Monday, February 22, 2016

2/17 OISS Digest

February 17, 2016
Office of International Students and Scholars
Weekly Digest

In This Weeks Digest…

OISS EVENTS – Coffee Hour, OPT Workshop, Career Workshop, and Tax Office Workshop
TULANE OPPORTUNITIES – CPS Programs, Intern Tulane, International Food and Music Festival, English classes, and more
EVENTS – International Nights: Brazil, China Lights, Black Arts Fest, and more
NEWS – Africana Studies, International students in Korea, Academic Preparation for International Students

Coffee Hour Spotlight

Thank you to everyone who attended our Chinese New Year Coffee Hour! We hope you had a great time learning about the celebration of Chinese New Year and eating delicious Chinese pastries and treats!

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STEM OPT allows students in designated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math degrees to extend their 12 months of Optional Practical Training for an additional 17 months, for a total of 29 months of OPT.

STEM OPT is currently under legal review, but this review has been extended to May 10, 2016. For now, There are no changes to STEM OPT.

In the meantime, interested and eligible students are encouraged to apply for a STEM extension now.

To apply, your degree must be on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program Listand you must be within 120 days of your current OPT end date. For the STEM OPT application and instructions, click HERE

OISS will continue to monitor developments related to STEM OPT and send updates to you when they are available.

Also, remember to report your employment. For more information on when you are required to report information and what information to report, click HERE.

If you have any questions, email

Be Featured in the Digest

Do you want to be featured in our Weekly Digest? Do you want to share your experiences at Tulane? Then sign up to be our Person of the Week!

The OISS is looking for individuals to feature in our Digest every week. We would love to share more about you and your experiences to our international community!

Please contact our student worker, Karen Chen, at if interested.

Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in United States history.

The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

Tulane Black Student Union will be holding a Black Arts Festival from 2/27 – 3/13 in celebration of Black History Month. This celebration runs over the course of two weeks and will feature lectures, workshops, showcases, and a variety of other events to provide comprehensive programming to students and the community. For more information, click 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, and 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, 1:00- 4:00 p.m.

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: Greenbaum Lounge (Bldg # 71
, Uptown)
Time:  Thursdays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Theme: Lego Building

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.


Lego Building Coffee Hour Tomorrow!

Join OISS for some creative competition this Thursday! We will have team competitions to build the strongest bridge, the highest tower, and the coolest local monument. We’ll also have sweets, treats, coffee and good company to enjoy, like we do at every coffee hour. This coffee hour is co-sponsored by Chi Alpha, and we’re extending a special invitation to members of the School of Science and Engineering (so maybe you can team up with a pro!).

When: Thursday, February 18, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Greenbaum Lounge (Bldg #71, Uptown)

 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 (29 months for certain STEM fields). 

Access the OPT instructions and forms here:  

Beginning February 18, you may submit your complete OPT application packet at OISS each week at any of the following drop-in times:  

Downtown Career Workshop for International Students
This is part 2 of a 2-part series and will be an informational and interactive presentation about career- related topics for all international students.  We will cover topics such as U.S. business culture and discussing immigration status with employers.

Tuesday, February 23. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Tidewater 1206.

International Tax Office Workshops
WFMO’s International Tax Office (ITO) will be having various nonresident alien Tax Workshops to discuss basic U.S. tax responsibilities.  We highly encourage all international students and scholars to attend as they will explain the process involved in the preparation of your U.S. tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and answer any questions you might have.

Uptown Campus Workshops
Tuesday, February 23: 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. at LBC Room 201(Race)
Tuesday, March 15: 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. at LBC Room 201(Race)

Downtown Campus Workshop
Tuesday, March 1: 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. at Tidewater, Room 2414

Take a Trip to Hong Kong Market with TIS
Tulane International Society is taking a trip to Hong Kong Market on February 20thJoin us to do some shopping and meet some new people. There will be free transportation! The bus will leave from uptown campus at 10:30 a.m. and we’ll be back by 1 p.m. If you’re interested, RSVP HERE.

International Food & Music Festival
The annual International Food & Music Festival is coming up. We are looking for individuals or groups interested in performing, cooking, participating in a fashion show, setting up cultural information booths, and volunteering. If you are interested in participating, please click HERE.
Got Work? Got Leadership? CPS is Hiring!
Looking to develop your leadership skills or earn some money? The Center for Public Service is now recruiting students to join three leadership programs; the Service Learning Assistants, Public Service Fellows and Community Engagement Advocates. Whether you want to connect more deeply with the New Orleans community, help transform service learning at Tulane, or lead powerful conversations about social justice, CPS has a wide range of ways to get involved. To nominate yourself or someone you know, click here. For more information email Ben Brubaker at []

Intern Tulane
Intern Tulane is happening next Tuesday, February 23rdCome hear from the Center for Public Service, CELT, Newcomb College Institute, and many other Tulane offices to learn more about internship resources to help you find, fund, or earn credit for an internship! Click here to RSVP.

PORceiros: Portuguese/English Language Practice
Olá, todos! Hope you are all fully in the swing of the Spring semester. We are continuing our PORceiros program for students and community members who want to practice English or Portuguese. Think of this as a private tutoring experience in your target language! We will pair native speakers of Portuguese and English that want to practice each other’s language in an informal setting. Partners could meet up separately at a time/in a place that is convenient for both parties, and could speak for ~30min Portuguese, then ~30min English. The difference an hour a week will make in your language proficiency and confidence is *amazing*! 

Sign up on this google sheet and we will follow up with you to make sure you've been able to find a partner. Questions? Email Megwen at[ ] for more information.  

One Wave Student Leadership Trainings
Saturday, February 27 or April 2. 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Learn how you can contribute to a safer Tulane by attending a One Wave bystander intervention student leadership training. Make an impact in your community. Register HERE.

Tulane SPHTM presents Informational Webinars
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine will be hosting the following webinars about the opportunities as a student at Tulane University SPHTM. These webinars include the following topics:
·         Tulane African Student Association   
For dates and more information, CLICK HERE.

Non-Credit English Classes for International Students
This spring, CGE is offering non-credit and flexible American Academic English classes that offer opportunities for developing and practicing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills with other students in a relaxed conversational atmosphere that includes brief presentations. During this time, you will be encouraged to develop a personal English plan. By participating, you will also be given preferential access to one-on-one conversation partners, individualized writing instruction, and other specialized programs, such as intensive night classes and grammar classes.

It is all free to Tulane students and scholars. If you are interested, the classes are available at both the uptown and downtown Tulane campuses. You can attend one class a week, depending on your schedule, or more classes with the instructor’s permission. Please contact to enroll or if you have any further questionsClick HERE for more information.

Newcomb College Institute Internship Information Sessions
Newcomb College Institute aims to connect undergraduate women to a wide range of experiential learning opportunities that focus on women of gender. Our Summer Internship Program offers competitive grants of up to $2,000 to support undergraduate women in internship positions that focus on women of gender. Please attend one of the following information sessions at the NCI House, 7025 Freret St to learn more about these internship funding opportunities. Please email Betsy Lopez with any questions or to set up and alternative meeting time at[]

·         Monday, February 22, 4PM
·         Monday, February 29, 4PM
·         Thursday, March 10, 4PM
·         Wednesday, March 16, 4PM


Chi Alpha Loves International Students Table
Wednesday, February 17. 11:45 – 1:15 p.m. Outside LBC near bike racks.
This Wednesday, Chi Alpha will be hosting a table with gifts and snacks for all international students as part of their Chi Alpha Loves International Students Week. Make sure to stop by and pick up a treat!

Voices and Memories from Brazil
This event features a panel of visiting PhD candidates from Brazil. There will be a 10-minute presentation by each presenter followed by a Q&A and discussion session. The three speakers will be speaking on:

·         Youth, Space, and Representations: A study about social visibility strategies by the media and consumption

International Night: Brazil
Saturday, February 20, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Greenbaum House, first floor lounge.
Join Chi Alpha and their friends from Brazil for a night to celebrate the beautiful Brazilian culture including cuisine, dance, history, and so much more! It’s going to be fun AND delicious!

China Lights
New Orleans City Park is excited to invite you to join in an extraordinary new opportunity for our community. Like never before, the New Orleans Botanical Garden inside City Park will be transformed. More than 30 extraordinary, blazing bright silk covered structures will fill a large portion of our Botanical Garden. Picture an incredible glowing dragon 192 feet long, a four story, lit-from-within pagoda towering high enough to be seen from almost any vantage and dozens of dazzlingly colorful lighted displays created by a team of some 100 artisans and technicians at Sichuan Tianyu, located in Zigong, China.

Tickets will be $18 for adults and $12 for children under 12 years old.

Trials and Triumphs
Wednesday, February 24. 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. LBC 212.
This event features professors Peter Ricchiuti, Michael Cunningham, Latha Rajan, Rebecca Mark, and Michael Cohen. They are going to share their personal experiences of defeat, failure, and setbacks amongst their accomplishments. We are hoping this will be an empowering message for students about taking risks, stepping out of their comfort zones, and finding community support to learn from mistakes and succeed. For more information, email Krista Casale at[]
Black Arts Festival
Saturday, February 27 – Sunday, March 13. Various times and locations.
Each year, the Tulane Black Student Union hosts the Black Arts Festival on campus. In past years, the Festival has taken various forms ranging from a weeklong lecture series to a singular day of events. Last year the program saw 2000 attendees over the course of two weeks which featured lectures, workshops, showcases, and a variety of other events to provide comprehensive programming to students and the community. For more information, click here.

9th Annual Big Easy Blues Festival
Saturday, February 27. 8:00 p.m. UNO Lakefront Arena.
The 9th Annual Big Easy Blues Festival is coming up. This year’s festival will feature Tucka, Sir Charles Jones, Theodis Ealey, T.K. Soul, and many more. For more information, click HERE.

News and Other Announcements

News Article and Interesting Reads

Mental Health and Mindfulness Resources

Explore resources for mental well-being now:

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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Weekly Fact: Cherophobia is the fear of happiness and fun.

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