MIT | ISO | International Students Office
ISO Newsletter
MARCH 26, 2021
Presentation slides posted from International Student Employment Resources Info Session/Q&A
Presentation slides from March 18 are posted here
Recording will be posted later
On March 18, 2021, the ISO hosted an Information Session/Q&A on International Student Employment Resources. This session addressed commonly asked questions about eligibility for obtaining work permission for off-campus internships, experiences, and post-degree employment opportunities (including F-1 CPT, OPT, STEM OPT, and J-1 Academic Training).
This session did not review more detailed step-by-step application procedures, which is instead available on the ISO Employment webpage and watching the ISO Employment Information Session recording.

A copy of the presentation slides from March 18 are posted here.

The ISO will notify students once the recording/transcript of the March 18 event is posted. 
Reminder: Beware of Scams
ISO Scams and Fraud Alert webpage
Beware of ICE Imposters Flyer
Current Scam Alerts on US government website
Especially around tax time, but also throughout the year, students are reminded to use caution when receiving phone calls or emails from individuals claiming they are government agencies, tax authorities, banks, or other officials requesting personal information from you. Phone and email scams are very common, and some do try and target international students. 

If you receive a call from someone asking for personal information or payment of any kind, especially if they indicate they are a government official or law enforcement, you may ask the individual their name, agency, and phone number and advise them you will contact them after speaking with your MIT International Students Office. If the caller is from the actual agency, they will support you contacting the MIT ISO first before speaking with the.  If they refuse, then they are likely a scammer and you should hang up the phone (or do not respond at all to their email) and notify the ISO. 

For additional information on protecting yourself from scams, please view the ISO “Scams and Fraud” webpage.  
Income Tax Filing Deadline Extended to May 17, 2021
Tax Workshop: Recording & Slides available here 
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has announced the Federal income tax filing deadline for 2020 returns has been extended to May 17, 2021.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue, in response to the IRS announcement, has published that it also has extended the Massachusetts State income tax filing deadline for 2020 returns to May 17, 2021.

Please note that each State may adjust (or not) its own State income tax filing deadline. If you will be filing an income tax return in a State other than Massachusetts you will want to check that State’s department of taxation or revenue to confirm the State deadline.

Every international student, individuals in certain other nonimmigrant visa statuses, as well as American Citizens and Permanent Residents, are required to file a Federal income tax return with the U.S. Government (and in some cases also need to file a State income tax return in each state that the individual resided) based on any physical presence in the U.S. during the previous calendar year. Students are required to file income tax returns for all who had been physically present in the U.S. during the 2020 calendar year. Students physically inside the U.S. during 2020, whether they worked or not, are required to file an income tax return.

MIT provides a number of resources to support international students completing their required income tax returns. Links to the available resources are available on the ISO Taxes webpage ( 

A brief overview of the available tax resources are as follows:

Tax Guidance for Non-Resident Tax Filers
The MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance, in cooperation with the International Scholars Office (ISchO) and the International Students Office (ISO), created a website for foreign nationals to provide resources and links related to receiving payments from MIT and guidance on income taxes. This is the best place to start with any questions about taxes and filing your income tax returns. 

MIT Tax Workshops Presentation Recordings/Slidedecks Now Available
On March 2, 2021, MIT hosted Tax Workshops for MIT students and scholars regarding the filing the 2020 calendar year income tax returns.

The Workshop recordings and slidedecks are now posted on the MIT VPF “How to Get Tax Help” webpage.  

Additional tax information for international students and scholars is available on the VPF website.

Glacier Tax Prep Software
The ISO makes available to MIT international students for free a license for the Glacier Tax Prep software to assist in completing the Federal income tax return. The software is available now

By the end of February 2021, any students who have worked at MIT during 2020, including receiving assistantships or fellowships, should have received the necessary documents needed to complete their income tax returns by the May 17 deadline.
Navigating MIT Series - Spring 2021
Next Session on  March 30, 2021 @1 PM EST

Healthy Relationships in Pandemic Times

Sign up for each virtual session at this link
Various topics to support international students with adjustment to MIT and the U.S. during the spring semester. Most topics are repeated from the fall semester since some students have newly arrived for the spring. Open to all international students.

All sessions will be held virtually over Zoom. Even if you cannot attend the session, if you register, you will receive the slides (a recording may not be possible).
Language Conversation Exchange "Conversation Cafe"
Next Event on Friday, April 2
12:00 - 1:00 PM EST

Co-sponsored by LCE & ISO

Advance registration for each event is required at this new link:

After a short opening culture or language presentation, language learners will be sorted into breakout rooms by language where you can practice with native speakers.

Participants, please start arriving at 11:50 AM so that presentation can start promptly at 12noon.

Subscribe to the LCE email list
Registration Link
Zoom Break: Codenames
Thursday, April 15, 2021
1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
Join  your fellow students and have some fun playing Codenames!

Sign Up requested. 

Open to entire MIT community during IAP
Co-sponsored by ISO and Postdoc Association (PDA)
Zoom Break: Among Us
Thursday, April 29, 2021
1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
Join to play an hour of Among Us with us!

