Opportunity to share your experience as an international student in the U.S

Dear International Students,

If you are adults aged 18 or over and hold a student visa (F-1/J-1) in the U.S., you are invited to participate in this research study!

This research study is conducted by Patrick Pössel, Dr. rer. Soc. and Yu-Yun Liu, M.Ed. and sponsored by the University of Louisville, Department of Counseling and Human Development.

Culturally diverse student populations bring with them the influence of their social and cultural backgrounds.  With the intention of better understanding this unique student population, the focus of this study will be to investigate the impact of cultural influences on international students’ mood through their personality styles. This study aims at adding more empirical evidence to the relationships between personality style and self-construals and proving implications for promoting mental health of international students.

In this study, you will be invited to answer questions related to your personality styles, self-construal, recent life events, and your mood. In addition, you will be asked demographic questions (e.g., age, gender, country of origin, length of stay in the U.S., and intended degree). You will need about 30 minutes to complete this survey. You may decide not to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. Here is the survey link: https://louisvilleeducation.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cvbAGCBgeoXeGJn

If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact the researchers at yuyun.liu@louisville.edu or patrick.possel@louisville.edu. Thank you!

Patrick Pössel, Dr. rer. Soc.
Dep. of Counseling and Human Development
University of Louisville
1905 South 1st Street
Louisville, KY 40292

Yu-Yun Liu, M.Ed.
Psychology Intern
Counseling and Wellness Center
University of Florida

Posted in General Tagged with:

Update for Potential Changes to the STEM extension

The STEM extension deadline was for February 12, 2016. Was a decision made yet?

There has not been a final decision made on this case. However, on January 23, 2016, the District Court gave Department of Homeland Security an extension to appropriately implement the STEM extension. Now DHS has a new deadline of May 10, 2016 to make a final decision and any changes to the STEM program. To review a discussion of proposed changes, please check out our previous post about the STEM OPT court case.

 What does this mean?

Students who are still eligible to apply for STEM extensions can continue to apply until May 10, 2016 or until the District Court makes a final ruling.

For students interested in applying for the STEM extension, they should review our current process for the STEM extension found on the ISSS website.

As further updates occur, our office will notify students accordingly.

Posted in General

2016-2017 Good Neighbor Scholarship Now Available!

ISSS is now accepting applications for the Good Neighbor Scholarship (GNS) for the 2016-2017 academic year! The GNS provides for one year of tuition (fall, spring, and summer) to students who were born in and are residents of a nation in the Western Hemisphere (excluding Cuba and the U.S.). The full list of eligibility requirements are included within the application itself. Incoming UT students, both graduate and undergraduate, are eligible for the GNS, but they must be accepted to The University of Texas at Austin by the time of submission to apply.

Applications for the 2016-2017 academic year must be received by ISSS no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, February 26.

Award decisions will be made by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in early-May 2016 and applicants will be notified of their decision in mid-May 2016 via email.

Please review our website for more details or feel free to post questions below. Good luck!!!

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Exchange Student Coffee Hour

ExchangeStudentCoffeHour

The first Exchange Student Coffee Hour of 2016 took place on Wednesday, January 27th at Caffe Medici on Guadalupe.  With a great turnout of students from around the world we had at least 4 different continents and 7 different countries represented.

The Exchange Student Coffee Hours are an informal get-together for exchange students to meet other exchange students, and have an informal way to interact with international office staff.

There are two more Exchange Coffee Hours scheduled for this semester one on February 24th and another one on March 30th.  All exchange students are welcome to attend and the international office provides coffee for the event.

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Texas Excursion: Explore San Antonio!

All aboard the bus! On February 13th, the International Office will be trekking south to San Antonio. Our first stop? The Institute of Texan Cultures for its 29th Annual Asian Festival. This year we celebrate the Year of the Monkey! The family-friendly event features music, cultural performances, food, fashion, crafts and other products from all over East & Southeast Asia.

asian festival flyer

Following the festival, spend the afternoon touring San Antonio’s famed River Walk. Located downtown and lined by several shops and restaurants, the River Walk is a must visit. From this central location, you can visit the Alamo–the center of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. All that remains of the former mission is its famous chapel, serving as the Shrine of Texas Liberty and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

alamo in san antonio texas

The trip takes place Saturday, February from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The $55 price includes transportation, admission to the Institute of Texan Cultures & festival, and snacks throughout the trip. Sign up at the International Office Online Store.

Questions? Reach us at intercultural@austin.utexas.edu.

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Checking your I-94 record after re-entering the U.S.

It’s important to check your I-94 record each time you enter to U.S. to make sure you were granted the appropriate status and would then have access to any related benefits of that status.

 

Where can I look up my electronic I-94 entry record?

electronic i-94

  • If you entered the U.S. by car or ship, you will be issued a paper I-94 at the port of entry.

paper i-94

What should I look for on my electronic I-94 record?

  • The correct admitted until notation (D/S for “Duration of Status” for F-1/ J-1 students only)
  • Name as it appears on your passport
  • Birth date
  • Passport Number
  • Passport Country of Issuance
  • The correct most recent date of entry (A short trip to Canada, Mexico, or certain Caribbean islands may not be recorded. If you take a short trip to these areas, you may find your previous entry date still recorded on your I-94 which is normal and not a cause for concern.)
  • Your correct visa status

If I entered the U.S. by ship or car, what should I look at on my Paper I-94 card?

  • Your correct visa status
  • The correct admitted until notation (D/S for “Duration of Status” for F-1/ J-1 students only)
  • Your name appears as it is on your passport
  • Birth date
  • Country of Citizenship as listed on  your passport

What if there is an error on my I-94 record or I can’t find my I-94 record online?

