All posts by k.emory

Support for Ukraine

The office of international affairs is deeply concerned about the current situation in Ukraine. We support our students, their families, and friends who are affected by the invasion, and stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

How can you help?

Post your support for Ukraine, condemning the war on your social media, #standwithukraine, #notowar

Wear blue and/or yellow colors to show your support for the people of Ukraine.

Write your congressional members request support for Ukraine and her people, including the more than 1-million refugees.

Avoid mis- and disinformation: check the source of the information you are sharing/reading and use only reputable sources.

Resources for those outside of Ukraine:

https://how-to-help-ukraine-now.super.site/

NAFSA- a resource for international education, has a page for immigration recourses for Ukraine.

Local organizations in Pittsburgh:

December updates from ISSS

 

OIA Office hours- winter break

During portions of winter break the OIA office will be closed. If you need assistance during these days, send an email to InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu We will periodically check this mailbox. Please plan accordingly.

OIA will be closed December 23, 2012 – January 2, 2022

We will reopen on our normal schedule on January 3, 2022.

OIA will be available during normal business hours (9am -5 pm, Monday through Friday). The OIA office is located in Falk Hall, on the lower level (across from the Chatham copy center).

You can contact us at InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu or by phone at +1 412 365 1388.

 To set up meetings please contact the appropriate individual:

 

A reminder: ALL F and J students must report to OIA:  

  • Change of address within 10-days. This must be kept up-to-date on your SEVIS record.
    • Changing your address in Portal or MyChatham does not update your SEVIS record. You must update OIA directly.
  • Change of Program- including change of Major, adding a second Major, or a minor.
  • If your program end date is different than what is listed on your I-20. You must report this as soon as possible to update the I-20. * If you will be graduating in December, please double check your I-20!
  • Change of name.
  • If you plan to apply for CPT you must do so BEFORE you begin the internship or training experience. This includes paid and unpaid positions.
  • If you will be graduating, and plan to apply for OPT, please contact OIA as soon as possible. OPT applications can take 2-4 months to process by USCIS.

You can report the above information through email.

Spring Enrollment Reminders: Registration for Spring 2022 is currently open. Please register as soon as possible. If you are not fully registered by add/drop your F1 status may be terminated. If you are eligible for a reduced course load, please contact OIA.

As a reminder in order to maintain your F-1 or J-1 student status, you must be enrolled as full-time student.  This means:

  • If you are an undergraduate- enrolled for at least 12 credits.
  • If you are a graduate student- enrolled for at least 9 credits.

Classes start January 5, 2022. The add/drop deadline is January 12, 2022.

Questions about registration? Check out the FAQ’s on MyChatham.

*If you have a hold on your student account, you will not be eligible to register for Spring classes. Please log into Portal to check your Account status. If there is a hold, take care of it now so that you do not have problems registering for Spring 2022

Other updates:

Please visit the  Chatham Covid-19 Response website, for university updates. Chatham provides weekly updates regarding operations and policies surrounding our covid-19 response.

Are you missing any required immunizations? Make an appointment at the Allegheny County Health Department Immunization Clinic.  The clinic offers immunizations for all the required Chatham vaccines. They accept many insurances and are conveniently located in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Travel updates! Updated as of December 16, 2021. (please read)

Be cautious traveling- both within the United States, and internationally:

At this time, we recommend students limit all non-essential travel, especially if you are not fully vaccinated. If you do need to travel, either internationally or out of Pennsylvania, you are responsible for following local, state, and national guidance. You may have to quarantine, or test for covid-19 before or after travel.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, travel guidance can change frequently, and students should follow-up with their travel agents, airlines, and the country resources for where they travel.

Refer to guidance from the CDC, US State Department travel advisories and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for specific port-of-entry screening processes, as well as any travel restrictions.

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants.

Recently the US government updated their travel policies for entry to the United States, and recommendations for covid-19 testing and quarantine.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 1 day before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.

Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers* to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated for covid-19 and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

The CDC has also updated their recommendations, and those who are fully-vaccinated will not need to quarantine upon entry to the United States. It is recommended that international travelers take a covid-19 test 3-5 days after arrival in the United States.

If you are not-fully vaccinated, and are eligible for an exception to enter the United States, you will be required to quarantine for at least 7-days.

Chatham University follows CDC guidance, which includes:

Spring Entry Testing 

In alignment with CDC guidance, Chatham will require spring entry term testing for any student or employee (vaccinated or unvaccinated) traveling internationally before coming to campus on 1.3.

If you are traveling internationally over the winter break, please contact Student Health Services to discuss and schedule your spring entry testing prior to coming to campus or on 1.3 or 1.4.

