IESC International Student E-Newsletter

CSUN International and Exchange Student Center logo

IESC International Student E-Newsletter

October 7, 2021

Yes! This Fall 2021 semester has allowed us to start with great innovations and ideas to continue assisting you as we moved forward to in-person services. We are glad to assist many of our international students and CSUN community who are back to campus while also offering our advisement services remotely for all our students.

From this wonderful and inspirational "Welcome Back Matadors" video shown below, this past month we were reminded that we can be a light for one another, shine bright for one another, and do right for one another. Let's continue to do our part for a full safe return to campus as we move forward!


The IESC Advisement team

Welcome Back Matadors

The University Student Union at CSUN shares the "Welcome Back Matadors" for the Fall 2021 semester featuring CSUN grad student and spoken word poet Alex Salazar and created by CSUN international student and USU Student Videographer David Tschan.

Important Information for International Students during COVID-19

IMAGE Coronavirus floating

We updated the IESC COVID-19 FAQ webpage with COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Requirement and Critical Resources to Stay Well Informed and Safe information. Additionally, IESC has created a video that shows you How to submit your COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation. Make sure to watch it! The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak may continue to affect your travel plans. The IESC highly recommends that you continue to keep in mind all travel restrictions, which can change rapidly and with little notice. Please be sure to visit the IESC COVID-19 FAQ regularly!

Tutorial: How to submit your COVID-19 Attestation/Certification

Tutorial: How to submit your COVID-19 Attestation/Certification

Maintaining Your Immigration Status HIGHLIGHTS!!!


Visit the Spring 2022 Reminders for International Students to help you plan your Spring 2022 enrollment as it relates to maintaining your immigration status. Also, if you have not contacted your academic department regarding the classes you plan to take for Spring, please make sure to do so sooner than later!

Registration Announcement: Spring 2022 registration information will be emailed to new and continuing CSUN students as early as Oct. 14, 2021, and after. Make sure to check your CSUN email account regularly.

Helpful resources:

IESC Advisement Webinar Logo

Register now! - Fall 2021 advisement events and webinars are available. Plan ahead and sign up for these events. The webinars will be conducted utilizing Zoom. Don't miss the opportunity to attend one of the live webinars or events to help you maintain your immigration status in good standing! Webinar topics consist of Curricular Practical Training, Q&A POST-OPT, General Immigration Advisement, and more. To register for our live webinars, please be sure to visit us at our Events and Webinar page. Scroll down below to check out a few of the many webinars we are highlighting for you!

Scholarship Opportunities for International Students

New and continuing students are invited to join us for this webinar. In this session, you will learn about scholarship opportunities, learn about how to apply and write scholarship essays. The webinar will include a guest from the LRC Writing Center, and from the CSUN Scholarship department. To RSVP, please click on the date and time selected:
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 2pm (PST)

Fall 2021: Graduates... What's Next

Hello Fall 2021 Grads! It was great to see some of you at the Beyond Graduation webinar where we shared substantial information to help you plan for what is next after your fall 2021 graduation. We hope you have found it helpful! As a follow up, here below are some questions that you should consider as you are planning your next steps:

  • Apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (Post-OPT). If you are graduating and plan to gain work experience in the United States, you may apply for Post-OPT. But hurry! Your application deadline may be fast approaching. For more information keep reading the next section about Post-OPT and review the application process from our Post-OPT website.
  • Are you planning to attend another institution for Spring 2022? Make sure to submit your SEVIS Transfer Release form along with your admission letter to IESC. Instructions are listed on the form.
  • Seeking to change your current F1 status to a different non-immigrant or immigrant status? You need to consult with an immigration attorney regarding changing your status. However, please be reminded that you must depart the U.S. within 60 days of completion of your academic program. Keep reading to learn more!
  • Are you leaving the United States after graduation? If you are not planning to apply for Post-OPT, continue studies in a new academic program, or pursue the change of your non-immigrant status in the U.S., you must depart the U.S. within 60 days of completion of your academic program.

Fall 2021 Program completion Date is 12/23/2021

  • Once a matador, always a matador! Stay connected to CSUN and enjoy all the benefits of becoming a CSUN Alumni.

