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General FAQ

Untitled design (19).pngFind below the answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 in relation to international students, scholars, faculty and staff at MSU. 

Where can I find official MSU communications related to COVID-19?

MSU has an official COVID-19/coronavirus website

How can I access OISS services?

OISS staff are working remotely. Call the office for general assistance at 517-353-1720 during normal business hours, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. OISS staff are available for advising appointments via Zoom and text conversations during our Live Chat hours.

  1. Appointments
    Appointments will be 20-minute Zoom video conference sessions, scheduled with an advisor 
  2. Live Chat Advising
    15-minute text conversation sessions, live with an advisor from 1-3pm, Monday-Friday 

Access the Appointments and Live Chat Advising system now

I'm having financial challenges. What financial support is available for international students and scholars?

Another problem the COVID-19 pandemic may create for international students and scholars is financial hardship. If you are struggling to pay rent, pay for your tuition, or are experiencing other financial distress, please make an appointment with an OISS advisor to discuss your options. OISS has limited financial assistance available to help international students and scholars facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. Please visit the Financial Assistance web page for other funding options across campus.

Can I return home? Should I return home?

MSU and OISS support you in making the best decision for your specific situation.
Make sure you will be able to access the online course materials needed to complete your spring semester coursework. MSU has created a "Keep Learning" website with resources for virtual learning.

If you fall into one of these categories, you should schedule an appointment with an immigration advisor in OISS to discuss your options:

  • Visa is expiring before your anticipated return date to the U.S.
  • You plan to apply for post-completion work authorization to seek employment in the U.S. after graduation.
  • You are from a country/region that is affected by recent travel restrictions, both related and unrelated to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

Do I have health insurance? Will it cover me for COVID-19 related tests and costs?

The MSU Student Health Insurance Plan coverage is not disrupted by the change to online classes. Questions about MSU's Student Health Insurance Plan can be directed to the HR Solutions Center, or by calling 517-353-4434.
Currently the COVID-19 test is 100% covered.

If you need help understanding health insurance policies, contact OISS Community Health Team at ihealth(at)
*If you have waived out of the MSU Student Health Insurance Plan, you must contact your respective health insurance company for health insurance coverage and details.

Is the Olin Health Center on campus still open? 

Health Services are still available for students at Olin Health Center. The Health Center is operating a bit differently to protect students.

The medical clinic is open at Olin Health Center for students who are ill. Students must schedule an appointment before they arrive. Students can call (517) 353-4660 or, if they are an established patient, they can make an online request for an appointment through the MyMSUHealth patient portal.

The laboratory at Olin Health Center is also open. The Pharmacy is closed temporarily during the COVID-19 situation. MSU Pharmacy services are available at the Clinical Center location. 

As Olin Health Center medical services are considered essential, Olin will remain open during the summer and into the fall.

Current hours to call for an appointment are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 11:45 am and 12:45 to 4:50 pm.

Is there a way to access health care remotely? 

For students with the MSU Student Health Insurance Plan, you and your dependents now have access to online medical and behavioral health services anywhere in the United States.

That means you can access the following health providers online:

  • A doctor for minor illnesses such as a cold, flu or sore throat when your primary care physician isn't available, or when staying home to seek care is recommended.
  • A behavioral health clinician or psychiatrist to help work through different challenges such as anxiety, depression and grief (Behavioral health visits are available by appointment only.)

Follow the instructions on the Blue Cross Online Visits worksheet to get started.

A few reminders specific to international students and scholars:
You do not need to notify your primary care physician, MSU Student Health Services (Olin), when utilizing this program.
The flier states that normal fees will be charged. Under the MSU plan, students will not be charged anything for the online visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You will need the info on your Blue Care Network insurance card to access the service.

Do you need a card replacement, or more info about your Blue Care Network health plan? Contact Sarah Allen with BCN at SAllen2(at)

What should I do if I feel like I'm being treated unfairly, or experiencing harassment or discrimination due to concerns about the coronavirus?

If you are experiencing difficulties in relation to academics, contact the Office of the University Ombudsperson. The office phone number is (517) 353-8830. They are also available via email: ombud(at) You may also contact them through the online "problem report form."

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment on or off-campus, you can file a report with the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).