International Students

All international students and scholars are encouraged to refer to the latest information on the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the links below to explore FAQs on the ISSS website.


I am traveling from an international destination. Do I need to get tested before I board my flight?

According to a CDC order, “if you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).” Please continue to check the CDC website as guidance evolves.

I traveled internationally and am returning to campus, am I required to quarantine?

According to CDC guidance for international travelers, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to self-quarantine after travel. All individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) should test as soon as possible upon return. (Building access will not be affected by this test result if individuals have a university-verified vaccine in the MyMcKinley Portal.)

Travelers who are NOT fully vaccinated need to self-quarantine for 7 days and get tested 3-5 after arrival. Afterwards, non-vaccinated individuals should resume their regular testing schedule.

If I have a relative traveling with me to campus who is not vaccinated, where can they stay while in quarantine? Do they need to be vaccinated to be on campus with me?

According to CDC guidance for international travelers, travelers who are NOT fully vaccinated need to self-quarantine for 7 days and get tested 3-5 days after arrival. Under the rules of quarantine, individuals may quarantine together, beginning and ending the quarantine on the same dates. Campus will not have the necessary quarantine space and so such arrangements will need to be made with local hotels unless the student is in an apartment that is not being shared with non-quarantining individuals.


If I am unable to get vaccinated before the start of classes, what should I do?

Individuals who are unable to get vaccinated in time for the start of the semester must follow the university’s COVID-19 testing program until they are fully vaccinated.

I am fully vaccinated, but unfortunately, the vaccine isn’t CDC/WHO recommended yet. Should I still submit the COVID-19 vaccination report?

No. Please only upload Vaccination Record Cards to the MyMcKinley Portal if they are CDC/WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. These are the only records that will be reviewed and accepted by the university for the student requirement and for Building Access in the Safer Illinois app and the Boarding Pass.

I am an international student who is able to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in my home country. However, I will have to be on campus before I’m able to receive my final dose, and it is not available in Champaign-Urbana. What should I do?

From a health perspective, according to the CDC, you should take whatever vaccine is made available to you first. It is important to be vaccinated as soon as possible once it’s your turn and not wait.

To meet the university COVID-19 vaccine requirement, the university is accepting vaccines approved by the CDC and the World Health Organization. Based on guidance from the CDC and CUPHD, you must have completed all doses in an accepted vaccine series reflected on your Vaccination Record Card to meet the university requirement. The CDC says COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series has not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.

If you cannot get all doses of an approved vaccine before you return to campus, you will be able to receive all doses of an approved vaccine upon your arrival. You may consider moving back to campus early in order to be fully vaccinated sooner. However, if you are not able to be fully vaccinated before the start of the Fall 2021 semester, you should receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Until you are fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted vaccine and your Vaccination Record Card has been submitted and verified by the McKinley Health Center, you are required to continue the COVID-19 testing program.

Do I still have to participate in the on-campus COVID-19 testing program after receiving a vaccine?

If you have a university-verified Vaccination Record Card in the MyMcKinley portal, you will no longer be required to submit a saliva sample regularly for compliance and building access. If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and have not uploaded your Vaccination Record Card in the MyMcKinley Portal, please do so as soon as possible. Individuals who do not have a verified vaccination record will continue to be required to participate in the COVID-19 on-campus testing program. For instructions on how to upload your Vaccination Record Card, visit the Vaccine page.

Please note that even individuals who have a verified Vaccination Record Card on file will still have full access to the COVID-19 testing program and may continue testing.

I have recovered from COVID-19. Should I be vaccinated?

The university is following guidance from the CDC that says individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated with a university-accepted COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

International Student updates