Thursday, December 3, 2015

12/2 OISS Digest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  December 2, 2015
Office of International Students and Scholars
Weekly Digest

Important Announcements                                  

Traveling outside the U.S. 
this Winter? Make sure you have a valid travel signature   

Due to high seasonal demand, if you will be leaving the country during the fall, we recommend that you check now to see whether you need your  I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel. If you do, please come to the office and request your travel documents as soon as possible. At minimum, come one week before you plan to travel. NO SAME-DAY REQUESTS WILL BE PROCESSED. For more information, read our Travel Signature Notice 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is a benefit available to all students who have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year. OPT allows you to work in your field of study for up to 12 months (27 months for certain STEM fields).  Access the OPT instructions and forms here:  

Beginning 12/7, please contact the OISS at 865-5208  to schedule an appointment to drop off or pick up OPT your application.
 Person of the Week

The OISS wants to welcome our newest staff member, Kabir Hingorani Punjabi.

Kabir Hingorani Punjabi was born in Panama, grew up in Chile, and has also lived in the U.S., England and China.  He was an international student at Loyola University, graduating in 2012 with a major Journalism and minor in English. 

Prior to joining us he worked at a trading company based in Guangzhou doing business in Hong Kong, Chile, Argentina, Panama and various other countries.  He moved back to New Orleans in November 2014 where he has been working as a paralegal. 

He is very excited to be a part of the OISS team to further assist international students.

 Study Abroad/Internship Opportunities

Want to study abroad, but think it's too expensive? Concerned it will get in the way of your coursework? 

Don’t let that stop you. Cultural Vistas is here to help. 

Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization that offers many affordable opportunities for students and young professionals to gain work experience in an international setting. It develops international professional experience that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens.

Cultural Vistas offer many different programs in a variety of locations including Spain, Russia, and Germany. For more information on Cultural Visa, visit its page HERE


Kristy Magner
OISS Director

Belinda Schneider
F-1 Students

Beth Nazar
J-1 Students

Nancy Lauland
H-1B and J-1
Faculty, Researchers & Staff

Evan Kirk
SEVIS Coordinator

  Kabir Hingorani Punjabi
Operations Assistant

Ongoing Weekly Events

Uptown hours

Location:  6901 Willow Street
Time:  Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m- 5:00p.m.

For general information, check-in, document drop off/pick up, letter requests come visit us. If you would like to meet with and advisor, please schedule an appointment

Downtown hours

Location:  Tidewater Building, Room 2460
Time:  Tuesdays, 12:00- 4:00p.m.

There will be no more Downtown Hours this semester. Downtown Hours will resume on January 12.

Downtown hours are an opportunity for international students, scholars, and staff at Tulane’s downtown campus to meet with an OISS advisor, ask questions, and request services. If you are a new international student at the downtown campus, you can also complete your required check-in process during downtown hours.

Coffee Hours

Location: Josephine Louise Ballroom (Bldg # 75, Uptown)
Time:  Thursdays, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Theme: Finals Study Break

Uptown coffee hours will be held weekly, with a different theme each week!

Prayer Space (Downtown)

Location: Tidewater Room 1506
Time: Open when building is open

Tidewater Building, 15th Floor, Room 1506 has been dedicated as a quiet prayer space for students of all religious denominations.

Check the digest weekly for more updates about times and locations.



End of Semester Holiday Event
Join the OISS at our holiday celebration to close out the end of the semester.
This event will feature staff speeches, awards, dinner, international holiday treats, and a white elephant gift exchange. We would love for everyone to attend, especially graduating students.

§  Attendees are encouraged to contribute a traditional holiday treat to share with others.
§  Attendees are also encouraged to participate in the “White Elephant Gift Exchange”. To participate, please bring a wrapped, gender-inclusive gift of up to $10 to the event. The gift does not have to be new and can be wacky.   The instructions will be explained during the event.  Even if you don’t participate, it is a fun game to watch!

WHEN: Wednesday, December 2. 5:00 – 7:00 p.m
WHERE: Bea Field Alumni House, 6319 Willow St.
ATTIRE: Smart Casual or Traditional Attire
Because there is limited space, Please RSVP for the event HERE

Final Coffee Hour of the Semester
Join students, scholars, and the OISS at our last Coffee Hour of the year! Come take a break from all the end-of-the year madness and enjoy some coffee, tea, snacks, and final exam survival tips!

WHEN: Thursday, December 3 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Josephine Louise Ballroom (Bldg # 75, Uptown)

New International Student Spring Orientation
Day 1 (Mandatory): Combined F-1 and J-1 student orientation with essential immigration information. Attendance is mandatory. Topics may include: Immigration, Health and Wellness, Insurance and Emergency Management, Adjusting to Life in the U.S., Honor Code and Academic Success, and Safety.

