Apply for Fulbright and Other National Fellowships – Info Sessions 6/1 – 8/24

Dear Class of 2021,

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! As you plan for the future, please consider applying for national fellowships. They are fully funded, usually year-long programs that support a range of global experiences, from research to graduate study to English teaching.

I especially encourage you to consider the Fulbright Study/Research or English Teaching Assistant grants, which allow you to spend a year in one of 100+ participating countries, pursuing independent research or graduate study or teaching English in the classroom. They are open to graduating seniors and recent alumni who are U.S. citizens, and they don’t have a minimum GPA requirement.

If you have clearly defined professional interests supported by experience, consider the Luce Scholarship, which provides a year-long professional placement at an organization in Asia.

Explore our website to learn about other fellowship opportunities and watch short video testimonials from recent applicants.

Application cycles for fellowships are almost a year long to allow for several stages of application review. Apply this fall for programs that take place in 2022-23. See campus deadlines on our website.

To learn more about applying for fellowships, please watch this recording. Fellowships Assistant Genesis Garcia ’22 and I talk about what fellowships are, what experiences they fund, who can apply, and why you should be thinking about them. I also encourage you to watch this recording, in which recent fellowship applicants from Wesleyan share their experiences and advice.

You’re also welcome to sign up for a video appointment on my calendar to talk about choosing the right program and planning the application process.

Finally, if you plan to apply for a national fellowship, either in this application cycle or in the future, you’re warmly invited to participate in the virtual summer application writing sessions. Research shows that writers who write with others are happier, more productive, and more successful.

The virtual application writing sessions will be held every other Tuesday from 7:30 to 9pm ET at the following Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 978 0741 5070

Passcode  529431

The session dates are as follows:

June 1

June 15

June 29

July 13

July 27

August 10

August 24

Each session will start with goal setting and end with reflection on the work you’ve done. For best results, I encourage you to commit to a set number of sessions. We may talk a little in the beginning, in person or in the chat, then mute ourselves and write. Cameras are always optional.

I’m looking forward to talking to you!

Best wishes,


Magdalena Zapędowska, Ph.D. [za-pen-doff-ska]

Assistant Director, Fellowships | Fries Center for Global Studies

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Wesleyan University

201D Fisk Hall, 262 High St. | Middletown, CT 06459, USA


Preparing for your Life after Wes as an F-1 Student

Dear F-1 Seniors,
Hope you all are doing well and are ready for the last spring break in your college career. To help you get ready for your life after Wes, please consider doing the following:

Review Life after Wes information on the OISA Website

Please visit the Life after Wes page to review your options after graduation. We have information for you about applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT), transferring your SEVIS records to a graduate school and planing your departure from the U.S. If you have questions about any of these options, you are encouraged to come to one of our drop-in hours to discuss your post-graduation plans.

Attend One or More Upcoming Workshops for F-1 Seniors 

OISA is hosting two additional workshops for F-1 seniors. Both workshops will be recorded if you are not able to attend the live sessions. Please email if you need access to the recorded sessions.
Life After Wes: Managing your Immigration Status after Graduation
Wednesday, April 7, 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDTZoom link:

OPT STEM Extension Info Session

Thursday, April 15, 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT

Zoom link:

Check your I-20s

​Check your Major(s) on your I-20: If you do not plan to apply for OPT, please check your current I-20 to make sure that your major(s) are correctly listed on your I-20 for your records. If you plan to apply for OPT, you will receive an OPT recommendation I-20 from OISA. Check your OPT recommendation I-20 to make sure that your major(s) are correctly listed.
Check your Program End Date on your I-20: If you are on track to graduate in May 2021, please check page one of your I-20 to make sure that your program end date says May 2021. If you need an I-20 correction, please email as soon as possible.

Review information about Optional Practical Training (OPT)

If you are interested in working in the United States after graduation, you are encouraged to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) as soon as possible. The OPT applications are adjudicated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), not Wesleyan OISA. The process takes at least 3 months and can take much longer during the pandemic. Please review the information listed on the Post-Completion OPT page carefully prior to submitting your OPT request. There are two documents on the page you might find helpful:
OISA will proofread your Form I-765 once for you. Please submit your completed Form I-765 to You will receive detailed written feedback in 7-10 business days. Remember, you must be physically in the United States to apply for OPT. If you are currently studying remotely outside of the U.S. and are considering coming to the U.S. to apply for OPT, please contact OISA BEFORE you book your flights.

Attending Commencement 2021

Please review the Reunion & Commencement 2021 page for the university-wide announcement about the commencement given the fluid nature of the pandemic. If you are currently outside of the United States and are considering returning to the U.S. to attend the commencement, please contact OISA BEFORE you book your flights.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions!


