International Education Week


International Education week is being celebrated across the country.  At UMKC we want to take this opportunity to connect with you and celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide! We know that without these opportunities, UMKC and our global community would not be the same. We strongly believe in the opportunities international education provides as we grow and learn together!

We hope you’ll join us for some of our events (check back for updates for Zoom links!):

Monday, November 16:

     11:00 AMInternational Coffee/Social Hour: Join us to kick off the week with a social hour – make your zoom background your country’s national flag and bring your favorite mid-morning beverage!

     All Day: Social Media Photo Competition: Post on Instagram to enter our week long photo competition. Prizes will be announced on Friday! The day’s theme: Where is your happy place?

Tuesday, November 17:

     1:00 PM – Meet & Greet with International Student Ambassador (@umkcisao on Instagram)

     2:00 PM Study Abroad Info Session

     All Day: Social Media Photo Competition Day’s Theme: Twin Art Selfie
Global Museum Tour – Download the Google Culture and Arts app to find your look-alike in art and take a selfie with the results!

Thank you Natalie, from SAGE, for modeling this for us!


Wednesday, November 18:

     All Day: Listen to International Music from the UMKC Libraries

     3:00 PM SAGE & Sexuality/Gender Alliance Workshop

     7:00 PM Game Night with International Student Ambassadors

     All Day: Social Media Photo Competition Day’s Theme: What do you do for fun?

What is your favorite game/sport? What are you doing to find ways to have fun despite the restrictions of COVID? #IEW2020 #UMKCIEW2020 #InternationalRoos #RoosAbroad

Thursday, November 19:

     11:00 AM SAGE Post-Graduation International Opportunities (JET & Fulbright)

     2:00 PM International Student and Study Abroad Alumni Q&A event

     All Day: Social Media Photo Competition Day’s Theme: Where do you do your best work?

Where do you study best? Where do you create? What puts you in the zone to get things done? Share with us and remember to use our hashtags to be a part of the competition! #IEW2020 #UMKCIEW2020 #InternationalRoos #RoosAbroad

Friday, November 20:

     1:00 PM – UMKC IEW Photo Competition Winners Announced – prizes to be collected at ISAO

     2:00 PM Study Abroad Info Session

     Until 12:00 PM (so we have time to select a winner): Social Media Photo Competition Day’s Theme: What part of the world do you want to visit?

Inspired by one of the Study Abroad sessions? Dreaming of seeing the world? Share a photo of yourself edited into your dream location (you can set it as your background in zoom and take a screen shot, use Microsoft Paint/PhotoShop/any photo editing tool you have available or draw yourself in!

#IEW2020 #UMKCIEW2020 #InternationalRoos #RoosAbroad

Looking for more?

With so many events going online this year, take advantage of some of the International Education Week events nationwide!

Thank you for joining us and thank you for all that you contribute to our UMKC community!

COVID-19 and Delays in Student Services

Due to the ever-changing environment on and off campus due to social distancing restrictions, ISAO continues to work diligently in our timely service to our students. However, we expect some delays in our ability to process physical documents, including the receipt of mail and shipping of admission packets or other requested materials, such as updated I-20s.

If you are able to submit digital documents for any required admission materials, please do so, as it will ensure more timely processing. If you are able to submit copies of your academic documents for the purposes of an admission decision, you will be able to submit your officials at a later date.

For current students: Our advising team is making every effort to adjust processes and methods of advising, whether it be through email, zoom or over the phone. Please check your UMKC email regularly. All updates from Advising will be communicated through email and we encourage you to reach out to us by email or phone to limit your movement throughout the Kansas City area. Additionally, we encourage you to send documents digitally whenever possible and we will accept digital signatures on ISAO request forms. Please remember your I-20, I-765, or other government documents require a physical written signature.

We appreciate your patience and wish you well as we make every attempt to keep our students, faculty, staff and overall community healthy.


The International Student Affairs team

February Series: Employment in the US

ISAO is excited to announce the details of our upcoming events in our February Series: Employment in the United States!

Our next events are OPT Information Sessions and OPT Application Workshops. Each event will be held twice so you may attend whichever works best for your schedule. Please join us on the following dates to learn about OPT and the application process:

  • OPT Information Session – Thursday, February 13 @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm in Miller-Nichols Learning Center 351
  • OPT Application Workshop – Friday, February 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm in Atterbury Student Success Center 237
  • OPT Information Session – Wednesday, February 19 @ 1:00 – 2:00 pm in Miller-Nichols Learning Center 351
  • OPT Application Workshop – Thursday, February 27 @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm in Atterbury Student Success Center 237

We hope to see you at these events, and we encourage you to keep watching your email and social media for more events coming soon (including CPT information in March)!

Remembering Sharath Koppu – A Letter from the UMKC Chancellor

On Friday, July 6th, UMKC tragically lost graduate student Sharath Koppu. We invite you to learn more about Sharath, his life and his impact on our community, as well as a message from UMKC Chancellor, C. Mauli Agrawal below.

Remembering Sharath Koppu (1993-2018)

Computer science graduate student

The university community is mourning the loss of one its own, Sharath Koppu, who fell victim to violence on July 6.

