Second Stimulus Payments & How They Apply to Nonresidents

Dear International Students,

The Sprintax team has graciously provided an overview of the second stimulus payment in their latest blog post to help with questions you may have in terms of how the additional stimulus payments could affect international students/nonresidents.

Sprintax Blog Post on the Second Stimulus Payment

In the above blog post, Sprintax runs through topics such as:

  • Who is eligible to keep/receive the second stimulus payment
  • Who is not eligible to keep/receive the second stimulus payment
  • What to do if you have received the payment in error
  • What to do if you already amended your tax return, returned the first stimulus payment but have now received the second payment
  • Other useful Q and A around the topic


Sprintax & ISSS

Winter Events 2020

What are your plans for the winter break? Whether you’re able to travel back home or staying in the U.S. over the break, we want you to know that we are here for you and that you are not alone. Your Global Leaders have several fun social events planned for December and January to help you stay connected and keep engaged with our Global Spartan community. Come and join us! 

Thursday Tea Time is a weekly meetup on Thursdays at 3:00 pm (PT)  led by Song and Yuki. This is a great way to get to know other students in a casual, small group setting. Conversation centers around a selected topic, which changes each week. We share our experiences, challenges and successes. We’re here to support each other, and everyone is welcome to join us.

We’re also doing two Game Nights on Friday, December 18 and Friday, January 22 from 7:00-8:00 pm (PT). Mindy and Thi are organizing a fun time with online games like Among Us and Skribbl (like Pictionary). Click on the dates above to sign up.

Do you enjoy reading? Then our Virtual Book Club is a great way for you to make new friends while doing something that you enjoy. Join Lena and Thi to explore a new book together! The Book Club will meet online once every two weeks to discuss what they’ve read. Sign up here.

Are you looking for ways to be more physically active? Join SJSU Alumni and Global Leader, Harry in his Fitness Challenge! Sign up and we’ll send you more information about how to participate.

What would the holidays be without holiday festivities? Join us for a Holiday Party on December 20 to celebrate December holiday traditions and a New Year’s Celebration on January 8 to ring in 2021 together! And, keep an eye out for more information on a Lunar New Year celebration in February!

All events are virtual via Zoom, so you can join us from anywhere in the world! We look forward to seeing you there!

Reflections on 2020 & Happy Holidays from ISSS

Peace on Earth Holiday Christmas Cards (10 Pk) | Tree-Free | Shop Eco-Friendly Cards!

Dear International Students and Scholars,

It is difficult to capture 2020, a year filled with ongoing challenges for everyone globally, in a few sentences. Amidst all the hurdles and difficulties of dealing with a pandemic and the constant ever changing immigration rules and regulations, all of us in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) have continued to persevere and to push forward, empowered with the goal of helping serve your needs. 

We were fortunate to onboard our newest team member, Suzanne Pendergrass, Assistant Director of International Student Services, right before we moved to telework. The entire ISSS team continued to think innovatively to engage you and to make each of you, our number one priority. We adjusted our schedules, processing routines and practices, and transitioned to all virtual events, including our spring 2020 and fall 2020 celebration of our international graduates. We phased out our newsletter and introduced our ISSS Views and News blog, creating a more holistic and interactive experience for all. We welcomed our new Global Spartans through a virtual Global Spartan Welcome and have just launched our new international peer mentorship program, iSucceed!, in an effort to provide more peer to peer support for all of you. Our ISSS student leaders (Global Leaders and Advisory Board members) have done a tremendous job of coming up with new and creative ways to connect, including a series of fun social events over the winter break, which we hope you will attend. Finally, we are thrilled to have launched our inaugural Global Spartan scholarship this fall and look forward to continuing to recognize some of you for your outstanding contributions to SJSU and our global community.

As you can see from this brief recap, amidst all the challenges of 2020, the ISSS team sought new ways to stay engaged and to support you and your needs. We continued to enjoy and benefit from your presence, albeit virtually, as part of our Spartan community. We value each and every one of you and commend you on your accomplishments, resilience and commitment to succeed. We are strengthened by your different backgrounds and perspectives and treasure the diversity you bring to our already multicultural and dynamic community.

