me 2014By guest blogger, and international student advisor, Takhmina Maralbaeva

In anticipation of the International Women’s Day on March 8, this blog entry is focused on women and the resources MSU has to assist them. Whether you are an international student, scholar or dependent, you may have questions about how MSU can help meet your needs. For example, if you are pregnant and about to have a child, where do you start looking for child care services? If you were assaulted, how do you find a professional who can help you and will keep it in confidentiality? If you want to develop your leadership skills, where do you find a workshop or seminar to attend that would meet your needs? MSU provides a variety of resources for women to address these and many other issues.   Please take some time to explore these resources with me.

The aptly named Women’s Resource Center “serves as the first point of contact for women’s issues and information” at MSU.  They offer services ranging from communication skills development seminars to self-defense workshops. You can follow them on Twitter, visit their Facebook page, or you can go to their website and see the list of upcoming events.  Most of their events are open to the public and have online registration.

The MSU Safe Place program provides emergency shelter, counseling and advocacy to victims of stalking and relationship violence.  All their services are confidential and free of charge. Visit their website for more information about the services they provide.

If you feel overwhelmed by your current workload or depressed because of this long and cold winter, you may notice that not only your mood and wellbeing are being affected by it, but it also negatively affects your academic performance and relationships with loved ones.  The MSU Counseling Center has professional staff that can help to address these issues and many others, all while keeping your information confidential.  Visit their website for more information.  They also have the Sexual Assault Program which provides crisis intervention and advocacy to victims of rape and sexual assault.  If you or someone you know needs this service, please call their 24-hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line at (517)372-6666.

The MSU Family Resource Center is a great starting point for those of you who have children and are looking for schools and child care services in the area.  They also aim to help MSU employees, students and their families maintain a healthy balance between family, work, and studies.  Visit them online.

These are just some of the resources MSU has to offer.  If you know of others that you think would be helpful, please email maralbae@msu.edu and we will post them here.

Finally, please note that we intend to organize a workshop later this semester to focus on issues of health and wellbeing for international women.  Possible topics for the workshop include: how to navigate U.S. health care system, the difference between urgent care and primary physician clinic, learning common health terms such as PCP, OB/GYN , and Pap smear. The event will be open to students, scholars and dependents.  Please look for dates in OISS weekly email.

Take care and have a wonderful March!