On February 27, KAIST Provost and Executive Vice Principal Kwang-Hyung Lee posted an announcement regarding the introduction of online education for at least two weeks, starting from March 16. This decision was made to minimize person-to-person contact, as South Korea remains on high alert due to the COVID-19 outbreaks. As of February 28, there have been 2,337 confirmed cases in the country, with 13 cases found in Daejeon. The KAIST Herald reached out to International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) and the Student Life Team to answer questions about how the change affects students and their travel plans.
1. Will the dormitory schedule be changed because classes are to be held online for two weeks?
There will be an additional move-in period. Students can choose between two options:
- Moving in between March 12-15. (Original)
- Moving in after March 28. (Additional)
If students move in after March 28, they will be refunded three-week amount of dormitory fee.
[For students who want to cancel their dormitory application], there is a cancellation fee of 30,000 KRW, so usually 30,000 KRW is deducted from the refund. However, for this semester the cancellation fee is waived. Students must apply for dorm cancellation before March 6.
If you need more details, please contact the Student Life Team staff in charge at email@example.com.
2. Many international students face problems regarding flight rebooking and rescheduling. It was announced that classes will be held online for at least two weeks, meaning that it can be extended if the situation worsens. What is your advice for international students regarding choosing their flight schedules back to Korea?
Since world-wide COVID-19 infections are increasing, our advice is that if you are currently in your home country, please stay there and wait for further academic notices from KAIST. It is difficult to predict how the virus will spread, so as of now we cannot announce academic policies for April. As the situation with the virus is changing rapidly, we are seeking to minimize possible disadvantages to our students by making timely response measures and announcements.
3. In the case of students from countries with travel alerts (China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan), they can possibly be quarantined for two weeks upon returning to Korea. Will they have to return two weeks prior to the start of regular classes?
Currently only students who have visited China are quarantined. Students who have transited through any of the nine countries or have visited any of the 8 countries excluding China will be requested to perform self-monitoring. Please note that this policy may change according to virus updates in March.
4. Any other advice or things you would like to say to the KAIST international community?
As we are near the beginning of the spring semester and also because of the COVID-19 issue, ISSS is bombarded with emails every day. We apologize that we are unable to respond to your inquiries right away. We are reading all emails and taking your concerns and inquiries seriously. If you have any difficulties or ideas to share, please let us know.
We understand that our international students feel anxious and we sincerely want to respond to everyone, but because the situation is unpredictable it is not easy for us to provide answers right away. We hope you can understand this situation.
We will do our best to quickly share with you updates and official notices made at KAIST.
*This article will be updated as we get responses from ISSS and the Student Life Team.