News and Announcements

Spring Break Opportunities to volunteer and/or attend a workshop!

1) Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW), a major international conference of interest to researchers, policy officials and media, will be held March 12-18 on the Fairbanks campus.  Conference organizers are seeking volunteers for a variety of ASSW events and the following opportunities listed in the ASSW Volunteer Opportunities link are appropriate for students and scholars in F and J visa categories:

  • Ambassador/Usher
  • Field Trip Host
  • Registration Desks
  • Social Media/Photographer

As international students and scholars you must be especially mindful of taking part in volunteer opportunities that may be viewed as uncompensated employment.  If an ASSW volunteer activity is not listed above, it does not qualify as a bona fide volunteer activity and could constitute unauthorized employment.

Serving as an interpreter/translator for conference meetings and sessions is not a qualifying volunteer activity.

2) ASSW organizers are also in need of scientifically skilled and knowledgeable volunteers to help as note takers in break-out sessions for each of the six thematic working groups at the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS). This is a qualifying volunteer activity.

Descriptions for AOS themes and detailed session structures for each day of ASSW/AOS are available online. March 16 will feature three break-out sessions of roughly 90 minutes each, covering all AOS themes.

AOS events provide opportunities to learn more about initiatives at the intersection of research, policy, and action. And if AOS theme(s) overlap with your research interests, there may be opportunities to be involved in ongoing activities of the thematic working group.

As a note taker or volunteer for the activities listed above who covers three sessions over the course of ASSW, you’ll receive free registration (including meals and parking) for AOS and any other days of the conference you spend time volunteering, as well as exclusive ASSW conference gear.

To register as an upper-level or graduate note taker, email ASSW volunteer coordinator Nate Bauer at To register as an ASSW volunteer please visit the ASSW Volunteering page. From there you will have the option to select the activities listed above.

If you have questions concerning volunteer opportunities for ASSW or other events, please contact Carol, Joanna or Reija.

3) The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is hosting an Early Career Arctic Policy Workshop on Monday, March 14.

This half-day workshop will begin with a keynote and five short presentations addressing the global effort to use best-available science in the development of Arctic policy. Participants will then break into smaller, mentor-led groups to discuss strategies for incorporating scientific knowledge into impactful Arctic policy.

Mentors guiding the APECS break-out groups include:

  • Carolina Behe, Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska
  • Terry Chapin, University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology
  • Henry Huntington, the PEW Charitable Trusts
  • Amy Lovecraft, University of Alaska Fairbanks Political Science Department
  • Peter Winsor, University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

For information about the workshop, please visit ASSW’s Learn More page. To register for this workshop or ask a question, email

north2north Scholarships available!!

For all UAF students applying to exchange to a north2north partner institution for the Academic Year, Fall, or Spring, our office has scholarships available!  Scholarships are up to $2,500 per semester!  Deadlines for the Fall and Academic Year is March 1. Scholarships for Spring programs is October 1!

Please click here for more information.

Summer Travel:
If you are traveling outside the U.S. after the semester ends,  remember to have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed if you will be returning to resume your program.  If you are in H-1B status, remember to pick up your I-797 Approval Notice.  The OIPI office is open over the summer months.  Please forward a copy of your electronic I-94 record on your return so that we have it in your file.  You may need copies of all records when applying for future immigration benefits.

For immigration emergencies during non-work hours, please contact the UAF Police Department at 474-7721.

We often get questions from UAF departments and prospective students about enrolling in classes while in B-1 or B-2 status.  Regulations specifically prohibit this, as outlined by guidance from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  This information can also be found in our information for UAF Departments.

For International Students and Scholars:  Are friends or family planning to visit you this semester or attend your graduation?  If so, a sample invitation letter template, to be used in acquiring their B-2 (visitor) visas, is available for your use under the Forms and Documents link.  You may copy and paste the wording into a Word document, tailor it to your specific situation, print, sign and send to them.

Please note that due to limited personnel resources, we cannot issue letters of invitation. A letter from UAF International Programs & Initiatives is NOT necessary for a successful B-2 invitation.  Your personal letter of invitation is most important.

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