On behalf of all of us in ISSS, I wish you a restful and peaceful holiday season and break. I sincerely hope that the time off will provide a respite from the uncertainties and stresses of 2020 and allow you to start fresh with renewed energy and goals for 2021. Congratulations on finishing the fall semester and for all you have accomplished in 2020, despite the extenuating circumstances. 

As a reminder, ISSS will be closed for the holidays from December 24th, with the last advising appointments taking place from 9-11am on December 23rd. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 4th. We look forward to our continued engagement with each and every one of you, in the new year. Wishing you joy and peace in 2021!

Warm regards,

Parinaz Zartoshty, Director of ISSS

De-stress for Academic Success

Finals week is often accompanied by a mix of emotions–excitement for the end of the year, concern about travel (or not being able to travel this year), and stress about finishing projects, meeting deadlines, and preparing for exams. We want to remind you to take care of yourself during this busy finals week: 

    • Don’t forget to eat. Schedule in time for healthy, mind-fueling meals. 
    • Take study breaks to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and clear your mind. 
    • Be sure you’re getting enough sleep. While in the moment, it may seem like studying is more important than sleep, you may be doing yourself a disservice: “There are data that sleep loss leads to learning and memory impairment, as well as decreased attention and vigilance,” says Dr. Kushida, a physician at Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic. Lack of sleep could potentially affect your ability to recall information (something you need to take exams) and your performance on exams (e.g., mis-reading questions; not fully understanding what the task). To learn more about sleeping tips, read this article by the American Academy of Sleep Science.

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

Learn More:

    • Read this Managing Stress blog post by Minji Yang, Ph.D., a counselor at SJSU CAPS.
    • Check out our Daily De-Stress for Academic Success tips @SJSUinternational on Instagram.
    • Find resources on our De-Stress page.
    • Take a study break and join us for Thursday Tea Time at 3:00 PM (PT). This is a small, casual meetup led by our Global Leaders.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


Importance of Sleep & Effects of Sleep Deprivation on College Students. (2020, January 27). Retrieved December 07, 2020, from

Honoring International Graduates 2020

The end of the semester is a special time of year, when we celebrate the hard work and many accomplishments of all our students. In particular, we honor our graduating students as they complete their final steps towards their long-awaited degree. Although we are unable to celebrate our graduating international students in person this year, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) is excited to honor our graduates in the following ways.

Virtual Celebration!

You are all invited to join us in honoring our international graduates in a Virtual Celebration on Friday, December 18, 2020 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (PT)

    • Guests may register here
    • Graduating students, please be sure to register and submit your photo no later than December 13, 2020 via the online registration form.
    • View our spring 2020 Celebration Student Speakers here

Social Media Spotlight

We’ll continue to celebrate our graduating students by sharing their photos on our @SJSUinternational Instagram page. Starting December 18, 2020, we’ll share the photos and messages of our Virtual Celebration participants (with their consent) on Instagram. If you didn’t submit a photo but would like for us to feature you on Instagram, simply tag us at @SJSUinternational and use the hashtag #SJSU20international. Remember, we won’t be able to see your tags if your account is private, but you can always send us a direct message on Instagram with your photo for us to share.

Celebration Songs Playlist

We’ve asked graduates to submit their favorite happy/celebratory song on the Virtual Celebration registration. We’ll also put a call out for song recommendations on Instagram. Once we have compiled your song recommendations, we’ll share a link so you can enjoy them via YouTube.

Video Montage

Graduating students, send us a video of yourself! Tell us your name, degree (BA, BS, MA, etc.), and major. Then, tell us 1-2 things you love about SJSU! Email us your video by December 11, 2020 to with the subject: Video montage. Once we have the videos ready, we’ll share them on Instagram and put them up on our website. You can view previous videos here.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020! We look forward to celebrating you!