Dior Dioum, a senior majoring in criminal justice, attended Tuesday’s Immigration Seminar and F1 Employment Workshop to learn more about the opportunities that can be given to international students both in school and after they graduate.
“Attending this event today was extremely critical for myself because I am senior and it is important to learn more about the different opportunities that I have after graduating, especially the different visas I can apply for because I would love to stay in America after graduating,” said Dioum, who is originally from the Netherlands but was born in Senegal.
This workshop was held in the Dan Waggoner Annex during free period and was manager and organized by Andrea Kelly, an Arlington-based lawyer. Ten students attended, which surprised Kelly, who was expecting more because of how many international students go to Texas Wesleyan.
Kelly said the purpose of the event was for international students to receive options and information about how to stay in the United States and become citizens.
“I like to do these type of things because I believe students do have a lot of questions,” Kelly said, “and I try to alleviate a lot of the misconceptions spread within students by giving an accurate idea and a vision on the way international students can move forward.”
She also said that international students are uniquely situated, because there are a lot of requirements for international students to be in America but there are also a lot of restrictions on them in terns of what they can do and what careers they can go in to, so “we let them know ways they can acquire and accomplish their dreams and goals.”
Kelly discussed a lot of fundamental ways an international student can make it in America; these had to do with employment opportunities such as on-campus Employment, off-campus employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), such as an internship that goes with a student’s degree, and Optional Practical Training (OPT), which refers to temporary employment relating to a student’s field of study.
She also discussed the roads to gain citizenship and the different visas international students could apply for, such as a non-immigrant visa and the H1-B, which is a visa that enables foreign workers to work temporarily for a specific employer in the United States.
Another international student, Hushi Partev, a freshman from India, heard about the event through email and came to try and learn about the different ways for international students to get citizenship and how to live in America when her visa expires
“I don’t believe coming to the event benefitted me much because half of what was spoken about, I already knew, and I wished that she had gone more into detail when presenting her presentation,” she said.
Another international student, Loraine Nyamwela, believed the complete opposite and said the event was more informative and allowed her to learn more about the opportunities available to international students
“This was more than an eye opener; I was given the opportunity to know that there are doors open for me,” she said.