International Education Center

International Education Center Newsletter

Fall 2022, Issue 2


Connections International Students Newsletter


The fall semester is an exciting but sometimes stressful period for students who are ready to apply to transfer.  Fortunately, SMC offers vast information and an array of transfer services to assist you.  We recommend you first refer to the Transfer Center website and take advantage of events to guide you through the transfer process.  The Transfer Center offers application workshops for UC, CSU, and private universities, writing tips for the UC personal insight questions, links to videos and PowerPoints, virtual visits from university representatives, and many other useful resources. 

Deadlines to apply vary with schools, especially private institutions. The UC application is available now for the Fall 2023 terms; the submission period is August 1 to November 30. The priority application filing period for the CSU system is October 1 - November 30.  

*If you have transfer questions, please make sure you meet with an international counselor, not a Transfer Center counselor. We are ready to assist you with the transfer process.

Important reminders for new and continuing students:

  • Wear your mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
  • Check your SMC email daily
  • Join the International Education Center and others for on-campus meetings. It is a great way to connect with friends and get your questions answered. Follow us on Instagram to find out about these opportunities!

Person outline and letter I next to them

Personal Information Update

The International Education Center is required to have current information on F1 students. This includes address, phone number, and email address. If you have not provided the International Education Center with your current contact information, please update your information on Corsair Connect.  

Graduation Cap with dollar sign on bottom right


Current SMC students who meet the minimum academic criteria can apply for 2023-2024 SMC Foundation scholarships starting October 1, 2022. 

Some of the academic criteria are as follows:

  • Minimum overall GPA at SMC of 2.5 
  • Enroll in at least six SMC units for Fall 2022 and at least six SMC units for Spring 2023
  • Last day to submit scholarship application is December 31, 2022,

 You can get more information by visiting How to Apply for Scholarships

students on video call

Is Fall your last semester?

If you are transferring to another school, please fill out the Transfer Out Request Form

If you plan to return to your home country and not maintain your F-1 status, please fill out the Withdrawal Form.

Person wearing Graduation Cap

Graduating at the end of Fall? Submit your Graduation Petition

The deadline to apply for Fall graduation is December 1st.  To learn about the steps to petition for graduation, visit the Graduation Petition page.

Paper on clip board

Graduating at the end of Fall and want to apply for OPT

Fall graduates - apply for OPT NOW through February 17:  the earlier the better! You can begin the process by contacting a counselor to request an OPT request form.

Winter graduates - apply for OPT between November 11, 2022 – April 10, 2023: the earlier the better! You can begin the process by contacting a counselor to request an 'OPT request form

Camera facing towards reader

Photo Contest!!!

Are you an international student who loves taking pictures? Share your SMC and California Photos!
Winners will be featured in SMC's social media and marketing campaigns, and winning photos will be hung in the IEC. Submit photos in one or more of the categories below:

• Academics at SMC
• That "Ah-Hah" Moment
• Most Epic Selfie
• Out and About in Santa Monica/ Los Angeles
• Best Photographer Skills
• Corsair Pride
• Discovering Local Culture
• Create your Own Category!

Winners will receive a paid internship at the IEC for up to 7 hours to complete a marketing project (Instagram takeover, blog posts, TikTok videos, or others)! Please stay tuned for more details which will be sent to your SMC email account.  All submissions are due by November 16th.
To submit, please email with one photo per email.  In the body of the email, include: your name, your SMC ID#, the category you are submitting for, and a 100 words or less description of your photo.  You may submit no more than 3 photos per category.  We can't wait to see your photos!!


To enter your photos in the contest, submit a separate e-mail for each photo.

  • Send an e-mail to
  • Subject Line: SMC Photo Contest
  • Attach ONE photo
  • In the body of the e-mail, include:
  • Your name
  • Your SMC ID#
  • The category you are submitting for
  • Location:  where the photo was taken
  • A description of your photo.  Your description can be just a few words, or a longer description, up to 100 words.

Winners will need to sign a release allowing Santa Monica College to use your photo, title, description and name in social media and marketing pieces.

We can’t wait to see your photos!

Get Direct Deposits via BankMobile

Santa Monica College would like to introduce the partnership between SMC and BankMobile, which will allow students to have their money directly deposited into a US bank account of their choice (Your name MUST be on the account).

SMC students can now get their tuition refunds deposited directly into their US bank account without waiting for the post office or picking up a check on campus!

Direct Deposit/Distributions (BankMobile) Details

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Health Insurance

Visit the Sydney Health website to download the Sydney App to get your member ID card right away and to find doctors. Visit the Anthem Insurance website to register your Anthem Blue Cross account.


Need to see a doctor? Visit the Anthem Find Care page to find an Anthem Blue Cross Provider.


If you need to be tested for coronavirus: Your health plan will cover the costs for doctor-ordered COVID-19/coronavirus testing with no copay or deductible, including at out-of-network facilities if an in-network provider is not accessible.


If you contract coronavirus: Your health plan will provide coverage for COVID-19/coronavirus treatment the same as it would any other illness.


