July 20, 2020

July’s Coffee with the Council Call will center around International Students who study in the United States and the complications that come with obtaining visas and other documentation during a pandemic or other kinds of government instability. 

Even though the United States federal government has revoked its exclusionary guidelines regarding Student and Exchange Visitor Program visas during the pandemic, this conversation and the perspectives of our peers from other countries is still worth having.

Everyone is welcome to join this discussion! The AIAS would like to evaluate how many of and how strongly our members and fellow students are affected by the volatility of current events in order to better understand how we can serve all of our members, not just those who are American citizens. Don’t forget to bring a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice!

Join us on Google Meet on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at Noon EDT
Here’s the link: https://meet.google.com/qsk-ivmb-fer


If you’re looking for more information about the issue and its context, here are a few resources to help get you up to speed:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement


New York Times

Harvard and MIT v US Department of Homeland Security


Missed the last Coffee with the Council Call? Here are the notes:


In mid May, the Council of Global Representatives hosted the first ever Coffee with the Council virtual gathering inviting all AIAS members and geared towards highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on our international AIAS members. The online gathering began with a brief introduction of what Global Representatives and Regional Ambassadors stand for: helping International AIAS members to raise their voices, share their experiences, and provide better, more equal service and involvement opportunities within the AIAS community.

Throughout the call, attendees were informed of opportunities and positions available to them as members such as the opportunity to apply to be an International Ambassador. Within the inclusive and welcoming environment, people opened up about how they have been dealing with the ongoing physical distancing lifestyle, mental health and wellness conditions, and their plans for the upcoming months. Last but definitely not least, some quick tips were shared on helping ourselves better during these times. 

We would like to generously share those tips with you:

– Workout
– Listen to different music 
– Prioritize self care
– Read new books
– Look at memes
– Rewatch shows, it relieves stress because you already know what is going to happen
– Give yourself time to be sad. “It is okay to let yourself feel sad and not suppress the feeling because it’s totally normal.” 
– Limit news consumption

More tips on increasing membership (international & domestic) involvement post-pandemic:

– Establish loyalty points to motivate people to participate events 
– Encourage people to interact in events
– Develop friendships with your members
– Find out what the student body is interested in 
– Delegate tasks and invite members to take part in the planning 
– Invite your friends to join and support
– Host events that aren’t always 100% architecture related 
– Incorporate interactive activities/competition events- they have had great turnouts!

The 2019-2020 Council of Global Representatives hopes that these events will continue in the future to provide opportunity for our members all across the globe to connect and discuss topics, as well as share resources that are important to international students both within the U.S. and abroad.