Is Nutrition Important?

a smiling face made out of fruit

The answer is YES!  As tempting as frozen pizza can be, you obtain major health benefits by feeding your body and brain with nutritious foods. And it’s not about just about eating your vegetables.  Here are a few tips:


Posted in General

Texas Excursion: Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg

Enchanted Rock

What is Enchanted Rock? Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite rock formation that rises over Central Texas. This area was used by prehistoric people thousands of years ago, it is the source of several myths and legends, and it was designated a U.S. National Natural Landmark in 1971.


After climbing the massive pink rock, join us as we go to Fredericksburg, a small town that was founded in 1846 for the German settlers moving to Texas. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the historic town and enjoy the museums and old German charm.

The trip will take place Saturday, April 18, between 7:30 am and 6:30 pm. Seat reservations are $50 and include transportation to Enchanted Rock and Fredericksburg plus snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

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

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Posted in Programs & Events

Last day to drop a course or withdraw from UT (undergraduates) – April 6th, 2015

April 6th, 2015 is the last day for an undergraduate student to withdraw from the University or drop a class (with the dean’s approval) for the Spring 2015 semester.  Please take into consideration that if you receive the permission to withdraw or drop a course from you academic department, this may affect your immigration status.

All international students who have F-1 or J-1 immigration status must be enrolled full-time during the long semesters (Fall & Spring) to maintain their immigration status.  Dropping below full-time enrollment could result in losing your immigration status and have a negative impact on your ability to remain & study in the United States.

If you have any questions or concerns about full-time enrollment and how it affects your immigration status, please contact our office through

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Posted in General

Scholarship Opportunities: Joe Neal Scholarship and Jerry Wilcox Scholarship

All international undergraduate students on non-immigrant visas as encouraged to apply for the Joe Neal Scholarship offered by GlobalAustin. The Joe Neal Scholarship is an award that would provide an international undergraduate student with $1,000.

Applicants can apply for the Joe Neal Scholarship in one of two ways:

Applications must be submitted to GlobalAustin by April 12th, 2015. The recipient of the award will be notified in late-April. Any other questions can be directed to GlobalAustin at or (512) 215-0140.

The Jerry D. Wilcox Community Engagement Scholarship for undergraduate international students is now available. Jerry D. Wilcox, the former Director of the International Office at UT Austin, is nationally recognized for his outstanding achievements in developing the field of international education.

In addition to his contributions to the International Office at UT Austin, Jerry D. Wilcox is a former Peace Corps member as well as a former president of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The Jerry D. Wilcox Community Engagement Scholarship was created to honor his contributions on campus and in the international community.

All undergraduate international students who demonstrate active participation and leadership within the campus/community are especially encouraged to apply. Applications are available online and are due by Friday, April 17th at 5 PM. Applications can be submitted to the front desk at the International Office. Late applications will not be accepted.

Good luck!

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Posted in Financial Aid

International Voices: Reflecting on the Past

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

When it hits August 2015 this year, it will mark two years since I moved to Austin. I often look back on my old self- fresh out of high school and embarking on a new journey- and even I am startled by the significant change that a new country and college in general can have on a person’s character.

Shruti Kota

Shruti Kota

I came from a very small high school where the graduating class only compromised of 36 people all of whom I had known since elementary school. Only one other person from my school- my best friend- had planned on coming to America for university, but she was going to be up north in Pennsylvania. After my parents left I had no trace of my old life except the framed pictures of my friends and family I kept by my bed. I had no idea how I was going to make friends, or even deal with a completely new education system. I must admit, the first semester was rocky. I didn’t know a lot of people and I stuck to myself whilst studying, which proved to be a terrible method. I didn’t join any new clubs because I didn’t know how to approach people I had never met and looking back on it, the first semester was definitely the hardest in terms of coping with all the hurdles thrown at me at once.
As I look back upon it now, I realize how the fear of putting myself out there prevented me from so many new college experiences that could have improved my first semester by far. However, I do thank my past self everyday for at least signing up for a First Year Interest group because that introduced me to some of the best people in my life, including my best friend. She introduced me to her other friends who I also quickly grew to love, and now are my future roommates. I adopted their healthy lifestyle and adventurous personalities and started joining clubs. I met more and more people which led me to the realization that even though America did seem like a world away from my parents and childhood friends, I was beginning to like the college me a lot more than high school me. I learned so many new things about culture, books, music and politics. I broadened my creative spirit, as I began to write creative pieces such as this blog for fun! I developed a very healthy lifestyle and began to work out every week- something I would have dismissed in high school. I eat much healthier in college than I did at home and in general- developed a new outlook on life.

So if you’re reading this, and you’re in my position or if you just finished college or if you’re about to embark on a new journey, take a few moments to reflect and see where you were just two years ago; I assure you, you won’t regret it.

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Posted in International Voices

Discovering the Joy of Giving: KAUST Foundation Year Students Volunteer at the UT Project

photo of kaust student volunteers

On Saturday, February 28th, the KAUST Foundation Year students volunteered with The Project, an event organized by the University of Texas at Austin. The Project partnered volunteers with local residents to complete beautification projects throughout the Austin community.

Although the cold, rainy weather threatened to cancel the event, the KAUST Foundation Year students were still able to volunteer at one of the indoor volunteer sites. The students painted one of the classrooms at ‘El Buen Pastor’, a nonprofit early childhood education center located in East Austin, with the help of other UT student volunteers. The center had a new fresh look by the end of the day and everyone involved left with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with their work.

