Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for NEW Spring 2020 International Students (F-1 visa holders)

Situations are changing quickly, and International Education (IE) will update information as accurately, clearly, and quickly as possible to help you make an informed decision. We appreciate your flexibility, patience, and understanding. Again, thank you very much for choosing Bellevue College (BC) to be your school choice!

Admissions Related Topics:

College offices are open for business, in limited capacity. Offices on campus continue to provide service, but many offices have moved to online services for at least until April 24, ‘20. Before coming to campus, please check the department websites for updated information on how to reach them. Please note that hours may need to be updated on a daily basis, so check the websites often.
If you are BC student and have not yet signed up for the BC emergency alert notification system, we urge you to sign up immediately at

BC campus is open for business; however, nearly all services including International Education (IE) office are available via phone, email, and online meetings only at least until April 24, 2020.

General International Education (IE) Email for all questions.
425-564-3185 and

If you have admissions and immigration related questions:
Christine Lewis – Applicants with last name starting with A to J
425-564-2420 and

Zilin Zheng – Applicants with last name starting with K-Q
425-564-2409 and

Leigh Marlowe Zoller – Applicants with last name starting with R – Z
425-564-3081 and

Katie Pappas – Assistant Director of Int’l Admissions
425-564-3221 and

We recommend you change your starting quarter to a future quarter (such as Fall 2020).

In effort to slow the spread of the virus, the Washington State Governor issued many strict public health guidelines. For example, all schools, colleges, and universities in WA state are closed (or use an online system) until April 24, 2020. All restaurants, bars, theaters, church, and other events are closed at least until March 30, 2020. Restaurants are open for take-outs only, no sitting allowed in the stores.

This is a very unusual time for everyone, and it will be more challenging to new international students. Final decision should come from the student and their family, but we recommend you change the starting quarter if you are still in your home country.

To change your starting quarter, please contact your International Admissions Specialist above (See Q2). They will review everything and help you with new I-20 form.

Please follow the U.S. government officers’ instructions at the airport or border. You may be asked about your travel history, health conditions. If you are coming directly to the U.S. from countries with widespread or ongoing transmission listed at, you will be asked to stay home for 14-days and monitor your conditions.

IE strongly advises you follow the instructions, do not go outside, and limit your contact with others including your roommate, host family, etc.

We are glad that you are here! Spring New International Student Orientation will be all online. Please have these things ready:
 A computer, tablet or mobile phone with internet
 Create a BC NetID and BC student email address – Go to
 Check your BC student email and wait for more instructions from the IE Admissions – Message will go out by Friday, March 20, 2020.
 Access your International Student Portal (ISP) using your BC NetID – the same online system you used to apply to BC
 Having trouble accessing? Please contact your BC International Admissions Specialist for help.

Bellevue College (BC) spring classes will start remotely from April 8, ‘20 using online classes at least until April 24, 2020, including Intensive ESL classes. If COVID-19 situations are better by then, remaining classes will be switched to original format of on-campus, hybrid, etc. Students will need to return to on-campus classes in-person at that time.

No. Spring New International Student Orientation will be delivered via online. Please see Q5 and set-up your NetID and computer at home.

Bellevue College (BC) spring classes will start by being held remotely (online) from April 8th at least until April 24, 2020. You can stay in your house or apartment to start taking classes remotely.

It is very important for you to complete the 14-day stay home rules. IE staff will provide as much help as possible via email, phone, and online meeting to help.

As of March 17, ’20, if you are still in your home country, IE strongly recommends you change your starting quarter to a later term such as Fall 2020, especially if you are a brand-new student to an American college.

You may not be able to enter the US after April 1st, as that is the start date on your Spring I-20. If you are a new international student, you will need to be inside of the US for us to confirm your F-1 status with the government. If you are not in the US, we will cancel your F-1 status. If you would prefer to arrive for Summer or Fall quarter instead, please contact your International Admissions Specialist.

Online courses tend to be harder for most international students, at least until they get used to them. Starting an online course without proper orientation, placement, and advising is not recommended. Your grades are permanent record and cannot be removed.

If you are changing the starting date from Spring to Fall 2020, for example, you need to contact your International Admissions Specialist to get your new I-20 form. As long as your passport, F-1 visa, and I-20 are valid, you should be able to use the visa you already have to enter the U.S. However, to be sure, we recommend you contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you got your F-1 visa.

Yes, BC’s on-campus housing is open. Please check their website for important dates at and Housing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Contact the Housing office to inform your expected arrival date and time.
Your room comes with a bed, desk, and a chair. Each room is equipped with a kitchen and bathroom(s) but you need to buy essentials like blankets, pillow, sheets, kitchen items, toilet papers, and foods almost immediately. Pizza kitchen on the ground floor will stay open even when BC offices are working remotely. They have good pizza!

