Carnegie Mellon University

December 03, 2021

Greetings, Students & Scholars!

Don’t let finals turn you into a Grinch! Winter break is almost here, but first, we have to make it through finals week. Take a break from studying at one of these great events in Pittsburgh. Most importantly, good luck. We believe in you! We hope you enjoy this issue of the OIE “Friday Greetings” email.

OIE & CMU News & Events

Updated Travel Guidance

In case you missed it, OIE’s international travel guidance was recently updated, and a news article was posted regarding the U.S. government’s newly announced travel restrictions from some countries in Southern Africa. As the pandemic continues to impact international travel, we encourage community members to carefully consider international travel plans and the related personal risks. Stay up-to-date by frequently viewing CMU’s COVID-19 information and OIE’s news and updates via our website or Twitter.

OIE Staff Updates

OIE Associate Director Elena Gruzdeva has accepted a position with another university and her last day with CMU will be this Friday, Dec. 3. As Elena departs, we are welcoming two new Foreign Student and Scholar Advisors, Mary Ganska and Erica Drayer. With these changes to our team, we are taking this opportunity to update our foreign student and scholar advising model. Moving forward, advisors will work with departments/colleges as follows:

Judy van Rheenen: CFA, Dietrich, ETC, MCS, SCS undergraduates
Nick Hernandez: SCS graduate programs, RI scholars
Shannon O’Reilly: ECE, III, SCS scholars (other than RI)
Erica Drayer: BME, CEE, ChemE, CIT Interdisciplinary programs, CIT undeclared students, EPP, ESTP, ETIM, INI, MechE, MSE
Mary Ganska: Heinz, Tepper, CyLab

You can schedule an appointment with your OIE Foreign Student and Scholar Advisor online.

Connect with us on Social Media

Join us on LinkedIn and Twitter! OIE has officially made the switch to Twitter and LinkedIn. Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest announcements and all things OIE related. Join our LinkedIn group, and get connected with the OIE community! You can expect the same great content, including all things OIE, news and events, our Friday Greeting round-up, and more. As always, you can reach out directly to OIE by emailing us at We hope to see you there!

Our Pittsburgh Picks

Holidays at the Museums

Blue graphic banner with a dinosaur, painting, telescope and soup can, with the words Holidays at the Museums
Holidays at the museums, oh my! Take advantage of your free admission to many local museums using your CMU ID this December and check out their holiday events. Check out the stunning Hall of Architecture at the Carnegie Museum of Art, as it’s transformed into a winter wonderland. This exhibit features five soaring Fraser Fir trees, magnificently lit and adorned with hand-made ornaments. Or maybe you’ll want to catch the Laser Holiday Magic show at the Science Center. More information about specific events is available.

AWCommunity Day: Holiday Addition

Event graphic, with three women celebrating Kwanza, words AWCommunity Day Holiday Edition, 12/04/21, 12pm-3pm

Check out the August Wilson Center’s AWCommunity Day: Holiday Editions on Dec. 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Masks are required regardless of vaccination status. Proof of vaccination is required to enter the building to ensure the event is as pandemic safe as possible. This year’s events will be held outside in the Nancy & Milt Washington Plaza in front of the building. There will be food vendors and music outside, then venture inside for vendors selling jewelry, arts, candles, clothing and more. Performances include the AWC hip-hop campers, Brandon Terry’s Fusion Illusion Band, Kwanzaa educational workshop, Kwanzaa drummers and dancers, a choir and DJ! Afterward, take a walk through the free gallery and experience everything the center has to offer. To learn more about the Center and additional information about the event can be found here.

A Very Merry Pittsburgh

A photo of an ornate red chair infront of a snow flake backdrop with a sign for A Very Merry Pittsburgh above

Have you ever wondered what makes the holiday season in Pittsburgh unique? From now until Jan. 17, 2022, the Heinz History Center’s holly jolly exhibition, A Very Merry Pittsburgh, explores how Pittsburghers have celebrated major winter holidays, including Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa, through the years. Find out how holidays evolved in our region with a multimedia exhibit sure to transport you back in time. More information about museum hours and ticketing is available.

Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate

Picture of three hands holding cups of hot chocolate with large marshmallow’s in them

Looking for a quick pick me up mid-finals but maxed out on caffeine? Check out some of the best spots in Pittsburgh for a cup of hot cocoa! Whether you want to take a tour of the city chasing the perfect winter drink or just need a quick study break, these local spots will take a winter classic to a whole new level. Check out these great local spots.

Have an Event or Announcement for Friday Greetings?

If you have an event or announcement that you wish to submit for inclusion in OIE's Friday Greetings newsletter, please submit it to Information should be submitted by Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST for inclusion in the following Friday's newsletter.

CMU's Office of International Education distributed this email. You are receiving it because of your status as an international student or scholar.

Carnegie Mellon University
Office of International Education
5000 Forbes Ave, Cyert Hall, Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15213