Kent State Office of Global Educaiton
USCIS Updated Guidance on Unlawful Presence

On August 9, 2018, USCIS changed their interpretation of "unlawful presence." Unlawful presence is when you have lost your status and have taken no steps to correct it. You lose your status when you violate the regulations pertaining to your visa. Now, more than ever, it is important to know what the regulations are for your specific visa. Failing to maintain status and take action to fix it can result in severe immigration consequences including being barred from the U.S. for up to 10 years. For more information regarding the specific details of the changes, we recommend looking at the 
NAFSA website for a breakdown of the regulations and interpretations surrounding the changes.

What does this mean for you? It is more important for you to carefully read our  Maintaining Immigration Status webpage to better understand what you need to do to keep your status in good standing. In order to better help you, some common areas to watch include:
  • Full-time Course Registration: If you fall below full-time, you will have violated your status. This can be as simple as not attending a class and receiving an NF/SF grade.
  • Employment: Any employment that is off-campus can get you in trouble if not authorized. It may be as simple as volunteering, so you need to ask first.
  • Check the Dates!: Your passport and I-20/DS-2019 have end dates, which are essentially expiration dates. If those dates are approaching, take action early to avoid any issues down the line.
  • I-20/DS-2019: Does everything look right? Did you change your major? Make sure it matches your passport and FlashLine information.
  • Travel: Always have your I-20/DS-2019 signed BEFORE leaving the country or at least checked to make sure everything is good in SEVIS. 
If you aren't sure, ask an ISSS Advisor before taking action to verify it is permitted with your current immigration status. We want to keep you happy and healthy-and your immigration status is a part of that!
Full-Time Course Registration and Reduced Course Loads (RCL)

In order to maintain your F-1 status, you need to be registered for a full-time course registration. Each level and the number of credits required are below.
  • English as a Second Language: 17 credit hours
  • Undergraduate/Bachelor Level: 12 credit hours and at least 9 of those are in-person or traditional courses, not online
  • Graduate/Master/Doctoral Level: 8 credit hours and only one course can be online
There are some cases where a student does not require a full-time course load. Our  Reduced Course Load (RCL) webpage explains the different scenarios where students may qualify. Some common ones include final semester before graduation, thesis/dissertation coursework, or medical issues.  Review our  guide  to learn more, but make sure to apply for an RCL BEFORE falling below full-time registration because it can affect your immigration status negatively. If you have questions about your registration or RCLs, please speak with an ISSS Advisor this week via email or Walk-In Advising.
Global Ambassadors

New students, Global Ambassadors are here for you! If you are still looking for a great way to get connected to Kent State University and begin building long-lasting friendships, then sign up to be matched with a Global Ambassador.

Meet our Global Ambassadors! They are student leaders on campus with a variety of passions and interests. Beyond their current commitments they are seeking ways to help make your transition to KSU as easy as possible.

ISSS Advising Hours for Fall 2018
Exciting change for 2018

You asked for it, and you got it! More time with your ISSS Advisors and less time waiting in the lobby. We now have appointments available 4 days a week to ensure students are able to meet with advisors as needed. We have Walk-In Wednesdays for those quick questions and appointments for all your other needs. Appointments can be scheduled  here .

Walk-In Advising 
9:00 am to 11:30 am  
Last sign in at 11:00
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Last sign in at 3:45 
Call-In Advising 
9:00 to 11:30 am
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
9:00 to 11:30 am
No advising 
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm    
New advising schedule begins September 4

Contact Us: 
Phone: 1-330-672-7980 
Campus Location: Van Campen Hall 
Address: 106 Van Campen Hall, 625 Loop Road, Kent, OH 44242-0001 
106 Van Campen Hall
International Student News
August 29, 2018  |  Week 1
students painting the rock
Student Traditions at Kent State

This is the first edition of the Fall 2018 International Student Weekly Newsletter. If this is your first time receiving the newsletter, please be advised that it is sent out every Wednesday during the semester. Each newsletter will contain a main article, upcoming events, and important ISSS updates. If you are no longer a student at Kent State University, please feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom of the page. We are looking forward to a great semester!

