OPT Workshop schedule during Summer 2014

If you are wanting to apply for OPT during the month of July and August (ex: if you will defend your dissertation during this time or will graduate in Summer 2014), please be aware that there are fewer OPT workshops during this time.  Our office will only have the OPT workshops every other Monday afternoon.  Please refer to our website to schedule an OPT workshop.

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Posted in Immigration Updates

Insurance Announcement: Summer Graduates & Students Not Returning Fall 2014

Please be aware that the summer coverage period of the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will end on 7/31/14.  This date is before the official end of the summer semester.  Due to the high cost of health care in the United States, we highly encourage you to maintain coverage for the duration of your stay in the U.S.  Note that if you have been covered under SHIP for at least the last 6 months, you are eligible to purchase 1 to 6 additional months of this plan beginning August 1st.  To purchase this coverage, please contact insuranceadvisor@austin.utexas.edu by 7/31 for enrollment instructions.

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Posted in Insurance

KAUST Foundation Year Program Renewed for 2014-15

The UT International Office is excited to announce we will be hosting a second cohort for the KAUST Foundation Year Program in 2014-15.

KAUST awards scholarships to top achieving high school students in Saudi Arabia. Before beginning their undergraduate programs in the U.S., students attend a one-year foundation program which consists of test preparation, academic coursework, cultural programming and leadership activities.  During the fall semester, students take TOEFL and SAT exams, complete college applications and apply to universities. During the spring semester, students participate in supplemental activities including a leadership training workshop, a volunteer opportunity, a ropescourse activity and a Dude Ranch trip.

Photo of the KAUST Foundation Year Coordinator and KAUST Cohort 1 during their Closing Ceremony (May 2014)

Photo of the KAUST Foundation Year Coordinator and KAUST Cohort 1 during their Closing Ceremony (May 2014)

Last year, UT Austin worked with 20 KAUST students and is expected to receive 20 new KAUST students this year.  The Cohort 2 students will arrive in August 2014 and will participate in a one-week, customized orientation before beginning their fall semester classes.

We are looking forward to meeting the new cohort and coordinating another successful program!

For questions regarding the KAUST Foundation Year Program, please contact the KAUST Foundation Year Coordinator, Ms. Corissa Wandmacher.

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Posted in Programs & Events

Limited Advising Appointments for August 2014

The month of August is International Student & Scholar Services’ busiest month! During this month, our office is welcoming all our new incoming international students and holding numerous International Briefing and Check-Ins (IBC).  So what does this mean for current international students?  This means there will be fewer advising appointments available with an international student advisor during this month.  We highly recommend meeting with an international student advisor now or before the month of August. Please take this into consideration for the following services that may apply to you:

  • Applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT) if graduating in August 2014
  • Needing an F-1 extension of stay or a J-1 extension of stay if your I-20 or DS-2019 will expire in August 2014
  • Needing to apply for Curricular Practical Training that will start at the beginning of Fall 2014 semester
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On Campus Summer Employment Opportunities

Good news! Immigration regulations allow for F-1 and J-1 students to work on campus more than 20 hours per week during summer semester and during official university breaks. During the summer 2014 semester, F-1 and J-1 students can more than 20 hours per week between May 18 and August 26, 2014.

During the fall and spring semesters, students are limited to 20 hours of automatic on campus work authorization. The fall 2014 semester begins August 27, 2014.

Students who are searching for on campus employment should look at the Hire a Longhorn job bank. However, there are many types of employment advertised on this site. Please look only at part-time, on campus employment. Students can also find on campus jobs by going directly to offices on campus and inquiring if they are hiring part-time student employees. Many positions will require students to submit a resume and cover letter. For help developing a resume or cover letter, students can contact their school or college’s career center. Additionally, the Engineering Career Assistance Center offers some resume tips for international students.

Acceptable On-campus Employment:

  • Any position on campus, 20 hours per week or less (during the fall and spring semester), which is paid by UT Austin
  • A position in a store or restaurant on campus where employees provide a direct service to students (ex: Starbucks, Wendy’s, University Co-Op)

Unacceptable Employment for International Students:

  • An on campus position which is more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semester
  • A position on campus which is paid through an employer other than UT where student employees are not providing a direct service to students (ex: work for a construction or IT company doing a job on campus)
  • Any off-campus employment

International student advisors can meet with students by appointment to discuss employment options. Best of luck with your employment search!