Person standing in front of a computer accessing a calendar

POST-OPT Reminders: Congratulations to International Students who are completing their program this Fall 2021! You may begin the OPT application process now. Students may apply as early as 90 days prior to the program completion date and no later than 60 days after the program completion date. Below are some important dates to remember.

Fall 2021 Program Completion Date: 12/23/2021

Requesting OPT start dates: Students completing their studies at the end of the Fall 2021 must choose a start date between 12/24/2021 and 02/22/2022

Remember!!! USCIS must receive your application no later than 30 days from the date your OPT I-20 was issued to you, but no later than the 60th day from your program completion date whichever is earlier. Please consider the IESC processing time (up to 3 weeks) for your OPT request in your planning.

Have questions? Make sure to watch the recently updated OPT Tutorial, attend a Post-OPT QnA webinar or email your international student advisors.

Visit our Employment & Practical Training page for more information!

Are you currently on Post-OPT?

Are you currently on Post-OPT? Make sure to watch this video and learn more about your Reporting Requirements to help you maintain your Post-OPT in good standing. (Watch 3 min. approx.)

SEVIS Coordinator avatar saying hi!

Dear Students,

Please find below a reminder about your SEVIS record. Make sure to read this information as it will help us help you maintain your SEVIS record and immigration status.

  • Foreign Hold will show on your CSUN Student Portal very soon. If you have already submitted your proof of health insurance for Spring 2022, IESC will review it and remove your Foreign hold (aka "F" hold). If you have not submitted it yet, please visit health insurance requirement. Important! Be sure to complete the Current Location Report if you have not done so to help us assist you with further questions accordingly.
  • Must enroll in full time course load for Spring 2022 (undergrad with a minimum of 12 units and graduate with a minimum of 8 units). Make sure to contact your ACADEMIC ADVISOR to plan your Spring 2022 full time enrollment schedule.
  • Is your CSUN I-20 expiring soon? if you will NOT COMPLETE your degree at the end of FALL 2021 semester (12/23/2021), you must apply for an Extension of Stay in order to continue your studies and to remain in correct status with immigration for future semester. IESC will need to receive the documents listed below via email:
  • Maintain a valid U.S address at all times and update your CSUN Student Portal account. The U.S. address is required to keep your SEVIS immigration record in good standing. Any changes must be reported within 10 days of the change. Learn how to keep your information updated at UPDATE PERSONAL INFORMATION!
  • Are you currently on OPT? Don't forget to report your required POST-OPT or your STEM OPT information in a timely manner.

Career Center logo

Your Career Center is here to help!
The Career Center supports you through career counseling, programming and many more resources available to you throughout your academic program at CSUN. Its counselors assist you in areas of career exploration, job and internship search, and graduate school preparation. They are available at

To meet the unique concerns of international students on career, job and internship search, the Career Center has made available the following information and resources:

Two doing Yoga

The University Counseling Services (UCS) Welcomes You! UCS is committed to supporting students' mental health, well-being, and academic success through individual therapy, groups and workshops, crisis/urgent care services, and much more.

  • UCS is open during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bayramian Hall building, 5th floor, Room 520).
  • If you would like to schedule a new or returning appointment, please contact them at (818) 677-2366, option 1, to schedule an appointment.
  • For after hours, Mental Health Urgent Care assistance, dial (818) 677-2366, option 3.

Feeling stressed? Take a collective moment to slow down, reflect, and reconnect with our deepest intentions. Join UCS for Mindfulness Break, Wednesdays, 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. Join them on Zoom!

During Fall 2021, Let's Talk about what's on your mind. The International and Exchange Student Center in collaboration with the University Counseling Services is offering a free online service to support you during the challenging times you may be facing. Whether you feel sad, stressed, anxious or simply need to vent, talking can help and we're here to listen.

This service is conveniently available from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (PST) every Thursday through Zoom and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. To drop-in for your first session via zoom, you may use the following information:

Zoom Meeting ID: 894 5099 5705
For additional information, please visit the University Counseling Services.

