International Education Center

International Education Center Newsletter

Spring 2023


Connections International Students Newsletter


We hope you are enjoying the Spring 2023 semester!  It’s such an exciting time at Santa Monica College.  From special events to graduation, there are many things to look forward to this semester!

We encourage you to check out the opportunities to get involved on campus.  There are sports teams and clubs to help you stay active.  There are clubs to help you meet other students and explore your hobbies.

As the weather warms up, we hope you enjoy the campus, the beach, and all of the outdoor activities that are available at this time of year!

We wish you a wonderful Spring 2023 semester! 

Press Nicolov, Dean IEC

Denise Kinsella, Associate Dean IEC


Follow Our Social Media Pages

To stay up to date with current and upcoming events, please follow our Social Media Pages.

IEC Instagram       IEC Facebook        ISF Instagram           ISF Discord

Important reminders for new and continuing students:

2023 Commencement Ceremony is on Tuesday June 13, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. in the Corsair Field. You can get more information by visiting the Graduation and Commencement page.

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Optional Practical Training for Spring graduates

Planning on applying for OPT work permission? Don't wait, apply early, beginning March 15th for Spring graduates and May 13th for Summer graduates!  Find out how to apply by watching the OPT Presentation.

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Transferring Out


Current students who are transferring to a new school must submit the online Transfer Out Request Form and upload an official admissions letter from the new school. Processing times are up to 10 business days. If you are transferring at the end of the Spring 2023 semester, you can submit this form starting on June 1st, 2023

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Is your I-20 Expiring?

If your I-20 is expiring at the end of Spring 2023 and you need an additional semester or more to finish, submit the I-20 Extension Request Form

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Summer Petition to Graduate

The petition to graduate for Summer may be submitted from the beginning of the Summer session to July 31 (all degrees and certificates). You can find the form under the Degrees, Certificates, & Certification Forms on the Admissions and Records Forms Page.


 Withdrawal Form

Current Students who will no longer study as an F-1 student in the U.S. will need to submit the Withdrawal Form found on the International Education Center F-1 Student Forms Page. Reasons include terminating or completing studies to depart the U.S. or approval for a change of status. Submitting this document means your I-20 will be terminated or completed.

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Health Insurance

Please visit the How To Use Your Health Insurance page to learn how to use the health insurance, how to get your health insurance card, and learn other important information about your health insurance coverage.

Visit the Sydney Health website to download the Sydney App to get your member ID card right away and to find doctors.

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

Always consult the plan document or Anthem Customer Service for more details.

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Join a club

A good way to get involved at SMC and get to know like-minded students, is to join a club that shares your interests! This is also a nice way to explore new interests!

Follow the Associated Students Instagram page for the latest updates and information on club events, such as Club Row! Club Awareness will be Thursday April 27th starting at 11am.

Peer Mentor Alex Smiling in the sunlight

Meet our Peer Mentor!

Hey all! I'm Alex, an international student here at SMC. My current major is film production. And yes, I'm the guy with the big hair you see walking around. I moved to LA about a year and a half ago and found myself quite comfortable with the city. My passions are skateboarding and surfing, which is why my favorite spot in LA is in the own neighborhood I live in: Venice Beach. It is just perfect to go to the skatepark on the weekends and enjoy the ocean on nice sunny days. Venice is also pretty close to SMC (bikeable distance), which saves me a lot of time, and there are also lots of nice restaurants to explore. Next time you go there you might see me, come say hi!
Keep chilling.

Keep in touch with our Peer Mentors through Unibuddy and their Blogs!

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Board Games and Coffee Every Friday in May

Please visit us at the IEC, 3rd floor of the Student Services Building, to get yourself a free cup of coffee and borrow a board game! 

Every Friday in May from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

two people staring at a chess board and other board games on the table

Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles - Valborg Event

We are excited to announce our upcoming Valborg celebration that will take place on Saturday, May 6th! What better way to welcome the spring season than by celebrating this traditional Swedish holiday? You are invited to join us for a festive Swedish (in LA) Valborg celebration. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable evening of music by DJ Love, food, drinks and activities! So, mark your calendars and come join us for an unforgettable evening, as we celebrate this joyous occasion just like the Swedes do! And remember to come early - the first 30 attendees will receive a goodie bag from Pixi Beauty!

Flyer for Valborg Event


So, what is Valborg? It's a special evening celebrated in Sweden on April 30th every year. It is also known as Walpurgis Night and is named after Saint Walpurga, who was known for her healing abilities in the 8th century. Valborg is a traditional festival that is celebrated by lighting large bonfires, singing traditional songs and enjoying food and drinks with loved ones.The arrival of Valborg is also associated with the end of the long, dark winter and the arrival of spring, especially in university towns in Sweden. People gather together to celebrate the night with friends and family, enjoying the festive atmosphere that surrounds them.

Make sure to RSVP today to make sure you secure a spot at the event!

Date: Saturday May 6th, 2023
Time: 4 - 7 p.m.
Location: LA's Westside / address will be sent to all confirmed guests. 
Price: Free!
Who's invited? Everyone, members as well as non-members are welcome to attend the event.


Message From IEC Counseling

Welcome to Spring 2023!
Counselors are available to assist and guide you in your SMC academic journey. We are available to see students in-person and online via Zoom Express. You may also email us via AskIECC; this is an excellent resource for students who are unable to use Zoom, need forms, or who prefer a written response. 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 class 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 wait 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. If you swap after the refund deadline, you will have to pay for the new class. 

“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 In Person Office Hours

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Start time may vary. Please check the IEC Counseling Page.

Zoom Express Counseling Only

Contact an International Counselor Remotely

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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

Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

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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
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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!


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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!

groups of students working together to carve pumpkins

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

Monday, May 29th

Memorial Day

Stay Connected with IEC!