It was their first time volunteering for many of the KAUST Foundation Year students. Since this experience, the students have been seeking new ways to give back to the local community and continue the ‘spirit of giving’. As these students prepare to enter undergraduate programs next year, these experiences not only help students build new skills which can be added to their resume, but they also provide an opportunity to learn more about the local culture.  Many of the students also discovered the joy and appreciation which comes from serving those in your community.

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Posted in Programs & Events

Spring Break Health & Safety

man throwing a Frisbee

This Spring Break, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Always keep your insurance card with you.
  2. Fill your prescriptions before leaving for vacation.
  3. Know where to seek care for different medical needs.
    • For severe or potentially life-threatening emergencies, call 911 or go to a local hospital emergency room.
    • For conditions or injuries that can be treated outside of an emergency room but require prompt attention, use a local Urgent Care Clinic.
  4. Don’t forget to use in-network providers to save money.  You can find local providers around the country in the BlueCross/BlueShield network.
  5. Take advantage of the University Health Services Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6977  Available 24/7!

Be careful, plan ahead, and have a fun and SAFE Spring Break!

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Posted in General, Insurance

The Women’s Health Clinic at UHS

Did you know that University Health Services includes a full-service Women’s Health Clinic?  The clinic offers annual exams and many more services by appointment Monday-Friday in the SSB.   Most insurance plans are accepted, and if you have the UT student health insurance plan, IT’S FREE!


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Posted in General, Insurance

International Voices: Being a Teacher (and other thoughts)

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

As the air chilled and the moisture from above turned into icy little stings on Wednesday night, I was home pressing my thumbs (the equivalent of you crossing your fingers) and checking my email, anxiously awaiting the UT winter weather task force’s decision: Would there be a Snow Day? I was imagining the weather team sitting in front of an array of TVs broadcasting the weather forecast while simultaneously checking on 5 different species of weather frog climbing up and down the ladder in their glassy abodes. Eventually, one task force member must have braved the cold and held a wet-ed index finger in the wind – and we had our (half) Snow Day! I hugged my pillow and thanked the gods for recognizing my students’ wild careening earlier in the afternoon for the snow dance it was. Then I settled into my layers of blankets relishing the thought of sleeping in.

Connie Loos

Connie Loos

What I’m trying to say is that, just because I’m on the teaching side of things now doesn’t mean I don’t rejoice in class cancellations. I may worry about catching up with the material later, but long before rational thought kicks in, reflexive cheering at any break from daily routine happens.

Which is funny, because I truly enjoy teaching. If it didn’t sound so sappy, I’d say that the one hour a day I spend in the classroom is the best part of my work-day. I mean, I have it easy: I teach 23 agreeable undergrads the beauty (and headaches) of my native language. Without effort, I’m an expert in the classroom, and thanks to my linguistics background, I can explain the quirks of verb second order or the phonetic environments determining the different pronunciations of <ch> in Bach vs. München without having to think too hard. Don’t get me wrong, entertaining 23 still-teenagers suffering from post-lunch-coma (I teach at 2pm) takes some serious preparation and a willingness to make yourself into a spoon (German idiom for poking fun at oneself), but at least I know what I’m talking about. As a graduate student I often feel dull-witted when discussions in my lexical semantics class go over my head; and as a researcher I sometimes despair over the difficulties of eliciting a particular construction in a language of which I have little command. But teaching reminds me that I have useful skills and can facilitate access to a language that a month ago was little more than a jumble of harsh sounds and insurmountable grammar to most of my students. Many of us international graduate students teach a language, and we enjoy thus sharing our culture with our students. Not all aspects of our job are pleasant, the grading never stops and having to correct the same mistakes over and over again wears our nerves thin, but it’s a rewarding job overall.

Which brings me to my last point in today’s ramble. If you have the chance, I strongly advise you to take a language class at UT. College language courses differ vastly from your high-school experience: You meet for at least 5 hours a week, to which you can safely add about 10 hours of homework. But already at the end of your first semester, you will be able to have a real conversation with a native speaker, or to travel to a new country and make yourself understood. Most likely you’ll also have made a bunch of new friends/comrades-in-arms because, four times a week, you bond with the same 20-odd people over the woes of studying der die das and their 16 different case forms (don’t let my students read this, they think there’s only 4…). Lastly, you will learn something new about your own mother tongue and hopefully stop and marvel at the variety human languages exhibit when expressing our common thoughts and desires.

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Posted in International Voices

Dropping Classes and Maintaining Your Visa Status

Monday, April 6, is the last day an undergraduate student can withdraw from the university or drop a class, with the dean’s approval. It is also the last day that an undergraduate student may change registration for a class to a pass/fail basis. Monday, March 30 is the deadline for graduate students to change registration for a class to a credit/no credit basis.

If you’re thinking about dropping a class, don’t forget about the impact it could have on your immigration status. All F-1 and J-1 students must be enrolled for a full-time course load in order to maintain a valid immigration status. Undergraduates must be enrolled for 12 credit hours and graduate students for 9 hours in the fall and spring semesters. Dropping below full-time hours will cause you to lose your immigration status, unless you have prior permission from the International Office.

Under very special circumstances, a student could be allowed to drop to less than full-time without an effect on his or her immigration status. If you believe that you might qualify, schedule an appointment to see an international student advisor to discuss your case. You will need to get the permission of an international student advisor before you drop the class.

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Posted in Immigration Updates
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