The International Student Council invited the seniors to a workshop that took place on March 3 in the Forester room in the lower dining commons. The meeting was mainly about Optional Practical Training, but it was also about insurance, job hunting and other concerns. The OPT is a temporary employment for an F-1 student visa related to their major area of study. It allows students to stay for an extra year or two after finishing their degree. For it to be approved, the international students need to fill an application and mail it along with other required documents.
Margaret Pasko, the administrative assistant in the Student Life Office, explained the process of OPT to the students who were present at the meeting. She went through a PowerPoint presentation to inform them how to fill out the written application.
Questions such as “What happens to the application if someone is accepted into a Master’s program?” were discussed at the end of the presentation. Other concerns were also addressed since graduation is just around the corner, and there is a lot to prepare and decide. These concerns were answered by Pasko and Shoshannah Hernandez, the director for the Institute for TESOL Studies and associate director of Global Studies.
“The meeting was really helpful,” one of the students said. “I was doubtful about some things when I was trying to fill the application by myself.”
A former student. Sabira Rakhimova, shared her story through a Zoom video chat. She shared how things have been for her the last couple of years and her experience with OTP, and she also answered questions from the students.
Graduation will be here soon, and the seniors are preparing themselves for the new path they are going to start soon. Hopefully, things work out for them, and they can achieve what their hearts want.
Discussion of OTP by Margaret Pasko. Picture taken by Shoshannah Hernandez.