International Affairs: Programs and Events
International Student Orientation is mandatory for all new incoming students. The program is structured to outline your immigration responsibilities and how to maintain your status while in the United States. Valuable resources and offices are introduced and current international students lead discussions and answer questions. More information can be found here.
Mapping Taste, A Global Food Bazaar
An annual event that draws hundreds of SAIC students, Mapping Taste is quickly becoming one of the most highly anticipated and attended programs of the SAIC academic year. International students are invited to host tables with food from their home country and to share their traditions with other SAIC students during the event. Activities in the past have included Henna tattoos, Mah Jong tournaments, belly dancer student group performance, and salsa lessons. This event is held in the fall and is free to SAIC students, staff, and faculty.
These workshops are jointly sponsored and presented by the Career + Co-op Center and International Affairs. During the workshop students will learn about the steps to obtain an internship and fill out required paperwork to begin looking for an internship. A representative from International Affairs will cover Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization and how this is obtained. Workshops are held at the beginning and end of each semester.
I-20 Drop-ins are held at the end of every semester. This is an opportunity for students to immediately obtain an I-20 travel signature on page 3 of their I-20 while visiting with other international students and advisors. Remember, I-20 signatures are only valid for six months from the date they are signed.
Coffee, tea, and snacks are provided for you while you wait.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) workshops are held weekly to give students an outline of this F-1 student benefit and the application process. Students in their final semester must attend a workshop early on in the term to be prepared to apply for OPT.
Life After F-1 Workshop
This workshop is geared toward students who are graduating in the current or next semester. International Affairs invites a professional immigration attorney to outline student options after completing their degree programs. Topics include; options after OPT, H-1B status, CAP GAP, and legal responsibilities as an international student.
All F and J students must file/submit a tax return for each year present in the United States, even if you have not earned income/money. Watch for our special tax advice programming (link to ppt attached: 2011 Intl Student Tax Responsibilities Presentation.ppt) in February or March—this is a part of maintaining your immigration status. For students who have not worked, a simple form is all that is needed. Legally, International Affairs cannot assist you with tax filing.
Odyssey Travel Grant
Each spring semester SAIC awards $1,500 to 20 degree-seeking students for the sole purpose of education through personal travel. These awards are given through the generosity of a donor and are granted on a noncompetitive basis. Twenty names are drawn at random from submitted applications during an award ceremony each spring. The grants must be used for travel before the following January. Applications are accepted online.
International Graduation Reception
International Affairs hosts a reception for international students graduating in May of each year. International students are encouraged to join their fellow graduates to celebrate their degree completion with International Affairs and other SAIC staff and faculty. The event is held the Friday before the commencement ceremonies and is open to graduates and their guests.