If you are an international student on the F-1 visa and will complete your studies in May or July 2009, please consider whether you’d like to extend your stay in the U.S. by applying for a one year work permit (29 months if you major in Sciences, Technology, Math or Engineering). For more information visit: http://www.valdosta.edu/iss/new/OPT.shtml
Be reminded that the application fee has increased to $340.
To help you sort out all the questions regarding OPT there will be an OPT WORKSHOP on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 4 pm at the Center for International Programs. Plan to attend if you are thinking about applying for OPT. I will provide the necessary forms and we will go through all the application requirements and the deadlines.
OPT (Optional Practical Training) is the one year of off-campus work permission granted per each level of study obtained in the US.
If you wish to do OPT after you graduate you need to apply for Employment Authorization from the USCIS. According to the new regulations it is recommended that you apply for OPT 90 days prior to graduation. Detailed information about OPT can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/iss/new/OPT.shtml
If you are receiving the International Student Scholarship your participation in the International Dinner is FREE and MANDATORY! ALL the International Students are welcome to participate and help with the preparations for the International Dinner. It is a great community-wide event and gives you a chance to meet over 200 VSU international students in one place as well as many guests from the community!
The International Dinner was begun 32 year ago as a way for VSU’s International Students to share part of their culture with the Valdosta community and HAVE FUN!!! It is a celebration of cultural diversity that can be found in Valdosta and you are a big part of this diversity! BE A PART OF SOMETHING BIG! PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DINNER ON April 4, 2009!
Traditionally International Dinner takes place in Spring semester. International students provide buffet style dinner and a variety show featuring performances from different countries . You can view pictures from previous International Dinners by going to http://www.valdosta.edu/sis/activitiesSpring2005/International-Dinner-2005/index.htm
2006 and 2007 pictures can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/vsu/stuorg/sis/?page_id=45
The dinner is open to all the members of the Valdosta community. Usually over 200 guests attend the event. There is a charge to attend the dinner but participants (YOU) get to enjoy the show and delicious food for FREE!!!
Again, participation in the International Dinner is FREE and MANDATORY ( if you receive a waiver).
You can participate in the International Dinner by doing one of the following:
1. Being a part of the Cooking Committee: Cooking a dish from your country. Contact Marcela firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Entertainment: Performing (dancing, singing, playing an instrument, etc). Contact Andrea email@example.com
3. Decorations; Helping to Set up and Decorate. Contact Femke at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Publicity Committee: Working on Publicizing the event and selling tickets. Contact Antonija at email@example.com
In order to sign up for a particular activity and make sure that you understand what you are signing up for, YOU WILL HAVE TO ATTEND ONE OF THE TWO MANDATORY INTERNATIONAL DINNER MEETINGS:
On FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6 at 3 pm at the CIP or on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12 AT 6 PM AT THE CIP.
DURING THE MEETINGS YOU WILL BE SPLIT BY COMMITEES, MEET WITH THE COMMITTEE CHAIRS, AND WILL RECEIVE DETAILED GUIDELINES REGARDING YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES. This will also be a great opportunity to get all of your questions answered. The meeting should not take more than 30-40 minutes and on Friday it will follow the Coffee hour.
IF YOU ARE RECEIVING THE INTERNATIONAL WAIVER AND YOU FAIL TO ATTEND AT LEAST ONE OF THE MEETINGS (YOU ONLY NEED TO ATTEND ONLY ONE), I will assume that you are NO LONGER INTERESTED IN THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP.
Starting September 5th, join international and American students at the Center for International Programs every other Friday for Coffee Hour, hosted by SIS. These bi-weekly gatherings are informal and fun ways to meet new people, hang out with old friends, and catch up on what is going on with SIS. Not a coffee drinker? We will have plenty of coffee alternatives and snacks!
What: Coffee Hour Social
When: Every other Friday starting this week on Friday, September 5 @ 2pm
Where: Center for International Programs
Monthly Socials will begin at the end of September with a presentation from the Asian students. Every month, a group of students from a different region of the world will present about their culture. Past groups have done dancing demonstrations, brought traditional foods for everyone to sample, and discussed holidays that are unique to their region. More details will be available soon. Also, participating in a Monthly Social as a presenter can count towards scholarship requirements.