Please remember that Spring 2022 semester begins on January 5, 2022. If you travel internationally or domestically, please be aware of when you need to return for classes.

 Covid-19 Testing resources when departing the United States

You may need a negative covid-19 test in order to engage in international travel. A map of local testing locations is available on the Allegheny County’s website. You should plan testing carefully to make sure you meet any travel requirements to board your flight or enter the destination country. Please check with your travel agent, or the consular operations of your destination country for specific requirements.

Some testing locations may offer free testing, others may charge you. We recommend checking the location for their requirements. You can receive a covid-19 test at many local pharmacies, doctors’ offices, or testing sites.

The Curative van travels around the county weekly offering testing. The van schedule is updated every Monday for the week:

https://www.alleghenycounty.us/Health-Department/Resources/COVID-19/Information-on-COVID-19-Testing.aspx

https://alcogis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Nearby/index.html?appid=472bad5ba19f4247a094d55e712195c8

 

I-20 Travel Signatures

If you will travel internationally, please check page 2 of your current I-20 for a travel signature from a DSO. Travel signatures are good for 1 year. If you do not have a signature, or the one you have is more than a year old, please contact OIA to set up an appointment for a travel signature. Be aware of our upcoming office closure!

Resources for Immigration

The Department of Homeland Security offers a free resource to provide information on the rules and regulations for F-1 students in the United States: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/

The Department of State provides J-1 Exchange Visitor’s with information on their programs at: https://j1visa.state.gov/basics/

ICE: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/students

Covid-19 Information:

ICE: https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus

Center for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel-during-covid19.html

Allegheny County information:  https://www.alleghenycounty.us/Health-Department/resources/COVID-19/Covid-19.aspx

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Please check your Chatham email frequently to see all messages from OIA and Chatham University.

Have a wonderful holiday season and see you in the new year!

 

Spring 2021 English Language Program updates!

The Chatham University English Language Program recorded a short video about the Spring 2021 semester, and the options to study virtually or in-person.

If you are not able to join us for in-person classes, you can still register for the virtual English Language Program for Spring 2021!

Please apply by January 4 to join Spring 2021 virtual classes!

We will also have options to join the English Language Program to study a 7.5 week intensive course from March 4- April 23. Please contact us for more details!

Questions? Contact us at InternationalAffairs@Chatham.edu!

 

 

October Immigration Updates from ISSS

October Immigration Updates

DHS Proposal to eliminate D/S
On September 25, 2020, a proposed rule was published to the Federal Register that would, if finalized, impact students and scholars on F and J visa status. The proposed rule seeks to eliminate D/S (duration of status) for these visa types, and instead implement date-specific admission. This impacts many aspects of international student and exchange visitor programs, including: limitations on how long a student can study, reduction of the F-1 grace period, required extension applications, and impacts on employment authorization, to name a few.

It is important to note that the proposed rule is not finalized. A period of public comment recently closed on October 26th.  Members of the Chatham community, including OIA, submitted comments opposing the proposed rule change.

Additional information on the proposed rule change, as well as current updates, can be found on the NAFSA interest site.

USCIS Fee Rule injunction (important for those filing OPT applications)

On September 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction and stay on implementation of the 2020 final USCIS fee rule in its entirety. New fees and form versions associated with that rule that were to be required on October 2, 2020, as well as all other aspects of the rule, are now on hold while the injunction is in placeRead the court’s order.

Based on the court injunction, USCIS is blocked from implementing the fee increase and new forms. As you are preparing to file an OPT application, or STEM-extension application, you will be able to use the current fees ($410) and the current form (issued 8/25/20) for your I-765 application.

OIA will keep you updated on the outcomes of these items. If you have any questions, please contact us at InternationalAffairs@Chatham.edu

Social Distancing Activities – Engage with OIA and each other- win prizes!

As we move into summer 2020- it may be challenging to engage with each other, while keeping up the necessary social distancing.

The Office of International Affairs has put together a list of fun, and interactive, activities to participate in- and possibly win some prizes!

Below is a list of (20) things that you can easily do while social distancing. When you complete a task, post a picture (tagging OIA) or share with us. Each level complete, will lead to fantastic Prizes!

Share your tasks by tagging us on Instagram (Chatham_OIA or #ChathamOIA), Facebook (ChathamOIA), or by emailing us at InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu .

A downloadable PDF can be accessed here:  OIA social distancing chart

Many of our activities will be listed on this blog, or on MyChatham Happenings!

Questions? Contact us at InternationalAffairs@Chatham.edu

Announcement: International Education Week November 18-22, 2019

Join the Office of International Affairs for International Education Week from November 18th to 22nd!

