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MIT | ISO | International Students Office
ISO Newsletter
MArch 5, 2021
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Beware of Scams
NEVER give out any personal or bank information over the phone or otherwise
Scams are even more prevalent during and right after tax season, but they can happen anytime of the year. We cannot stress this enough. PLEASE be careful if you receive any communication from someone claiming to be a government official or from law enforcement, either from the U.S. or another country. Unfortunately, MIT international students have been victims of scams and fraud very recently, including false claims of the suspension of their social security numbers due to suspicious or criminal activity. Note: NEVER give out your name, bank info, or the last 4 digits of your SSN (unless you yourself are making the call). 

If someone contacts you by phone, email, or regular mail requesting information:
1) remain calm, 2) do not give out any personal/bank information, and 3) notify the ISO immediately!
 
*Read the ISO website for more info about common scams
*Current Scam Alerts

Important Reminders from MIT Police:

1. Please be aware of potential scams involving social media. If you receive a message or friend request from someone you do not know please do not respond. There has been an increase in sextortion scams where scammers lure people by using fake photos and convince the victim to send revealing photos or videos of themselves. The scammers then blackmail the victims into giving them money in exchange for not posting the photos or videos online. 

For more information on sextortion see CNBC’s article 
Report any instances of sextortion to https://www.ic3.gov/

2. If you receive any suspicious emails please report them to IS&T at phishing@mit.edu

3. For more information on how to protect your personal information and data, please see https://infoprotect.mit.edu/
Tax Resources Available
Review the VPF website and ISO Website for tax resources
Filing Deadline is April 15, 2021
Each year, by April 15, 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. 

The April 15, 2021 deadline is 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. Students who have worked at MIT during 2020, including receiving assistantships or fellowships, should receive the necessary documents needed to complete their income tax returns by the end of February 2021

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 (https://iso.mit.edu/maintaining-status/taxes/). 

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 Workshop
The MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance hosted an online Tax Workshop for students and scholars on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The recording will be provided soon on the VPF website (stayed tuned for the email we will send). 

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 but please wait until you have received your tax forms from MIT before using it. The ISO will email all MIT international students once the software is available. We hope this information is helpful and we will be sure to email students when additional updates are available.
ISO SPONSORED EVENTS
Language Conversation Exchange "Conversation Cafe"
Friday, March 5
12:00 - 1:00 PM EST

Co-sponsored by LCE & ISO

Advance registration for each event is required at this new link: http://bit.ly/LCECafeSpring21

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
New Registration Link
Zoom Break: Codenames
Thursday, March 11, 2021
1
:00 - 2:00 PM EST
Join  your fellow students and have some fun playing Codenames!

Open to entire MIT community during IAP
Co-sponsored by ISO and Postdoc Association (PDA)
Sign Up
Zoom Break: Among Us
Thursday, March 18, 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
Navigating MIT Series - Spring 2021
Starting Friday, March 19
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. 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).
MIT EVENTS & PROGRAMS
Romantic Relationships during the Pandemic and Beyond 
Wednesdays, 2 - 3:15 PM
Starting March 10th
This four-week workshop will introduce some of the key elements in building healthy relationships. Participants will consider challenges faced by couples during the pandemic. Each session will focus on a specific topic and time will be allotted for an experiential exercise and reflections. Participants are welcome to submit questions of personal interest in advance.

Open to: Undergraduate and Graduate Students
 
Group leaders:
Maria Minkova, PsyD: mminkova@med.mit.edu
Whitney Erbey, Psychology Intern: werby@med.mit.edu  
MIT Reflects: Moments of Remembrance and Hope
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST

A year ago, Covid-19 upended everything. President Reif and the MIT Chaplains invite the MIT community to an online gathering for reflection.
 

We will honor the people we have lost, recognize one another’s struggles, reflect on what gave us meaning and celebrate the strengths we found.

