February is Valentine and Groundhog Days
International Student News
January 31, 2018  |  Number 3
February in Northeast Ohio:
A Month of Hearts and Groundhogs

February starts tomorrow. And as an international student here at Kent State, you may be scratching your head and asking yourself "What's going on here?" Your puzzlement may be the result of two traditional American holidays which are celebrated this month: Groundhog Day (2nd) and Valentine's Day (14th). 
Groundhog Day. Before there were meteorologists and the daily weather report, early peoples relied on nature to tell them when winter would end and when spring might arrive. In America's Midwest, that task fell to the most unlikely of creatures, the common groundhog. Legend has it that when the groundhog would awaken from his winter hibernation and step outside his burrow, spring would arrive early if he did not see his shadow or winter would hang around for another six or seven weeks if he did. Eventually, this perceived meteorologic forecast by the groundhog turned into an annual celebration. Today, the holiday is celebrated every February 2 and comes with its share of furry groundhog celebrities who are formally consulted on the forecast, the most notable of which are Buckeye Chuck (Ohio) and Punxsutawny Phil (Pennsylvania). More about Groundhog Day.

Valentine's Day. This annual popular holiday, which has become a celebration of love and romance, dates back to ancient times. The holiday had its early roots in a the Roman celebration of Lupercala, a mid-winter festival. Later, it became associated with the early Christian saint and martyr Valentinus or Valentine, the patron saint of lovers and romantic couples. Over time, it became traditional to profess your devotion to your loved one (your special "Valentine") on Valentine's Day by presenting him or her with tokens of your affection, such as Valentine cards, flowers or a heart-shaped box of chocolates. More about the history of Valentine's Day.

Upcoming Events  
International Student Reception
February 1 - International Student Reception
4th Floor, Library  |  6:00 to 8:00 pm 
The staffs of the Kent State Library and the Office of Global Education welcomes all of our international students back to campus with an evening of games, prizes and a buffet dinner. Don't miss all the food, fun and new friends.  
Kent State Student Organization Fair
February 1 - Student Organization Fair
2nd Floor Windows , Kent Student 
Center   |  11:00am to 4:00 pm 
Learn more about Kent State's more than 400 student organizations all in one place. A great opportunity to connect, network and discover people who share the same interests as you!
Canton Charge
February 3 - Canton Charge Pro Basketball Game 
Canton Memorial Civic Center  |  Game Time: 7:00 pm   
The Office of Global Education has a limited number of FREE tickets available to the Canton Charge versus the Westchester Knicks Basketball game. Students can pick up tickets while supplies last at the Office beginning today, January 24, during normal business hours. Students must make their own travel arrangements to and from the game. The Canton Charge competes in the G League (NBAGLeague), the official minor league of the NBA.
February 17 - Brandywine Ski Trip
Brandywine Ski Resort  |  8:15 am to 
5:30 pm 
Please join the Office of Global Education on our trip to the Brandywine Ski Resort. Students will spend the day experiencing Ohio's winter snow activities and learning to ski. Cost for this trip 
is $40 for students who are assessed the International Student Activity Fee and $50 for those who are not. Cost is nontransferable and nonrefundable. This cost includes transportation to and from Brandywine Ski Resort, ski equipment rental, a full-day lift ticket, as 
well  as a one hour ski lesson for beginners.
Register Now!

Chinese New Year Festival 2018
February 17 - Chinese New Year Festival
Kent Student Center Ballroom  |  7:30 to 10:30 pm 
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with the Chinese Student Association. Join them for an evening of performances, games , food and a raffle. Your registration is requested.
Student Success: Maintain a Full-Time Course Load 

In order to maintain your F-1 status, you need to be registered full-time for classes. This means, as an undergraduate student, you need 12 credit hours (9 hours must be traditional). Graduate students are required to have 8 credit hours a semester to be full-time and only one class can be online. ESL students need to be registered for 17 credit hours a semester.  
Traditional classes are classes that meet in-person or face-to-face with your instructor and are not online courses.  There are options for students who are getting ready to graduate, who have medical issues, or who are initially struggling with the English language.  
We will offer a Reduced Course Loads article in an upcoming issue. Until then, if you have questions about your full-time registration, please come see us in the ISSS Office.

Insurance Waiver  

If you need to waive your insurance, please fill out the insurance waiver on the University Health Services website on their International Student Hard Waiver Program page .

For the students who are curious about the health insurance requirements, there is an explanation at the website mentioned. However, an explanation of who qualifies to waive insurance can be found on the ISSS website on our
  Insurance and Immunization page .

Do you want to speak to someone face-to-face about insurance requirements? University Health Services is located at 1500 Eastway Drive in the in the DeWeese Health Center.

Immigration Tip of the Week: NS/SF 

Did you know? Attending class is the number one predictor of academic success. Similarly, maintaining full time status is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status.

As an international student, it is important to know that earning grades of NF (never attended fail) or SF (stopped attending fail) can result in loss of full-time status, as those grades do not bear credit. For example, if you are enrolled in 12 credit hours, but receive a NF or SF in one 3-credit hour course, your final credits earned at the end of the semester would be 9. Your SEVIS record will be terminated (F-1 status and I-20 or J-1 status and DS-2019) if you have dropped below full-time enrollment.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services verifies credit completion for all students on F-1 and J-1 visas regularly. If you have obtained an NF or an SF in any class (check MyGrades in Blackboard), we advise you to discuss your situation with your professor or academic advisor and rectify the issue before the end of the semester.

Student 2017 Tax Preparation   

We are currently working to prepare the 2017 Tax Guide for the 2017 Tax filing season. This is a useful resource for international students as you prepare to file your state and federal taxes. Please watch upcoming issues of the weekly International Student News for updates. We will make an announcement once the guide is ready.

Graduate Student Requests Your Assistance

International Doctoral student Suleyman Akeil is conducting a study investigating the relationship between cyberbullying-victimization, acculturative stress and depression. To gather data for his study, he is requesting that his fellow international students complete a short survey. Participants in the survey will have the chance to win one of four $50 Visa Gift Cards. Click on the button below to take the survey.
Take the Survey 
If you have any questions about this study, Mr. Akeil may be contacted by email at sakcil@kent.edu. You may also feel free to contact his faculty advisors, Dr. Marty Jencius at mjencius@kent.edu and Dr. John Rainey at jrainey@kent.edu. 
Your participation in this study is most sincerely appreciated.

Spring 2018 Walk-In Advising Hours
International Student and Scholar Services

1:30 to 4:00 pm
Last sign in at 3:45

9:00 to 11:30 am
Last sign in at 11:00

9:00 to 11:30 am
Last sign in at 11:00
1:30 to 4:00 pm
Last sign in at 3:45
No Advising
9:00 to 11:30 am
Last sign in at 11:00

Contact Us:
Phone: 1-330-672-7980
Email:  isss@kent.edu
Campus Location:  Van Campen Hall
Address: 106 Van Campen Hall, 625 Loop Road, Kent, OH 44242-0001
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