Welcome! Many international students and scholars bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. when they move here to study at Georgia Tech. This can be an exciting opportunity for couples and families to experience life in the U.S., learn or practice English skills, and spend time in the great city of Atlanta! The pages in this section contain information that will be helpful during your time in the U.S.
GEORGIA TECH RESOURCES
Cultural Transitions is a forty-minute movie that examines the challenges and achievements experienced by international students and dependents after arriving in the U.S due to differences between their culture and U.S American culture. Topics discussed in the movie include: language barriers, lack of cultural knowledge, friendship building, time, space, religion, dating/relationships, and rules of law. Visit our webpage for more information.
The BuzzCard is a GT identification card that students/faculty/staff use to access buildings, use the recreation center (CRC), and utilize other services. It can also be used as a personal debit card with pre-deposited funds to purchase products and services throughout campus.
If you plan to use any of the facilities listed below, you must obtain a BuzzCard first. Immediate family members (age 18 and older) of a Georgia Tech full-time student, staff, or faculty member are eligible for a BuzzCard. Unfortunately, if a J-1 scholar is considered a Guest, his/her immediate family members are not eligible for a BuzzCard.
In order to apply, you must:
- Visit the BuzzCard office, located on the second floor of the Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech (in Tech Square on the corner of 5th St. and Spring St.) to fill out a gtID# Request application. The BuzzCard Center will generate a gtID# for you.
- Bring photo identification (such as a passport) and $30 for the BuzzCard fee.
- Spouses must provide proof of marriage.
Children must provide proof of age (must be 18 or older).
For more information, contact:
Technology Square, 2nd Floor of Barnes and Noble
The spouse of a Georgia Tech affiliate (student or scholar) may be able to use the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) for an additional membership fee in some cases, after the spouse has obtained a BuzzCard. Visit the Member Services Desk (near the front entrance of the CRC) for more information.
The Georgia Tech Women's Resource Center welcomes students' spouses to participate in our programs and services. The Center offers programs such as a leadership conference, discussion groups, and graduate student lunches. WRC also offer several outdoor activities each semester to introduce women to sports such as sailing or hiking. An informal dinner group for student spouses will be formed if there is enough interest. Spouses are also welcome to spend time at the Center volunteering, helping with programs, reading books, magazines or using our internet/computers.
International Spouse Support Group
The International Spouse Group is a space for spouses of Georgia Tech students who are looking for a community in Atlanta. Many of the members of our group have moved to Atlanta with their spouse who may be interning, doing a fellowship, or working on a PhD or other degree at Tech. The spouse group is a great place to meet other spouses, fellowship, and learn more about Georgia Tech, the surrounding Atlanta area, American culture, and one another!
The International Spouse Group meets on Thursdays in the Women's Resource Center (WRC) from 2-3:30 pm. The WRC is located in the Smithgall Student Services Building, Suite 131.
International spouses interested in joining the International Spouse Support Group listserv should email email@example.com. The email should include the spouse's name and preferred email address. The email should state that the spouse is interested in being added to the International Spouse listserv.
For more information on the International Spouse Support Group, please see the website at https://gtspousegroup.wixsite.com/gt-spouse-group.
The Georgia Tech Counseling Center may be able to provide Couple’s Counseling depending on availability of openings and the appropriateness of the couple for the services that they have available. A couple is eligible if at least one of the members of the couple is a currently enrolled Georgia Tech student. The session limits for Couple’s Counseling is the same as for Individual Counseling (i.e., 16 sessions).
To discuss the possibility of Couple’s Counseling, please schedule an Initial Consultation appointment. It is requested that both members of the couple complete paperwork and that the couple attend the Initial Consultation appointment together.
The Language Institute offers English 3- and 6-week short courses at a discounted rate of $110 per course for the spouses of international students. For information about current classes, please see the Language Institute website.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE RESOURCES IN THE COMMUNITY
Atlanta has a large international population, and there are many opportunities to learn or improve your English. All of the following organizations offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs. This is not a comprehensive list of programs in Atlanta, but it will help get you started.
