Information for International and EU students currently studying in Scotland
We are aware of the changing situation globally in respect to Coronavirus and as an international student here at Heriot-Watt University it is a worrying time being away from home.
We want to reassure you that your health and wellbeing is extremely important to us, and provide some information to allow you to make an informed choice on whether you decide to return home, or remain in Scotland.
Of particular concern to some, is the increasing restriction on travel around the world. Although airlines are reducing flights because of low demand, even countries that have put travel restrictions in place for visitors are allowing citizens of their country to travel home, providing they are well.
If you do decide you want to return home before the end of the semester on 3 April, we want to reassure you that Heriot-Watt University will not penalise you for the time you are away from class. Specifically, early return would not affect your return to the UK if you are on a tier 4 UKVI visa. You may also be concerned about the impact on your assessment. The University is making provision to support students to complete your assessment at a distance. We expect to be able to provide more detail when the examination timetable is published next Thursday 19th March. You should however continue to submit your coursework online if you do go home. If because of travel arrangements you expect to be late submitting work, please let your tutor know.
If you decide to stay in Scotland we will do everything we can to support you with your remaining studies and assessment. If you are in University accommodation and are worried you can’t return home, please talk to the residence life team and we will work with you to consider your options at the end of your accommodation lease. You will be aware that some other countries are closing Universities. We can’t tell you if or when such a decision will be taken in Scotland, but you should be aware that this is a possibility in coming weeks.
It will be a worrying time for your family as well, so you may want to talk to them about your options. Whatever you decide, we are committed to supporting your decision and ensuring we do everything we can to help you continue or complete your studies successfully.
If you are worried about the situation with family members at home, our wellbeing service in Hugh Nisbet Building in Edinburgh or the High Mill in Borders Campus can offer support and guidance. Our Chaplaincy Service in Edinburgh will continue to offer a friendly and welcoming service, and is available to all students, not just those in accommodation.
In the unlikely event that you do feel unwell, you should follow the NHS guidance and be ready to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. You also need to contact the Safeguarding Service to advise them, so we can advise you further on this . The University has a Coronavirus web page which provides guidance and FAQS. This can be found via the Student Portal or via https://www.hw.ac.uk/students/health-wellbeing/coronavirus.htm. If you do need to self-isolate or need to report other concerns to the University, you can do so via the SafeZone app which you have already downloaded https://www.hw.ac.uk/services/safeguarding/safeguarding.htm
You should also make the Global Student Office on firstname.lastname@example.org of your plans.
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