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ISO Newsletter
June 18, 2021
MIT Closed Friday, June 18 for Juneteenth holiday

Saturday is June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, which commemorates the official end of slavery in the United States in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Last year, MIT observed this day as a special holiday, and as of this year has added Juneteenth as an official Institute holiday. Thus, ISO and other offices at MIT will be closed on Friday, June 18th in observance of Juneteenth and will re-open next Monday, June 21.

As of June 17, 2021 it has also become an official federal holiday.

Read more about Juneteenth's history here.

USDOS Issues Update on Travel Restrictions and National Interest Exemptions
As of June 1, 2021
The U.S. Department of State updated its guidance posting regarding the eligibility of F student and J-1 exchange visitor visa holders for National Interest Exemptions (NIE) to the 14-day travel restrictions to the U.S. for individuals who had been physically present in China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, India, the Schengen Area of Europe, the United Kingdom, and Republic of Ireland.

Please find a brief overview of the posting on the ISO “Major Immigration Alerts and Updates” page, with links to the full USDOS notice here.  

We recommend that students traveling from one of the designated countries to the U.S. follow the instructions regarding obtaining an NIE and also print out and carry a copy of the USDOS notice to present to the airlines and port-of-entry to the U.S.  
Requesting an Expedited Visa Interview
The ISO has received notifications that some students abroad have only been able to secure visa interview appointments for after the start date of the Fall 2021 semester given current services available at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
Students are reminded that they should schedule a visa interview time for whatever time you can reserve. There is a procedure available, if staffing and local conditions allow at the Embassy/Consulate, to request an “Expedited Interview Appointment.” Instructions on how to make this request are available on the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website (
It is only possible to request an Expedited Interview Appointment if you have an initial time scheduled that will not work for timely arrival for the start of the Fall 2021 semester. There is no guarantee that the U.S. Embassy/Consulate will be able to grant an Expedited Interview Appointment, and please be sure to check back to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website frequently to see if Expedited Appointment requests will be offered. 
Please note that “Emergency Appointments” are different, and are normally for travel to the U.S. for humanitarian or medical/health-related reasons, or in support of a U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident. Please consult the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website for eligibility.  
MIT Medical Survey for Students Unable to Get Vaccinated Prior to Arrival to U.S.
Complete survey here
MIT Medical has formulated a brief survey for international students or U.S. nationals living outside the U.S. to provide insight in who may not be able to get fully vaccinated before arrival to the U.S.  This information will assist MIT in guiding students who may need to get vaccinated before arrival to campus.
Please complete the survey here.
Thank you very much for your assistance. 
Fall 2021 In-Person Instruction and Appointments Guidance
Letter from OVC Vice Chancellor
On June 15, 2021, MIT Vice Chancellor sent out the following letter via email to all MIT students regarding the requirements for in-person learning and campus-based student appointments for the Fall 2021 semester.
Please read the full letter that is linked from the ISO website.
Discover Boston
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
12 Noon EDT

Join us to learn about this amazing city which you will have the chance to explore this year! 

This event is open to all MIT students - new and current. 

Zoom link:   
(MIT Kerberos required)
Zoom Breaks in Summer
(We have prizes for you!)
Survey Link Here
Tell us what you want to do for Zoom break this summer.

We want to make this fun and an opportunity for you to meet and play with other students. We would love to hear if there are any other games you want to play. 

Please fill out the survey and let us know! 
You will be entered into a raffle with several chances to win a $20 Amazon or Grubhub Gift Card!
Survey Link

ISO Virtual Forums
Next session: Friday, June 25, 2021
9:00am EDT

All students, both new and continuing, are invited to attend one or more of the ISO Virtual Forums. The next one will be Friday, June 25 at 9am EDT (Cambridge, MA time).

Recurring Zoom link:

Please pre-submit questions at least 1 day before each forum (same link each time):
If you can’t join a particular forum, the recording and slides will be available later on the ISO website (you will receive an email later with the information).

*MIT Kerberos required.
**Alumni, you can receive the slides by request (
WCC in June: Consultations and Writing Together Online 
Open until June 30, 2021
The WCC Consultations
The MIT Writing and Communication Center (WCC) continues its remote one-on-one consultations through June 30th. The WCC communication experts are looking forward to working with you on your ideas, drafts, slides, and presentations.
These consultations can help you further develop your oral communication skills and learn about all types of academic and professional writing. The WCC hours are open on Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and fill up fast. You can learn more about consultations at the WCC website and book appointments with the online scheduler.

Writing Together Online with the WCC
Now that summer distractions start slowing our productivity, Write Together Online with the Writing and Communication Center in June to stay focused and complete your writing projects on time. June sessions start on Mon, June 7th and will continue through Wed, June 30th.
These 90-minute sessions create a community of writers who connect, set realistic goals, and write together to motivate each other and to make progress on their academic projects. This program is open to graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, researchers, or all, who are actively writing their proposals, manuscripts, or thesis/dissertation chapters. 
Please note that those who attend at least 5 sessions in June will be automatically entered into the raffle of gift-card prizes taking place on Wednesday, June 30th at 10:30 am ET. The more you participate, the more times you will be entered into the raffle of prizes.
For more information and to register, go to this link or check the WCC website. Please spread the word and join with friends and peers.
More Information
OGE Financial Literacy "walk-in" Session
Thursday, Jun 24, 2021
11:30 - 12:30 EDT
Do you have questions related to financial literacy? It may be the summer, but the OGE is here to help! From budgeting to fellowships to investing, OGE’s series of summer “walk-in” sessions will give you a venue to come and ask your questions, discuss with peers, and share helpful resources. This week’s suggested topic will be MIT’s online financial literacy platform, iGrad.  We will do a quick walk through of the platform  and demonstrate some of its awesome features (check-out the iGrad link below if you want a preview). We’ll then have time to discuss any questions you have related to the finances of a graduate student. OGE Graduate Community Fellow (GCF), Alex Kossak, and OGE Director of Graduate Fellowships, Scott Tirrell, will be on hand to guide the conversation. Note these session will not be recorded so be sure to sign up! This session will be on June 24th from 11:30 to 12:30. Please RSVP here. All those who RSVP will receive the Zoom link.
Wellness Events & Resources
SOME: Acronym for self-care
Sleep, Outside, Mindfulness, Exercise

Instead of an “all-or-nothing” approach to self-care, you can choose SOMEthing from the list and do SOME of it today. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to work for you. SOME activities signal to your body and mind that you are listening to, appreciating, and taking care of yourself. 

S is for Sleep: Sleep experts recommend creating a bedtime routine that allows the body and brain to slow down and prepare for sleep. Bedtime Unwind is a 13-minute routine which includes three simple stretches to relax before bed - or anytime you could use a mind-body break. Check out Bedtime Unwind here.

O is for Outdoors: An outdoor walk can boost creativity and focus. A study has found that both walking and being outside could lead to more creative thinking. While the association is not well understood, it is an easy-to-implement strategy.

M is for Mindfulness: Mindfulness practice: You have to eat anyway - might as well enjoy it mindfully! To start, simply look away from any technology and look directly at your food for a moment. Notice color and texture. Next, take in aroma. Finally, take one mindful bite and chew slowly and mindfully. Pay extra attention to the genius of your tongue.

E is for Exercise: You've probably heard this one a lot, but let this be another sign for you to workout while watching TV. You can do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats while focusing on your show. Want an extra nudge? Bring your jump rope, dumbbells, resistance bands, or any other fitness tools near your TV to help remind you to use them.

MIT International Students Office
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Office Hours:
9:00-16:00 (M-F)
Closed (W) 10:00-11:30
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