  • If any of the above information is incorrect on your I-94 or you cannot locate your electronic I-94 record, please contact ISSS for assistance.

What are some main reasons I need to print out the electronic I-94 record:

  • To apply for a Social Security Number and provide proof of employment eligibility to a new employer
  • To apply for a Texas State ID or Driver’s License
  • To obtain immigration services at ISSS

Please Note: If there is an error on your I-94 record, this could affect your status and any related benefits. For example, if you are an F-1 student with expiration of D/S but your I-94 record doesn’t show this, then you would not be eligible to apply for OPT until the I-94 record is corrected.

 

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Spring 2016 Texas Excursions! Reserve your tickets now!

Welcome (back), students & scholars! We have new and exciting adventures planned for our 2016 Texas Excursions! Shopping trips, sporting events, historical sites, museums, and natural attractions await you–there’s something for everyone! Take a look and sign up today!

TX Excursion Logo

Shop Till You Drop: San Marcos Premium and Tanger Outlets
Saturday, January 23, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
San Marcos, TX

International Night Out with the San Antonio Spurs
Wednesday, February 03, 3:30 pm – 12 am
San Antonio, TX

Explore San Antonio: Asian Culture FestivalRiverwalk, & The Alamo
Saturday, February 13, 8 am – 7 pm
San Antonio, TX

H-Town Bound: Houston Zoo & Museum District
Saturday, March 05, 8 am – 10 pm
Houston, TX

Hallo, Hill Country: Enchanted Rock & Fredericksburg
Saturday, April 9, 7 am – 6:30 pm
Fredericksburg, TX

Cruisin’ to Corpus: North BeachUSS Lexington
Saturday, May 7, 7 am – 10:30 pm
Corpus Christi, TX

Purchase seats for the excursions at the International Office Online Store.

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8 Essential Colloquial Phrases and Their Meaning

Do you ever find yourself lost in mid-conversation when interacting with friends or strangers in a social setting? We’ll spill the beans below and list 8 essential colloquial phrases that are helpful when interacting in today’s society.

  1. Spill the Beans – Reveal secret information unintentionally or indiscreetly.
    • Gilbert accidentally spilled the beans to Maria about her surprise birthday party.
  2. To Each his Own – One has a right to one’s personal preferences.
    • A: Who’s your favorite singer?
    • B: Adele, she has a phenomenal voice. How about you?
    • A: I’m a huge fan of Justin Bieber, he is a very talented artist!
    • B: No way! Well, to each his own.
  3. The Daily Grind – Someone’s everyday work routine.
    • Winter break is already over and we’re now back to the daily grind!
  4. Bite the Bullet – When you decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over.
    • A: I’m really nervous about asking my boss for a raise.
    • B: Don’t be. Just bite the bullet and ask your boss. The worst response you could get is no.
  5. Break the Ice – To initiate social interchanges and conversation; to get something started.
    • It’s hard to break the ice at formal events, that’s why ISSS organizes special events for students, scholars, and family members to mingle in casual settings.
  6. Wake up on the Wrong Side of the Bed – To feel grumpy; irritable; to be easily annoyed.
    • Why are you in such a grumpy mood today? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
  7. Take a Rain Check – Something you say when you cannot accept someone’s invitation to do something but you would like to do it at another time.
    • I have to take a rain check on happy hour this evening, if that’s alright with you.
  8. Take with a Grain of Salt – To consider something to not be completely true or right.
    • Listen, he likes to exaggerate. You have to take everything he says with a grain of salt.
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International Groups Around Town

As the semester ends, and you head home or enjoy the holidays in Austin, you may be wondering how you can get more involved in your community when the new semester resumes. Austin is a growing international city, and gets more diverse on a daily basis! Accordingly, more groups are popping up that you can join to get a feel for the city or just connect with other internationally-minded people. If you’d like to explore what global offerings are in town, try starting with the following groups:

  • EuroCircle in Austin: This group isn’t just for Europeans, but is for anyone who wants a community that spans the world. EuroCircle has locations worldwide for those of you looking to mix and mingle when you return home as well. They organize activities, happy hours, ethnic dinners, and holiday celebrations that you can join. More information can be found on Meetup or Facebook about their planned gatherings in and around Austin.
  • Austin Chinese Professional Society: The Austin Chinese Professional Society webpage has a great listing of a variety of different organizations in the Austin area. There are links to professional groups, student and scholar meetups, and even schools and culture centers.
  • AustIndia: AustIndia is a perfect resource for local Indian connections. The website showcases a multitude of community events and organizations, local information, useful information about Austin, and so much more.

This is just a snapshot of what Austin has to offer, and we hope you find a group you want to join! We look forward to seeing you in the New Year and hearing about any adventures you have creating your own Austin community.

Posted in Programs & Events

Health and Insurance During Winter Break

If you plan to leave Austin during Winter Break, here are some important insurance tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep your insurance card with you at all times.
  2. Fill your prescriptions before leaving for vacation.
  3. Know where to seek care for different medical needs when you are away from University Health Services:
    • 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. Common reasons to use these clinics are:
      • Wounds that require stitches
      • Allergic reactions that are not life-threatening
      • Sprains and broken bones
    • For conditions that require less time-sensitive attention (ex: headaches, simple colds, rashes, etc) care is usually best provided at a doctor’s office or clinic by a primary care physician or physician’s assistant.
  4. Don’t forget to use in-network providers to save money.  If you hold UT Select or the UT student health insurance plan, search for providers in the BlueCross/BlueShield network.
  5. Take advantage of the University Health Services Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6977.  UT Austin students may call 24 hours a day/7 days a week for medical guidance.

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

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