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October 7th, 2021

F-1 & J-1 STUDENTS: GRADUATING IN December 2021?
Apply for OPT/Academic Training NOW!!!


If you are an F-1 or J-1 students graduating in December 2021, and plan to work in the U.S, you may file for Optional Practical Training ( for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students) work authorization now. 

Processing time at USCIS for OPT ranges from 3-5 months. You can give your application a head start by putting your documents together now. 

USCIS can accept your OPT application as early as 90 days prior to your completion date and as late as 60 days after your completion date (J-1 students must apply before the program completion date).

Please note:
F-1 students do not need to have a job offer in hand before applying for OPT. You may apply as long as you are eligible for OPT and INTEND to work in the U.S.
J-1 students, however, need to obtain job offer prior to apply for academic training.

To apply for OPT or AT, please scan all of the documents in one (1) single PDF file to or  . Due to the limitation of our database, please limit your file size to 4MB or less if possible. To ensure quick processing, only scan your application when all forms are completed and properly signed.


If you have questions while filling out the forms, please contact one of our international advisers during virtual advising hours via Zoom.  
Trang Nguyen (Student Employment and Practical Training) is doing Virtual advising on Mondays (1-3pm), Tuesdays (11am-1pm), and Thursdays (11am-1pm).
Special appointments outside those hours can be made through Book an appointment.

Work Visa & Residency Seminar
Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 | 3-5 p.m. | Virtual
Presented by immigration attorney, Carol Armstrong of Armstrong Law, LLC (, this workshop will focus on available employment visa options and help students become familiar with how to transition into the U.S. workplace. 
In this workshop, international students will learn the various pathways to employment visas and Permanent Residency options that an international student may have, including independent filing through self-sponsorship.
As a reminder, you can find information about student employment options here:
If you plan to attend, please register no later than 10 am, Monday, October 25. 
A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent by noon on Monday, October 25.
This workshop is sponsored by International Student & Scholar Services and the UA Career Center.

TRAVEL – Reminders

International Student & Scholar Services ask you to carefully consider and research your travel, keeping in mind continuing COVID restrictions on travel and limited U.S. Embassy operations and visa appointments.

For detailed information about travel please click here.


All international undergraduate students currently have a registration hold on their account.  This hold was placed after Fall add/drop date and will be removed before Spring registration opens.

The hold is there to prevent students from dropping below full-time (12 credit hours) and jeopardizing their immigration status.

Please contact us at, if you need the hold to be temporarily lifted so you can add/drop a course during the semester.

Interpersonal Communications
Tuesday, Oct. 12 | 6-7:30 p.m. |
B.B. Comer Hall -Room 109

The International Student & Scholar Services office and the Counseling Center have teamed up to offer a seminar series directed to international student success at UA. 

The next seminar will be about Interpersonal Communications in the US, and will be held on Oct. 12th from 6-7:30pm in 109 BB Comer Hall. Light refreshments will be served. Mark your calendar!!!

Check the following link for more information:

Success Strategies for International Students
Oct. 11 @ Noon (12pm)
 Ten Hoor Hall -Room 346


In partnership with the Counseling Center, the Graduate School is pleased to bring you a workshop specifically for our international population. This workshop will discuss psychological aspects of cultural adjustment and adapting to a new academic environment. This session will cover challenges and opportunities that students will experience as a result of being exposed to a new cultural environment and suggest practical solutions for everyday struggles in academic and interpersonal setting.

Fall Cultural Retreat

Join us for a Fall Cultural Retreat at Oak Mountain State Park on Oct. 16th.

We will be joining other international students from schools across Alabama as we explore the park, play games, and enjoy lunch together.

Transportation is available, but is limited. The cost is $5 (which pays for the admission into the park), and you must pre-pay by Oct. 13th if you intend to ride in our vans.

Pre-registration is required for this event (whether you plan to drive yourself, or ride in our vans).

Pre-register here.

Multi-Cultural Coffee Hour
Friday, October 15th & 22nd from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Intercultural Diversity Center (FERGUSON CENTER ROOM 2100 - Near the food court).

Join us for free coffee, tea, and conversation!

For more information about Coffee hour please visit our website at: 
Teaching/Tutoring Opportunity
in Critical Languages Center in Spring 2021
Teach Your Native Language

The UA Critical Languages Center offers classes for less-commonly-taught languages to UA students.

Some languages that the CLC have offered in the past and teach currently include: American Sign Language, Azerbaijani, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Modern Greek, Nahuatl, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Sanskrit, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
If you are interested in becoming a Language Trainer with the CLC to teach others your native language, please contact the Director, Dr. Koji Arizumi at
Bhakti With the UA Vedic Society
Free Yoga Classes, Mantra Meditation, and Vegan Food

Every Thursdays at 7pm in the UA Student Center -formerly Ferguson Center.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion provides leadership for the University to build on its core principles of inclusiveness in learning environments, programs, workforce and strategic partnerships.

DEI is our partner for Coffee Hour this year but they also have lots of other events. We are highlighting a couple of them below in this newsletter.

For more information and a schedule of their other events please click here.

Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre

Oct. 6-8 -Dance Theatre
 7:30-9 p.m. (Oct. 6-7),
5:30-7 p.m. (Oct. 8) 


Experience the beauty, magic, and power of dance as The University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance hosts its first dance production of the season, Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre in October. Celebrating its 30th season, Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre (ARDT) presents five choreographic works, each conceived and produced by members of the UA dance faculty. ARDT allows students the opportunity to engage in a professional dance experience. Throughout the concert, audience members should expect to experience grace, athleticism, beauty and power through movement. Tickets are $20 for adult patrons. All tickets and packages are available in Rowand Johnson Hall in the ticket office, by phone at 205-348-3400, or online at More information on this production and the rest of the UA Theatre and Dance season can be found at

50th Kentuck Festival of the Arts

Saturday, Oct. 16 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | Kentuck Park, Northport
Sunday, Oct. 17 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Kentuck Park, Northport


In celebration of Kentuck’s 50th Festival of the Arts, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will provide weekend tickets to students, faculty and staff to attend the highly anticipated annual event. The two-day festival is rooted in folk art and features more than 270 artists, live music, spoken word, activities for children, folk and contemporary crafts, demonstrations, food trucks and more. Registration is required in order to receive a free ticket. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.eduDirections to Kentuck Park.

An Evening At Global Café: 
Board Games and Holiday Traditions of the USA

Tuesday, October 19, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Capital Hall

Refreshments will be provided.

For newsletter and information please email
Check out Global Café's full schedule for Fall 2021 (Fall 2021 schedule).

Language Partner Program started September 13.
Details and updates are posted on

Group Exercise at UREC

University Recreation offers free group exercise classes to UREC members. We have a variety of class formats and our instructors are highly trained to give a multitude of options that will serve everyone, no matter your fitness level. Whether you are a yogi or prefer a high intense Boot Camp class, and anything in between, we have a class for you.

To ensure your spot in a class please register online through the UREC member portal. Participants can register 30 minutes –  48 hours in advance, securing a spot in the class. If the class is full online, participants can join the standby line and likely gain entrance. If a participant registers for a class but is unable to attend, they are highly encouraged to cancel the registration to make room for others. Cancellation can be done by your online profile -> programs -> cancel.

The program calendar and registration links are available here.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III ( HEERF III)

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) was signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Unlike prior HEERF Funds disbursements, international students are eligible to apply for HEERF III Funds. Students who would like to request HEERF funds may submit an application by clicking the button below:
HEERF funds application (for students who did not complete 2021-2022 FAFSA)

 Students who are in need of emergency assistance should see the Emergency Assistance page on Student Care and Well-Being’s website.

The University of Alabama Flu Shot Campaign

The College of Community Health Sciences leads The University of Alabama’s annual campus-wide effort to vaccinate students, faculty and staff against the flu. The quadrivalent flu shots are free to students, faculty, staff and spouses; insurance is not required. Employees and students must have their CWID.

Click here for dates and locations.



If you are enrolled in The University of Alabama's healthcare plan, you are also able to use the 24/7 tele-doc (a doctor through the phone) for doctor access and counseling support, which is fully covered. If you are not on the UA Plan, you can use these services for a fee. To find out more information, please visit:

Available to All UA Students, Faculty and Staff


Students:  The Student Health Center offers the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for all UA students. Call the Student Health Center at (205) 348-2778 or schedule an appointment through the patient portal.

Faculty and Staff:  The University Medical Center offers the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine for UA faculty and staff, as well as UMC patients aged 12 and older. Call (205) 348-1471 to schedule an appointment, and leave your name, date of birth and a way for UMC to contact you. Your phone call will be returned promptly.

COVID-19 Information 
To stay up to date on all COVID-19 updates, be sure to regularly check out

For information on medical care, visit

Drop-in Advising – Monday – Friday, 11 am – 3 pm – NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED

General advising hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm CST via Zoom or In-Person.  No Appointment is needed, but masks are required for in-person meetings.

When seeking advising via Zoom, students and scholars will be connected with one of the UA ISSS Staff.  If there are multiple students and scholars in the queue, you will be placed directly into a waiting room.

Please note, drop-in advising is meant for shorter inquiries of 5 – 10 minutes, and in order to serve all students and scholars, we ask that this be reserved for quick questions.

Need a longer appointment? Book an appointment with ISSS online.

For all other questions or inquiries, please email or call 205-348-5402.

Whether contacting us by phone or email, please be sure to include your name and CWID (if known) with your inquiry.

Academic Calendar
October 25th,2021

October 27th, 2021

October 28th-29th, 2021

November 24th, 2021

November 25th-26th, 2021

December 3rd, 2021

December 3rd, 2021

December 6th-10th, 2021

December 11th,2021

December 13th, 2021

December 23rd, 2021- January 3rd, 2022

January 4th, 2022 

January 4th, 2022 

January 12th, 2022

January 17th, 2022

January 19th, 2022

Registration for Spring 2022 Begins

Last Day to Drop a Course with a Grade of "W" for the Fall Full Term

Mid-Semester Study Break - Classes Dismissed (UA offices open)

Thanksgiving - Classes Dismissed (UA offices open)

Thanksgiving - Classes Dismissed (UA closed)

Last Day to Withdraw from the Fall Full/Fall 2 Terms

Classes End for Full Term and Fall 2

Final Exams

Fall Commencement

Classes Begin for Winter Interim

Classes Dismissed - Holiday Break (UA offices closed)

UA Offices Resume Normal Business Hours

Classes End for Winter Interim

Classes Begin for Full Term

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (UA closed)

Last Day to Add a Course or Drop a Course Without a Grade of "W" for Spring Full Term
These dates are valid as of 10/11/2021 but could be modified as needed.
Please double check for any changes/updates.
Copyright © 2021 International Student & Scholar Services, All rights reserved.

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