The game can be found here for Android and here for iOS.

A quick introduction video to how the game works is here!
Sign Up
Stand with the MIT AAPI Community
POSTPONED due to improving COVID protocols; date TBD
Stand with the MIT AAPI Community
In light of the attacks in Atlanta last week and the growing wave of attacks on the AAPI community, we invite the MIT community to join our candlelight installation. We are setting up 3,795 candles in MIT's Killian Court to represent the 3,795+ reported hate incidents against AAPI's in the last year alone.
The candles will be lit for MIT COVIDPASS affiliates to come visit (MIT COVID-19 protocols enforced). Come reflect, mourn, and support your fellow AAPI community.
RSVP here to the Candlelight Installation and receive updates on the new date:
Sign up to volunteer:
RSVP to join
OGE Spring Financial Literacy Workshops- Investing series
Part-II on Tuesday, April 13, 2021
1:30 - 12:30 PM EST
OGE will be hosting a virtual workshop series on investing brought to you by Fidelity Investments. This three-part series will help guide those interested on the path to investing.

RSVP here. A Zoom link will be sent to all those that RSVP before the event. 
Introduction to Investing Part 1- Recording HERE
Introduction to Investments Part II- April 13, 11:30-12:30 PM EST, Part 2 of this series will be slightly more advanced and will build on the knowledge offered in Part 1. Hayley Newhall will discuss asset allocation, asset location, and understanding the market and economic business cycle. An announcement with the RSVP link will go out closer to the event.
Introduction to Investments Part III- April 22, 11:30-12:30 PM EST, Hayley Newhall will return for Part 3 of this series to discuss choosing investment vehicles and offer tips for fund selection. This workshop will build on topics covered by Part 1 and 2. An announcement with the RSVP link will go out closer to the event.
Capoeira with Mestre Acordeon:  a half century of cultural diplomacy in the US and Brazil
Thursday, April 1, 2021
12:30 - 2:00 PM EST 
Mestre Acordeon can be credited with popularizing capoeira in the United States. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines equal parts fight, dance, music, improvisation, and philosophy. With origins in the collection of acrobatic fighting techniques, masquerading as play, as used by African slaves to defend themselves against colonial oppression, in the mid-20th century capoeira was formalized into martial arts practice, and— through it’s beauty and virtuosity— has since become one of the key entry points by which foreigners discover Brazilian culture, in no small part due to Acordeon’s award-winning teaching and leadership in the Bay Area since the late 1970s.

In this lecture, we invite Mestre Acordeon to tell his story and discuss the history and impact of capoeira. Participants are welcome to bring questions for discussion, or just sit back and learn about one of Brazil’s most beautiful and captivating art forms.
MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing Seminar Series
Spring Seminar Offerings Here
Open to grad students, postdocs, & staff
Check out the MIT Center for Worklife and Wellbeing's webinar series for the Spring '21. 

These expert-led webinars are free, but registration is required.

Seminar highlights:
  • Living your Life and Managing Your Debts
  • Investing 201: Continuing the Conversation
  • Applying Mindfulness to Manage Challenges and Resolve Conflicts
  • Positive Psychology: Combat Negativity Bias & Optimize Your Happiness
  • Coping With Worries
Sign Up
Wellness Events & Resources
Community Wellness Workshops
Click here to register

Hack Your Sleep
Strategies to help you reboot your sleep schedule, get the best quality sleep you can, and make getting up in the morning easier. Learn about MIT resources to decrease stress and improve sleep health.
  • Wednesday, March 31 12:30-1 pm
Motivation and Productivity: COVID-19 Edition
Manage time, energy, and productivity, connect with deeper motivations to avoid burnout and maintain focus, and make a blueprint for your own productivity plan.
  • Wednesday, March 17 12:30-1 pm
  • Tuesday, March 30 12:30-1 pm
Online Zumba classes with Liz
Mondays till April 5, 2021
7:30 PM ESt

Please sign-up to receive the Zoom link.
Daily Table Grocery Store
Recently opened in Central Square
No one should have to choose between their health and their budget when it comes to food. That's why Daily Table sources nutritious, delicious food at prices that every budget can afford --an average of 30% less than other local supermarkets.
iREFS Weekly Office Hours
Wednesdays, 5 - 6 PM
MIT iREFS (institute-wide Resources for Easing Friction and Stress) is a student group that offers confidential peer-to-peer support to fellow graduate students. Our mission is to ensure graduate student wellness, especially in times of uncertainty, stress, and conflict.

During these office hours, an iREFS will be available on a zoom call. Please feel free to join the call if you are looking to talk to a fellow grad student regarding an issue that is a cause of concern/ stress for you. We are here to provide a listening ear, inform you about key student resources that you could benefit from, and help brainstorm ways to come out of such challenging situations.

All sessions are confidential and no calls are recorded. Also, you can always email us at if you'd like to talk to us at a time that is convenient for you.

MIT iREFS mailing list:
MIT iREFS webpage and google calendar 
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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