In light of the longer winter break this year, international students will be allowed to travel home between the end of the fall and beginning of the spring semester. International students will also receive additional financial aid to account for their travel or accommodations off campus during the break.
Yale College Dean Marvin Chun announced the changes in an email to international students on Monday night. In a typical year, international students’ aid packages account for one round trip to and from their home country, but due to the longer break, the College now plans to account for two round trips. International students will also receive the $750 that would typically be released to them prior to spring break to account for food and other accommodations while campus is closed during the break. All these funds will be available to students by the end of November.
“Just as with all of our financial aid policies, during this extraordinary year, we’re trying to make sure that students’ needs are met,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan told the News. “And clearly, with the longer winter break this year, the international policy of one round trip was not enough … So I’m super excited that we’re going to get all these funds out there in the next few weeks so students can use these aid dollars to make the best possible plans for themselves over winter break.”
Chun’s email said that the two allowances — for additional travel, and the typical spring break allowance — should be used either for travel back to one’s home country for break or for accommodations within the United States while the University is closed for break.
The email also announced certain criteria for international students to be eligible to stay on campus either during the exam period or for the entirety of winter break. Students eligible to stay during exam period must face conditions that make it difficult to travel or to learn at home, such as time zone differences or problems with Wi-Fi. Students may stay for the duration of break if they have demonstrated financial need to stay, or if they have “significant difficulties” with international travel, the email read.
Students who remain on campus during exams or break will be charged for their time on campus — $500 a week beginning Nov. 28, and then $550 from the travel allowance and $750 from the spring break allowance for those who wish to remain on campus for the duration of winter break.
“We reiterate our commitment to support our international community during this period when you are all faced with additional challenges regarding remote learning and international mobility,” Chun wrote in the email to international students.
This announcement came after University President Peter Salovey reiterated the University’s commitment to financial aid in an email to the student body last week. The email, which announced the latest phase of the Belonging at Yale initiative, pointed to “shoring up financial aid for all students with need” as one of the initiative’s chief goals.
Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid Scott Wallace-Juedes told the News that the University’s reaffirmed commitment to financial aid is “really heartening.” He points to this latest change in international students’ financial aid as an example of ways the University is looking to support its students during the pandemic.
“We really felt like it was important to [increase international students’ aid] in recognition that this year is different,” Wallace-Juedes said. “And if we’re really trying to say, for health and safety reasons, all students should leave campus, we want to make sure that international students are funded in such a way that they’re able to as well.”
Winter break this year will last from Dec. 18 to Feb. 1, as announced in an email to the Yale student body on Oct. 6.
Amelia Davidson | firstname.lastname@example.org