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ISO Student News: 11/1/2017

Table of Contents

  1. Next Steps for Students Completing their Studies this Term (more)
  2. ISO Travel Open House - November 14 & Information on Taking a Cruise (more)
  3. UR Speaking Fellows Offer Group Conversation Sessions (more)
  4. Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - November 23 (more)
  5. Campus Focus: International Education Week at UR - November 2017 (more)

Next Steps for Students Completing their Studies this Term

If you are completing your studies this term or early in the spring semester, please consider your next plans and contact the ISO with any questions. You may have several options available after graduation, some of which will require immigration processing. Most students are eligible for a year or longer of employment authorization in the United States using F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training. You must meet important deadlines and application requirements in order to remain eligible for this work permission. Alternatively, if you plan to continue your studies by enrolling in a new degree program, you may need to request an Immigration Transfer of your SEVIS record. Even if you are returning home after you finish your studies, you will need to understand the relevant grace periods and other requirements of your status. All of these plans are often impacted by other concerns as well, including travel abroad and the exact timing of your completion at UR. It is helpful to plan ahead and discuss your options with an advisor in the ISO! To speak with an advisor about your next steps, please review the information on our website (including our Event Archives for past employment presentation materials!) and call (+1 585-275-2866) or email ( ISO to schedule an appointment.


ISO Travel Open House - November 14 & Information on Taking a Cruise

As holiday weekends and vacation periods are coming up, many students begin planning trips home or other visits outside of Rochester. If you plan to travel, please check whether the travel or validation signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 is up-to-date. While these signatures are valid for one calendar year, the ISO recommends that students have a signature from the current academic year when planning to cross the US border. Therefore, if you intend to travel overseas during the coming months and have not had your document signed during the fall term (August 2017 or later), we recommend you visit the ISO to request a travel signature. If you still need to update your I-20 or DS-2019 travel signature, join us for one of our Travel Open House events:

Eastman School of Music
Tuesday, November 14
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
ESM 506


River Campus
Tuesday, November 14
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
ISO, 213 Morey Hall 

ISO staff will be available to offer travel signatures and quick advice on travel during breaks. Snacks will be provided! 

If you are unable to visit us during one of these times to request a travel signature, you may stop by ISO on River Campus during regular business hours to request a travel signature or visit ESM 506 during ESM Walk-in Hours (1:30-4:30PM, Tuesdays/Wednesdays).

Are you planning to take a cruise over break?
If you plan to take a cruise, please be sure that you have permission to enter all the countries included in the cruise itinerary. You may be prevented from boarding the ship if you have not obtained any required visas. Please be sure you also have permission to re-enter the United States upon the conclusion of your cruise trip. F-1 and J-1 students are often allowed to re-enter the United States with an expired visa stamp after a short trip to Canada, Mexico, or some nearby island nations. The Department of State refers to this program as Automatic Revalidation.  Citizens of Iran, Sudan, and Syria are not eligible for this program. Under Automatic Revalidation, re-entry with an expired visa is permitted ONLY when 1) travel is limited to eligible countries, and 2) the trip is shorter than 30 days. More information and the complete list of eligible countries can be found on the State's website: If the trip includes travel to other countries or exceeds a total of 30 days, you must make arrangements to renew your visa before your return.


UR Speaking Fellows Offer Group Conversation Sessions

The Writing and Speaking Center supports effective academic communication across all disciples by offering free writing and speaking tutoring to all members of the University of Rochester community. Beginning November 10, the Speaking Fellows will offer group conversation practice sessions. The goal of these sessions is to help participants grow more comfortable speaking in English in a variety of situations. Group conversation practice sessions are pre-scheduled events that require sign-up in advance. Each session is open to ten UR students and will last about one hour. Each session will have a pre-determined topic or theme so that participants can do any preparation ahead of time (though preparation is optional). Two speaking fellows will be there to facilitate the conversation, but the participating students will be the primary contributors to the conversation. View available sessions and sign up online now! 

Please note, the Writing and Speaking Center’s Speaking Fellows also offer students one-on-one professional (such as speaking at a networking event), academic (such as speaking with a professor), and casual conversation practice. It is recommended that you schedule sessions in advance, using the Center’s online scheduling system.


Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - November 23

Thursday, November 23 will mark the US Thanksgiving holiday! This classic American tradition is generally celebrated in family gatherings, with plenty of good food and good times. Members and friends of Rochester Global Connections are inviting Rochester area international students to join them for a holiday feast. If you will be in town over the break and would like to visit with a local family for Thanksgiving Dinner, please sign up by submitting the online form for Thanksgiving Dinner. If you have a friendship volunteer, please check with them before responding - they may be expecting you for dinner.

Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is a community-based volunteer organization that provides services to international students and Department of State visitors in the Rochester area. The International Services Office (ISO) hosts RGC at the University of Rochester and co-sponsors many events and activities.


Campus Focus: International Education Week at UR - November 2017

Celebrate the benefits of international education and cultural exchange, here at the University of Rochester and worldwide! International Education Week (IEW) will be officially celebrated during the third week of November, 13 through the 17, but there is more to do throughout the month, and the year! The University has scheduled a wide array of events to highlight the various aspects of international education within our campuses throughout the month. Our theme this year is Building Peace through Advocacy and Education! Please see the full schedule online. For up-to-date information about the many events, programs, and activities celebrating international education at the University of Rochester this month, check out and "like" the UR Global Village Facebook page:

We would like to highlight some key events:

Club Rochester 
November 1, 3:30 to 5:30 pm, Feldman Ballroom, Douglas Commons, River Campus
Join the University Community in a truly cultural event this Friday! Club Rochester is a great place to meet, eat, and relax with students, faculty, and staff. Enjoy delicious free appetizers and low-cost beverages at this monthly happy hour! This event will be hosted by the International Education Week Committee, NASA, and the Global Students Union.

IEW’s Ted Talk Kick-Off Event
November 13, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library, River Campus
Help celebrate the start of International Education Week 2017! The IEW Committee is excited to get things started with our kick-off event, featuring a Ted Talk by Luma Mufleh. Following the Ted Talk, we will facilitate a conversation about the refugee process in America and the topics discussed in the Ted Talk.

Gandhi Institute Workshop on Non-Violence and Effective Communication
November 15, 5:00 to 6:00 pm, Community Room (fourth floor), Douglass Commons, River Campus
Kit Miller, Director of the Gandhi Institute, will lead a workshop on nonviolent communication and conflict resolution. Please join us at this exciting and interactive event. Those who attend will be sure to take away valuable skills! 

Human Library
November 16, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Hirst Lounge, Wilson Commons, River Campus
Join us for an interactive Human Library event in Hirst Lounge! Allow yourself to be submersed in learning about new cultures and people through excerpts from books written by authors from the countries of the original travel ban. These excerpts will be read aloud by students, faculty, and staff whom originate from those countries. We will also raffle off the books from this Human Library event. You may view the books on display in Rush Rhees Library throughout the week of IEW! 

International Student Mentor Program: Plants for Peace
November 17, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Hirst Lounge, Wilson Commons, River Campus
Join us in Hirst Lounge to decorate pots and plant some seeds for peace! 


Editor: Lena Ovcharov, Immigration Advisor