Managing Stress

Finals are right around the corner, so we asked our friend Dr. Minji Yang to share some tips to help us better manage stress during these busy times.

Dr. Minji Yang is a counselor faculty at SJSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). She was an international undergraduate and graduate student from South Korea and is currently an international professional. Minji specializes in working with international students, racial minority students, and students from immigrant families and on issues such as stress, cultural adjustment, identity development, perfectionism, anxiety, depression, and parental neglect and abuse. She is also the Training Coordinator for CAPS’ nationally accredited Health Psychology Doctoral Internship Program.

Here is what she shared with us:

1. What is stress?

Stress is when something happens and your mind/body have a hard time handling the external event. You get ‘stressed out’ in a negative way when your mind/body don’t have enough internal resources to handle the stressful event. There are various types of stressors such as: academic, financial, immigration, work, career, relationship, sociopolitical, pandemic and other-related stressors. It’s been a hard year as we all know and a very challenging year for international students. So please be mindful of different types of stress that you experience and take time to manage them.

2.  What does stress do to you?

Stress may:

    • affect concentration and sleep
    • cause eating difficulties, digestive problems, body tension, and headaches
    • bring on anxiety and depression
    • make you feel overwhelmed
    • spark negative thoughts
    • make you feel un-motivated or have low energy
    • make you more irritable
    • cause relationship difficulties

3. What can I do to manage stress?

    • Measure your stress level (1-10). Notice when your stress level is increasing and identify what is making you stressed out.
    • Think of what activities help you to feel better and make a list of these. Be intentional about what you choose to do.
    • Doing things to relieve stress does not mean that you are being lazy. Actively taking steps to manage your stress is being smart about your health.
    • Get support. Surround yourself with people that you feel comfortable with and cared for by. Make an effort to keep in touch with them even through chat or video calls.
    • Exercise, eat well, and sleep well! The basics are essential especially in times when you are undergoing stress.
    • Do things that soothe you, such as meditation. There are several meditation resources you can find online that will help you learn how to tell your mind to relax:
    • Engage in positive thinking. Negative thoughts weigh more than positive thoughts. Let the negative thoughts occur, but give some room for positive thoughts too! Take time to practice positive thinking and let it sink in.
    • Be kind to yourself. Notice when you are being critical of yourself and try to be compassionate to yourself. It’s been hard enough this year!
    • Take small steps to do the above. Don’t stress yourself out more by adding more work on your plate!

4. Please know that CAPS is available for you!

We are all working remotely but have several workshops, groups, individual mental health counseling, and educational counseling. Check out our website: and follow us on Instagram (@sjsucaps).

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Thank you for sharing your tips with us, Minji! ISSS also partners with Minji each semester to do a series of De-Stress for Academic Success events. This semester, we’re all virtual. Follow us on Instagram at @SJSUinternational to learn new tips every day during finals week, and check out our web page for more resources.

Special Thanksgiving Tea Time

Written by Haojun Song, Global Leader and Student Assistant at ISSS. Song is the friendly face you’ll see at our Thursday Tea Times. Each week, Song creates a welcoming space for all students to come together. Join him at our next Thursday Tea Time!

Thursday Tea Time is a weekly event that happens every Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (PT). The event is primarily for students regardless of where they are from, and it’s a great opportunity to meet other students from all over the world.

Global Leaders Yuki & Song prepare for Tea Time

Tea Time gives everyone a chance to make new friends, talk about things they have recently experienced, and share about things that make them happy or frustrates them. We usually have a set theme for each meeting, and it’s usually related to exchanging cultural perspectives or topics on daily life. We hope Tea Time will create bonds that form lifelong friendships. 

For this Thursday (Nov 26th), We have prepared a special Thanksgiving Thursday Tea Time. Even though we may not be able to share a Thanksgiving meal together this year, we can still gather at our virtual Tea Time and come together as a community. Our November 26th Tea Time takes on a special Thanksgiving theme, where we’ll share about our experiences, play games, and give thanks together. Join the Thanksgiving Tea Time through the link here:

Moreover, Thursday Tea Time will continue during winter break! Our purpose for these weekly Thursday gatherings over the break is to connect people and make sure everyone is doing okay while there are no classes in session. The themes for the winter session Thursday Tea Times are still to be determined, but feel free to join our conversation and make more friends.

ICE Scam Alert!

For resources on current scams and how to report a scam, please visit our Scam Alerts page or you can choose to schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor.

