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Life Transitions and Immigration Change of Status


On February 26th, International Student Services and the Global Engagement Office, in conjunction with International Programs at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension, held a special event for international students transitioning from H-4 dependent visa status to the F-1 student status. These students, almost exclusively women and most from India, face special immigration and life transition challenges and are typically balancing family pressures, rigorous academic programs, and navigating employment opportunities and restrictions.

The event featured guest speaker, Sujata Patel , M.D., who spoke on Embracing New Challenges and New Opportunities.
Dr. Patel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where she has worked with undergraduate and graduate students at Vaden Health Center since 2005. She has also been working as a psychiatric consultant at the Cowell Center at SCU since September 2013. Dr. Patel is board-certified in child, adolescent, and general psychiatry. She earned a B.A. in human biology and M.A. in sociology from Stanford University, and an M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Patel then did a general psychiatry residency at the University of Michigan and a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Stanford University.

At the event, students were led in small group discussions which highlighted acculturation issues, balancing multiple roles, and strategies for managing expectations. Actively engaged and enthusiastic, the students shared their personal struggles, their excitement for the opportunities ahead of them, and offered support and fellowship to each other.

Aware of the special challenges facing students who are/will be in the process of this immigration status change, International Student Services has organized an H4 to F1 student support group and will continue to host similar gatherings. The next event is an H4 to F1 Immigration Workshop, scheduled for 3:00 pm on Thursday, April 3rd in Daly Science Room 207. Click here for more information and to register for the April workshop.




Posted on 3/14/2014

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