Welcome to the Fall 2021 Semester!

Welcome back to all of our returning international students and welcome to all of our new international students, joining us for fall 2021! We hope that you are as excited as we are to have you as part of our Global Spartan family. You represent over 100 countries from around the world and you continue to broaden our perspectives as a campus. You are such a valued member of our campus community and all of us in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) are here to support you and to help you succeed. Continue Reading…

ISSS End of the Year Message

Dear International Students,

Congratulations on reaching the end of an extraordinary academic year. There have been many challenges this past year. However, you have all risen to the occasion and responded with determination. All of us in ISSS are so proud of each and every one of you. Your tenacity and commitment are admirable. Your continued resilience is noteworthy. We are so proud of you, our Global Spartans.

With the end of the academic year in sight, I do want to reflect and highlight some of the positives this past semester. ISSS has been able to award our international students with multiple scholarships (Global Spartan scholarship, Louie Barozzi scholarship) this past spring and for the new academic year. Three of our students were awarded the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Emergency Student Fund. We have highlighted some of these students and will highlight others in future blogs. We continue to find ways to support you through our virtual advising, workshops and co-curricular programming. Our Global Leaders and peer mentors continue to provide peer to peer support. The ISSS team members are constantly looking at ways to engage you and to ensure your success.

Some of you may plan to travel over the summer, while others will stay here. At this time, ISSS would recommend that you refrain from traveling abroad, if possible. If you do travel abroad, please make sure to review this information carefully. We also recommend reviewing the information on this page and to consult with ISSS by emailing us at international-office@sjsu.edu if you have any questions.

Please also keep in mind that for fall 2021, as currently matriculated students in F-1 status, you may enroll in all online classes from abroad or here in the U.S. and continue to maintain your F-1 status. You can read more by going here. In addition, we will message you in the summer, as we learn more about CSU vaccination requirements. We are awaiting further guidance from the Chancellor’s Office. The ISSS team will start a gradual return to campus this fall, with a few team members on campus daily. We will share more information, as our plans solidify. 

As you enter the final stretch of this semester-long marathon, stay strong and focused. We know you will not only make it to the finish line but you will do so with much success. We hope that you take time to pause, reflect and rejuvenate over the summer months. Please know that all of us will be available to you over the summer and beyond. We look forward to reconnecting with some of you in person in the fall.

Warm regards,

Parinaz Zartoshty, Director of ISSS

Nowruz or “New Day” – Celebrating the Persian New Year

Nowruz – Iranian New Year | Letsvisitpersia

Persians and others around the world will wake up to a clean house, a festive table with hopes and aspirations for a new year, at 2:37am PST on Saturday, March 20th, 2021, the exact moment of the spring (or vernal) equinox. As an Iranian-American, I look forward to celebrating the Persian New Year each year with my family. I eagerly await the smell of the freshly-baked traditional sweets, like baklava and rice cookies, the aroma of the delicious food, saffron rice with herbs and smoked fish, and the sweet smell of the hyacinth flowers.  Continue Reading…

Happy New Year and warm wishes for the spring 2021 semester!

‘There is always light. Only if we are brave enough to see it. Only if we are brave enough to be it.’  ~ Amanda Gorman 

On behalf of all of us in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), Happy New Year! We hope the year ahead is filled with light, hope, excitement, renewed energy and much celebration. All of us in ISSS are proud of you, our Global Spartans. We value your perseverance, despite the challenges and obstacles of the past year, and commend your brave ability to see the light.

As you begin the spring 2021 semester, either as a new student or a continuing student, we remind you that ISSS is here to support you and to help you succeed while at SJSU and beyond. Although our services are virtual for now, we continue to be available for you. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor to discuss the more complex questions or stop by for a quick question during our daily zoom Q&A sessions. Please also take advantage of the many virtual events we have planned for you to keep you engaged and connected with the Global Spartan community. And don’t forget to tap into our wonderful Global Leaders who continue to be an amazing resource for you and offer a unique peer to peer perspective.

Please also remember that effective January 26th, all air passengers entering the United States will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. Here is a short video with more information from our Student Health Center. In short, you will need: 1) to get your COVID testing completed within 3 days of your departure; 2) provide written confirmation of your negative test results to the airline before boarding (previously infected passengers can provide documentation of their recovery in lieu of a negative test result); 3) get tested again within 3-5 days of arrival and self-isolate for one week or more.

Please also continue to monitor the immigration policy updates page on the website, for the most up to date information. With the most recent inauguration of our 46th U.S, President, Mr. Joseph R. Biden, and our 49th Vice-President, Madame Kamala Harris, some of the previous administration’s executive orders will continue to be revoked and altered. We encourage you to continue to read carefully any email messages from ISSS, as it will most likely contain important information and updates regarding your immigration status.

Finally, I am confident that 2021 will bring light and hope for all of us, but we must remain patient. I find comfort in knowing that this new administration will strengthen our commitment to embracing and celebrating our differences. The young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, articulated the feelings and emotions so eloquently in her poem shared at the recent inauguration on January 20th:

‘We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.’

From all of us in ISSS, best wishes for a most successful and rewarding spring 2021 semester! 


Reflections on 2020 & Happy Holidays from ISSS

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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