To help acquaint you to campus, we have provided some history on Kent State traditions that students carry out each year. The start of some traditions are unknown, but others have a funny story behind their origin. Continue reading to find out more.

"The Rock"
On the northwest side of campus, just off of Main Street, a large boulder sits covered in bright colors that change almost daily. Student organizations and clubs come to paint this rock to show support for their groups and advertise their name. The tradition started in the 1930's when fraternities and sororities would paint their Greek letters on the boulder to get other students to join. Since then, students have painted the rock to celebrate birthdays, commemorate people they loved, and show support for their student club. The Rock even has its location on Google Maps. With constant changes being made to it, don't be surprised if you see a different paint job every morning!

Food Tray Sledding
This tradition doesn't have a specific origin, but it's been a winter pastime of many Kent students since the 1950's. The idea is that students will "borrow" food trays from the cafeterias and use them as sleds to go down hills on the snow. Popular spots are in front campus and on the hills of the Commons. Some students will get adventurous by standing up on the trays to see how long they can stay upright before falling into the snow. It's a tradition that many students will try at least once during their time here at Kent.

Black Squirrels
When you first visit Kent State, one of the first things you notice may be the multitude of black squirrels running around campus. They have become the informal mascot of our campus and a staple around the community. However, black squirrels are not very common, even in North America; for every 10,000 squirrels, there is one black squirrel. So why are there so many here in Kent? In 1961, the superintendent of grounds at Kent State University, Larry Woodell, legally imported 10 black squirrels to Kent from Ontario, Canada. Over the years, the population grew to what it is today and the black squirrel remains a symbol of the city of Kent.

If you've been to any event organized at KSU, you probably have seen their mascot called Flash. Mascots are used at schools, sports teams, or companies as ambassadors of their organization to stand as a symbol for what they stand for. Flash is an eagle that pumps up students at sporting events and dances with the crowds at events on campus. He became the Kent State mascot in 1985 after a series of other mascots had been used before him. No one knows who is under the eagle costume but don't let that stop you from taking a picture with him or giving him a fist bump!

international students
We Want to Hear from YOU!

Starting this fall, we want to showcase you in our newsletter! Each week, one international student will be chosen to be interviewed and highlighted in our newsletter. Topics of interest include your home country, major, student involvement around campus, advice, and more!

If you are interested in being showcased, please contact Olivia Albrecht at with "International Student Profile" in the subject line.

Due to the large student population and the limited number of newsletters, we cannot guarantee that you will be chosen to be profiled, but we appreciate your interest! We will reach out to you if you are chosen.
Upcoming Events
September 3  |  Labor Day 
U.S. National Holiday
Labor Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September each year. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and officially became a holiday in 1894. All non-essential government offices, organizations, and most businesses are closed on this day. This includes Kent State University, so no classes or offices will be open until Tuesday, September 4.

September 7  |  Black Squirrel Festival 
Risman Plaza |  12:00 pm to 5:00 pm    
Kent State International Scholar Summer Picnic_ June 29
The Black Squirrel Festival has been a Kent State tradition for 37 years! The event offers students a chance to learn about student organizations, explore different university departments and learn more about the Kent community. Vendors will have coupons and freebies, and student organizations will be tabling to recruit new members. This is the perfect opportunity to find an organization to join!
Plan Ahead

September 8 | Run the World 5K ( use code "INTL" for $5.00 off through 8/31)
September 13 | Education Abroad Expo
September 18 | Cultural Cafe
September 21 | Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration ( hosted by the  Chinese Student Association)
October 5 | International Homecoming Celebration  (registration required by September 28)
October 6 | Kent State Homecoming
October 11-12 | Fall Break

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