Chia-Ying S. Pan | Director, International Student Services

Office of International Student Affairs Wesleyan University
Room 024, North College 237 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459
Zoom Meeting Room | Schedule an Appointment | Spring 2021 Drop-In Hours

New OPT Application Resources on OISA Website

Dear international seniors,
I am writing to let you know that we just added additional resources on the OISA website to help F-1 students who are applying for their one-year post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) based on the feedback we received from you.
Here are the links:
If you need help with your Form I-765, please visit us during the drop-in hours. We can also proofread your Form I-765 for you once. Please send a copy of your completed I-765 to We will get back to you in 7-10 business days.
Please note that you need to submit your OPT request via the ISS Portal. Directions for how to submit all your documents are listed on here.
Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions. Good luck with your application!

Chia-Ying S. Pan | Director, International Student Services

Office of International Student Affairs Wesleyan University
Room 024, North College 237 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459
Zoom Meeting Room | Schedule an Appointment | Spring 2021 Drop-In Hours

F-1 Seniors: OPT Workshop Tomorrow @ 12 noon, EST – 2/22

Dear F-1 seniors,
This is a friendly reminder for the OPT workshop tomorrow:

Optional Practical Training (OPT): Filling out the I-765 Form

Tuesday, February 23, 12:00-1:00 p.m. EST

In this workshop, OISA staff will provide step-by-step guidance to fill out Form I-765. If you have attended the session last semester, it is still helpful to come to this workshop. Not much has changed specifically about the I-765; however, the USCIS lockbox location has changed. Also, the OPT fee was changed from $410 to $550 now back to $410. We want to make sure that everyone is aware of these important updates.

Please do the following before you attend the workshop:

  • Download the Form I-765
  • Read through the instructions for Form I-765
  • Have the following documents handy when you come to the workshop:
    • your current and all previous I-20s
    • your passport
    • your F-1 visa page
    • your most recent I-94
    • your Social Security Card (if you have one)
    • a pen with black ink (required by the U.S. government

The session will be recorded. If you are unable to attend the session, please email to obtain a link to the recorded session.

After you attend tomorrow’s workshop, you can get your completed I-765 proofread ONCE by a professional staff. This is an offer to help you with your form, not a requirement. You can choose to skip this step if you are able to fill out the form independently. Please submit a polished version of your I-765 as if you are ready to submit it to the government. If you have questions about any of the items on the form, attend one of the drop-in hours to get your questions answered BEFORE you submit for proofreading. The turnaround time is 7-10 business days.

Your OPT application materials need to be submitted via the ISS Portal. OISA does not have access to your submitted materials until you hit the “submit” button on the top. Please email once you submit your application materials. We will write back to confirm that everything has been received. You can expect your OPT recommendation I-20 within 7-10 business days if everything looks good. If there are questions about your application or we found a mistake in your application, you will be contacted via email.

See you at the workshop tomorrow,


Chia-Ying S. Pan | Director, International Student Services

Office of International Student Affairs Wesleyan University
Room 024, North College 237 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459
Zoom Meeting Room | Schedule an Appointment | Spring 2021 Drop-In Hours


OISA Zoom Session for New & Returning Students – 1/15

Spring 2021 Q&A Zoom Session for New and Returning F-1 Students

Date: Friday, January 15, 2021

Time: 9:00-10:30 am EST (use a time zone converter to find out your local time)

Students may submit questions using this form. All questions submitted by 11:59 pm EST, Tuesday, January 12, 2021 will be answered in the live session. This session is for both undergraduate and graduate F-1 students. Parents and families are welcome to attend.

IRS COVID-19 Stimulus Checks and F/J Students

This is a reposted message from OISA and the Controller’s Office.

Dear international students,

Please see the message below from Christine Rodrigue about COVID-19 stimulus checks. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Christine at

Hope you all are well!



Dear F and J Students and Scholars,

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Federal Stimulus Package enacted in April 2020 was intended to help taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others affected by the coronavirus.  The package included Economic Impact Payments, more commonly referred to as Stimulus Checks, to individual taxpayers.

In December 2020, the U.S. government approved the second pandemic stimulus payment under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, providing an additional one-time payment of up to $600 per eligible taxpayer.