Offers both part-time and full-time ESL courses through the Intensive English Program.
The library system offers free ESOL classes at several locations in the Fulton County area. For details about location and time of courses, visit the website.
Ponce de Leon Branch Tel: 404-885-7820
The library system offers free ESOL classes at several locations in the Dekalb County area. For details about location and time of classes, visit the website below.
Decatur Branch Tel: 404-370-8450
Various Adult Education Options
Various counties within the metropolitan Atlanta area offer Adult Education courses, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). For more information, please contact the county nearest you:
Contact: Paula Cohen-Tsanos
Phone: 678-594-8011 ext:245
Fulton County Adult Education
Contact: Tammy McConnell
Phone: 404-669-8090 ext:123
Contact: Brenda Thomas
CHILDREN: CHILDCARE AND SCHOOLS
Georgia Tech Daycare
Georgia Tech runs two daycare facilities: the R. Kirk Landon Learning Center and The Children’s Campus @ Georgia Tech (opening in the fall of 2012). Both are managed by Bright Horizons, and care for children from six weeks of age through preschool.
Resources Near Georgia Tech
The following list includes a few child care facilities near Georgia Tech. Please note, this list does not include all facilities or programs available in metropolitan Atlanta. For more information, please visit the websites listed above.
All Saints Day Care
Address: 644 West Peachtree (corner of North Avenue)
Tel: 404 881-3790
First Presbyterian Preschool
Address: 1328 Peachtree St. NE
Sheltering Arms at Centennial Place
Address: 385 Centennial Olympic Drive
There are several YMCA locations in the metropolitan Atlanta area. For a complete listing, visit the website listed below. The nearest YMCA branch to Georgia Tech is:
Centennial Place YMCA
555 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning provides a complete list of all child care and pre-kindergarten programs in the state.
The school year starts in August and ends in May. Georgia state law requires that all children attend school (or a home study program) from their 6th to 16th birthdays. Public kindergarten is available in every school system, but is not mandatory. Generally, a child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter public kindergarten, and six years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. Georgia also operates a public pre-kindergarten program for children who are four years old on or before September 1.
Many schools provide specialized programs for international students, such as programs for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
In general, a child’s parent or legal guardian must be a resident of the school district in order for the child to be enrolled in the school. Most students living near Georgia Tech will attend the Atlanta Public Schools, City Schools of Decatur, Fulton County Schools, Cobb County Schools, or Dekalb County Schools. Students living further from Georgia Tech may live in another district.
Each county/city school district has its own requirements and process for registration. Visit the website for your school district to learn what documents, immunizations, and screenings are required:
- Atlanta Public Schools Registration Information
- Fulton County School District Registration Information
- Cobb County School District Registration Information
- DeKalb County School District Registration Information
City Schools of Decatur Registration Information
ORGANIZATIONS AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Below is a description of various organizations that provide international programs and services in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The resources available may include: volunteer opportunities, public events and lectures, English as a Second Language training, and educational services. The listing is in alphabetical order.
AMIS offers many opportunities for international visitors including a city tour, a friendship program, a Thanksgiving and Christmas program, and a speaker's bureau. International students and scholars are given information about AMIS during orientation. For further information, please contact AMIS at:
Address: 3434 Roswell Road, NE, Atlanta, GA, 30305-1202
Association of Chinese Professionals
As the largest Chinese professional talent association in Atlanta, U.S., the Association of Chinese Professionals (ACP) is an independently registered, non-political, non-profit professional organization. ACP promotes cultural, economic, and technological cooperation and exchange between the US and China by providing services and opportunities for friendship, networking, and collaborations among its members and between members and their communities.
