International Education Center

International Education Center Newsletter

Spring 2022, Issue 1


Connections International Students Newsletter

Welcome to the Spring 2022 semester! 

We are so proud of all of you for your resilience and perseverance during these challenging times. Whether this is your first semester, or you are a returning student, whether you are studying online only, or are taking advantage of some of our on-campus classes, you are making an important statement by showing the world that you are strong, and you can move forward with your education in spite of the obstacles that this pandemic continues to create. 

The entire Santa Monica College community is here to support you and help you succeed. Please reach out to our counselors, tutors and staff for any help you may need during the semester. Please also join us for some fun! Our Tuesday Open House, Friday Mingle, and campus clubs, including the International Student Forum, are all ways to relax and get to know your fellow students. Find the links to these events later in this Newsletter.

We look forward to celebrating a successful semester with you! 

All the best, 

Pressian Nicolov, Dean, IEC
Denise Kinsella, Associate Dean, IEC

Important reminders for new and continuing students:

  • Wear your mask, wash your hand, and practice social distancing.
  • Check your SMC email daily
  • Join IEC and other campus virtual meetings. It is a great way to connect with friends and get your questions answered.

Tax Workshop

ALERT: ALL F-1 students who were in the United States for 30 days or more in 2021 must complete IRS tax form 8843

If you worked in the U.S. in F-1 status in 2021, you must also complete IRS tax form 1040-NR

IEC cannot assist you with tax forms, as we are not tax professionals. However, you can join a workshop for assistance.

Join us for a tax workshop webinar on Friday, March 11 at 11:30 am. PST to learn how to complete the forms.

Girl dancing in the street

Photo Contest!!!

Share your SMC and California photos!

Winning photos will be awarded a paid internship project at the International Education Center!  Submit your photo, taken in the Santa Monica or Los Angeles area, in one or more of the categories listed below.  Photos must be appropriate for public display.  The IEC will determine what is appropriate for a college office.  Winners will be featured in SMC’s social media and marketing campaigns, and winning photos will be hung in the International Education Center.


  • 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!


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

Phone and mail graphic

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 IEC with your current contact information, please update your information on Corsair Connect.  

students on video call

F-1 Students Continuing Studies Outside the U.S. in Spring 2022

While most students studying from their home country do not have F1 status, a few of you are maintaining the F-1 status that you had back in March 2020.  In order to maintain your F1 status from your home country, you must complete the semester with 12 units. If you are below 12 units and are not approved for a reduced course load, your I-20 will be terminated at the end of the semester, and you will need to apply for reinstatement.

hands holding heart

Health Insurance

Go to the Anthem Website or download the Sydney Health Mobile App and follow the instructions to create an account, to get your insurance card, view claims and more. You may find in-network providers at

Telemed health icon

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!

How to Reach an International Counselor


The Spring semester is a very busy time of year in the counseling department. Students who applied to transfer will need to tend to several tasks.  Those who are completing the requirements for a Certificate and/or Associate's degree must file petitions, and continuing students should take advantage of SMC resources including workshops, tutoring, and student activities. The International Counseling team is available to guide you with your specific needs. We hope to offer a smoother experience during your educational journey. We are available to meet with you via Zoom or you can e-mail us your question(s). Please visit our webpage for office hours and information of services provided.

Counseling for International Students

Spring 2022 Counseling Hours

The International Counseling Center is offering limited in person drop-in counseling this semester. We are only able to see students for quick questions (10 - 15 minutes) on Thursdays. In person counseling will be closed on Thursday, March 31 to April 14. Services will resume on Thursday, April 22. 

In-person Counseling:

  • Thursdays     10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Express Zoom Hours*:

  • Monday:  9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday:  10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday:  9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
  • Friday:  11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

*Hours are subject to change. Please check the website to verify

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

Weekly Mingle


Fridays, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. PST

Join the IEC Team for a social hour of games, conversation and fun. Connect with IEC Peer Mentors, SMC students and staff to explore different themes. No RSVP required, just use this link: Weekly Mingle Zoom Link

student mentor

IEC Peer Mentors' Open House


Tuesdays, 11:15 a.m. PST

Take a break and connect! IEC Peer Mentor Open House is a great opportunity to hang out, reach out, or just chill out with IEC Peer Mentors. Share what’s on your mind, gripe about homework, ask questions, or meet new friends. No RSVP required, just use this link: Peer Mentors' Open House Zoom Link 

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.

Meetings Thursdays* 4:10pm – 5:10 p.m. PST

**Every other week starting March 3rd, 2022**
Meetings in Spring and Fall semesters only

International Student Forum Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 977 1447 4389



Mark your calendar now!

DATE topic notes
Start of Spring through April 15 Spring 2022 Graduation Petitions Due If you are planning to graduate this semester, be sure to file your Graduation Petition on time! Click on the correct form (login will be required) at the Graduation Petition Page 

End of Winter through Monday, April 11

March 16 - August 13, 2022

May 14 - October 11, 2022

OPT Application Deadline for Winter 2022 graduates (the sooner the better!)

OPT Application Deadline for Spring 2022 graduates (the sooner the better!)

OPT Application Deadline for Summer 2022 graduates (the sooner the better!)

Are you interested in applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completing your degree or certificate program?

Please contact a counselor at to request an OPT Request Form to get started.

Send an email to if you have more questions regarding OPT or the OPT application process.

Friday, April 29 Reduced Course Load (RCL) deadline
  • Is this your final semester AND you will be earning a Certificate of Achievement or Associate degree or finishing Transfer Requirements?

You may be eligible for a Final Semester RCL! Submit the inquiry form at to find out!

  • Is this your first semester and you are having difficulty with the English language, reading requirements, class level placement or U.S. teaching methods? You may be eligible for an Academic RCL! Submit the inquiry form at to find out!
  • Are you having medical problems that are making it impossible to complete 12 units?

You may be eligible for a Medical RCL! Submit a letter from your licensed, U.S. medical doctor recommending you complete less than 12 units. Submit the letter via the Medical Reduced Course Load Form.
June 1 to Aug 10 Transfer Out Request

Are you finishing your studies at SMC this Spring 2022 semester and planning to transfer to a new school for the Fall 2022 semester? If so, please make sure to submit the Transfer Out Request Form so that the IEC Office can electronically release your SEVIS immigration record to your new school. Deadline to complete a transfer is 60 days after the end of your semester.


Submit Transfer out requests between June 1-August 10 using the transfer out request link on the IEC forms page

Stay Connected with IEC!