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Newsletter for F-1 international students.
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The Frontier

A newsletter for F-1 international students
September 2019

Welcome Jaguars! 

Whether you're a new international student or a returning one, we want to welcome you to the 2019-2020 school year! 

Please visit our webpage for F-1 students, where you will find information about travel, on-campus employment, maintaining your F-1 status, and applying for OPT. 

If you have questions, feel free to email us at ipso@augusta.edu or call our office at 706-721-0670.
 
Don't see yourself in the photo above? Find photos of all the new Fall 2019 international students on our website.  
New international students:
Schedule your orientation appointment with IPSO


If you're a new international student, don't forget to schedule your orientation appointment with Ms. Beverly Tarver! You should have two initial appointments with our office: a registration appointment and an orientation appointment. If you haven't been to see us a second time for your orientation appointment, please submit an appointment request today
Reminders 

Enrolled in an online course? Remember this rule

F-1 students are only allowed to count one online or distance course toward their F-1 full course of study requirement. If the one course is more than 3 credit hours, only three of those credit hours will count towards meeting the full course of study requirement.

Full course of study requirements

  • Graduate students: at least 9 credit hours
  • Undergraduate students: at least 12 credit hours

F-1 students may take more than one online or distance course, but only one of the online or distance courses (at a maximum of 3 credit hours) will count towards the full course of study requirement.

If you're not sure if you have enough credit hours to meet the full course of study requirement for your F-1 program, please contact Beverly Tarver at btarver@augusta.edu or 706-721-0670.  

Notify IPSO of your change of address

If your address changes, please let us know by filling out our Information Change Request Form.

You are also required to notify USCIS of your address change within 10 days after you move - even if you change from one room to another in your residence hall - by filling out the Form AR-11 online.

Extend your I-20 if necessary

Please pay attention to the "program end date" on your I-20. (Click the image above to see a larger sample I-20.) If you plan to graduate later than the end date on your I-20, please request an extension appointment

Request travel endorsement before leaving the U.S.

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., you may request a travel endorsement appointment up to 60 days (or 2 months) in advance. IPSO endorses for travel each time you exit the U.S. When you come to your appointment, remember to bring your passport, visa, I-94 and travel letter from the appropriate office:

  • Graduate students – The Graduate School
  • Undergraduate students with 60 credit hours or more – Your academic program advisor or college associate dean
  • Undergraduate students with less than 60 credit hours – Academic Advisement
  • Professional students – Contact IPSO for guidance
Request an Appointment
Check your course enrollment

Be sure to log into Pounce after the drop/add period is over every term to be sure that you are enrolled in the correct courses. Check the course numbers and sections to be sure that what appears in your Pounce account matches the classes you are attending.

Graduating? Here's when you should apply for OPT

Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows you to work in the U.S. for at least one year after graduating.

If you're planning to apply, you'll want to keep the following in mind. The earliest that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept your application is 90 days before your graduation date. The latest that they will accept your application is 60 days after your graduation date. You are not required to have a job to apply for OPT. 
For undergraduate students graduating in December 
Earliest date: September 16, 2019
Latest date: February 11, 2020
For undergraduate students graduating in May
Earliest date: February 10, 2020
Latest date: July 7, 2020
You are encouraged to apply for OPT before graduation. If you do not apply before graduation, you are encouraged to apply:
  • within the 45-day period after graduation so that your application will reach USCIS on or before the 60th day after graduation.
    AND
  • prior to exiting the U.S. If you exit the U.S. during the grace period after you graduate or complete your program requirements, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may determine that your F-1 status has ended and you are ineligible for OPT. 
Please read the complete instructions on preparing your OPT application packet. 

When you are ready, you can request an appointment with Ms. Beverly Tarver. 
Resources for International Students 

Columbia County Library offering new advanced writing help for English language learners

International students can get free advanced writing instruction through the Columbia County Library's new program for English language learners. The program offers assistance in developing writing skills for academic and professional essays, papers, emails, letters, reports and summaries in APA Publication Manual Style. All instruction will be online. There is a limit of 5 students. Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact 7022esl@gmail.com. 

The library also offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes on Tuesdays from 10:15 to noon starting Sept. 3. Check out all the other ESL programs at the library, including civics class, a craft group, a social conversation group and more. 

You can find more English language resources on the IPSO website.

Student Counseling and Psychological Services offers mental health services to all AU students

Student Counseling and Psychological Services (SCAPS) offers comprehensive mental health services to all enrolled Augusta University students. SCAPS believes in the power of prevention of mental illness and mental health concerns and offers wellness workshops, anxiety workshops and other psychoeducational programs on emotional wellness.

SCAPS has two offices: SCAPS Summerville Campus located in the Central Utilities building (CE-201) on the 2nd floor, and SCAPS Health Sciences Campus located in the Student Center (DA-2014) on the 2nd floor.

To set up an appointment with a counselor, students can stop by either office or call 706-737-1471. To learn more about SCAPS services, the counselors or for additional information and resources, visit https://www.augusta.edu/counseling/.

Multicultural Center now open in the JSAC

The Office of Multicultural Student Engagement and the Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs have opened a Multicultural Center in an effort to continue fostering an inclusive campus climate. 
The goal of the center is to offer a gathering space where students of all cultural identities will have the opportunity to engage in conversation around topics such as cultural identity, race, gender, diversity, equity, social justice and more. The center is located in the JSAC, Room 209. Stop by and check it out! 

Other on-campus resources for students

Augusta University also has a variety of other student support and advocacy services on campus, including the Academic Success Center, Testing & Disabilities Services and Student Health Services. View this brochure to learn more about these and other services
Upcoming Events 
September
Sweet Success Showcase
Grab a tasty treat while you learn about free student success services on campus. 

Takeover Tuesday
Take a break between classes to join The CREW and other student organizations for free food, music, games and giveaways!

Movie Night
Unwind with The CREW for an evening of fun and relaxation. Stay tuned via their Instagram and Facebook page for further information.

Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival
Shop for new handmade arts and fine crafts, sample delicious international food and see showcase performances by talent from all over the Southeast.

Lyceum Series: Ranky Tanky
This Charleston, SC based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. Free for students, but reservation is required.
 
AU Parent & Family Weekend
Parent & Family Weekend is a time for parents, family and friends to visit with students, enjoy campus, participate in family-friendly activities and see the wide array of opportunities and resources AU has to offer.

October
Pig Out
To show appreciation to the student body, Student Life & Engagement is putting together an event that you'll never forget! You don't want to miss the free food, novelties, attractions, and more.

Westobou Festival
Westobou is a five-day festival featuring performances, exhibitions and screenings in music,dance, film, spoken word and visual arts. 

Miss Augusta University Pageant
Join The CREW for a night of elegance and empowerment. Who will be crowned the next Miss Augusta University?
 
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