Individuals eligible to receive the stimulus checks:

  • must be a US Citizen or Resident Alien for tax purposes
  • cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer
  • must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), and
  • have gross income of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples)

You are not entitled to receive stimulus checks if you are:

  • A Non-Resident Alien (F-1 and J-1 Students are Non-Resident Aliens during the first five calendar years of presence in the U.S.)
  • A single taxpayer with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $99,000
  • A head of a household with an AGI over $136,500
  • A married couple with an AGI over $198,000
  • A child over 16 or a college student under age 24

If you received a stimulus check, you should verify your 2019 tax year U.S. residency statusIf you determine that you were a Resident for tax purposes in 2019, then you are entitled to the stimulus checks.  If you determine that you were a Non-Resident for tax purposes in 2019, then you received the payment/s in error, and you should follow the instructions provided by Sprintax and the IRS (links below) to return the payment/s to the IRS.  By keeping a stimulus check that was issued in error, you may incur penalty and interest payments or jeopardize your future U.S. visa or Green Card applications.

Everything a non-resident in the U.S. needs to know about the COVID stimulus checksSprintax provides further clarity and guidance for international non-immigrant students and employees, specifically non-resident aliens for tax purposes.

IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center

I hope you are doing well and staying healthy.


Take good care,

Christine Rodrigue

Sr. Accountant/Tax Specialist

Wesleyan University

Controller’s Office

International Compensation and Taxation

Notes from OISA for December 2020 Completers – 12/18

OISA provided the following information as a reminder for students on F-1 visas completing their degree requirements in Fall 2020.

Please read the information below about your F-1 status:
  • Please check your current I-20 to make sure that it has the correct program end date (it should say 12/19/2020). If you need a new I-20 with an updated program end date, please let me know. If you are currently on campus, I can drop of your updated I-20 at p-safe for you to pick up. If you are currently off campus/outside of the United States, please purchase a shipping label via UEMS. An updated I-20 will be shipped to you. Please keep ALL your I-20s in a safe place. If you would like to claim any of your F-1 benefits, you will be asked to present all your past I-20s.
  • Please read the “Prepare for your End of Program” page carefully. This page contains information about grace period if you are currently in the United States. If you need your SEVIS records transferred to a different SEVP-certified school, please let me know ASAP. The transfer must be completed within 60 days after the program end date listed on your I-20.
  • If you are interested in applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation, please read the OPT page on the OISA website. Please note that you MUST be physically in the United States to submit your OPT application to USCIS.
  • If you do not wish to apply for OPT, your F-1 status ends at the end of your grace period or the day you exit the United States, whichever comes first. You will NOT be able to use your F-1 visa/I-20 to come back to Wesleyan for the graduation ceremony in May 2021 if there is an in-person celebration. You will need to enter the U.S. using a different visa that matches the purpose of the trip (likely a B1/B2 visa – a business/tourist visa), even if your F-1 visa has not expired. Please check with your local U.S. embassy about how you can obtain a B1/B2 visa if desired.

New Fair Trade Virtual Study Abroad Classes for Spring 2021!

New Courses Now in WesMaps!

CGST321 Theatre for Social Change

  • Taught in Spanish
  • Learn with Ecuadorian participants
  • Cross-listed with DANC320

CGST322 Storying and Re-Storying (Storytelling for Social Change)

  • Taught in Spanish
  • Learn with Ecuadorian participants
  • Cross-listed with DANC320

CGST340 Identity and Pacha

  • Taught in English
  • Learn from Ecuadorian educators
  • Cross-listed with ANTH250

CGST341 Critical Interculturality and the Pedagogy of Unlearning

  • Taught in English
  • Learn from Ecuadorian educators
  • Cross-listed with ANTH241

Interactive, experiential online courses provided by our partner in Ecuador

No additional tuition

Time zone same as CT

Fair Trade Virtual Study Abroad Course Flyer (2)

Last OPT Workshop Tomorrow @ 12Noon, EST – 10/20

This is a repost of the message sent from Chia-Ying Pan to international students on October 19th.

Dear international juniors and seniors,

Please join the OISA tomorrow (October 20) for the last Optional Practical Training (OPT) workshop of the season. This workshop is for F-1 students who wish to work in the United States after graduation.

Optional Practical Training (OPT): Live Q&As

Tuesday, October 20, 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT

Zoom link:

This workshop will address the frequently asked questions about OPT and OPT STEM extension. We will help you make realistic plans to complete your OPT application, answer any questions you may have about I-765 and have a discussion with you if you are not sure if applying for OPT is an appropriate choice for you after graduation.

If you would like the recordings of the previous two OPT sessions, please email

I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow! Bring your questions!!


Chia-Ying Sophia Pan, M.S. Ed. | Director, International Student Services

Office of International Student Affairs Wesleyan University

Room 024, North College 237 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459

P. (860) 685-3031 OISA Facebook 

Fall 2020 virtual drop-in hours: 

Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (zoom link)

Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time (zoom link)

Fridays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (zoom link)