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Posted in Immigration Updates

Mental Health Month: Sleep

Woman Sleeping

Did you know that lack of sleep is one of the top factors affecting UT students’ academic performance?  With the school year over and summer ahead, now is the perfect time to improve your sleep habits.  Here is a little inspiration:

Playlist: Most Relaxing Songs Ever 

  • This Spotify playlist of 160 relaxing songs was submitted by listeners of WNYC Radio.  Guaranteed to help you wind down and doze off.

Video: Children Describe their Dreams

  • This Sleep Project video documents kids’ thoughts on their dreams.  Let them inspire you to get some deep sleep of  your own.

Interactive Nap Map of UT Campus

Check out related posts in our Mental Health Month 2014 Blog Series

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How Do I Clear My I Bar? IBC Dates for Summer & Fall 2014

Are you a new UT Austin student starting in June, July or August 2014? Are you an international student (i.e. not a US Citizen or US Permanent Resident Card holder)? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you will have an I bar on your record. This bar is placed by the International Office as a reminder to attend a mandatory Immigration Briefing & Check-in (IBC) session.

At IBC, we will inform you about important immigration, registration, medical insurance and other resources that you’ll need to be familiar with during your time at UT Austin. You will also be informed about any other registration bars you may have from other offices on campus. Your registration bars must be either waived or cleared before you may register for your classes.
We will hold IBC sessions throughout June, July and August.

To sign up for an IBC session, please visit our website.

For Master of Business Administration (MBA) students:
Please contact your academic department for MBA-specific IBC dates and how to schedule an appointment.

For Executive or Option III Program Students:
If you are admitted to one of the following Executive or Option III programs, please click here for instructions on how and when to satisfy your IBC requirement:
• Master of Science in Finance (MSF)
• Master of Science in Technology & Commercialization (MSTC)
• Master of Science in Business Analytics (IROM)
• Master of Science in Economics
• Master of Arts in Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO)
• MSE in Engineering Management Overview
• Executive MBA at Mexico City
• Executive MBA Programs: Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, & Houston

If you have any questions about IBC, please feel free to contact our office via email at hotline@austin.utexas.edu.

Posted in General

Summer Health Insurance Coverage

Important reminders for students enrolled in the Spring/Summer coverage period of UT’s AHP/BlueCross Blue Shield Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP):

  1. Your Spring/Summer SHIP coverage period lasts until 7/31/2014, even if you are graduating in May.  NOTE: Students graduating in May are not eligible to use University Health Services during the summer.
  2. If you have held the SHIP for 6 months prior to graduation,  you can purchase up to six additional months of Continuation Coverage beyond the 7/31/2014 end date.  Contact the ISSS insurance advisor for more details.
  3. Dependents must be re-enrolled for summer SHIP coverage even if they held spring coverage.  Please make an appointment with the ISSS insurance advisor before 6/9/2014 to enroll dependents in the summer coverage period (6/1/2014 to 7/31/2014).

As you use your insurance over the summer, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Keep your insurance card with you at all times and add Blue Access Mobile to your smart phone or tablet.
  2. Fill your prescriptions before leaving for vacation.
  3. Use University Health Services and in-network providers to save money.
  4. Take advantage of the University Health Services Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6977.  UT Austin students and enrolled scholars may call 24 hours a day/7 days a week for medical guidance.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer break!

Posted in General

Mental Health Month: Test Anxiety

As you make the final push to the end of the semester, you may be feeling anxious about that last big exam.  And that’s ok!  A certain degree of test anxiety is actually normal.  However, too much anxiety can inhibit your performance.  Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to keep your test anxiety at healthy levels.

As a bonus, here’s a few study apps to help get you through your last stretch:

  • Study Blue: Access flashcards from a variety of subjects, or make your own.
  • SelfControl: This apps allows you to block yourself from distracting websites and social networks for a period of time.
  • Coffeetivity: This app recreates the background noise of a bustling coffeeshop.

Check out other posts in our Mental Health Month 2014 Blog Series

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Mental Health Month: Tips for Coping With Stress

MHM2014 Mind Your Health FB Cover Photo 2

With Finals Week in full swing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but being stressed-out takes its toll on your mind and body.   Check out these great tips on Coping with Stress from Mental Health America.  Here are few simple things you can start doing right now to reduce stress:

1. The positive effects of laughing linger in the brain for up to 45 minutes after laughing.  Enjoy a good laugh as often as possible!

2. Strong ties to family and friends increase levels of happiness.  Keep connected to the people who matter to you.

3. Singing is a great way to boost your mood and improve your breathing, which can also reduce anxiety.  So go ahead and sing along to your favorite tunes- it’s good for you!

 Check out other posts in our Mental Health Month 2014 Blog Series

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