Updated April 8, 2020, 12:45 p.m. EST
This page contains a list of frequently asked questions regarding the status of Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) amid the COVID-19 outbreak. See communications sent to the TUJ campus community.
EMERGENCY DECLARATION NOTICE:
Tokyo is now operating under an emergency decree until the end of Golden Week on May 6, and all universities have been asked to suspend operations. In keeping with the decree, all administrative operations will be maintained online, and the campus will be closed for the emergency period. Classes will continue to be taught online as they have since March 3.
Everyone is encouraged to heed the declaration, stay at home and follow guidance related to social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks and other precautions.
The declaration will be in effect until May 6, and TUJ anticipates opening the new undergraduate semester as scheduled on May 25.
The Executive MBA program will open online on May 2.
The LLM program is scheduled to start in person on May 9, and both the AEP and TESOL programs are scheduled to start in person on May 7. Students will be notified should any changes in course delivery from in person to online be necessary.
Who can respond to my questions?
- TUJ’s campus is closed, and all administrative work will be done online.
- The TUJ Information Center will be closed, but its dedicated telephone number (03-5441-9800 / 0120-86-1026) will be operative. The center can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Temple University’s Main Campus has a dedicated telephone number (+1-215-204-6000) and email account (email@example.com) being actively monitored from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) to handle questions regarding study abroad students and the university’s response to COVID-19.
- Other important contact information for students:
- Please feel free to contact the Office of Student Services or the Counseling Office.
- The Academic Advising Office will communicate with you remotely. To contact them, you may fill out the appointment form or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will answer your questions and assist you as quickly as possible.
- You can contact the Registrar's Office for records, transcripts and certificates at email@example.com.
- For Disability Resources and Services inquiries, contact May Watabe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Teaching & Learning Center is functioning online. Contact Andrew Merzenich to be connected with a tutor.
What is the current status of operations at TUJ?
- Classroom teaching has been suspended through the end of the spring 2020 semester.
- During this time, classes will be taught online so that students do not lose progress in their coursework.
- All U.S. students studying abroad in Japan have been advised to make plans to return to the U.S. as soon as possible in response to the U.S. Department of State’s issuance of a Global Level 4 Health Advisory and previously issued Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory.
- Due to an emergency declaration for Tokyo, the campus will be closed until the end of Golden Week on May 6. Students will be notified of any changes to this date.
- Updates and resources will be posted on this page.
Can students return to their home countries?
- Temple University study abroad (SA) students—either through the Education Abroad program for undergraduates or the Beasley School of Law JD study abroad program—have been advised to return to the U.S. as soon as possible, in light of the U.S. Department of State’s issuance of a Global Level 4 Health Advisory following the previously announced Do Not Travel global advisory.
- Because all classes will be held online for the remainder of the semester, students who were admitted directly by TUJ (JA students) and are not in Japan through the Main Campus EA program who wish to leave Japan may also do so if they wish. See “Travel issues” below.
Why did you decide to suspend classroom teaching at TUJ?
- We originally decided to temporarily suspend classroom teaching so we could make the changes necessary to implement the decision from Main Campus that SA students would be allowed to return to the U.S. while completing their Spring 2020 semester studies online. This decision was contemporaneous with a request by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that public schools close in order to curb COVID-19 transmission.
- We then decided to suspend classroom for the rest of the semester given the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and recent developments, in order to further protect our entire community and to provide greater clarity to student planning.
- Through this and other actions, TUJ is cooperating in society-wide efforts to facilitate “social distancing” intended to reduce the rapidity of the spread of COVID-19 and the severity of its possible impacts on individuals, health systems and organizations.
Is TUJ planning on canceling other activities?
- All events are canceled until the campus is reopened.
Does TUJ plan to resume classroom teaching this semester?
- No. We have now suspended in-person instruction for the rest of the spring semester.
Does TUJ plan to host summer and fall terms?
- Yes. At the moment, no changes are anticipated to summer and fall programs, and we expect they will operate normally.
- However, our management team will continue to monitor the situation. If need be, we will hold the summer semester online. If that is necessary, we will inform students by the end of April.
- If you are a direct admit student taking courses at TUJ in the summer, no matter what your nationality, we strongly urge you to consider remaining in Japan between semesters. If you must travel outside Japan, please be aware that you may face restrictions, including quarantine and possible airline disruptions, when you enter your destination country, as well as restrictions when reentering Japan.
- Before you travel outside Japan, be aware that as of April 3, and lasting for an indefinite period, travelers from the following countries are banned from entering Japan: the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom and European Union countries. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. For a complete list, visit the Japan Travel site.