Address: P.O. Box 922436, Norcross, GA 30010-2436
The Bridging the Gap Project, Inc. strives to improve the quality of life in Georgia`s ethnically diverse communities by forming partnerships that overcome cultural barriers and promote understanding between residents, law enforcement, educators, and other service providers. Services include the following: interpretation / translation services, working with at-risk youth and gang prevention, diversity training, orientation sessions, and English classes.
Address: 2100 Parklake Drive, NE, Suite H, Atlanta, GA 30345
Center for Pan-Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS)
Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS) is a private non-profit organization. Its clear mission is to create comprehensive and culturally competent social and health services to counter-act problems that immigrant, refugee, and minority face. CPACS services Asian Pacific Islander communities in the Greater Atlanta area and the rest of the Southeast region in the United States.
Address: 3760 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA 30340
The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. The Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. The Center offers volunteer opportunities, as well as a variety of programs that are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the “News & Info” section of the website or email the Center.
Address: One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307
Tel: 404-420-5100 or 800-550-3560
Friends Among Nations organizes an International Women's Club. The Club offers free English classes, and special programs. The Friends Among Nations’ website and calendar can be found at www.fanatlanta.org. For more information, please contact Adria Motiwalla at 404-376-2249 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
MOVE (Mobilizing Opportunities for Volunteer Experience) is an organization at Georgia Tech that provides community service and volunteer opportunities. The organization consists of 16 committees that address a plethora of issues in addition to providing service opportunities throughout the year. The website provides a calendar of events, service links, and description of the various committees.
The Georgia Tech Women's Resource Center welcomes students' spouses to participate in our programs and services. The Center offers programs such as a leadership conference, discussion groups, and graduate student lunches. WRC also offer several outdoor activities each semester to introduce women to sports such as sailing or hiking. An informal dinner group for student spouses will be formed if there is enough interest. Spouses are also welcome to spend time at the center volunteering, helping with programs, reading books, magazines or using our internet/computers.
Hands on Atlanta is a non-profit organization that helps individuals, families and corporate and community groups find flexible volunteer opportunities at more than 400 service organizations and schools. Hands on Atlanta volunteers are at work every day of the year building community and meeting critical needs in schools, parks, senior homes, food banks, pet shelters, low-income neighborhoods and more. Hands on Atlanta provides a variety of volunteer projects including adult education and literacy, animal support, children and youth mentoring, disaster relief services, and environmental issues.
Address: 600 Means Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30318
The International Community (DeKalb County Charter) School provides refugee, immigrant and local children with a remedial to advanced international education at the elementary school level. The school explores and celebrates cultural differences in a challenging, nurturing and intentionally multi-ethnic environment. The students represent 30 countries and over 40 different language groups. IBPYP enables students to employ an investigative, inquiry-based approach to learning.
Address: 3260 Covington Highway, Decatur, GA 30032
Latin American Association
The Latin American Association is a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive transitional services for Latinos as they strive for self-sufficiency and an enhanced quality of life. The Latin American Association offers programs for family issues, housing, youth development, employment assistance, English language training, computer classes, and more.
Address: 2750 Buford Highway, Altanta, GA 30324
The Southern Center for International Studies (SCIS), founded in 1962, is a non-profit educational institution based in Atlanta, Georgia. The primary mission of SCIS is to internationalize the thinking of the American public. SCIS conducts conferences, provides information packages on various regions of the world, coordinates teacher training workshops, and provides information on international events. SCIS also offers volunteer opportunities and programs that are open to the general public.
Address: 320 W. Paces Ferry Road, NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Westminster International Friends
The Westminster Christian Fellowship Center offers many programs for international students and their families. Their website also includes a page about American manners and customs.
* Information compiled by using websites of international organizations and references from Globalizing Georgia; Atlanta Ethnicity Atlas and Multicultural Directory of Georgia 2003-2004. Duchon, D.A., Hallisey Hendric, Elaine, Walcott, Susan M., Kart, Jeremy S. Georgia State University. CARA Publications. 2003.
