Information for departing J-1 Scholars

University of Texas at Austin Tower

University of Texas at Austin Tower

Congratulations on completing your J-1 program and advancing your research or teaching here at The University of Texas at Austin! Here’s a departure checklist to assist you in completing your university and personal affairs before leaving the United States:

  • Update forwarding address
  • Pay university fees
  • Save immigration documents
  • File tax return or mark your calendar
  • Request the return of apartment deposit
  • Make sure you have received reimbursement on all of your medical insurance claims
  • Obtain a retirement deduction refund (UT employees only)
  • Close your bank account

For additional information about each item, see your J-1 Scholar Orientation Guide, page 22.

It’s been a pleasure assisting you during your visit. We hope you will stay connected to UT Austin in one of the following ways:

We know that your J-1 program has provided you with numerous opportunities for exchange with students, faculty, researchers and the Austin community. We are grateful to have been a part of your experiences. As you depart and embark upon your future endeavors, we wish you the best of luck and hope you carry with you the motto of The University of Texas at Austin: “What starts here changes the world.”

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Texas Excursion: Visit San Antonio

The first stop in this excursion is the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The garden has 38 acres of seasonal flowerbeds and year-round flowerbeds. It also has different areas such as the Texas Native trail, which consists of plant communities typically found in the Hill Country, East Texas Piney Woods, and South Texas!

the Alamo

Mission chapel, now referred to as “the Alamo”

After a morning at the Botanical Garden, spend the afternoon touring the famous Riverwalk. Located in downtown San Antonio and lined by several shops and restaurants, makes this a must visit. From this central location, you can visit the Alamo. The Alamo Mission was the center of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and all that remains is the famous chapel, now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The trip takes place Saturday, August 29 from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The $50 price includes transportation, admission, and snacks throughout the trip. Sign up at the International Office Online Store.

Email any questions to

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Blanton Museum of Art is seeking Volunteer Gallery Teachers

Volunteer Gallery Teachers

volunteer gallery teachers

For information regarding this post please contact: Siobhan McCusker

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Texas Excursion: Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels
Schlitterbahn Waterpark is in New Braunfels and is nestled along the banks of the Comal River. Schlitterbahn has over 3 miles of tubing adventures, 7 children’s water playgrounds, 17 water slides, the world’s first surfing machine, and 3 uphill water coasters spread over 65 acres.

Schlitterbhan Master BlasterSchlitterbhan slideSchlitterbahn River

With all these attractions, it is no wonder Schlitterbahn is continuously voted the best waterpark in the nation! Rides include an uphill water coaster, skycoasters, tube chutes, heated pools, plenty of body-slides, pools, and a surfing ride.

The trip will take place Saturday, July 18, between 8:30 am and 8 pm. Seat reservations are $100 and include transportation to Schlitterbahn Waterpark, a breakfast bag, and snacks and refreshments at the end of the day.

To purchase a seat visit the International Office online store. Email any questions to

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One Person’s Trash is Another’s Cathedral

cathedral of junk austin texas

If you’re looking for interesting places to visit in Austin, the Cathedral of Junk is a little slice of that “Keep Austin Weird” vibe. The Cathedral of Junk is one man’s backyard that has turned into an evolving sculpture of junk in South Austin. The Cathedral of Junk began in the late 1980’s as a project by the homeowner; Vince Hannemann. He’s continued to add toys, signs, tires, bicycles, bottles, circuits, sunglasses, concrete, metal, etc. Vince has also had people who donated junk to add to the Cathedral. The structure has multiple levels and several of the “rooms” feature a main color. It’s a great reminder that everyday objects that are thrown away can be turned into something quirky, strange, and beautiful. It does not take long for visitors to meander through the structure, but you could easily spend a couple of hours admiring how all the junk is constructed together. Each time you walk through the Cathedral, you can easily find something new in a room that you didn’t notice before.

cathedral of junk in austin texas

To visit the Cathedral of Junk, you must contact Vince to make an appointment since it is a private home. A minimum $10 donation is required per group and you must call ahead since there are no set hours, and the Cathedral isn’t open every day. It’s a great place to visit and definitely off the beaten path for things to do in Austin.

cathedral of junk in austin texas


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Texas Excursion: Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas roller coaster

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a theme park in San Antonio with many fun rides spread out over a 200-acre park!  The park has various thrill rides, family rides, and kid’s rides.  One of the rides opening this summer is the world’s first 4-D roller coaster, the Batman.  In addition to the several rides, there are various types of entertainment such as music and performance shows, food stops and restaurants, and souvenir shops.

During the summer the park also has a full water park named White Water Bay.  White Water Bay features several large pools, lazy rivers, multi-passenger rafting adventures, and various open and tubed speed slides!

Come join in on the summer fun!  The trip will take place Saturday, June 13, between 10 am and 9:30 pm. Seat reservations are $105 and include transportation to Six Flags, a breakfast bag, and snacks and refreshments at the end of the day.

