Tentative schedule for Thursday, April 6.

Check In— 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Coffee and tea will be provided.

Full-Day Workshops — 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.


F1 Basics

Presented by Katherine Haan and Arezou Kashani 

Beginner information about F-1 visa rules, regulations, benefits and SEVIS for those that are new to the field of International Education or those who are just interested in learning.

J-1 Basics

Presented by Marc Davidson and Debbie Kaltman 

This session will provide international educators with the knowledge to administer a J1 program at their institution. Items discussed include:

  • J1 Regulations,
  • J1 Categories,
  • 212 e Rule,
  • SEVIS and J1 Exchange Visitors
  • Issuing a DS-2019 and eligibility requirements,
  • and much more!

Study Abroad 101

Presented by Catrina DeBord, Kelly Heath, and Samantha Potempa

This session will focus on all aspects involved in preparing students to study abroad including student advising, pre-departure activities, and re-entry activities. We will cover different types of study abroad program models and identify which programs may be better suited for specific students or student populations. This session will also look at some of the ways in which advisors can help students identify affordable programs, create a budget, and apply for external funding support including national scholarships.


Half-Day Workshops (Morning) — 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.


F1 Advanced

Presented by Stephanie Brown and Lily Huang 

This is an advanced level of F-1 training. The facilitators will cover various advanced level topics such as STEM Extensions, Reinstatement , the importance of setting office policy, and more. Through the use of case studies and personal experience they will engage participants in participatory problem solving. Participants are encouraged to bring situations from their own institutions for discussion or advice.

It’s All in Your Brain: Unconscious Bias and Intercultural Effectiveness

Presented by Tatyana Fertelmeyster

“Unconscious bias” has been a popular buzzword for quite some time. It has been a workplace issue and a societal issue for much longer. Any participant of an international education process experiences being a recipient of other people’s biases and brings his/her own into the mix.

This interactive session will engage participants through a combination of activities and a presentation in exploration of unconscious biases and ways to address them effectively. Participants will be introduced to neuroscience of dealing with differences and explore applications of its findings to facilitating effective cultural adjustment for international students and scholars. Participants will also have an opportunity to examine a role of mindfulness in overcoming negative effects of unconscious bias.

Lunch Break — 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Lunch not provided by IEI. Click here for a map of nearby restaurants.

Half-Day Workshops (Afternoon) — 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.


Alphabet Soup: Guiding hosting departments through immigration options (J Scholars, H1B, & LPR Overview)

Presented by Theresa Johnson 

“I found a great candidate for this position, but she needs a visa…”, “My research collaborator from India wants to visit my lab…” Have you heard phrases like these from faculty at your institution? This session will equip you to guide them through the “alphabet soup” of immigration options. We will review the most common options available to faculty, staff, and visitors at academic institutions including B1/WB, F-1 (OPT), J-1, H-1B, E-3, TN, and O-1. We will go over the strategies used at Northwestern University during the initial stages of gathering information and making an offer of immigration sponsorship. We will also briefly review considerations for LPR and how that might impact the initial offer.

Challenges of Intercultural Communication: Listening, Silence, and Intentions

Presented by Tatyana Fertelmeyster 

What is the first question you ask yourself when considering an upcoming conversation with somebody from a different culture? Is it “What will I say?” or “How will I listen?” When you experience a prolonged silence in a conversation does it make you uncomfortable? And what is “prolonged” anyway? Is it 15 seconds? 30? A whole minute? What happens when something you said or did is not taken as you have intended and leads to an uncomfortable moment or a conflict? Does it help to say “I did not mean it” or not really?

This highly interactive workshop will address these tricky questions from a perspective of skill building for intercultural engagements. And while at it, we may even consider cultural differences in asking questions.


Happy Hour at Headquarters in River North — 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Cash bar.