Scammers are impersonating ICE Agents across the country and specifically targeting international students who have valid (F-1/J-1) status. The scammers will first spoof a local ICE phone number, call the student from this spoofed ICE telephone number and tell the student that their status is in jeopardy. The student is then told that they can either proceed to a specific ICE location or pay a disclosed amount to resolve the issue. The scammers have been reported to be very knowledgeable in immigration (F-1/J-1) terminology and can therefore be quite convincing.

Please remember that the government will not call you if they wish to get into contact with you. 

Stay safe!

Warm Regards,

The ISSS Staff

SJSU CyberAware Day

Posted on behalf of the SJSU Big Data and Cybersecurity Center. Please contact with any questions.

November 9-13 is US National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week. San Jose State University (College of Professional and Global Education) is supporting the national initiative by hosting 3 events in the second week of November. Due to COVID-19, all the activities will be online this year. Registration has already started for all 3 events.  We highly recommend SJSU students/our community attend some of these events so they can explore this highly demanded field.  Many job opportunities are available worldwide.

Trend Micro Initiative for Education (TMIE) Virtual Cybersecurity Summit for University Students.

We are partnering with Trend Micro and several other US universities in this event.This is a special event to promote cybersecurity careers during the NIST NICE Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week.  Trend Micro’s  headquarter is  in Japan, so there are many Asia friendly opportunities.  Note the registration app has the ability to capture a resume if the attendee chooses  to do so.

14:00 – 18:30 PST / 16:00 – 20:30 CST / 17:00 – 21:30 EST
or WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2020,  06:00 – 10:30 CHINA/HK/Taiwan Time
or WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2020,  07:00 – 11:30 Japan/Korea Time

See the registration below.  When you click the download button, you can choose to download a desktop web app/link or a mobile app to register.
Register today

Trend Micro URL:

Your event invitation code: Novirus2020

SJSU CyberAware Day panel discussion

November 12, 2020, 11am Pacific time.  The panelists will share with students about the broad range of opportunities available in Cybersecurity. We typically host this in conjunction with University of California Merced, and Ohlone College, covering the whole spectrum of the California public higher education system.

The event is organized by SJSU Silicon Valley Center of Global Studies (SVCGS) and Silicon Valley Big Data & CyberSecurity Center (SVBDCC).

Register HERE to join us at the 2020 CyberAware Day.

Industry Panelists:

  • Mitchel Chang, SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility & Education (Trend Micro)
  • MK Palmore, VP Chief Field Security Officer (Palo Alto Networks)
  • Barbara Kay, Sr. Director (ServiceNow)

Intro to Cybersecurity workshop (complementary)

A 3-hour long workshop in partnership with CyberAware Day programming.  Registration details :

Availability is very limited for this event. (Bay Area attendees only)

NOVEMBER 12, 2020,  18:00 – 21:00 Pacific Time


Recently, there have been reports of SJSU F-1 students who were targets of scam calls. The students were called by scammers claiming to be representatives from DHS (The Department of Homeland Security), who accused the students of failing to provide their Alien Registration Number (A-Number). The scammers proceeded to ask for Passport information, date of birth, bank name, and physical address. The Alien Registration Number (A-Number) can be your USCIS number if you received an EAD card in the past, or the number that you’re assigned when you apply for a Green Card. Many students simply do not have an A-Number. The students are then told that in order to avoid deportation, they must pay a fine by loading money onto an eBay gift card and provide it to the scammers.

DO NOT acquiesce to the scammers’ demands should you receive a call from “DHS.” Even if the number seems legitimate and the Caller ID on your phone clearly indicates “Department of Homeland Security” (DHS), this is known as “Telephone Spoofing.” This occurs when scammers pose as representatives calling on behalf of government agencies and will manipulate their Caller ID information to appear as if they are really calling from DHS, USCIS, SEVP, IRS, etcetera. THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT CALL YOU! If you receive a call from USCIS, DHS, SEVP, SSA (Social Security Administration), it will most likely be a scam. Should a specific government agency need to reach out to you, they will send you a letter in the mail. In extremely serious and rare situations, they will physically come to your residence. Calling is extremely rare. 

Please hang up, block the number, and report the scam call to us if this has happened to you! If you provided personal information such as Passport, bank account, or other sensitive information, then please refer to our Scam Alerts webpage for the next steps to take on how to report a scam properly to the FBI. You may also schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor.

We strongly recommend that all students review the Scam Alerts webpage to find out about the various scams that International Students have reported to our office over the years, including several valuable resources on how to prevent becoming a victim of a scam.


The ISSS Staff