English and Math Placement and Class Selections:

Due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, the Placement & Testing Services Office has moved to online only services. For specific questions related to English & math placement, clearing perquisites and other test questions, the best way to reach them is to use the Online Ticket Request for help or information. To submit a ticket related to testing questions, go to

Some college-level F-1 students may already have their English placement input in the system. Please contact your International Admissions Specialist (see Q2) if you have questions about placement result.

Math placement test will likely be done online remotely. Please submit a ticket when you are ready to take the tests.

New Intensive English students will be asked to check which English as a Second Language (ESL) classes they want to self-place in. These results will be sent to ESL instructors for review. New Intensive English students will choose their reading, writing/grammar and speak & listening classes. You will be emailed with separate information about this along with orientation information.

On Day 1, ESL teachers will give new students an online diagnostic test to evaluate their students’ English proficiency. If a student scores very low or very high on the diagnostic, the teacher will contact the students individually and discuss options of moving down or up in levels.

Please contact your IE advisor (see Q19) and schedule an online advising session. You must speak with your advisor before March 31.

After you have an initial advising session with your advisor via online, you may be given online registration access to change your classes. Your advisor will explain the process, and there will be information about this in the online orientation.

Due to ongoing adjustments, class-registration related deadline (example late registration deadline) will be updated on the BC’s main website at as soon as more details are decided.

Available Help to Get Ready for Online Classes:

  1. Have a reliable computer and secure Wi-Fi
  2. Set up your NetID and BC e-mail
  3. View basic CANVAS tutorial resources at
  4. Watch recorded CANVAS workshop at
    Contact your teacher for class specific help. Give your BC student ID#, your full legal name and state your questions/problems clearly. Follow your teacher’s advice.

Drop-in Computer Lab (N250) is open Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Schedules may change, so please check the website before you leave home.

Until further notice, everyone must check their own health every day. If you have a cough and/or fever over 100.4F (38C), you need to stay at home and limit your contact with other people.

When you come to BC campus including the computer lab, office, or Bookstore, you need to keep at least 6 feet (about 1.8m) with others. This is called “Social Distancing”, and everyone must follow.

Contact your teacher for class specific help. Give your BC student ID#, your full legal name and state your questions/problems clearly. Follow your teacher’s advice. Teachers also know that learning online is difficult, especially for new students.

Also contact your IE advisor for advice.

If you have academic and immigration related questions:

Carla Honkanen – College-level students with last name starting with A to J
425-564-2505 and

Aidrien Wilkins – College-level students with last name starting with K-Q
425-564-3046 and

Angela Leung – College-level students with last name starting from R – Z
425-564-3075 and

Heather Woods – All English Language Institute (ELI) students (Intensive ESL, Bridge, and IBP)
425-564-2002 and

Katie Pappas – All International High School Completion (IHSC) students
425-564-3221 and

Brad Huggins – Assistant Director of International Student Advising & Support
425-564-3073 and

Insurance Related Questions:

Nearly all F-1 students on BC’s I-20 are required to join the BC-Foundation arranged medical insurance for duration of enrollment including an approved vacation term. Quarterly medical insurance fee ($381) is attached to your international student tuition. When you pay your tuition before first day of the quarter, you are also paying for your insurance fee for that term. To be sure, please contact your IE advisor to verify coverage.

Please go to the Firebird International Insurance Company’s website and choose “Bellevue College” at

Please be sure to present the correct insurance ID card. For the Academic Year (AY) 2019-20 (starting from Fall 2019), BC-Foundation arranged insurance plan is called WebTPA. If your doctor’s office have any questions about coverage, please ask them to call Firebird at 206-909-8550.

Please go to the Firebird International Insurance Company’s website and choose “Bellevue College”, or follow the link below:

Please pay online at with your VISA or MasterCard. Please email your advisor if you have difficulty doing this.

Tip – When you use online payment to input your local address, avoid using special characters like #, $, or @. System may not recognize these characters and will not accept the payment.

Please contact the director of International Education, Kazumi, at She will send you the “Dependent Insurance Request” form to complete. Once you complete the form and send it back to the director, she’ll review the eligibility and add the fees for your dependents. Then you can pay online, same as where you would pay for tuition.

Not all dependents are eligible to join BC-Foundation arranged plan, so please be careful.

If you have many bills, please put them in chronological order by date. Scan or take clear picture of each bill front and back and email them to Firebird Int’l Insurance Company with your full legal name, BC Student ID. Also cc

BC Facilities and Services Related Questions:

IE office has drastically reduced on-campus service from March 17 to April 24, 2020. Immigration documents pick-up and drop-off will be available every Wednesdays between 8:00am and 12:00pm only. There will not be in-person advising.

If you have a cough or fever over 100.4 F (or 38C), do not come to BC campus. Email us at or call us at 425-564-3185. Lease your BC student ID number, full legal name, and the TEL# where we can reach you.

Last Updated April 5, 2021