Cultural Conversation: Gender & Identity 

Join us on Friday, September 25, 2020 | 2:00-3:00 PM (PST) via Zoom

Why do some Americans introduce themselves with “they/their/theirs”? What does queer mean? How can I be an ally? If you’ve ever wondered these things, you won’t want to miss out on this Cultural Conversation, where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and share what you feel comfortable sharing in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Facilitators: Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi (she/her) & Dr. Robert Marx (he/him), Lurie College of Education 

Dr. Robert Marx & Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi

 Message from Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi 

“Welcome, new international students! My name is Kyoung Mi Choi and I am an associate professor in the department of counselor education at SJSU.  I was an international student from South Korea when I first came to the United States in 2001. I remember learning and navigating the cultural differences and norms were both exciting and challenging. Compared to U.S. culture, Korean culture is more collective and conservative. It was not easy for me to explore and embrace my own sexual orientation in a new culture. However, I can say that it has been the most inspiring and healing journey. I’d like to share my story with you and would also love to hear yours. I hope you can us” 

Message from Dr. Robert Marx

“Hi, there! I’m so excited to meet with all of you! I’m Robert Marx, and I’m an Assistant Professor in Child and Adolescent Development at SJSU. I grew up in Virginia in the U.S., lived abroad as a student in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and worked abroad in Singapore. I definitely had to adjust to new ways of thinking about gender and sexuality, not only living outside of the U.S. but also moving from the South to the North to the West Coast. I’d love to talk more with you about gender and sexuality, and I’d love to get to know you! I also hope that Kyoung Mi and I can answer any questions you might have!”

What we are planning to share:

  • Diversity in Gender and Sexual Identity
  • What Are Pronouns? Why do they matter?
  • Your Culture vs. US Culture: Are They Different or Similar?

Useful Resources

  • Queer Educators and Counselors Network. To learn more about Drs. Marx and Choi’s work, check out QECN
  • Here is a list of resources for LGBTQIA+ International Students

West Coast Wildfire Resources

Dear Global Spartans,

We hope that you have all been keeping safe and hunkered down during the intense wildfires of the last few weeks. Unfortunately, it is hard to predict when and where these wildfires will strike, and the wildfires are occurring even earlier and with more frequency than anticipated. In order to ensure that you have the best resources at your disposal in the event of a wildfire in your area, we have provided the following guidance from the state and federal government on how to prepare for wildfires and to whom to reach out should you become affected by a wildfire in California or on the West Coast of the U.S.

We strongly recommend that you review the following resource on state and federal guidance for wildfires that have been occurring in California, Oregon, and Washington:

West Coast Wildfires Resource

We wish you a safe and successful Fall 2020 semester! #TalkToUs should you have any queries by contacting us at our general inbox or you may choose to schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor for more complex questions.

Warm Regards,

The ISSS Staff


What do I do now that I have purchased health insurance?

How to obtain your insurance ID card?

The Aetna insurance company does not print and mail medical insurance cards. All cards will be electronic.

  • Go to
  • Select San Jose State University from the drop down menu and click on “view your school”
  • Select the “Print Your ID Card” link
  • Enter your school issued Student ID number and DOB (date of birth: month/day/year) and click “Submit”
  • Take a screenshot to save it to your phone OR print it out and keep in your wallet
  • Show your medical ID card whenever you receive medical treatment

Where do I go when I am sick?

  • Aetna 24 Hour Nurse Line (free nurse advice) 1-800-556-1555
  • Visit the Campus Student Health Center during their office hours. After hours you may call the campus after-hours nurse advice line: (866) 935-6347
  • Locate a Preferred Provider off campus (Aetna Doctor, Urgent Care or ER) and schedule an appointment
  • Show your electronic medical ID card whenever you are treated

What happens after I seek medical services/treatment?

  • Most doctors will send your medical bills directly to Aetna Student Advantage for processing and payment.
  • If you receive a bill directly from the doctor’s office or hospital, please call Aetna to ensure they have received it as well.  You may also want to call the doctor’s office or hospital to check if they have your health insurance information. If not, then they will collect your insurance information and send the bills to Aetna. 
  • You will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from Aetna within 6-8 weeks of treatment. The EOB will show what was paid to your doctor and if you have any out-of-pocket cost (you are responsible for any paying out-of-pocket expenses). 
  • If you have any out-of-pocket cost, you may receive a bill from the doctor. Make sure to pay your bill AFTER confirming that Aetna has paid their portion.  

Who can I contact if I have questions?

  • Aetna – (877) 480-4168 
    • Check the status of a bill
    • View your electronic medical ID card
    • With questions regarding your benefits or claims
  • JCB Insurance Solutions – (408) 220-9341 
    • Update your contact information 
    • View important plan details 
    • Complete and pay for enrollment
  • Email ISSS office ( if you for general questions or not sure whom to contact. 

Career Development Club

Message from Francine Li, President of the Career Development Club

Hi everyone, I hope all of you are staying safe during these crazy times. Despite that, are you looking to boost your leadership and interpersonal skills? Come join us! The Career Development club is a student-run organization helping students to discover career paths early by connecting them to industry leaders. We aim to prepare and equip individuals for pertinent career paths by providing a platform for students to discover their professional interests and to explore the “real world” after college. Our proposed events include a series of seminars on specific career fields, a mentorship program that provides further opportunities for practical experience.

Over the summer, our club has successfully hosted a workshop with three industry leaders in their profession sharing their thoughts on the economy, the job market, and where the opportunity may lay before us. As many students may wonder what the next phase of our economy and where the jobs will be headed in the market place, come and join us to explore the future opportunities for your job career!

Please stay connected with us on LinkedIn @SJSU Career Development Club or email us @! Hope to see you there!

SJSU Writing Center: Fall 2020 Resources

Written by McKenna Miller, Writing Tutor at the SJSU Writing Center

It’s that time of year again! School has begun, and we’re all scrambling to get our papers and presentations organized. 

Study Time GIF

But how do we do that without getting overwhelmed?

International Student & Scholar Services and the Writing Center are here to help!

Beginning in September, we’re offering a series of excellent workshops to help with everything from writing emails to giving presentations. 

Emailing Netiquette Workshop on September 3, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (PST). PowerPoint like a Pro workshop on October 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (PST). Going from Paper to Presentation workshop on October 29, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (PST).

For more information, check out the Writing Center’s website or visit the ISSS page to register.

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The Writing Center also offers a variety of services, even during these chaotic times.

Tutoring appointments continue via Zoom this fall. The Writing Center offers 45-minute appointments M-Th 10:00AM – 9:00PM and F 10:00AM – 3:00PM. All times are in PST.  Tutors are trained to work with writers of all disciplines at every stage of the writing process. You can schedule two appointments per week, and graduate students can request an additional third session by sending an email to

The Writing Center also offers Ask a Tutor Live Chat! You can ask a tutor a quick, specific question about grammar, citations, or anything involving writing. (See the Writing Center’s website for more details.)

They also offer one-hour workshops via Zoom on a variety of topics, including deconstructing prompts, selecting source material, and writing body paragraphs.

Anytime you need more help with your writing, you know where to find the Writing Center ( Materials on the website–including instructional videos and handouts–are available for self-study even if you can’t attend a workshop or engage in a tutoring session. 

Special thanks to McKenna Miller and Amy Russo of the SJSU Writing Center for their contribution to our blog, and for supporting international students!