Meet Our Exchange Student from Germany, Robert Konen!

Hi, my name is Robert Konen and I am an exchange student from Germany. I lived there with my family in a small town called Papenburg. This is in the northwest of Germany, near Hamburg. Now I live with a host-family in Woodinville, WA for one year!

On the ferry to Bainbridge Island

Currently, I am a scholarship holder of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program for young professionals (CBYX). This is an exchange program between Germany and the United States and enables 75 young professionals to take part in an international exchange every year.

I chose CBYX because it is the best program for my personal goals. For me it was important to improve my English skills and to get to know the American life and the differences to Germany. I am also looking forward to meeting many new people here and having a great time.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA

About me:

  • In my free time I love to play soccer, cycling, and hang out with my friends.

What I like the most about Seattle so far:

  • All people are so friendly, helpful, and just great! I like the nature with the water and all the forests. And there are many big sport teams I want to watch like football, baseball, soccer, and ice hockey.

Places I have visited in the U.S.:

  • Ferry to Bainbridge Island with the International Education Department at Shoreline (photo above)
  • Road Trip to California with Other CBYX Students (photo right)

Hope to meet you at Shoreline during Fall 2022 Quarter!

Summer Quarter Updated COVID & Health FAQs

Welcome to Summer Quarter 2022! As always, we are following local, regional, and national health guidelines carefully and will make every effort to communicate information to all students and partners quickly and accurately. Please refer to the below FAQs for updated information regarding Summer Quarter and vaccination requirements at the College and for travelers to the U.S.

*Please note that the below information is subject to change, particularly as public health guidelines in our area change. We are committed to providing you with updates as quickly as possible should any of the information change.

1. Do I need to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result in order to enter the U.S.?

You do need to be fully vaccinated. International students and most other non-U.S. citizens who are nonimmigrants will need to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the U.S. However, as of June 12, 2022, air travelers arriving in the U.S. from any foreign country no longer need to show a negative COVID test.

There is a limited set of exceptions to the vaccination rule, including travelers who are coming from countries with low vaccination rates (as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and travelers who are under 18 years of age.

2. Which vaccines are accepted?

Currently, here are the accepted vaccines:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (may also be known as Comirnaty)
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Serum Institute of India: Covishield
  • Sinopharm (Beijing): BBIBP-CorV
  • Sinovac: CoronaVac
  • Bharat BioTech: Covaxin
  • Novavax
  • Covovax
  • Medicago

Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after completing all doses for the vaccine). Please refer to the CDC’s International Travel page for requirements considered to be fully vaccinated.

3. What if I received a vaccine that is not on the list above?

Unfortunately, you will not be permitted to enter the U.S. by either land or air unless you are fully vaccinated by the CDC definition linked above or qualify for an exemption.

4. If I am unable to get fully vaccinated before Orientation starts, can I fly as soon as I am fully vaccinated?

If you are in this situation, please contact us at international@shoreline.edu. In most situations, new students must arrive in the U.S. during a certain period of time depending on their starting quarter at Shoreline.

5. If I am not vaccinated when I enter the U.S. (because I meet one of the exemptions set by the CDC), do I need to be vaccinated to take classes on campus at Shoreline?

Yes. All students taking any classes that meet on campus during Summer Quarter 2022 must attest to your vaccination status, or claim a medical exemption. Here are the instructions to attest: https://www.shoreline.edu/ctclink/ctclink_vaccine_attest.aspx

6. Where can I get the vaccine? How much money does it cost?

Most local pharmacies are offering the COVID vaccine for free. You can use the Washington Vaccine Locator website to find a location near you. This applies to booster shots as well!

7. Do I need to submit proof of my vaccination to the College?

Yes. Please complete this attestation form in ctcLink* to indicate which vaccine you have received, and the dates that you received them. You will not need to upload or show any documents, but you will declare that the information provided is accurate and true. Providing false information may result in disciplinary action.