To purchase a seat visit the International Office online store. Email any questions to

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Insurance Deadlines Monday, 6/8/15

Please be aware of the following insurance deadlines coming up on 6/8/15 at 5:00 pm:

  1. Summer waiver deadline for graduate students with insurance through a TA/AI/GRA assignment
    1. Spring/summer student health insurance is included automatically on all international students’ spring Tuition/Fees Bill.  If you have insurance coverage over the summer due to a graduate academic assignment, you must request a waiver online in order to waive the summer student insurance fee.
    2. Note that TA and AI spring assignments generally carry insurance benefits over the summer.  Please see the Human Resources website for further information about academic assignments and insurance benefits.
  2. Summer waiver deadline for students graduating in spring
    1. Graduation waiver forms are available online and should be submitted by scan to .
  3. Deadline to purchase dependent Insurance
    1. International students are automatically billed for health insurance coverage, but dependent children and spouse must be re-enrolled in coverage each semester(fall, spring, and summer).
    2. You can enroll dependents by scheduling an appointment with the ISSS Insurance Advisor or emailing .

Have a safe summer!

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Have a Fun & Safe Summer

Summer is a great time for adventures and fun in the sun! Unfortunately, it’s also a prime time for accidents and ER visits. Check out this practical, tip-filled blog from the New York Times: This Summer, Safety First. From road trips, to hot summer days, to camping, and more: read about some easy ways to avoid common pitfalls and enjoy your summer safely!SafeSummer

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International Voices: Dead Days and Impromptu Vacations on Campus

This post is a part of our weekly International Voices column, writing by UT students, for UT students. Enjoy!

The dead days are upon us (you can’t expect me to call two puny little days a dead week) – and I believe they’re aptly named. After all, campus turns into zombieland, populated by sleep-deprived undergrads all jittery from over-caffeination. Aimlessly they wander around campus reciting formulae, dates, and German verb conjugations before heading off to PCL or SAC or an acronym of their choice to catch some zzzs in a dim corner. You can tell the seniors by the dreamy, far-off look in their eyes, half-excited for graduation, half melancholic to leave the sheltered 40 Acres behind. Sure, college feels like losing your mom in the supermarket – for four years (aphorism coined by one of my students) – but at least it’s a supermarket you know well. And it’s really a mom-and-pop store compared to what’s waiting beyond these burnt orange walls.

Connie Loos

Connie Loos

While I wish the graduating class of 2015 all the best in their future endeavors, this is not a commencement address. My post is just about the next few days and where you’re gonna spend them. On campus, I presume, but where do you go when you need a time-out from studying? Where can you let your soul dangle and your mind rest? “We asked 100 undergrads…” (are you too young to get a Family Feud reference?) …well I asked a bunch of grads and undergrads for their favourite Zen places on or near by campus. Places that make you feel like you’re on vacation. Here’s what I learnt.

  1. The Outdoor Pool at Gregory Gym – Palm trees swaying in the breeze, the faint smell of chlorine in your nostrils, and the Beach Boys spreading Good Vibrations – nothing screams leisure like the Aquatic Complex at Gregory! If you like it a little more rambunctious, check out their Splash Bash on 12 May, 2pm.

    UT Turtle Pond

    UT Turtle Pond

  2. The turtle pond – Off Inner Campus Drive and University Avenue lies the notorious turtle pond, home to over 40 turtles whose lazy circling paddle will inspire you to slow down and do some pond-ering yourself. Crane your neck towards the sun as turtles do and enjoy doing absolutely nothing.
    Eastwoods Park – Just off campus below San Jacinto and to the right of Dean Keeton you’ll find all the solace and distraction you could want: Equipped with basketball and tennis courts, sanitary facilities and a playground, this Park has it all! Play some ball, swing as high as you can, or find the one tree that perfectly fits the shape of your back and read (no textbooks allowed!) or nap. Aside from hosting the original Eeyore statue, the best thing about Eastwoods Park is that there’s no power cables or internet access anywhere, forcing you to take a break.
  3. Waller Creek – This modest little creek runs right through Eastwoods Park and continues above San Jacinto, passing by CLA and winding its way around the Alumni Center (across from the Stadium). When you’re walking along San Jacinto, all it takes is a few careful steps down a green slope and you will find yourself in the middle of an urban forest. Listen to the bubbling, gurgling creek, take a deep cedar-soaked breath and feel instantly refreshed.
  4. The Color Inside: a James Turrell Skyscape – If you need blinders to forget you’re on campus, James Turrell’s Skyscape might be just the place for you. A white cylinder that opens at the top but blocks anything else from view, Turrell’s piece let’s you contemplate the sky and only the sky. Sitting on the simple stone bench that lines the wall of Turrell’s turret, or lying on the floor staring up at the sky canvas, you can watch the clouds drift by and reflect, dream, or scheme your next steps.

Wherever you go, make sure to leave your work behind for an hour or two. I assure you it will still be there when you get back.

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Get Smart With: Time Management


Do you feel like there isn’t enough time for all the things on your plate? Here are some tips to help you portion out your time effectively.

  • Start Small but Start Now!
    • Even taking a few small steps early on can help you avoid rushing to finish assignments. Remember, “Well begun is half done”.
  • Prioritize!
    • Look at your assignments and prioritize. The Sanger Learning Center is a great resource on campus to help you develop skills to better prioritize tasks and manage your time.
  • Separate the Assignment!
  • Find a Work Space!
    • Try experimenting with different locations to find a working environment that you enjoy and that helps you focus.
  • More Resources
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