The International Student Insurance Plan is through Anthem Blue Cross. Blue Cross has the largest provider network nationwide, allowing you to seek services from thousands of contracted doctors, specialists, urgent care centers and hospitals anywhere in the US.  The name of your insurance plan is “Blue Cross PPO” – also called “Blue Cross Prudent Buyer”. When using Blue Cross PPO providers, expect a $25 office and specialist visit copayment, $25 urgent care visit copayment and a $50 emergency room copayment when using contracted Blue Cross PPO providers.  There is a $50 annual deductible for International students and dependents and a $250 annual deductible for OPT students and their dependents.


As with all insurance plans, some services have pre-certification requirements, limitations and exclusions.  Always consult the plan document or Anthem Customer Service for more details.

Blue tooth

Dental Coverage with Anthem Blue Cross

Dental cleanings and basic restorative services -- up to a $750 maximum benefit per year!   This benefit will cover Diagnostic and Preventive services and basic restorative dental services up to $750 per plan year!   There is a $50 deductible + 20% coinsurance due for basic restorative services. Always use contracted Blue Cross Dental providers to maximize your benefit. Remember, non-contracted providers can “balance bill” you for anything the insurance does not pay.

Phone with red cross on screen

DialCare Service: no referral or co-pay!

DialCare Physician Access connects you with state-licensed, fully credentialed doctors, via phone and video chat, to provide treatment and advice for common ailments. No referral or co-payment required! DialCare Mental Wellness connects you with a mental health professional. It is safe, secure, and confidential. To schedule a consultation with a doctor or mental health professionals, please call 855-335-2255 to access care and obtain your DialCare member ID number. Once you have this ID number, you can go to the DialCare Website and click on “Log in” (don’t click on sign up – it will take you to a different plan). Next, click on Account Set up and enter your name and your ID number. Or, download the DialCare mobile app at the Google Play or Apple App store. With DialCare, there are no limits on the number of 30 minute phone and video consultations you can have with doctors or mental health professionals!

Learn more about DialCare.

Flu Shots & Immunizations Now Available on Campus

If you are planning on transferring to a University – including the UC and CSU systems in Fall 2022, you are required to be vaccinated against a number of diseases. It’s not too early to get these immunizations now! The campus health center can give you the vaccinations you need by appointment only. Please call the Health Services Center at (310) 434-4262 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are limited and fill up quickly so please don’t wait!

The vaccines available at the Health Services Center are:

  • Flu
  • Tdap or Td
  • MMR
  • Varicella
  • HPV (age 26 and under)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal

The health center will submit a bill to the insurance company on your behalf!

Message From IEC Counseling

We hope you are enjoying your educational journey at SMC. Counselors are available to assist and guide you with any questions you may have regarding enrollment, completion of an educational plan, filling out the transfer application, or any other academic-related questions or concerns. We offer various ways to connect with a counselor. The Zoom Express service is the best way as we have several counselors scheduled to work with Drop-in students. You may also e-mail us via AskIECC; this service is excellent for students who are unable to Zoom, need forms, and/or a written response.  We offer an in-person service, but days and times are limited. Please visit our International Counseling page to access our services.

Enrollment Tips and Strategies:

Check class schedule - The schedule is dynamic with changes updated frequently.

Open Seat Notification List - If someone drops a section on this list, you will be notified but you need to move quickly as all students on this list are also notified.

Wait lists (opens two weeks before the start of a term). The Open Seat Notification feature will turn into a waiting list and students will have an actual number on this list.

“CRASH” - Email instructors asking for permission to get into their section (Use campus directory to find e-mails). The instructor will make a decision based on many factors, but it’s worth a try.

“Swap a Class” option (secure 12 units first). By using this feature, you will not be dropped from the section you are using to swap as the system will first check to see if the section you want to add is still available.

“Request a Class” - If enough students request the same section, the department may consider opening a new course.

We wish you the very best and hope you will take advantage of our services.

Counseling Office Hours

Please check the Counseling page for hours.

Contact an International Counselor

Zoom Express and Ask IECC



Zoom logo

Zoom Express Counseling

(available to all F-1 and overseas international students) 

Meet with a counselor for a 10-15 minute session. If waiting room is closed, check again at a later time



Student counselor


Email your non-urgent questions via an online form. A counselor will respond to you in 5-7 days.

Additional Campus Resources

IEC wants you to know you can always talk to us or use the other resources on campus. Here are a few we recommend:

Let's Be Social!

Connect with other F1 international students via Zoom and make new FRIENDS
students playing games

Monthly Mingle


The International Education Center will have monthly on-ground events! Please be sure to check your email for more details and follow our Social Media account!


student mentor

IEC Peer Mentors' Open House


Thursdays, 11:15 a.m. PST

Join our Peer Mentor Open House every Thursday from 11:15am to 12:30pm through Zoom. It is a great chance to meet our Peer Mentors and other SMC students, ask any questions, or discuss any concerns you may have!

Students in front of L.A. Science Center

ISF Meetings

The ISF is a club that promotes relationship building between both domestic and international students at Santa Monica College, encourages student involvement and leadership, and emphasizes the importance of cultural exchange and enrichment.



College closed on the following holidays:

DATE Holiday
Friday, February 10th Lincoln's Day

Monday, February 20th

President's Day

Monday, April 10th

Cesar Chavez Day

Monday, May 29th

Memorial Day

Stay Connected with IEC!