“International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.” (www.iew.state.gov )

This week will feature events celebrating international education and student experiences. Join us for our planned events:

International Karaoke

When: Monday, November 18th – 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Where: Carriage House

Join the Modern Language department for International Karaoke! Sing in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish!

International Jeopardy

When: Wednesday, November 20th – 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Where: Carriage House

Bring a group of friends to play Jeopardy! The subject is international trivia and the winning team will win prizes. There will be free food!

International Symposium

When: Thursday, November 21st – 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Where: Carriage House

This mini-symposium will celebrate International Education week, as well as the benefits of international education and exchange. This year’s theme is “International Education: Legacy and Promise.” The symposium will feature presentations and posters by students relating to this year’s theme.

International Tea: Morocco

When: Friday, November 22nd – 11:30 to 1:00 pm

Where: Carriage House

Celebrate this year’s Global Focus country at International Tea: Morocco! Bring tea from your home country and share cultures with another person. Show others your own culture and tell stories about experiences you have had abroad. This will be a great way to learn from others and experience something new.

All events are found on MyChatham. For more information regarding IEW and OIA events, please contact InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu

Updates to OIA immigration check-in

Starting in Fall 2019, OIA will require all international students, new and returning, to complete an online check-in. The online check-in form takes about 5-minutes to complete, and asks for information about your immigration documents, address and contact information, and program of study. This is to keep OIA informed about your Program and to streamline SEVIS reporting.

New students are still required to attend the mandatory new international student orientation, but the online form will allow them to supply information in advance of the orientation.

Your I-20 is a ‘living document’- meaning that it must be kept up-to-date, and any changes must be entered into your SEVIS record.  As an example, students are required to report changes of address and contact information to OIA within 10-days. This is required by regulation. By submitting the online form at the start of each semester, this will act as a reminder of the regulations and what you need to do to maintain student status.

OIA sends monthly reminders on how to maintain status, and information on upcoming activities and workshops.

If you have questions on how to maintain status, or are looking for general information on F-1 regulations, please visit the Study in the States website located here: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/

The office of international affairs is open Monday through Friday from 9am- 5pm. Please make an appointment by emailing InternationalAffairs@cahtham.edu or calling 412.365.1388.

Look back: OIA Activities from Fall 2018

The Fall semester was full of events and activities for Chatham student. The Office of International Affairs organized activities to bring students together across cultures and nationalities, and to introduce different aspects of American Culture. Following are some highlights from this past term:

September :

Global Mixer Kick-off

The first event of the semester, the Global Mixer welcomes students to Chatham, and welcomes back returning students. Students, from a variety of countries and cultures are encouraged to mix and mingle as they learn from each other.

 

East Liberty Presbyterian Church Tour and Tower Climb:

The tour of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church was not for the faint of heart. After receiving a brief overview of the Gothic Architecture and seeing the nave of the beautiful church, the group of almost 20 students started our journey climbing the steps to the tower. After passing through main staircases and a series of winding pathways in the walls of the church, there were several final small spiral staircases to climb. The final leg of the climb was ascending a small ladder onto the highest balcony that only about 4 students could share at a time. We had a 360* view of the city of Pittsburgh and a great breeze hitting our faces to cap off the satisfaction of our journey. After planting our feet firmly back on the ground, students headed to Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream for a sweet

 

Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center (COTRAIC) 40th Annual Three Rivers Pow Wow. 

Students from the United States, Japan, China, and South Korea attended the Pow Wow and engaged with Native Peoples from all over the US. The Pow Wow, held each September, is open to the public.

October:

Simmons Farm- Fall Activities Field Trip

Simmons Farm was a day of sunshine, pumpkins, apples, and fall flowers. The group of 16 headed out to Simmons Farm on one of the warmest days of Fall and enjoyed the activities it had to offer. After a quick hayride, students split into two groups and found their way through the corn maze. Students then chose a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and enjoyed some of the cider provided to the group from the Farm. There were fields of beautiful flowers and delicious festival food to snack on. The farm even included a petting zoo with some lazy goats and hungry chickens!

 

Kennywood: Phantom Fright Nights! 

As part of the fall semester long weekend, OIA took students to  Kennywood. Kennywood, a local amusement park in operation since 1898, has thrilled generations of visitors. Located a few miles from Pittsburgh, it has roller coasters, a midway, arcade games, and classic American fare. In October, the park is transformed into one big haunted house for Phantom Fright Nights. Open late (6pm-midnight) and full of spooky costumes and decor, it’s a screaming good time.  Students from Brazil, Austria, Japan, South Korea, the US, and France, were able to enjoy a classic American amusement park, and Haunted attraction on a foggy spooky night!

 

December:

End of Term party!

Students celebrated the end of the semester, and for many the end of their studies at Chatham University, during OIA’s  End of Term party.