*Please note that you will not be able to complete the form until after you have activated your ctcLink account. If you are planning to join us for Fall or future quarters, you will receive more information about ctcLink before your Orientation.

8. I’m a current student at Shoreline and I already submitted the form for a previous quarter. Do I have to submit it again for Summer Quarter 2022?

No, you do not need to submit the form again unless your response has changed.

9. Can I take all online classes for Summer Quarter 2022?

Inside the United States: New students who travel to the U.S. must register for at least one hybrid/in-person class for Summer Quarter 2022. 

Outside the United States: New students can begin taking online courses from their home country. This option does not require a valid F-1 visa or I-20. New students who are taking only online classes during Summer Quarter 2022 and are not already in the U.S. will not be allowed to travel to the U.S. You will have to wait until Fall Quarter 2022 to be able to come to the U.S. for in-person studies.

10. Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

Masks are voluntary (optional) on campus in most places. They are still required in healthcare settings, including the Counseling Center and clinical sites. Currently, most businesses in the King County area (where Shoreline and Seattle are located) are also mask-optional, but some businesses may choose to require them.

11. Should I bring my proof of vaccination to campus? Do I need a vaccine card in the U.S.?

You do not need to show anyone your proof of vaccination to attend classes or come to campus (you only need to complete the attestation form). Most businesses in King County (where Shoreline and Seattle are located), including restaurants, are not currently requiring guests to show proof of vaccination in order to enter. However, some businesses may choose to require proof of vaccination. Please refer to the King County Health website for a list of acceptable forms of vaccination and additional information.

12. Are only international students required to be vaccinated?

All employees and students taking on-campus classes, except for those with approved medical exemptions, are required to be vaccinated.

13. I have a question that wasn’t answered here!

Here are some resources!

Winter Quarter Updated COVID & Health FAQs

Winter Quarter 2022 is coming very soon! As always, we are following local, regional, and national health guidelines carefully and will make every effort to communicate information to all students and partners quickly and accurately. Please refer to the below FAQs for updated information regarding Winter Quarter and vaccination requirements at the College and for travelers to the U.S.

*Please note that some of the information posted below has changed. We have an updated FAQ post available at this time. All information posted below is subject to further change, particularly if health guidelines in our area change. We are committed to providing you with updates as quickly as possible should any of the information change.

1. Do I need to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result in order to enter the U.S. for Winter Quarter?

Yes. Starting November 8, 2021, international students and most other non-U.S. citizens who are nonimmigrants will need to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the U.S. You will also need to show a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board your flight. Starting December 6, 2021, the negative COVID test must have been taken no more than 1 day prior to your flight, regardless of your vaccination status. Please check with your airline if you need additional assistance.

There is a limited set of exceptions to the vaccination rule, including travelers who are coming from countries with low vaccination rates (as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and travelers who are under 18 years of age.

UPDATE: As of November 26, 2021, the U.S. government has announced that most noncitizen travelers from a selection of countries affected by the Omicron variant will not be allowed to enter, regardless of vaccination status. Please contact us at international@shoreline.edu if you are impacted by this regulation.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

2. Which vaccines are accepted?

Currently, all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use are accepted. These vaccines are:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (may also be known as Comirnaty)
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Serum Institute of India: Covishield
  • Sinopharm (Beijing): BBIBP-CorV
  • Sinovac: CoronaVac
  • Bharat BioTech: Covaxin

Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after completing all doses for the vaccine). Please refer to the CDC’s International Travel page for requirements considered to be fully vaccinated.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

3. What if I received a vaccine that is not on the list above?

Unfortunately, you will not be permitted to enter the U.S. by either land or air unless you are fully vaccinated by the CDC definition linked above or qualify for an exemption.

4. If I am unable to get fully vaccinated before the quarter starts, can I fly as soon as I am fully vaccinated?

If you are in this situation, please contact us at international@shoreline.edu. In most situations, new students must be able to arrive in time to start Orientation on January 3, 2022.

