International Study Center

Fall 2020

Joining Us

If you are unable to join us on campus in Waco for the Fall 2020 semester, you can begin your Baylor student journey online. Once you are able to secure your visa, you will transition to studying on campus at the beginning of the following semester. During your virtual learning, you will receive the same education and support online and build a community with your classmates and teachers.

What Should You Expect From An Online Class?

For your convenience, most of our virtual learning is delivered at different times of the day and is available to access on your own time. You’ll be responsible for scheduling your days to allow time to watch lectures and complete projects and assignments.

You’ll need to be present online in real time for activities which do occur live, like office hours and some assessments or exams.

Some examples of interactive sessions you may participate in during your course may include:

  • Watching an online presentation and adding your own video comments or questions
  • Commenting on a discussion board on your own time
  • Viewing a lecture and participating in a Zoom meeting with your professor to answer questions

As opposed to on-campus delivery, most courses will have no set class hours, except for any pre-scheduled interactive sessions. Students will be expected to have self-discipline and be active participants in the virtual classroom. Students will be required to check the class materials and assignments regularly, and must be engaged in the program Monday through Friday and meet all assignment deadlines.

During your online orientation before your program begins, you will hear more about self-learning modules and exercises on Canvas.

Fall 2020 Dates

Online Orientation: August 17-20
First Day of Classes: August 24
Labor Day (No Classes): September 7
Fall Break (No Classes): October 9-11
Last Day of Classes: November 25
Thanksgiving Break (No Classes): November 26-29
Final Exams: November 30-December 4

You will need the following resources to support your virtual learning.

  • Personal internet connection with a minimum download speed of 10Mbs*
  • Laptop or PC, with microphone and webcam
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (or later)

* Individual experiences may vary depending on internet upload and download speeds in your area.

Our Student Success Managers (SSMs) will work with you on a one-to-one basis to help make sure you are doing all you can to be successful in your classes. They will do this by checking on your academic progress and giving you ideas for overcoming any problems you might have with your classes. This might include:

  • Referring you to online tutoring
  • Referring you to the writing center or library resources
  • Creating a study plan to help you with time management
  • Reviewing study skills

Advisors can also help you with questions to have outside of classes. These topics include:

  • Answering questions about the visa process
  • Answering health questions
  • Understanding U.S. culture better
  • Overcoming stress
  • Engaging with other students and native English speakers
  • And especially this term...fixing technology problems

Speak with Your Advisor

Student Success Managers (SSM) are your first point of contact during your time in the Global Gateway Program (GGP). Baylor has three SSMs to support students, and each SSM supports students in a specific International Year level. Your SSM will be assigned during the virtual orientation and will be your advisor throughout the GGP program. Throughout the program, you can contact your assigned SSM by email, phone, or by setting up an appointment through an online advising program called the Student Success Collaborative/Navigate.

Schedule Regular Meetings with Your Advisor

During the academic year, SSMs invite students in their assigned International Year level to an initial meeting, a midterm check-in meeting, a registration guidance meeting, and an end-of-term meeting. Students who demonstrate they need support at any point in the term will receive further outreach and may schedule more frequent individual meetings as needed.

You will be provided a Bear ID after your acceptance to Baylor and payment of your admissions deposit. The Bear ID is an electronic identifier created uniquely for every student and employee of Baylor. It is used to access electronic resources like email and your learning management system, Canvas.

We’ve prepared a GGP Enrollment Checklist to help you set up your Baylor accounts step-by-step. This guide also describes how Baylor protects its most vital, widely-accessed university and personal information resources with the DUO two-factor authentication.

Be sure to check your Baylor email account every day – all important information will be sent to this email address. You will also receive regular updates and information about activities. Not seeing an email will not be accepted as justification for missing an assignment, payment, or other responsibility.

Download the GGP Enrollment Checklist to learn more and set up your Baylor accounts now.

Our Student Success Managers (SSMs) will register you for your mandatory GGP classes, and make recommendations about Baylor electives. In International Year Level 1, you will meet with Baylor University advisors and receive instruction on how to register yourself, a skill you will need after matriculating, and our SSMs will provide individualized support as needed.

Virtual Orientation activities are housed on Canvas, Baylor’s Learning Management System, and will offer a combination of required and optional tasks that will:

  1. Familiarize you with Baylor policies
  2. Introduce you to all aspects of the technology you’ll need to be successful
  3. Provide interactive activities to help you become part of the Baylor community

Before you begin your GGP classes, you will take an English language placement test. This will consist of a computer-based test called Versant, a writing sample submitted in Canvas, and a video-based live oral interview with GGP faculty and staff.

Once you finish your placement testing, you will be assigned to the appropriate level for your English abilities. Your final placement may be different from your original assigned level.

Be sure to check your Baylor email account for important details about your placement testing, as you must complete it before you can start your GGP classes.

We utilize the virtual learning platform Canvas, and additional platforms like Webex and Zoom, to support your learning. Canvas houses course outlines, materials, discussion forums, recorded sessions and collaboration tools. You will submit all assignments for Baylor through the Canvas platform. To learn more, watch this video demonstrating Canvas.

You will receive access to Canvas once you have set up your BearID and password. You will also need to have DUO authentication setup to access this site. This is described in further detail in the enrollment guide you will receive from GGP staff.

SSMs and faculty will help you purchase your books in advance. Books are purchased through the Baylor Bookstore.

The faculty and staff at Baylor understand how important it is to engage with others at your university outside the classroom, so we have prepared a wide variety of free virtual activities for you to participate in when you’re not studying. Some of these events include:

  • Book Club: Read selected books and discuss with your classmates.
  • Fitness Club: View posted videos with daily exercise or yoga routines and post your updates or photos to share.
  • “Do It Yourself” competitions: Watch posted videos teaching you how to create crafts or art, or make a recipe. Then, you and your classmates can share your creations and vote on the winners.
  • Tea/Coffee Hour: Visit with classmates and Baylor staff from various departments for an open discussion hour.
  • Game Nights: Play virtual board games, participate in quizzes, and join in scavenger hunts for even more fun.

We will discuss all of the resources available to you as a Baylor student, you can find these on the Resources page.

Here is a short list to get you started:

If you are enrolled in virtual learning, you are eligible for a 100% refund (including deposit) up to two weeks into the program.

If you have evidence of two visa rejections and submit a refund request no later than December 3*, you will receive a 50% refund.

If you complete your online program, but have not met the visa rejection criteria or submitted a refund request by the deadline, you will still receive the credits you earned and may be able to continue your virtual learning in the next semester.

*Subject to change based on academic calendar

Transitioning to Campus

While you are studying online with us this fall, we know you will also be getting ready to join us in Waco in-person in January. Your safety and academic progress are our priorities throughout the current global situation. We are looking forward to seeing you online and on campus soon after.

When you know the date you will be joining us on campus, you can apply for your visa so you can join us on the scheduled date.

It is best to apply early for the visa to make sure that there is sufficient time for visa processing. We recommend that all students apply for their visa as soon as they have all the required documentation.

We’ll get you to where you want to be – Read our latest guidance for current students, or find out more about online learning.