- If you travel outside Japan to a country from which entry is not banned, or if the ban is lifted before you return to Japan for the summer semester, be sure to give yourself enough time to go through the necessary procedures in time to attend the opening of classes on May 25. Students should also note TUJ’s policy that requires any student who has traveled to during the previous 14 days to any countries designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being sites of widespread sustained community transmission of COVID-19 must self-monitor for 14 days from the date of their arrival into Japan, before coming to classes or dorms. Self-monitoring means staying home and avoiding gatherings and public spaces, including Temple’s campus and dorms.
Is TUJ providing any support for TUJ students who need housing?
- Yes. Any student who needs dormitory accommodations over the break between the spring and summer semesters may apply to use, at no charge, one of the TUJ-reserved rooms at the Musashi-Kosugi dorm.
- Students who are interested in staying in the dorm during the break period must fill out this form by April 8. Room allocation will be determined on a first come, first served basis.
- In addition, rooms in the Musashi-Kosugi dorm are being discounted to ¥250,000 for the summer semester.
- Learn more about the dorm.
How is TUJ monitoring the COVID-19 situation?
- Together with a team of officials at Temple’s Main Campus, TUJ management is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19. To assess risks related to study at TUJ and travel to and from Japan (such as restrictions and/or quarantine requirements), the university uses a number of resources.
- We are following university protocols to manage major health and safety issues. We track the advice of relevant Japanese ministries, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and our partner institutions in Japan; we also follow the guidelines of the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. CDC, and International SOS, the university’s international insurance and assistance provider.
How has TUJ been managing COVID-19 at its campus? Has anyone become sick with the virus?
- TUJ has followed guidance from the CDC, the WHO, Japanese governmental agencies, and our partner institutions in Japan regarding hygiene, social distancing and other issues, and classes were moved online in early March to facilitate social distancing recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When the emergency declaration was made for Tokyo, all administrative operations on campus were also suspended and moved to operate remotely.
- As of April 8, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 among TUJ faculty and staff, and there have been no confirmed cases among TUJ students.
Whom will TUJ contact with updates?
- TUJ will directly contact currently registered students with updates. Depending on the nature and/or urgency of the communication, or if we cannot reach the student, we may also reach out to students’ designated emergency contacts. All members of the TUJ community can find updates here.
What if am sick while remotely working or taking classes online?
- Students who cannot participate in their online classes due to illness are encouraged to contact their instructors as soon as possible, to notify them of their illness, and to determine how best to make up class time and assignments. If students are not able to contact their faculty due to their illness (e.g. if they are hospitalized), they can contact the Academic Advising Center (AAC) to assist with the notification process. If students face any additional impacts or concerns due to their time away, AAC staff (who can be contacted at email@example.com or 03-5441-9800 weekdays from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) are available. Online or in-person class attendance is an individual student responsibility and a matter between you and your professors.
- Faculty and staff who become ill while working remotely should notify their coordinator or supervisor and HR (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible if they are ill, so that arrangements can be made to cover classes or work, as necessary.
How will the online courses work?
- Your instructors will communicate with you about changes to syllabi and the process for submitting/completing course requirements digitally.
- Check individual course Canvas sites for updated content, assignments and notices.
- For questions, consult TUJ Associate Dean for Academic Affairs George Miller: email@example.com.
What structure will my online class have?
- This will vary from course to course. Information will be posted in Canvas and will be rolled out by individual professors.
- Some courses will use online live formats, others may use captured video and readings.
- Check Canvas for updates.
Will there be any changes to grading and withdrawal policies?
- Credit/no credit grading will be an option for undergraduate students, and pass/fail will be an option for graduate students, but you should check with undergraduate academic advising and your graduate program directors. Professional school (Beasley School of Law) grade options will be handled on a school-by-school basis.
- The undergraduate course withdrawal date has been moved from March 18 to the last day of classes. Withdrawal dates may differ for graduate programs, and professional schools (Beasley) will have the option of extending their withdrawal dates.
Can I visit campus to meet instructors or to use facilities?
- No. TUJ’s campus is closed until the end of Golden Week on May 6.
- For important student contacts, please refer to the "General" section above.
- Students should make inquiries as usual by emailing the relevant department.
- The TUJ library closed on Friday, March 27 and will remain closed until restrictions are lifted. However, library staff are monitoring their emails and assisting with research. If you need assistance sourcing information for your papers or studies, or have any difficulty accessing online resources, please contact Tom Boardman, head librarian, directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not be concerned about overdue items; all due dates will be extended. Students who have materials that they cannot return directly before leaving the country should contact Tom Boardman to determine how to make sure the items are returned to TUJ.
How will I continue my internship course?
- All internships will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Your internship sponsor may agree for you to work remotely; if not, please see if your faculty advisor can accommodate you with other academic material.
