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A Message from International Student and Scholar Services

  • Apr 7, 2020

From Margaret Y. Luévano, Interim Director, International Student and Scholar Services


Dear International Longhorns,

We know that your lives have been impacted by the global pandemic, and our thoughts are with you during this unprecedented time. As classes resume, we understand that you return to a very different academic and social environment than the one you experienced only a few weeks ago. While much has changed, the commitment of the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team remains steadfast. Please review the information below about our new advising format, services, and events and email us with any questions or concerns.

Advising and Immigration Services

Advisors are available to answer questions via email. General questions will be answered within 1-2 business days. If your situation requires meeting with an advisor, you may schedule an online appointment.

For immigration services, please logon to your myIO account to submit a request. Services include but are not limited to:

  • F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • F-1 STEM Extension OPT
  • J-1 Academic Training
  • I-20 and DS-2019 extensions
  • I-20 and DS-2019 travel signatures and document reprints

ISSS Virtual Community

Our intercultural programming is moving to a virtual platform and we will be offering programs throughout the week in the UT International Students Facebook Group. Scholars are also encouraged to participate. You will need an active EID to join the group.

Our first event, Thoughtful Thursday on April 2 at noon, will feature counselor Mike Andorka from the Counseling and Mental Health Center. Mike will share coping strategies to help navigate isolation and handle stress caused by the pandemic and will answer moderated questions from viewers. To access the Zoom meeting, email intercultural@austin.utexas.edu for the login information.

Examples of future events include:

  • Musical Monday: Students and scholars will be encouraged to post videos playing or performing a piece of music.
  • Wednesday Art Club: A group moderator will post a drawing prompt for participants. Works of art inspired by the prompt can be shared with the group or on social media.
  • Fitness Friday: How are you staying active? A group moderator will post a fun fitness activity.

Join the UT International Students Facebook Group to find out about future activities. If you have any questions, please email intercultural@austin.utexas.edu.

Financial Assistance

ISSS administers financial aid opportunities for international students. We are currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year for the following awards:

  • General ISSS Financial Aid Award
  • International Education Fee Scholarship
  • Tuition Assistance for Mexican Students
  • Jerry D. Wilcox Community Engagement Scholarship
  • Iimura Peace Endowed Scholarship

For specific eligibility requirements and to view application instructions for each award, please visit our website. If you have any questions, please email intlfinaid@austin.utexas.edu.

Emergency financial assistance for students and scholars: Students and scholars experiencing immediate financial difficulties due to COVID-19 should contact us at intlfinaid@austin.utexas.edu for guidance.

Student Health Insurance Plan

Students may visit University Health Services (UHS) with their student health insurance plan. If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should contact the 24-Hour UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877 for guidance. UHS remains open during normal business hours and has provided useful information regarding COVID-19.

There may be cases when you cannot visit UHS and Academic Health Plans (AHP) is a useful resource pertaining to COVID-19 coverages and cost. AHP also has a 24-Hour Nurse Line at 1-800-581-0368 available to students. They will advise you on your symptoms and provide information regarding the nearest in-network hospital/medical facility to visit if you are ill. To find a hospital or doctor in-network on AHP’s website, select the right side menu on the home page, click on “Find a Doctor or Hospital” and follow directions from the brochure.

If you have questions about the insurance plan or how to use it, you can contact us at intlinsurance@austin.utexas.edu for assistance.

During your time away from campus, it is important to stay connected by checking your email and updates posted to the UT COVID-19 page and official UT Austin social media accounts. And, please reach to out us directly if you need assistance or support.


Kindest regards,

Margaret Y. Luévano
Interim Director
International Student and Scholar Services


View the original message on the ISSS Blog.