5. If I am not vaccinated when I enter the U.S. (because I meet one of the exemptions above), do I need to be vaccinated to take classes on campus at Shoreline?

Yes. All students taking any classes that meet on campus during Winter Quarter 2022 must attest to your vaccination status, or claim a medical exemption, by January 20, 2022. You will be permitted to attend your on-campus classes up to this date.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

6. Where can I get the vaccine? How much money does it cost?

There will be a vaccine clinic on campus at Shoreline starting on January 4, 2022, and you can find more information about this clinic on the College’s main COVID Updates page. If you will be arriving prior to this date and need to get a vaccine, most local pharmacies are offering the COVID vaccine free of cost. You can use the Washington Vaccine Locator website to find a location near you.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

7. Do I need to submit proof of my vaccination to the College?

Yes. Please complete this attestation form to indicate which vaccine you have received, and the dates that you received them. You will not need to upload or show any documents, but you will declare that the information provided is accurate and true. Providing false information may result in disciplinary action. The deadline is January 20, 2022.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

8. I’m a current student at Shoreline and I already submitted the form for Fall Quarter 2021. Do I have to submit it again for Winter Quarter 2022?

No, you do not need to submit the form again unless your response has changed.

9. Can I take all online classes for Winter Quarter 2022?

Inside the United States: New students who travel to the U.S. must register for at least one hybrid/in-person class for Winter Quarter 2022. 

Outside the United States: New students can begin taking online courses from their home country. This option does not require a valid F-1 visa or I-20. New students who are taking only online classes during Winter Quarter 2022 and are not already in the U.S. will not be allowed to travel to the U.S. You will have to wait until Spring Quarter 2022 to be able to come to the U.S. for in-person studies.

10. Can I participate in campus activities?

Yes, we are hosting in-person activities again, with safety protocols in place. You will be required to wear a mask during the activity if it is indoors. Some in-person activities, such as sporting events, may require proof of vaccination at entry.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

11. Should I bring my proof of vaccination to campus? Do I need a vaccine card in the U.S.?

You do not need to show anyone your proof of vaccination to attend classes or come to campus (you only need to complete the attestation form by January 20, 2022). However, currently in King County (where Shoreline and Seattle are located), restaurants and many other indoor businesses such as movie theaters are requiring guests to show proof of vaccination in order to enter. Please refer to the King County Health website for a list of acceptable forms of vaccination and additional information.

*This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

12. Are only international students required to be vaccinated?

All employees and students taking on-campus classes, except for those with approved medical exemptions, are required to be vaccinated.

13. I have a question that wasn’t answered here!

Here are some resources!

A Thankful International Education Week, November 15-19, 2021

Last week, November 15-19, 2021, we celebrated the International Education Week (IEW) at Shoreline Community College and collaboratively across the U.S. and around the world. During a season of gratitude, here are three things we are especially thankful for.

1. On Monday, November 15th, the 2021 Open Doors Report released the new data of international students at Associate’s colleges. Shoreline Community College currently ranks 16 in the U.S. We are thankful to welcome our international students from 68 different countries!

International students enjoy a ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island

2. We are thankful to have had a successful International Education Week with six different events this year! Shoreline’s faculty and staff shared their global stories on social media. Student panelists shared the meaning and cultures behind their names. Honors College students shared folklore stories from five diverse cultures. Alumni shared their OPT (Optional Practical Training) employment experiences in the U.S. and tips for current students. WCCCSA (Washington Community College Consortium for Study Abroad) introduced upcoming study abroad programs and resources. And we have two student winners for International Trivia! We genuinely appreciate everyone who is contributing to our global environment.