- Please reach out to the career development officer for questions: email@example.com or 03-5441-9873.
What about art courses?
- We will make sure that you will be getting credit for your art courses as well. Certainly, the studio courses pose a challenge, but options are being developed.
- Please continue to check Canvas.
What if I have a problem with WiFi at home?
- Many students have been using their mobile phones to complete their coursework, and the major mobile carriers (Docomo, AU, SoftBank, UQ Mobile, etc.) have now all extended additional free data to students due to the current situation. We understand that some of you may not be able to take advantage of this free data offer and may have incurred or will incur additional internet data expenses in order to complete the spring semester. For these students, TUJ would like to offer a 5,000 yen subsidy to cover the additional data expense.
- To apply for the subsidy, please complete this form.
Assistance for Study Abroad students leaving Japan
Has the Spring 2020 Study Abroad in Japan program been suspended?
- In response to the U.S. Department of State’s issuance of a Global Level 4 Health Advisory and a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory (first issued March 19), all U.S. students studying abroad in Japan have been advised to return to the U.S. as soon as possible.
- Specifically, the U.S. Department of State on April 3 wrote: Japan is experiencing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. Over the past 72 hours, more than 650 individuals across the country have tested positive, an increase of approximately 200 cases per day. On April 2, Japan saw the largest increase in cases since the outbreak of the virus. A growing number of medical and political leaders across the country are expressing concern that a surge in cases is imminent.
- U.S. citizens who live in the United States but are currently in Japan should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
- In light of announcements by the U.S. Department of State and the advice that U.S. citizens return to the United States, study abroad students have been urged to comply with the directive to depart Japan and return home as soon as possible, and to complete their courses online from home.
What happens next?
- So that we are aware of your plans, please complete the Temple Japan: Study Abroad Student Request for Remote Course Completion form.
- SA students should contact their airline or travel agent to arrange a return flight home. Please note that many U.S. carriers are waiving change fees.
- As SA students are in Japan under TUJ’s visa sponsorship, they must visit the Office of Student Services and complete the necessary exit procedures, which are specified in the International Student Handbook and on the TUJ website.
Will Temple pay for my flight costs to return home?
- You should be able to use the return portion of your existing round trip ticket. During times such as these, airlines may permit passengers to change their flights without penalty. We know, for example, that Delta, American and United Airlines are offering change fee waivers. If your change fees are not waived, please let us know and please keep your receipts.
How can I change my flight?
- Call the airline and tell them you are looking to change the original return ticket; ask if they can waive the change fee given the raised alert level for Japan (the CDC raised Japan to a Level 2 Travel Notice for on Feb. 19).
Will I be quarantined when I arrive in the U.S.?
- At the moment, we don’t have information about people being quarantined when they arrive in the U.S. We advise students to have in their hand-luggage necessities including clothing, toiletries, medications and charging devices for an extended period.
- While quarantine is uncertain, the CDC is urging that returning students self-monitor for 14 days. All students returning to Main Campus from Japan must actively self-monitor at home for 14 days.
- Main Campus classes moved to online and alternative learning methods beginning Monday, March 16.
- If you do not have someplace to stay for the 14-day period, please let Temple Main Campus know before you leave Japan.
- Self-monitoring for 14 days means staying at home as much as possible, and avoiding public places, including Temple’s campuses. You should limit your interaction with others, including visitors to your residence.
- You should also monitor your own health carefully, taking your temperature at least once a day.
- Most importantly, if you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, you should immediately contact health care professionals, either your family physician or local health authorities.
Where can I live if I decide to move back to Main Campus?
- Given that Main Campus students have been asked to vacate Temple University housing, there will be none available.
- Also be aware that the Main Campus has ended all in-person classes.
- If you plan to return to Main Campus in Philadelphia at all, we require that you let Student Health Services know prior to your arrival via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Whether you are near campus or not, you should self-monitor for at least 14 days after leaving Japan.
If the return of SA Students to the U.S. is mandated, will you help get my student home?
- If the return of SA students to the U.S. is mandated, Temple’s Main Campus will play the chief role, along with International SOS, an international insurance and assistance provider which has expertise when it comes to repatriation or emergency evacuation.
What is the plan for academic continuity? Will the courses be continued online?
- TUJ has implemented plans to maintain courses through distance learning for SA students for the remainder of the spring semester.
- Any student who leaves their dormitory or homestay to return home will be reimbursed at a later date on a prorated basis.
What if the U.S. places a travel restriction on travelers from Japan? How will SA students get home?
- Temple partners with International SOS, and in such a case, will work with the U.S. State Department to do whatever we can to ensure the safe return of SA students to the U.S. However, during any interim period, such students can stay in their current housing and will be supported by TUJ staff and administration.
