?

You do not need a new visa if your current visa is valid past the date of entry into the U.S. Please check the expiration date on your visa.

Travel to the U.S.

2. Are students required to self-quarantine for 14 days when entering the U.S.?

This depends on U.S. immigration regulations in effect at that time. Currently the answer is yes. 

3. Where have other students self-quarantined?

Students have stayed at either a local hotel or rented rooms through Airbnb for their quarantinesThe need to do so depends on U.S. immigration regulations in effect at that time. 

Online Instruction & Support

1. What if I am unable to register for a hybrid course after arriving in the U.S.? 

The answer is specific to each student. Students should email the International Student Office at to learn more about their options. 

2. What if I decide to drop the hybrid course? Will this affect my F-1 status?

It will affect the student’s F-1 status only if the student drops below 12 units.

3. What resources are available to help students search for hybrid classes?

A list of hybrid classes can be found using the InSite Course Schedule Search feature

4. Where can I view online and hybrid (combination of online and in-person) courses offered?

A list of hybrid classes can be found using the InSite Course Schedule Search feature.

5. What is the difference between an asynchronous and synchronous class? 
  • Asynchronous: There is not specific time and day the course meets. In this case, the time zone in which a student is taking the course does not matter. 

  • Synchronous: The course has a specific meeting time and day. Classes are offered in pacific time zone. Daylight Savings Time will take effect on Sunday, March 14th. 
6. Will online classes be asynchronous? 

Most classes will be asynchronous, though each class will have its own schedule. Students should carefully check the scheduling notes of each section to determine if a given class schedule includes synchronous instruction. 

7. How will students know which courses are asynchronous when looking at course descriptions?  
  • Asynchronous courses will have “ONLINE” included in the meeting days/times column of the schedule. No days or times will be listed. The comments section will not include references to any required orientations or synchronous class sessions.  

  • Synchronous courses will list the days and times of instruction OR there will be specific synchronous meeting sessions listed in the comments section of the course schedule. All courses times are given in Pacific Standard Time. 

8. What are operating system requirements for taking online courses?

 Students can use any operating system (PC, Mac, Android, iOS) for taking online courses. 

9. What are other technical requirements for taking online courses?

It is recommended that students have access to a desktop or laptop with audio and video capability and reliable Internet access. Students may use mobile phones, though they will be expected to do extensive typing.

10. What video software will online courses use? 

 All courses will use Zoom software.  Students should contact course instructors to ask if any social media such as YouTube will be used that may be blocked (not accessible) in their region. 

11. How will students access online courses? 

 All online courses will be on Canvas. Here are helpful Canvas and online learning links for students: 

14. Do students need to purchase textbooks for online courses?

Yes. Most online courses require the purchase of e-textbooks. E-textbooks can be purchased online from the college’s bookstore or through another provider. Some courses require the purchase of an online ‘course pack,’ which includes access to reading, exercises, and quiz materials. Students can purchase online textbooks or course packs using a credit card. However, many courses use open online resources and do not require purchase of course materials. Those courses are designated as ZTC – Zero Textbook Cost  

15. How do I get academic counseling help to complete my student education plan?

 Students can book appointments online. Online drop-in counseling is also available. Please visit the Counseling Center website for details. 

16. How do I register for online classes?

Registration can be done online through InSite from your home country. Priority registration dates and times are listed in InSite under the Registration tile. Students may register for classes until midnight of the day before the class starts.  

17. Am I required to enroll in a full course of study (12 units) if I am outside of the U.S.? 

Students who have an active I-20 must enroll in a full course of study in order to maintain F-1 status (12 units).  Students admitted for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 who do not have an active I-20 do not need to enroll in a full course of study. For additional information, please contact the DVC international Student Office. 

19. By when do I have to pay the tuition for online courses?

Students should pay the tuition for their classes as soon as possible. However, if they need to pay in installments or wait to pay, they will not be charged late payment fees.  Registration holds will be placed on accounts with outstanding balances. This hold will block registration for the following term. 

20. Will students be allowed to attend the first few sessions of online courses before deciding whether to continue in or drop a course?

Yes. The deadline to drop a full-term course with eligibility for fee refund or credit is February 5, 2021. 

21. Will students be able to receive online tutoring?

Yes. Free online tutoring is available to all students through any Canvas course. 

22. How much time per week can students expect to spend for each online course?

Students can expect to spend 6 to 9 hours per week (on and offline) per every 3-unit course. 

23. What other online learning expectations should students be aware of?  

 Students should be prepared to actively participate in online courses through frequent interactions with instructors and classmates. This includes contributing to online discussions. 


Will DVC offer an online orientation to replace the in-person orientation for Spring 2021?

Yes. DVC will hold the Spring 2021 orientation on Thursday, January 21st, 2021 from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm PST.

Health and Insurance

Are students required to purchase international student health insurance for Spring 2021 if they remain outside of the U.S. until the Fall 2021 semester?

No. Only students located in the U.S. are required to purchase the international student health insurance policy.

What if I need to see a doctor?

All international students in the United States are required to have health insurance. If you are enrolled for Spring 2021 and inside the United States, you do have health insurance and are currently covered through August 9th, 2021.

Please visit the GeoBlue Website to download your insurance card if you are in the United States: . If you have any problems downloading your insurance card, please email the International Student Office at Make sure to include your DVC student ID number and full name.

 Visit the GeoBlue website for general information or to find a doctor.


Requesting and Submitting Documents

How do I request documents: Enrollment verifications, letters, transfer eligibility forms, etc.? 

Send an email to including your full name and DVC ID number. Please describe what you are requesting and attach any forms you need completed in pdf format. We will only accept requests and attachments from Insite email account (your DVC email). 

How Do I submit my OPT application?

Schedule a virtual appointment with an ISO advisor using our online scheduling system: . Send an email to from your Insite email account with your full name and DVC ID number. Attach your completed I-765 form, G-1145 form, and G-1450 form. The advisor will review your documents during your Zoom appointment and create your OPT I-20 at that time. You will receive your OPT I-20 via email as a pdf attachment and you will need to print and include it in your OPT application package.


Additional Questions and Support

How do I speak with an ISO advisor?

Zoom advising sessions will be available during regular advising appointment hours. Schedule a 15-minute appointment online through the website: or sign in for a 5-minute drop-in session during drop-in hours on Wednesdays. You will be able obtain authorization for below units (if eligible) as well as a full range of other advising topics and resources. Topics include: F1 Immigration Regulations, Travel, SEVIS Transfer, Employment Authorization (CPT & OPT), Health Insurance, and Below Unit Authorization. Advising hours are listed on the international student homepage. 

Additional Resources