USU Oasis Wellness Center: Where Matadors Belong

The Oasis Wellness Center - Your Place to Relax, Revive and Succeed!
Visit the Oasis at

Free On-Demand Fitness & Mindfulness Classes. Over a dozen on-demand Fitness & Mindfulness classes are available on the SRC YouTube channel and over 30 different mindfulness and art videos are available on the Oasis Wellness Center YouTube channel.

Are you ready to play Matadors? The Student Recreation Center (SRC) is here for you! Scroll down to watch their welcome video.

Get rewarded for pursuing your fitness goals! This highly motivating Group Exercise (GX) Rewards Program will encourage you to commit to a healthier personal routine while spreading the word about their live-streamed fitness and mindfulness classes with your friends. The best part about this program is that you can automatically be entered into their monthly raffle for a $25 e-gift card of your choice!

Take on a challenge and win BIG! Each challenge is designed to encourage members to engage in fitness activities to reach the ultimate goal and be entered to win some awesome prizes. For more information, review the challenge details for each available challenge here.

Welcome Back to Your Student Recreation Center!
Welcome Back to Your Student Recreation Center!

A cell phone with a scammer alert

Beware of ICE Imposters
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is alerting the public of individuals and organizations posing as ICE officers or agents and targeting international students.

The scammers "spoof" a local ICE phone number as their caller ID and tell students that their status is in jeopardy and they can either proceed to a specific ICE location or pay X amount of dollars to solve the issue. ICE warns that the scammers are familiar with immigration lingo and can be very convincing. Don't answer the phone, but if you do, don't engage and just hang up. Learn more about the ICE alert here.

For more information, please visit the ICE website. You may also refer to the CSUN Department of Police Services' Identity Theft.

Beware of Scammers Using SEVP Phone Numbers
There have been reports of individuals pretending to be the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Response Center (SRC) representatives and targeting international students in the United States.

These scammers will spoof a local SEVP-SRC phone number (703-603-3400) or a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office phone number (757-441-6533) and ask international students about their form I-94 documents and ask students to provide financial information.

Please do not give out any personal information or payment details to strangers over the phone. SEVP Representatives will NEVER ask you to provide financial information. Likewise, NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

Please report all incidents to the HSI tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call from an SEVP official, you can also contact us.

For more information, please visit the Study in the States. You may also refer to the CSUN Department of Police Services' Identity Theft.

emergency light and a man looking at his laptop

Your safety is important to us! Although we do not anticipate any emergency evacuation for international students at CSUN, we would like you to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Please review the following resource and scroll down to watch the videos.

Helpful resources:'s "Planning for Disasters During COVID" Video Series: Disasters don't wait for a pandemic to end. Learn how to prepare for a natural disaster during COVID-19 with a video series created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two people talking

Your International Student Advisors can meet you where you are and they are ready to assist you!

Your International Student Advisors will continue to largely provide remote advisement combined with some degree of in-person availability. Please consult with your Advisors for any needed in-person services. Below, please find the four ways to contact us:

green leaves, a comment bubble, Brenda Acosta's picture with a hat

Let's meet the IESC staff! We are delighted to introduce you to one of your International Student Advisors, Mrs. Brenda Acosta. She has been working at CSUN since 2005 and she is happy to share with you a little bit about herself!

Guatemala, Acton
Alma Mater
Azusa Pacific University and California State University, Northridge
Language(s) spoken
English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Undergraduate Major
Organizational Leadership and Applied Management
Graduate Degree
Education Leadership and Policy Studies
Favorite place(s) abroad
Guanajuato Mexico, Mexico City, Huehuetenango in Guatemala
Fun Fact
I like to watch old black and white movies, and I like playing the guitar
Advice for Internationally-minded students
Be open to experience, and learn from other cultures and peoples. Be adventurous!

You are invited!!!

Virtual Coffee Hour

Mark your calendar! Fridays from 11am to 1pm (PST). Join us for Virtual Coffee Hour! Meet new friends, play some games, get to know more about campus resources, and have a chance to win an Amazon gift card*.

Register here! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Hope to see you there!

matador statue, students painting, students holding colorful umbrellas, drummers, flags, and fans

Get involved!!! Do not miss the opportunity to get involved and participate in any of the virtual programs and events that CSUN offers. Check out the following links periodically and add them to your calendar! We are sure that you will find an event or program of your interest!