A native of Hyderabad, India, Koppu joined UMKC in the spring of 2018 as a computer science graduate student. According to friends and faculty, Koppu was an excellent student with vast knowledge in his field and was always willing to lend his expertise to help his peers understand core academic concepts. Read more >

Letter from Chancellor Agrawal

Dear Students:

I want to give you my personal assurance that the University of Missouri-Kansas City is a very safe place to pursue an outstanding education, for domestic and international students alike

I understand your concern. The tragic death of Sharath Koppu has affected us all. But it is important to remember that Sharath was in no way targeted for his ethnicity. Unfortunately, violent street crime is a fact of life in most large cities around the world – a risk that is real, but one that can be minimized by taking prudent steps.

As you know, I too have lived the experience of leaving a familiar country behind to pursue an education here in this great land of opportunity. I have felt both the excitement, and the anxiety, that this transition evokes.

But like the vast majority of international students who come to America, my journey has been a successful and rewarding one. It can be for you as well. We must hold our memories of Sharath close to our hearts, but we cannot let this incident become a barrier to realizing our dreams.


C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D.

Get to Know Your Roos: Prachi Shah

Prachi was a performer in 2016’s Culture Night Fashion Show.  She represented India through her traditional attire, the saree, which showcased the vibrant colors and diversity of India.  Prachi described her performance as a showcase of the various aspects of Indian culture.

“I wore the saree in the most basic way Indian women tend to wear it.  I made efforts to coordinate my jewelry and accessories – from my footwear to my handbag.  At the end of the runway, I did a Bharatanatyam pose (an Indian traditional dance).”

Prachi expressed the importance of participating in a cultural event such as UMKC’s Culture Night.  She said she hopes to create an awareness of Indian culture as a part of America’s fabric.  Prachi described Indian culture as inherently accepting because of its own richness and diversity.

“The Indian culture is an ancient culture which has stood the test of time.  We are inherently accepting because there is so much diversity within our culture.  My performance was reflective of our accepting nature.  Performing for Culture Night 2016 helped me connect with who I am and express myself.”

Prachi is working at US Bank as a Collections Analyst after graduating from the Bloch’s MBA program.  She is also a mother of 3 beautiful girls, one who is a 4 year old preschooler and a set of 4 month old twin girls.

Thank you so much for being a part of what Culture Night hopes to accomplish – the celebration of diversity & acceptance!

Ritika Chowdri

Major: Computer Science, MS

Time Spent in the U.S: 2 years

Hometown: Roorkee, India

 “I think we should be happy in whatever we do and be hardworking. You should be kind towards others. I have seen so many people be judgmental. They don’t understand and push their views on you. Everyone has a different story. You don’t know. So many people are just doing things and choosing their careers because somebody told them to do it. Even for me, people wanted me to do engineering, but I did not want to. I felt the pressure I had to do it. I still have not figured out what I want to do. Once I get independent I will figure it out and maybe change my career. It is really difficult with your parents paying your education. You cannot do what you want.

I wish I wasn’t scared to try new things. I have wanted to do many things such as zip lining, skydiving, deep sea diving but I was so scared to try! I also have stage fear even though I love singing and dancing. If I am in front of many people, I just can’t. I hope to overcome it someday.”

Ritika is inspired by women who are trying to change the world and breaking stereotypes. She believes we should not judge a woman differently. She hopes to inspire other women to fight for their dreams. She currently has her options open and is excited to figure out and realize her own dreams. She values independence and the ability to exercise our choices. #feminist

Get to Know Julie!

Julie Myer

Role at ISAO: Admissions for School of Computing and Engineering

What attracted you to work in ISAO?

I lived abroad for 11 years and have traveled to several countries. The hospitality and kindness shown to me in those countries made me want to be in a role where I could pay back all of that kindness by welcoming visitors to my home country. It’s also very exciting to work with and help people from all over world— learning about each unique culture and individual and also learning how very similar we all are at heart.

What’s your favorite part of your job in ISAO?

I enjoy having a tiny part in helping students create a better future for themselves through education, and I love the team in our office that I see every day.

How would some of your closest friends or family describe you?

TALKATIVE! And probably over-dramatic.

What are some things you value? And why?

Of course my family and friends. I’ve lived away from my family so much that my friends have filled a lot of family roles over the years; but family is always family, and they are always there no matter how long I live apart from them. I also value my faith and my church family. It’s like a compass for me. It grounds me. It guides me. It supports and encourages me. It reminds me to keep working toward the right goals.

Looking back at the past couple of weeks or months, what was something that recently fascinated/inspired you?

At this time of year, I am inspired by students who have worked hard and overcome difficult obstacles to get an education and to come to Kansas City. I’m especially inspired by the ones who come here with no friends or family here and have very few others (or even no others) from their home country to help them adjust and get settled in this new environment and education system.

2018-2019 International Student Ambassador Applications now available

Are you interested in serving UMKC as a resource for new International students?  If so, we would love to have you apply to be an International Student Ambassador for the 2018-2019 Academic Year.

Benefits of being an Ambassador:

Receive a Scholarship

Leadership Opportunities

Team Building Experiences

Help recruit new students

Plan fun activities for current students

View the 2018-2019 International Student Ambassador Application, remember it needs to be typed and submitted by the February 26, 2018 deadline!