Virtual Front Desk Advising


Virtual Front Desk Drop-Ins

OISS hosts virtual front desk drop-ins to answer students’ general questions and provide immediate support from anywhere! If you wish to instantly get in touch with an OISS staff member, see the schedule below. 


  1. Review the schedule to see when Front Desk Drop Ins are offered. 
  2. If you're outside the US, use a time converter tool like this one to check the time of the drop in session. (OISS advisors are located in Santa Barbara, CA.)
  3. Click this link to enter the Drop Ins zoom room. 
  4. Type general questions into the zoom chat - avoid sharing personal information
  5. Wait for the advisor to answer your question.

Calculating Time Zone Differences

If you are currently located in a time zone different from Santa Barbara (U.S. Pacific Time), then we know it can be tricky to calculate the time zone difference. To ensure that you attend your classes, advising appointments, and drop-in hours at the correct time, we highly encourage you to use technology! 

You can simply ask the search engine of your choice what time it is in Santa Barbara, or you can also use a time converter tool like this one for accuracy!

Time Zone Converter Tool

When Are Virtual Front Desk Drop-ins Offered?

Below you will find our current virtual front desk drop-ins offering! Click on the button to open up a PDF version of the schedule. From there, you can click on the link to enter the Zoom Room. Please note that the virtual front desk drop-in schedule is subject to change based on advisor availability. We recommend that you do not save the schedule, as it can change. Instead, bookmark this page into your internet browser's bookmarks or favorites list to access the most updated schedule. Finally, if you are in a different time zone than U.S. Pacific/California time, we urge you to use a time zone converter tool like this one so that you "drop in" to our virtual front desk at the correct time.

Winter 2022 virtual drop in schedule

What does “Drop In” mean? 

These sessions are called, “Drop Ins” because students do not need to reserve a time or date to attend. No RSVP is required, so students can drop in whenever it is convenient for them.


How do I join? 

Use this link to enter the Front Desk Drop Ins zoom room:

When students enter the zoom room, their cameras will be off and their audio will be muted. Students will only be able to communicate with the advisor through the zoom chat. The advisor will answer questions audibly or through the zoom chat. 

How will questions be answered? 

General questions can be typed into the zoom chat section. The advisor will answer questions in the order in which they are received in the zoom chat. Questions should be answered relatively quickly, but it depends on how many questions are posted in the chat. Please note that all chat submissions are visible to all students in the zoom room and there may be several other students in the zoom room at once. This is a group advising session open to all students. Please avoid putting personal information, such as your PERM number, in the zoom chat. 

What questions will be answered? 

We invite students to bring their general questions to a virtual group advising session. A general question is not specific to an individual student; rather, it is widely applicable to many students.

An example of a general question is, “What is required in a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) application?” All F-1 students can be eligible for CPT and the CPT application requirements are the same for all students; therefore, the question is general in nature. An example of a personal question is, “I took a gap quarter and returned to the US with a new initial I-20; am I eligible this quarter for CPT?”

The answer to this question depends on the student’s particular SEVIS record and situation; therefore, this question is personal in nature.

If students begin asking personal questions during Drop Ins, they will be directed to schedule an appointment with an advisor. Appointments with advisors are typically available within a few business days.