ATLANTA NEWS & EVENTS
The AJC provides daily coverage to events in the local Atlanta area as well as nationally and internationally. Every Thursday, the AJC publishes an “Atlanta and the World” section inside the newspaper that details international events taking place in the metropolitan area. For more information, contact the AJC.
Address: 72 Marietta Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: 404-526-5151 or 800-846-6672
The Creative Loafing is a weekly newspaper that provides information on events taking place in the metropolitan Atlanta region. The coverage includes theatre and performing arts, live music, visual arts, speakers, and other special events. The Creative Loafing is free, and can found at many local restaurants and shops in the Atlanta area.
Learn more about events, restaurants, and things to do in the Atlanta area.
Learn more about attractions throughout Georgia.
YOUR RIGHTS & THE LAW
ACLU: Know Your Rights
Everyone has basic rights under the U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws. Learn more here about what your rights are and what to do when your rights are violated.
Depending on where you’ve lived in the past, you may or may not have had to beware of and deal with getting swindled. Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. Here’s what it may look like in the USA and how you can handle it.
There are certain areas of the law that are beyond the scope of the Office of International Education. In these cases, OIE can lend you general support and advice, but you may also need to seek the help of an attorney to properly handle your legal situation. Choosing a good attorney is an important decision and we have provided you with critical information to help you navigate your options. Please visit our webpage for more information.
Please click the links below for more information on U.S. laws surrounding:
Domestic Violence Resources
Victims of domestic violence are protected under both federal and state laws, and may seek relief in civil and criminal court. If you are experiencing domestic violence, please visit Georgia’s Coalition Against Violence website for resources and support. You may also call the 24-Hour Statewide Hotline: 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836).
Part-Time F-2 Study Benefits
If you are an F-1 or M-1 student with children and/or spouses in the United States as F-2 or M-2 dependents, your dependent may study part-time in any certified program at a school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), so long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 or M-1 student. Please visit this website for more information on part-time study. Please visit the Study in the States website for more information on other F-2 benefits.
While making progress towards their degree, F students and their dependents are eligible to leave the U.S temporarily and return to continue their studies. In order to re-enter the U.S, F students (and their dependents, if any) are required to show a valid signature on I-20 and relevant documents at the port of entry. Please visit our webpage for more information.
VARIOUS RESOURCES FOR YOUR LIFE IN ATLANTA
Housing Around GT
Georgia Tech is located in Midtown, an area north of Downtown Atlanta. Many apartments or other housing options are available within walking distance of campus and/or on the GT shuttle routes or city bus/railway routes. As with all cities, housing options vary from neighborhood to neighborhood as does the expense, safety and convenience of the neighborhood. Please visit our webpage for more information.
Visit our webpage to learn more about transportation in Atlanta as well as obtaining a driver’s license and purchasing a car.
Georgia Tech is located near some the of top hospitals and urgent care centers in the state of Georgia. If you need after-hours care, you have convenient options available to you. If you feel you are experiencing a life or limb threatening emergency and need an ambulance, please call 911. Visit the GT Health Services webpage for more information.
Local Nearby Grocery Stores
725 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
950 W Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309
International Grocery Stores
Buford Highway Farmer’s Market - Korean, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese,Eastern
European, African, Jamaican, and Indian
5600 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30340
Super H Mart -Korean/ Asian
2550 Pleasant Hill Rd #300, Duluth, GA 30096
Dekalb Farmer’s Market - European, African, Asian and
3000 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
Worship Around Atlanta
Please click below for more information regarding various worship opportunities in the Atlanta area:
Buddhism: Temples and centers in the Atlanta area.
Christianity: Churches close to Georgia Tech.
Judaism: Rohr Chabad House at Georgia Tech and Georgia State.
Hinduism: Hindu Temple of Atlanta.
Islam: The Al-Farooq Masjid is the largest in Atlanta and is within walking distance of campus.
Banking & Loans
Visit the following webpages for more information on: