Thursday, March 17, 2016

3/16 Digest


March 16, 2016
Office of International Students and Scholars
Weekly Digest

Important Announcements                                  

Traveling outside the U.S. for Spring Break? Make sure you have a valid travel signature
Due to high seasonal demand, if you will be leaving the country during the spring, 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.

International Food and Music Festival: More Volunteers Needed
Even though all the performing spots have been filled, we do need volunteers willing to do some cooking and provide the festival with some cultural displays! See below for sign up details.

In This Week’s Digest…

OISS EVENTS – St. Patrick's Day Coffee Hour, International Food and Music Festival, OPT Workshop, and Tax Office Workshop.
TULANE OPPORTUNITIES – CPS Employment, Portugese / English Practice, Academic Recharge Program, and more.
EVENTS –China Lights, Visual Activism, Crawfest, Jazz Fest, and more.
NEWS – Quirks of New Orleans Culture, Africana Studies, Academic Preparation for International Students

Weekly Spotlight: Graduation is fast approaching!

Sonja Ebert, Michela Sandri, and James Bayanai with their GRAD FEST swag at coffee hour

Many of the attendees of the March 3 coffee hour were able to attend GRAD FEST en route to coffee hour.  Not only did they get their caps and gowns to wear on graduation day, but they also started to get really excited about becoming Tulane University Graduates!




Inauguration of President Fitts

By now you’ve seen the light pole banners, read the New Wave stories and hopefully the email from us, so you know that President Mike Fitts will be inaugurated as Tulane’s 15th president tomorrow at 2 p.m. in McAlister Auditorium.

We are looking forward to a great day during which we will celebrate all things Tulane, and we don’t intend to let a few rain drops dampen our spirits. 

A few things to remember:
No ticket is required for the ceremony and all are encouraged to attend.

The reception for the Tulane community will be held after the inauguration, come rain or shine (only the location may change but there will be plenty of directions so you won’t miss it).

For those who can’t join us in person, the inauguration is being streamed. Beginning Thursday morning there will be a link on  that will guide you through the steps to access the program.

Classes will be held tomorrow. 

St. Patrick's Day

New Orleans is a city that loves celebrating holidays, whether Christmas, Halloween, or Mardi Gras. Its love for celebration continues this month for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day (March 17) is coming up, and in New Orleans, the festivities go on for ten days. This celebration will feature not only one, but THREE parades, plus two fabulous block parties in the Irish Channel section of Uptown.

During the largest of the St. Paddy's Day parades, the float riders not only throw beads and other Mardi Gras-style trinkets, they also pass down cabbages, potatoes, carrots, onions, packaged seasonings, and other key ingredients found in Irish stews. Men and women in green costumes pass out paper flowers, beads, and kisses to parade-goers along the route. 


Thursday, March 17: Downtown Irish Club Parade - 6PM



Kristy Magner
OISS Director

Belinda Schneider
F-1 Students

Beth Nazar
J-1 Students

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

Dana Criswell
F-1 Students

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: Change Weekly!

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.


Come Join us at the St. Patrick's Day Themed Coffee Hour after President Fitts’ Inauguration! (See below) Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Join students, scholars, the Baptist Campus Ministry and the OISS at our fun-filled St. Patrick's Day Coffee Hour! Meet other international students, get to know the OISS staff, and celebrate this fun spring holiday with some fun green activities and snacks!  We hope to see you there!

When: Thursday, March 7, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. (NEW TIME this week only due to the inauguration!)
Where: Greenbaum Lounge (Bldg #71, Uptown)

Are you interested in advising OISS on international student needs and concerns?
Do you want to participate in the development of new initiatives, interact with the wider University community to raise the visibility of international students, and develop your leadership abilities?

OISS is currently accepting applications for the 2016/2017 International Student Advisory Board (ISAB). OISS seeks a board that is highly diverse and broadly representative of Tulane's international student body. on the ISAB provides members with many opportunities to represent the voices and experiences of international students, develop as leaders, shape OISS’ programs and policies, give back to the international student community and the university, work with other international students and OISS staff, and learn more about OISS and Tulane University.

The ISAB Board meets on Mondays from 6 to 8 PM every other week on the uptown campus. Please only consider applying if you will be available to meet on Mondays evenings.

Applications are due by Sunday, April 3rd.  For more information and to apply, visit

International Food and Music Festival (Update!)


We are still in need for volunteers!  The list for performers is full, however we still need people who are willing to help with the event in the following areas:

  • Cooking international cuisine (you will be reimbursed from $75-$100)
  • Donating International Cuisine
  • Cultural Booth (Share cultural tradition with poster board, display, presentation, and/or activity. 4:00pm-6:30pm)
·         Set Up Crew (help set up the room and space from 12pm-4pm)
  • Serving (help serve food from 3:30pm-6:30pm.  You MUST take the health & hazard certification to serve food )
  • Clean-up Crew (help clean up the tables, rooms, and take out trash.  6:00pm-7:30pm)
  • Kid Zone (helping entertain kids, supervising the kids area, etc.)
  • Vendor (selling crafts, clothing, accessories, etc.)

Steps After OPT and H1-B Workshops
Are you finishing your OPT and wondering what to do next? Or are you on an H-1B visa and want information on the steps to becoming a Permanent Resident? Please join us for an information session featuring representatives from the law firm of Ware Immigration.

First workshop: April 8 from 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. at WH251 (Weinman Hall)
Second workshop: April 12, from  12:00 – 2:00 P.M. at Downtown Campus (Room TBD)

Optional Practical Training
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:  

You may submit your complete OPT application packet at OISS each week at any of the following drop-in times:  
Monday 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.      
Monday 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.      
Wednesday 8:30- 9:30 a.m.


Tulane International Society holding elections April 13th the 2016-2017 executive board
Applications should be submitted to  by April 11th with your full name, email, class (fr,so,jr,sr), the position you're interested in, and a paragraph or two detailing why you're interested and/or why you’d be a good fit. The co-presidents are elected from members who have experience serving on the e-board, but all the following positions are open:

Vice President
-perform the presidents tasks in the event of their absence
-coordinate with other on-campus orgs

-responsible for budgeting expenses prior to the beginning of every semester
-process reimbursements with the staff advisor

-keep records of all activities and meetings

Public Relations Chair
-liaison between members and greater campus community by sending email updates, making flyers, updating the Facebook page
-document events
-lead recruitment efforts

International Student Liaison
-serve as a liaison to the international community and encourage participation among international students
-assist the public relations chair with recruitment efforts

Let us know if you have any questions!

Academic Recharge Program
Located in Diboll, the Academic Recharge Program at the Tulane Success center provides assistance for students who experience difficulties at the semester midpoint and beyond. The program aims to help students regain satisfactory academic status. Success staff members will assist students to develop a meaningful personal plan for academic success through intensive coaching, guidance on the utilization of Tulane support services, and suggestions to improve in the areas of academic weakness. 

Full time undergraduate students in Newcomb Tulane College can receive assistance with --
Study Strategies, Test taking / Test Anxiety, Time Management, Organization/Planning, Motivation & Stress Management. 

Click HERE to complete the Academic Recharge form and for more information.

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

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.  

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:
·         Sexuality, Health and Gender
·         Healthcare Management
·         Tulane African Student Association   
·         Health Systems of China
·         SALUD for Latin American Communities
·         Life of a SPHTM Student
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 questions. Click HEREfor more information.


China Lights
Tuesday, February 23 - May 1, 2016. New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park.
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.
Native American Speaker Series: Houma Nation
Thursday, March 17. 12:00 p.m. School of Social Work Rm 343.
Join the School of Social Work for their Native American Speaker Series. This month, Lora Ann Chaisson, a Tribal Council member of the United Houma Nation and Program Manager for the Institute for Indian Development, will be speaking on the Impact of Civil Rights and Federal Recognition on Houma Nation.

Congo Square Rhythms Festival
Saturday, March 19 - 20. 11:00 – 7:00 p.m. Armstrong Park 701 N. Rampart St.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation celebrates the music and culture of the African diaspora at the ninth annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival. This free event celebrates the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the melting pot of traditions that gave rise to such unique music. It will feature the music and dance of Africa, the Caribbean, the American Gulf South, and beyond in this two-day, family-friendly festival.

Jess Dugan: A Decade of Visual Activisim
Thursday, March 31. 7:00 p.m. Stone Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center.
Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. She has been photographing within LGBTQ communities for the past decade and is deeply committed to the transformative power of photographic portraiture. In her lecture she will speak about the trajectory of her work over the past dcade, her motivations for making photographs, and her experience as a working artist. 

French Quarter Festival
Thursday, April 7 - 10 All Day. French Quarter.
The award-winning French Quarter Festival is a four-day local music showcase scattered throughout the historic French Quarter in New Orleans -- The largest FREE music event in the United States! Filled with over 1,700 musicians playing local music from a variety of genres, French Quarter Festival also features a variety of delicious local cuisine from restaurants all over the city. For more information, click HERE

Crawfest at Tulane University
Saturday, April 16. 11:00 a.m. LBC Quad
Crawfest is an annual rain-or-shine music, food, and arts festival located in the heart of Tulane University's Uptown campus. Each year, community members and students enjoy music from bands on 2 stages, 20,000+ pounds of crawfish, thousands of pounds of veggies, and dozens of local food and art vendors across the LBC and Newcomb Quads. It is FREE and open to ALL Tulane Students and Faculty with a current Splash Card and children 12 and under, $10 for the general public. Click HERE for the lineup and more information.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Friday, April 22- May 1 7:00 p.m. Fair Grounds Race Course, 1751 Gentilly Boulevard. .
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, aka Jazz Fest, is a 10-day cultural feast in which thousands of musicians, cooks and artists welcome 400,000 visitors each year. The Louisiana Heritage Fair showcases unforgettable music by artists big and small on multiple stages, delicious Louisiana cuisine in two large food areas, and crafts artisans from the region and around the world demonstrating and selling their work. The amazing lineup is HERE and tickets are sold HERE. Don't miss out on this incredible festival! 

News and Other Announcements

News Article and Interesting Reads
The Quirks of New Orleans Culture
New Orleans Police Building Bilingual Team
Academic Preparation Goes Beyond Class for International Students
Podcast on China’s One Child Policy Reversal
Spirit of Renewal in Africana Studies

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

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.

Keep up with us on Facebook!

Weekly Fact: Apple sauce was the first food eaten in space by an American astronaut

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