Students and staff share stories and cultural meanings behind their names during International Education Week

3. There have been various educational outreach events for Shoreline to promote internationalization. We are thankful for the opportunities to be part of these events and initiatives. Our current students participated in two EducationUSA events last week. Another two students and our Vice President of Student Services and International Education, Samira Pardanani, were interviewed for a chapter in the upcoming book, “International Students at US Community Colleges: Opportunities, Challenges, and Successes.” Shoreline was specifically sought out to contribute to this book, as we are among the top 20 community colleges in the U.S. for international student enrollment and are thus seen as a national leader in the field of International Education.

International Education Week 2021

Have you met our Activities Coordinator Nikki?

Hi, my name is Nikki! This summer was my first time organizing events for international students as the new Activities Coordinator. The summer flew by, but we did a lot of fun activities along the way! We made the most of our beautiful sunny days with a beach event, a trip to one of Washington’s islands, a baseball game, and a tour of a museum in Seattle. Students joined us online from around the world to play games and discuss U.S. culture. If you didn’t get to be part of these fun events this summer, don’t worry! We will repeat several of them this fall. Keep reading to learn what our students said about our summer activities!

Group of students posing on the Bainbridge Island ferry with the Seattle skyline in the background!

The ferry trip to Bainbridge Island was the most popular in−person event this summer. We met in Seattle and walked on to the ferry together. After a short ride to the island, we walked through the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, then enjoyed browsing the downtown shops. The most difficult part of the day was deciding on just one of the many restaurants for lunch! After stopping for ice cream, we called it a day. My favorite part of this trip was seeing new friendships form. On the ferry ride to Bainbridge, only a few students seemed to know each other, but on the trip home, everyone was hanging out together as a group. The students who came to this said they wanted to go again and to have even more time to explore. I can’t wait to repeat this event in the fall quarter!

Students in front of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

I also got to play games with students every week on Zoom and Discord. In our Connect & Play series, we played Codenames, Dinosaur Tea Party, and Go Nuts for Donuts. Here’s what some students said about game nights: “Today’s game was fun and I got to speak English more as well as listening. So helpful!!” “It was so fun. I played plenty of games and got to know new friends.” “It was super fun and I learned new games that I can play with others. Definitely going to sign up for the fall event.” 

Connect & Play – learn about American culture and meet other students!

If you want to join us for the Bainbridge Island trip, Connect & Play online game nights, or other fun events this fall, check out our Instagram at @shoreline_international for updates on upcoming events!

Updated Fall Quarter and Vaccine Requirement FAQs

Shoreline has announced that we will be a vaccinated campus starting September 7, 2021, under the guidelines set forth in Governor Jay Inslee’s Higher Education proclamation. In the last few weeks, we have received updated guidance from local and regional public health officials, as well as updated College policies. We’ve created a new set of Frequently Asked Questions to help you with your planning as you prepare to arrive in the U.S. to join us for Fall Quarter! You can still refer to our previous FAQs for additional information.

*Please note that some of the information posted below has changed. We have an updated FAQ post available at this time. All information posted below is subject to further change, particularly if health guidelines in our area change. We are committed to providing you with updates as quickly as possible should any of the information change.

1. Do I need a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend clases on campus at Shoreline?

If you are enrolled in on-campus classes or will be coming to campus for any on-campus activities, you will need to be fully vaccinated or attest to an exemption by October 18, 2021. If you have concerns about meeting this deadline, please contact us – we are happy to work with you! This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

2. What vaccines will be accepted by Shoreline? 

Currently, all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use are accepted. These vaccines are:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (may also be known as Comirnaty)
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Serum Institute of India: Covishield
  • Sinopharm (Beijing): BBIBP-CorV
  • Sinovac: CoronaVac

This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

3. What if I received a vaccine that is not on the list above? 

You will be required to be fully re-vaccinated (all required doses) in the United States by October 18, 2021 or attest to an eligible exemption. Please contact us at international@shoreline.edu if you have questions about this. This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

4. What do I need to do to submit proof of my vaccination?

Please complete this attestation form to indicate which vaccine you have received, and the dates that you received them. You will not need to upload or show any documents, but you will declare that the information provided is accurate and true. Providing false information may result in disciplinary action.