Program will include music and poetry as well as prayers drawn from the diversity of the world's spiritual and ethical traditions. After the opening program, attendees may join the Chaplains and fellow community members in small Zoom groups for further conversation.

Join Webcast Here
Virtual Game Night
Saturday, March 12, 2021
7:00 - 9:00 PM EST
70 Amherst grad dorm is inviting you all for a virtual game night.

Registration is mandatory to attend the game night. Zoom link will be sent to those who register for the event.

Enjoy the game night while having dinner.
Sign Up Here
Graduate Housing Seminar
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
11:00 - 11:30 AM EST
MIT Housing and Residential Services will host a graduate housing webinar. The webinar can be  which can be accessed here. 
Zoom Link
Apply for a funded PKG Fellowship for summer 2021!
MIT PKG Center
Deadline: Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 Noon
The PKG Fellowships program supports MIT students working on capacity-building social impact and community engagement projects, working with community-focused organizations including non-profits and social enterprises. These can include a student's own social enterprise.
 
We welcome a wide range of social impact projects and support work with communities in the US and abroad. For Summer 2021, all projects must be planned for remote work. Find examples of past projects here.
Grad Workshops in Technical Leadership (Spring 2021)
The Graduate Program in Engineering Leadership Program is pleased to announce our Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership Workshop Series for Spring 2021. These workshops will run virtually and here is a link to descriptions for each. Events happening March 4 until May 11.
 
We invite you to register and attend our series, which count toward satisfying requirements toward our certificate. Most of the workshops will be held from 5:30pm-7:30pm with exception of March 4*, which will run from 5:00pm-7:30pm.

*If you are interested in registering for one or all of our workshops, please email Lisa Stagnone at lstag@mit.edu
Writing Together Online: March Edition

As you plan your semester, join the WCC in Writing Together Online to complete your writing projects before deadlines. Our 90-minute sessions seek to 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.

Feel free to register for any number of sessions, from one to all:
Mondays, 3-4:30 pm ET
Tuesdays, 9-10:30 am ET
Wednesdays, 5-6:30 pm ET
Thursdays, 9-10:30 am ET
Fridays, 9-10:30 am ET

Pre-register Here or check out the WCC Website 
iREFS Weekly Office Hours (Confidential Conflict Management Sessions)
Wednesdays, 5 - 6 PM
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 irefs-contact@mit.edu if you'd like to talk to us at a time that is convenient for you.

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.

MIT iREFS mailing list: http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/mit-irefs
MIT iREFS webpage and google calendar 
Zoom Link
Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes
Deadline For Submission:
Monday, April 12, 2021 - 5:00 PM
The Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes are awarded every May by MIT’s Comparative Media Studies/Writing program. This competition was named in honor of the late Ilona Karmel, novelist, poet and Senior Lecturer in the writing program. Throughout her teaching career, Karmel’s outstanding contributions to creative writing at MIT were her inspirational teachings and relationships with students.
More Information
Wellness Events & Resources
Distilled Wisdom: Practices for Prospering in the Pandemic -- Installment #4: Resilience
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
7
:00 PM - 8:30 PM EST
Contact: addir-staff@mit.edu
Join for our fourth installment on Resilience. We will gather on Zoom with MIT Chaplains The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi (Buddhist) & Father Michael Medas (Catholic).

MIT Addir Interfaith invites you to this interfaith speaker series to equip yourself and your community with practices for perseverance and resilience.

Stay till the end for a chance to win an herb garden kit or AirPods!

Visit addir.mit.edu/wisdom for more info.
Event Link
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.
Sign Up
Community Wellness: Group Health Coaching 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 10 5:30-6 pm
  • 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

Koru Mindfulness 
(Students only)
Open your mind and manage your stress! Koru is a four-week introduction to the practice of mindfulness. Participation in Koru is associated with decreased stress and self-judgment and increased mindfulness and sleep quality.

Register at bit.ly/mitkorufeb21
Tuesdays 3:30-4:45 February 23, March 2, March 9, March 16
READ MORE
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.
READ MORE
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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