Dear UVM community members: I write to you as a former international student, one who was drawn by the strength of higher education in the United States, and who subsequently – I would like to think – added to that richness with my own knowledge, experience and discovery.  My story is not unique.

On university campuses throughout the country, and around the world, international students have been a major source of intellectual rejuvenation and diversity. They enrich our communities and contribute daily to breathtaking discoveries that have on many occasions propped up American industry. Indeed, they have been at the heart of creating a huge part of today’s economy in this the most affluent country in the world.

The University of Vermont is no different. We have many proud alumni who were international students here. And we continue to work hard to enrich and diversify our student body, to promote student and faculty exchanges and research partnerships with universities globally, and to educate our students to be global citizens.

As we currently prepare for a safe return to in-person instruction this fall, we continue to look forward to welcoming our international students into our supportive community, even if we find ourselves needing to rely on multiple modes of delivery including remote instruction.

However, the federal government has said that students on non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas attending schools operating fully online may not remain in the United States. Many have called for this policy to be reversed, including the head of our Association of Public and Land Grant Universities as stated in this article. I am also hopeful for change.

In the meantime, I want to take a moment to address our international students directly: We will continue to support you and provide you with important information. And we also will continue to work with our federal delegation on this issue. 

We look forward to welcoming you to campus in a few weeks. Please reach out to the Office of International Education, if you would like to discuss any concerns.

With my best wishes,



Suresh Garimella
University of Vermont



Suresh V. Garimella, President