International Education Center Newsletter


Group of students posing at The Getty

Connections International Students Newsletter

Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester at Santa Monica College!  In this unusual semester when all classes and activities are online, it’s exciting to think that we have students studying literally all over the world!

There are many ways to connect and get support at the college this semester. Please join the International Education Center for our weekly Open House on Zoom every Tuesday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This is an unstructured time when you can drop in to chat, ask a question of your fellow students, or share a great tip.  Join us for our Weekly Mingle every Friday from 2-3 p.m. There is a topic for each Mingle, and often a game.  This is another opportunity to meet other students, make friends online, and get your questions answered.  Check your SMC e-mail each week for the links to these events.

Check out the Student Support section of our new website to find helpful links to the Library for assistance with your online classes, to Health Services for ways to stay healthy and calm during these challenging times, and for a wide variety of other services available to you as an SMC student.

We look forward to seeing you in class, and during our events outside of class, but safely online this semester. Please reach out to the International Education Center at anytime with your questions. We are looking forward to helping you!

All the Best,

Pressian Nicolov, Dean, IEC

Denise Kinsella, Associate Dean, IEC

Important reminders for new and continuing students:

  • Wear your mask, wash your hand, and practice social distancing.
  • Check your SMC email daily
  • Join IEC and other campus virtual meetings. It is a great way to connect with friends and get your questions answered.
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Personal Information Update

The International Education Center is required to have current information on F1 students. This includes address, phone number, and email address. If you have not provided IEC with your current contact information, please email us You may still update your information on Corsair Connect, but you must also notify the International Education Center.
students on video call

F-1 Students Continuing Studies Outside the U.S. in Fall 2020

In order to maintain your F1 status from your home country, you must complete the semester with 12 units. If you are below 12 units and are not approved for a reduced course load, your I-20 will be terminated at the end of the semester, and you will need to apply for reinstatement.
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Health Insurance

A referral is required any time the SHSC or the CWW is open. Due to COVID-19, the referral is not required for fall term only. Effective 8/25, all students are required to obtain a new insurance ID card.Get your insurance card at www.wellfleetstudent.comFind an In-network provider at
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New Dial Care Service

DialCare Physician Access connects you with state-licensed, fully credentialed doctors, via phone and video chat, to provide treatment and advice for common ailments. No referral or co-payment required.DialCare Mental Wellness connects you with a mental health professional. It is safe, secure, and confidential.Learn more about DialCare.

How to reach an International Counselor

Counseling Hours

  • Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Friday, 11 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

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for F-1 students with local phone numbers only.

If you are using a cell phone to sign into QLess, please download the QLess app first.

  1. We'll send you a text message to alert you when we are ready.

  2. The counselor will call you at the number provided when it's your turn. Make sure cell phone settings are adjusted to receive a call from an unknown or "no caller ID" number. Otherwise, the call goes to voicemail.

Hours of operation may change daily depending on counselor availability.

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Zoom Express Counseling

(available to all F-1 and overseas international students) 

Meet with a counselor for a 10-15 minute​ session. If waiting room is closed, check again at a later time


Schedule 30-minute appointment

To schedule an appointment with a counselor, email sure to include your name, SMC ID number, and your current country location.

Student counselor


Email your non-urgent questions via an online form. A counselor will respond to you in 5-7 days.


Additional Campus Resources

IEC wants you to know you can always talk to us or use the other resources on campus. Here are a few we recommend:

Let's Be Social!

Connect with other F1 international students via Zoom.
students playing games

Weekly Mingle

Fridays, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm PST

Join the IEC Team for a social hour of games, conversation and fun.  Connect with IEC Peer Mentors, SMC students and staff to explore different themes. Check your SMC email for the weekly zoom link.

student mentor

IEC Peer Mentor Open House

Tuesdays, 11:15 am PST

Take a break and connect! IEC Peer Mentor Open House is a great opportunity to hang out, reach out, or just chill out with IEC Peer Mentors. Share what’s on your mind, gripe about homework, ask questions, or meet new friends. Check your SMC email for the weekly zoom link.


College closed on the following holidays:

See All Events
Nov 11
Veterans' Day: Campus Closed

Veterans' Day: Campus Closed

4 p.m. - 4 p.m. Online
Nov 26
Nov 27
Thanksgiving: Campus Closed

Thanksgiving: Campus Closed

4 p.m. - 4 p.m. Online
Dec 24
Dec 31
Winter Break: No Classes, Services
See All Events

Stay Connected with IEC!