WHEN: Thursday, January 7. 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rogers Memorial Chapel (Bldg #73, Uptown)

Day 2 (Optional): Combined international student orientation with additional information and activities to familiarize new students with Tulane and New Orleans. Attendance is optional. Topics may include: New Orleans Culture + The O, Transportation, Student Panel, Campus Tour

WHEN: Friday, January 8. 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Location TBD

The Office of Student Programs is currently inviting students to apply to be an Orientation Team Leader. The OTL position is a paid position where selected students are hired at the end of January and work from February through June to prepare for and implement New Student Orientation. OTLs will also return mid-August to make final preparations for Fall Welcome. OTLs are positive role models and guide for incoming new students.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of these info sessions prior to applying:
 Friday, December 4 @ 12 NOON, Race Room, 201 LBC

Read full position description here:
Deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 15

Are you interested in being an RA? Do you want to become part of an exciting, dynamic team? Then make sure to come to the LAST RA Informational Session on January 12 in Paterson’s Lounge at 7:00 p.m. As an RA you will be in charge of residents on a floor of a residence hall. RAs receive free rooming and a discounted meal plan. The RA application is open an can be found at If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Klein at


Split/Shift Dance Performance
Wednesday, December 2 – Friday, December 4. 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. McWilliams 300 (Bldg #70).
split/shift is a free performance that showcases dance and multi-media performance work made in the Newcomb Dance Program at Tulane. Wednesday’s program features work from Tulane’s new Interdisciplinary Performance MFA program. Thursday and Friday’s program features projects developed in compositional courses.

Green Envy Winter Concert
Friday, December 4. 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. LBC Kendall Cram.
Come celebrate the end of the semester with Green Envy, one of Tulane’s a-cappella groups! Enjoy songs by Hozier, Ariana Grande, and many more. Best of all…its free!

Green Wave Community Market
Sunday, December 6. 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Tulane Hillel.
Come out to the last Green Wave Community Market of the season! This is a great way to take a break from the stress of finals, so give yourself an hour to relax and bring a friend. As always, the market will have tons of cool produce, baked goods, crafts, jewelry, body products, as well as gifts for the holidays.
Holiday Movies on the Mississippi
Don’t miss out on these free outdoor movies showings every Friday starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza.
Friday, December 4 – Polar Express
Friday, December 11 – Home Alone
Friday, December 18 - Elf

PhotoNOLA: New Orleans Festival of Photography
Thursday, December 10 – Sunday, December 13. Various times and locations.
PhotoNOLA is an annual festival of photography in New Orleans. It will be showcasing work by photographers near and far at various museums and galleries. The festival programming includes exhibitions, workshops, lectures, a portfolio review, a gala, and more. PhotoNOLA draws hundreds of photography professionals to the city to partake in a variety of educational programs, and reaches broadly into the local community with exhibitions and events that are largely free and open to the public.

NOLA ChristmasFest
Friday, December 18 – Sunday, December 27. 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. New Orleans Convention Center.
Christmas in New Orleans has always been a magical time and in its third year, NOLA ChristmasFest offers another opportunity to get into the holiday spirit. The festival will feature a variety of different activities which include: an indoor ice skating rink, a carousel, carnival rides, inflatables, crafts and more!

Demonstration to Welcome Syrian Refugees
Saturday, December 19. 1:00 p.m. 365 Canal St, New Orleans.
Help us shed light to the Syrian cause as thousands of individuals have had no other choice other than to relocate their remaining family members in a time of war. More than half of the United States have motioned to refuse welcoming in the Syrian refugees. Let us peacefully urge officials and members of the New Orleans area to open their hearts and find remorse and compassion for our fellow human beings. For more information click HERE.

News and Other Announcements

News Article and Interesting Reads

English is Not Normal
Interfaith Prayer Room Dispels Stereotypes
Future Social Work with Cuba
Information on Applying for a Preferred First Name and Pronoun

Mental Health and Mindfulness Resources

Explore resources for mental well-being now:
E-Health Promotion
Mental Well-Being
Mindfulness: Preventative Mental Health Care
Counseling & Psychological Services
Student Health Center

Mission Statement
Follow us
 The mission of the Office of International Students and Scholars is to provide leadership in the internationalization of Tulane University by supporting the Tulane international community and facilitating cross-cultural interaction. By way of support, OISS offers quality programs and services and ensures compliance with federal immigration regulations. 
Our strong belief is that a vibrant international community enriches Tulane University and the New Orleans community and is an essential component to understanding our role within the global community.

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