5. What are exemptions? How do I attest to having an exemption?

Shoreline is currently accepting the following reasons to claim an exemption from having to provide vaccination status: religious or medical reasons. You can submit your exemption status by completing this attestation form. You may attend on-campus classes even if you are not fully vaccinated if you claim an exemption.

6. Will I need to wear a mask on campus? 

Everyone on campus is required to wear a mask indoors in settings with other people, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be made available at stations around campus for anyone who does not have one.

According to the guidelines from the U.S. public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks must follow these specifications:

  • Masks must be two layers
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face
  • Have a nose wire to prevent air leaking out of the top of the mask
  • Cloth masks must be washed after each use
  • Disposable masks must be disposed of after use
  • Neck gaiters must have two layers

7. Can I get vaccinated at Shoreline? 

Yes! In partnership with the local fire department, Shoreline will be offering free on-campus vaccine clinics on several dates between August 18 – October 6, 2021. You will be able to register to receive either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at this clinic. You can learn more about the clinic and register using this form. Vaccines are also available at many locations in the greater Shoreline/Seattle area.

8. If I already got COVID and recovered, do I still need to be vaccinated?

If you have contracted COVID-19 and recovered, you are not considered vaccinated. The U.S. public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends vaccination even for those who have had COVID-19 because it is not known how long any immunity lasts.

9. I am taking all online classes in Fall 2021. Do I still need to get vaccinated or submit the form to attest to an exemption?

No, only students enrolled in classes meeting on-campus are required to complete the form to indicate either vaccination or exemption status.

10. Do I need to quarantine when I enter the U.S. or before I come to campus?

While there are currently no requirements to self-quarantine after arriving in the U.S., the CDC recommends that all international travelers get tested 3-5 days after traveling, and for those who are not fully vaccinated, it is also recommended to self-quarantine for 7 days. The CDC provides a full page of recommendations for international travelers. At this time, Shoreline Community College does not have requirements for self-quarantine prior to coming to campus for the first time.

11. Are there any other updates I should know about?

Yes! Recently, the governor of Washington announced a reinstatement of the mask mandate indoors starting August 23, 2021. This means that when you visit any store, restaurant, or other public location indoors, you will need to wear a mask.

12. I have a question that wasn’t answered here!

Check the Shoreline webpage for COVID-19 updates, or contact us at international@shoreline.edu or IEhelp@shoreline.edu!

Fall Quarter FAQs!

As Summer starts, we’re already looking forward to Fall quarter! We know many of you are starting to make your plans for starting or continuing your studies at Shoreline in the fall. If you’re considering arriving in the U.S., please take a look at these Frequently Asked Questions for international students:

*Please note that some of the information posted below has changed. We have an updated FAQ post available at this time. All information posted below is subject to further change, particularly if health guidelines in our area change. We are committed to providing you with updates as quickly as possible should any of the information change.

1. Can I attend Shoreline in person for Fall 2021 Quarter? 

Yes! We will have robust hybrid class offerings and activities on campus this fall. 

2. What classes can I take in person? 

There are MANY options you can take in person, including classes in Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, ESL, Film, Math, Music, Physics, and more! You can see for yourself in our class schedule for Fall. On-campus classes are listed as “hybrid,” because they will have both in-person meetings and online learning combined.

3. Can I attend Shoreline online for Fall 2021 Quarter? 

Yes! We will continue to offer fully online options this Fall if you are joining us from your home country or if Fall quarter will not be your first quarter in the U.S.

4. Do I need to get a negative COVID-19 test to fly to the U.S.? 

Yes! The CDC is still requiring a negative COVID test to fly, even if you have been fully vaccinated. See more information on the latest testing requirements, here.

5. Do I need to get a Covid-19 vaccination before entering the U.S.? 

The CDC is not currently requiring vaccines to travel to the U.S.  

6. Do I need to get a COVID-19 vaccination to study at Shoreline? 

While it’s strongly encouraged, COVID-19 vaccines are not currently required to enroll.  This information has changed since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

7. Can I get vaccinated in Seattle? 

Yes! Vaccines are readily available for international students. Many students are choosing to get vaccinated after they arrive in the U.S. There will be free vaccine clinics on campus at Shoreline as well. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

8. Which vaccinations are available? 

  • For students 16+: Pfizer is approved and available (more may become available for this group as the FDA approves their use for younger students)
  • For students 18+: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson

9. Does student health insurance cover the cost of the vaccine in the U.S.? 

Yes, and in fact, vaccines can be accessed by students free of charge, even without health insurance.

10. Does my international student insurance cover treatment for coronavirus? 

  • Treatment of the coronavirus is covered under the international student insurance plan similar to other illnesses.
  • The plan also offers a variety of free resources, including meeting with a doctor online or by phone, a 24/7 nurse line, and a student support line if you want to talk about any anxiety or stress (available in many languages).
  • For more information, see our detailed post on our international student insurance.
  • If you have questions about the international student insurance plan or any of these services, contact Yushin Wung at ywung@shoreline.edu.

11. Will I need to quarantine when I arrive in the U.S.? 

No. While the CDC recommends social distancing after travel, quarantine is not required. This information has been updated since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

12. Do I need a signature on my I-20 to enter or leave the U.S.? 

When you leave the U.S., you do not need a travel signature. The signature is required when you enter the U.S.  If you will enter the U.S. within one year of your last travel signature, you do not need a new one. We recommend you carry a copy of your class registration with you when you arrive at a port of entry in the U.S. If you do not have a travel signature or it is too old, contact Harumi Kendall at hkendall@shoreline.edu.  

13. Will you offer airport pick-up service for Fall quarter? 

Yes! We will offer airport pick-up service prior to Orientation. Admitted students will receive additional information about this via email. For specific questions about this service, contact Linda Du at ldu@shoreline.edu.

14. Are masks and social distancing still required on campus? 

Shoreline is following the State of Washington’s plan for Higher Education reopening. At this time, masks are required while indoors on campus, and social distancing is required in all areas of campus, per that plan.  This information has been updated since the original post was published. Please see our updated FAQ post for new information.

15. Will the Residence Hall be open?

Yes! The Residence Hall has been open continuously since 2019, and it will continue to be open in the Fall. You can learn more and apply at www.7000campusliving.com

16. Will Homestay options be available? 

Yes! All of our homestay partners are still offering placements for international students. You can see our housing and homestay information at https://www.shoreline.edu/international/about-us/housing.aspx 

17. Is the Greater Seattle Area safe?

We are very proud of the City of Seattle for (at the time this has been published) being the most vaccinated major city in the country. Both the city and surrounding areas have vaccinated over 70% of the population 16+ years old, reaching the U.S. standard for herd immunity. The community is making a big effort to keep all residents safe.

I have another question that wasn’t answered!

Check the Shoreline webpage for COVID-19 updates, or contact us at international@shoreline.edu or IEhelp@shoreline.edu!

What is it like to take an Organic Chemistry class with lab online?

One year ago, the College moved to primarily remote learning and operations. Thanks to our wonderful faculty and eLearning technology support, we can conduct engaging courses online with our students safely and globally, including classes with lab like Organic Chemistry! Check out the video below from last spring quarter in Dr. Astrid Perez’s class.

Dr. Astrid Perez was born and raised in Puerto Rico.  She transferred to University of Washington, completed a B.S. in Chemistry, and later returned to earn an M.S., and a Ph.D. She has been teaching at the Community College setting now for over 25 yrs., allowing her to interact with her students, encouraging them, and celebrating in their successes.