What is the financial plan if students go home? Will they get their money back?
- Academic programming for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester has been put online, so when SA students leave Japan, this should not be an issue.
- TUJ will provide a prorated housing refund for all study abroad students living in TUJ-arranged housing in homestays or the TUJ dorms. As soon as we know more about the amount and timing of the refund, we will let you know.
What are TUJ’s policies and recommendations for students, staff and faculty regarding travel outside of Japan?
- Many countries are implementing travel restrictions, making it difficult to both enter other countries and re-enter Japan if you leave. Accordingly, at the current time, TUJ recommends that all students, staff and faculty do not travel outside of Japan, unless they are returning directly home. Anyone who is considering personal travel should carefully consider these restrictions on reentry to Japan, as well as the restrictions of the country to which the person is traveling. Please note that entry into Japan from a number of countries around the world has been suspended.
- In addition to these restrictions, TUJ strongly recommends that students not travel to any country with level 2 on the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ risk map (in Japanese), a CDC level 3 travel notice or a U.S. State Department level 4 advisory for COVID-19. We encourage you to monitor developments in Japan's entry restrictions, through the Japan MOFA, and the U.S. CDC and State Department websites.
- We ask any registered student who intends to travel outside Japan, whether during a semester or during a semester break, to complete this online Travel Registration Form before they travel.
- Like Main Campus, TUJ requires that any student, faculty or staff member who has traveled to one or more countries designated by the CDC as being sites of widespread sustained community transmission of COVID-19 (namely, countries with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice) must self-monitor for 14 days from the date of their arrival back into Japan, before returning to classes or work on campus. Self-monitoring means staying home and avoiding gatherings and public spaces, including TUJ’s campus and dorms.
- Students who choose to travel should, in addition to taking recommended measures to prevent illness, take the following basic precautions to prepare for potential travel disruptions:
- have in their hand-luggage necessities including clothing, toiletries, medications, and charging devices for an extended period;
- keep cell phones fully charged and operational, and check their email at least daily;
- travel with all key documents, including their passport, visa if applicable, and insurance documents; and
- travel with a full supply of any prescribed medications, regardless of how long they plan to be away. Prescription medications need to be in their original containers.
- All TUJ staff and faculty who travel outside Japan, including those currently abroad, are required to complete the Travel Registration Form, regardless of whether the travel is for university business or for personal reasons. TUJ faculty and staff are prohibited from all university-affiliated international travel through the end of the Spring semester, unless expressly approved by Dean Stronach.
What happens if I am unable to leave Japan to return home after the semester?
- Entry into the United States or any other country (and re-entry into Japan) for persons traveling from or through impacted countries is outside the control of the university. TUJ strongly recommends that everyone reconsider even personal travel to any country with level 2 of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ risk map (in Japanese), a CDC level 3 or a U.S. State Department level 4 advisory based on COVID-19. We encourage you to monitor developments related to suspensions of entry to Japan from certain countries (including the United States), and to stay updated through the Japan MOFA, the U.S. State Department and the CDC websites.
- We recognize this may be an extremely difficult situation for TUJ students who are not Japanese and who may not be able to return to their home countries at the end of the semester. We will work closely with these students to make sure housing and other necessities are available should the need arise.
I am an incoming foreign student. What if I cannot make it to campus for the summer or fall semester?
- Incoming new students for the summer semester will have their semester of entry to TUJ deferred until the fall 2020 semester. This crisis is unpredictable, and in these circumstances, we are unable to guarantee your transition to the university by the start of the semester, therefore we believe deferring to the fall semester is the best option.
- Incoming new students should check to see what the relevant travel restrictions may be and budget extra time to travel/arrive. We recognize that your ability to arrive on campus for the start of the semester may not be in your control. If this happens, the Office of Student Services or your program will work with you to determine how best to proceed, so that you can enroll and begin your studies at TUJ.
Does this impact university sponsored faculty and staff travel as well?
- TUJ faculty and staff traveling on university business are prohibited from traveling to locations where Temple has suspended university-affiliated faculty and staff travel.
I just returned to Japan from travel outside the country. Is there anything special I should do?
- We require any students, faculty or staff who have traveled during the previous 14 days to complete this online Travel Registration Form.
- Further, if you traveled to a country designated by the CDC as being a site of widespread sustained community transmission of COVID-19 (namely, countries with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, you must self-monitor for 14 days from the date of your arrival back in Japan before returning to classes or work on campus. Self-monitoring means staying home and avoiding gatherings and public spaces, including Temple’s campuses and residence halls. You should continue to be vigilant about your health, monitoring yourself for fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. If you have any symptoms at all, call or email the TUJ Information Center (03-5441-9800 / 0120-86-1026; email@example.com; Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Japan Time) immediately.