As she has lived through her share of challenges, such as having English as a second language, having a disability, having to take care of children while in school, and then being a single parent, to name a few, she can relate to many of the difficulties her students face.  After having been treated differently for how she looks or sounds, Astrid wants her students to know that they are always welcomed at her office, free of judgement; she’s proud to say her office is a safe place.

Student Stories: Volunteering and Other Remote Experiences

Today we’re hearing from two Vietnamese students who have recently volunteered and gotten involved on campus (remotely) with other activities! Make sure to check out the @shoreline_international Instagram for more ideas on how to Engage and Achieve!

My name is Nguyen Xuan Thien Thanh. I am an international student from Vietnam. I have been in the U.S. for 4 years. I attended my high school junior year in Spokane, Washington. I love dancing so it would not be surprising that I was a member of the school’s dance team. Then I moved to Michigan to complete my last year of high school. I was a volunteer for FIRST robotic championship for Michigan state with my host mom, who was also one of the head coaches of the team. After that, I chose Shoreline Community College to be my next stop in my education path. My first year at Shoreline was full of happiness and surprises from my friends, as well as some challenges of course. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, I had to start my second year with online courses. I have less opportunities to interact with people face to face and spend most of the time in my room. My home country was locked down as well. During the quarantine time at home, I searched online looking for different virtual volunteering opportunities. I really want to help some people while I can spend more personal time now with volunteering.  

As a result, I signed up to volunteer at ReWA (Refugee Women’s Alliance). My assigned task was to help people who speak Vietnamese register and vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. We confirmed with the ReWA staff if we are eligible to help as international students before receiving the training to offer translation assistance and direct the community members on different helpful website for voting information. Moreover, we would answer their phone calls as well as messages to help them in the voting process. This experience was both fun and meaningful. I had a chance to connect with the local Vietnamese community as well as learning about the democracy and voting in the U.S. I helped about 40 people during October and early November.  

Next, I look forward to volunteering for the Global Showcase, which is an annual cultural event organized by International Student Leaders at Shoreline Community College. Even though it will be a virtual event in spring, it would still be a great opportunity for Vietnamese students work together on promoting our language and culture. I’m excited to attend and participate in Global Showcase. Not only campus community can check out our work, we will get to share with more people globally in the current online environment.

Hello! My name is Vo Dang Long and I go by Jack. I have been in the U.S. for 3 years, and this is my second year at Shoreline. I was an exchange student in Cleveland, Oklahoma during my first year in the U.S. During my high school exchange year, I joined an organization named Business Professional of America. This organization helps students build their leadership skills and promote many events bring contributions back to the community. I participated in many volunteering activities, such as helping sell food at the town food bank and holding activities at Special Oklahoma Olympic both winter and summer games.  

Coming to Shoreline has been a great experience for me! The time of living in the Residence Hall on campus helped shape my personality better. I was able to get involved in more events with the convenient access as living on campus and more activities held by Resident Assistants. I made a lot of new friends during my first quarter at Shoreline. While everyone’s life has been different since mid-March when the pandemic hit globally. I am grateful that we still have good access to online learning and interacting with others online in order to stay safe and health. To keep myself staying active and engaged, I have tried to find more opportunities, like applying on-campus jobs and volunteering online. I applied for the ASG (Associated Student Government) as well as the ISA (International Student Ambassador). I hope I can get to learn more and help others at the same time. 

In October, 2020, I signed up to volunteer at an organization called ReWA (Refugee Women’s Alliance). It is an organization created to help communities such as providing 10 wrap-around social services for every member of the family, from infant to senior in which they delivered in over 50 languages and dialects, are designed to make a long-lasting impact in others and help them thrive in the Puget Sound community. 

My position was to help people in the Vietnamese-American community in the voting process of the presidential election in November. I needed to spend at least 2-3 hour a week to answer phone calls and messages to direct people to the right place with explanation of what they need to do in Vietnamese. Sometimes I would feel overwhelmed with time management as taking four classes, preparing for university transfer applications, working as an ISA, spending time online with families and friends, plus volunteering! It was definitely challenging when I had 3-4 exams and labs during some weeks while volunteering. When I now look back the total amount of volunteering hours that I kept track of, I feel proud for this accomplishment of myself. I definitely think I made a good choice to volunteer even though my schedule was already a little busy. I got to step out of my comfort zone, challenge myself to reach higher, improve my time management skill, and I really enjoy learning new things!  

End-of-Year Message from Shoreline Community College President to International Students

End-of-Year Message from Shoreline Community College President to International Students 

Dr. Cheryl Roberts, the President of Shoreline Community College, recorded a special video for our international students and parents! As we are embracing a new year full of hope, we want to share with our international students that we are so proud of what you have accomplished in 2020. Remember we are always here for you. Together we are a #PhinFam!

Here is the full transcript of President Roberts’ video above, along with some great photos to share! 

Hello! My name is Dr. Cheryl Roberts, and I have the distinct pleasure serving as the President of Shoreline Community College.  

I wanted to take a moment to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to our current international students who have been on quite a journey with us this year. Some of you went back to your home country to continue your Shoreline education online, surrounded by those you love. Some of you stayed here in Seattle, living with American homestay families or in our beautiful on-campus housing while adjusting to a new way of learning with us that successfully kept you and your classmates safe. Whichever decision you made, we know it took courage and tenacity to continue your education during a global pandemic. We are so incredibly proud of you! And to the parents and families of our international students, I want to “thank you” as well. Parenting during a global pandemic is no easy task, and we know the love and support you have provided has empowered your student to be the best that they can be during this time. Please know that we care deeply about our students and have taken great care to ensure that they are still getting an excellent education and the services they need to be successful.   

After so much that has happened this year, I am thrilled to share with you and offer news of hope for the future. As many of you know, the United States is preparing to welcome a new President in January who is a champion for U.S. Higher Education and is widely expected to be especially welcoming to international students. President-elect Biden said in July, “Across the world, people come to this country with unrelenting optimism and determination toward the future. They study here, innovate here, they make America who we are.” Of course, we could not agree with his sentiment more, and are optimistic about the direction of educational policy.  

We are equally excited to note that President-elect Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden is a strong advocate for U.S. Community Colleges. As a current professor at a community college in Virginia, she has often stated that community colleges are “one of America’s best-kept secrets”. As second lady in the Obama Administration, she even hosted a White House Summit on Community Colleges. We are confident that she will continue being a strong supporter of community colleges!  I had a great opportunity to meet Dr. Jill Biden when I served on the American Association of Community Colleges as a Board of Directors member. She is indeed a champion of higher education and particularly community colleges. We are so fortunate that she will be our First Lady.  

And, of course, we are delighted to note that the incoming Vice President Kamala Harris has strong personal ties to international education. Both of her parents were former international students, with her mother hailing from India and her father from Jamaica. They met as Ph.D. students at the University of California, Berkeley, a campus to which many international students like you transfer to in order to complete a 2+2 degree. Like President Obama, whose father was also an international student in the U.S., her personal story highlights the extraordinary possibilities of America, where a child of international students can ascend to the highest office in the country within one generation.   

Lastly, of course, we are bolstered by hope with the announcements about several potentially viable vaccines that hold promise to bring an end to the emergency measures that we have all adjusted to this year. This, coupled with President-elect Biden’s renewed focus on combatting the pandemic, gives us hope that we will be able to welcome students back to our beautiful campus soon.   

As President-Elect Joe Biden said in his victory speech, “For American Educators this is a great day for all of us. You’re going to have one of your own in the White House”. This renewed focus on education in the highest office in the U.S. promises great opportunities for international students. And as we say in the Dolphin Nations, we are all Phins Up, and we are All In!