An electronic news service for international students and scholars, owned by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services atBinghamtonUniversity, State University of New York
Visit ISSS on the Web! http://isss.binghamton.edu
Editor's Note: The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will be installing a new data base system December 6-8, 2011. On those three days, ISSS will not be able to access the Federal SEVIS database which produces I-20s and DS-2019s. It is anticipated that following a successful installation, production of I-20s and DS-2019s will resume on Friday, December 9, 2011.
Please note that on Thursday, December 8, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services will be closed from 11:45am to 1:30pm for a worker appreciation luncheon. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Classes for the Fall 2011 semester end this Friday, December 9. ISSS-BU wishes all of our student subscribers success with their academic work as the semester draws to a close.
Graduating this month? We hope to see you at the International Student Graduation Reception on Saturday, December 10. Please see article number 1 for the link to the response form.
1. Fall 2011 International Student Graduation Reception This Saturday, December 10
2. It’s Time! Research Papers, Presentations, Final Exams - How to Survive
3. Farewell/Retirement Reception for President C. Peter Magrath Tuesday, December 6
4. Festival of Lights, Holiday Foods and Performances on December 7
5. Holiday Curtailment Dates for International Student and Scholar Services: Don't Delay in Getting Your Paperwork Completed
6. Fall 2011 Grades Information
7. Walk-In Hours for Health Insurance Questions in the ISSS
8. 2012 Orientation Advisor Applications Now Available
9. SEVIS Compliance for Students Not Returning for Spring 2012
10. Important Off-Campus Work Authorization Reminders!
11. A Reminder About Optional Practical Training EAD Cards
12. Important Reminder from Human Resources
13. Grades of Incomplete from Previous Semesters
Students who are graduating or completing their programs at the end of the Fall 2011 semester have been invited to attend the fourth annual Fall International Student Graduation Reception on Saturday, December 10, 2011 in the University Union Susquehanna Room. Today is the posted deadline for responding, but we will continue to accept replies beyond today to our on-line form.. Go to: http://www.binghamton.edu/isss/gradreception/invite.html to let the ISSS staff know that you will be attending.
Everyone feels concern, even panic, as we approach the end of the semester. Preparation and planning are essential to success when the date of an important exam, presentation or research paper is near. International students who have been at Binghamton University for more than one year have suggestions to help you prepare.
For strategies and suggestions to help you manage your time and your emotions:
1. Check out the Surviving Finals section of our Getting Good Grades website for strategies to help you prepare and suggestions to help you manage your time and your emotions:
2. Some of you may have research papers to write. If you have not already done so review the guidance on our website, How to Write a Good Research Paper:
3. For guidance or help with time management or stress you can make an appointment to speak with a counselor by calling the Counseling Center at 607-777-2772. You may also find it helpful to review one of the pamphlets on the website:
Best wishes for success!
President Magrath’s Farewell/Retirement Reception is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the University Union Old Union Hall. This celebration is open to the entire campus – faculty, staff and students and we would like to make sure that no one is left out of the festivities. You may stop by at any time during the reception hours.
The Multicultural Resource Center invites students, staff and faculty to attend the third annual “Festival of Lights” celebrating the many holidays at this time of year.
The event will take place on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm in the UU Mandela Room. The program begins with presentations regarding various holidays and student performances. The event features a wide variety of holiday foods, a jazz band and an array of holiday tablings by various residential communities and cultural groups.
This event is free, educational and fun!
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services, along with most other university offices, will be participating in what is traditionally known at the University as the "holiday curtailment" period. The official holiday curtailment starts at the close of business on Friday, December 23, 2011 with offices re-opening on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. During this period, there will be no mail delivery into or out of offices. Voice mail, e-mail and fax will be monitored periodically, but not every day.
International students and scholars who have paperwork that needs to be processed by the ISSS should note these dates and anticipate that after Friday, December 23, there will be a wait until January 3 before work resumes. It is strongly recommended that any requests for documents be made no later than Wednesday, December 14 to assure timely processing. Remember not to wait until the last minute!
Grades for Fall 2011 courses are generally posted by faculty 72 hours after the last class or the final exam for a course (whichever is later), but they may not appear on your record until the week after finals. Some faculty choose to post grades on Blackboard, but until they are available for viewing in BU BRAIN, the grade has not been officially recorded. Students can access their grades as soon as they have been processed by the Registrar’s Office by visiting BU Brain at: http://bubrain.binghamton.edu
Note: If an MG (Missing Grade) or an I (Incomplete) is noted on your transcript, your degree will not be conferred until you are given a final grade. Contact the instructor of the course with questions.
No appointment needed! ISSS staff is available every Tuesday between 10:15 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to help you with questions or problems you are having with doctor bills, health insurance claims, correspondence from health care providers, or any other health insurance related issue. General questions are welcome too!
Can’t stop by during walk-in hours? Then you can schedule an individual appointment with the Health Insurance Team, or send your question by email to email@example.com
Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of students and their families? Are you looking for a leadership opportunity for the summer of 2012? Then apply to be an Orientation Advisor! Applications are now available on the New Student Programs website at http://www2.binghamton.edu/orientation/staff/selection.html
General interest meetings will be held from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, and from 3-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, in UUW-325. Applications are due by Wednesday, Feb. 22. For more information about the process, visit our website or stop into our office in the Chenango-Champlain Collegiate Center (C4) Room 101.
Students not returning to Binghamton University for the Spring 2012 semester need to complete a departure form with the ISSS, unless they will be on optional practical training. The departure form can be completed on the web by visiting:
Those needing to complete a departure form include:
The ISSS wants to remind students applying for work authorization (Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, Academic Training and Off-Campus Employment Based on Economic Hardship) that you may not begin employment until you receive the appropriate work authorization:
Beginning employment in advance of receiving the appropriate work authorization is a VIOLATION of immigration regulations governing F-1 and J-1 students and may have VERY SERIOUS consequences, including the revocation of your valid immigration status.
Please be sure that you allow adequate processing time for all work authorization applications. Normal processing time, once the ISSS receives a completed application, is approximately 7-10 business days.
If you have questions or concerns about employment-related issues, please contact the ISSS employment team firstname.lastname@example.org
F-1 students who have obtained authorization for Optional Practical Training from the USCIS and who used a mailing address other than the ISSS Office for their Employment Authorization cards are reminded to please bring their EAD cards to the ISSS so that we can make a photocopy for your files. Having a photocopy in the ISSS could become very important to you in the future, if we need to verify your F-1 status or if the card is lost or stolen.
International students who have jobs on campus (GA positions, TA positions, RA positions and hourly wage assignments) are reminded to be sure to copy the appropriate Human Resources Office on campus for any change of U.S. address. Be sure to look at your address on your most recent pay stub. If it is not accurate, report it to your department or office where you work so that the address can be updated in the Oracle Personnel System by your department submitting a Personal Data Change Smart Form. If you are on any payroll, your change of address is needed so that you can receive your W-2 Wage and Tax Statement forms in late January, as well as any checks that may be coming to you if you are leaving at the end of this semester.
Also, if you have obtained a social security number since starting work, it is essential that you report your social security number to your payroll office for W-2 purposes. If you are uncertain whether or not this is a problem for you, check your most recent pay stub, and look to see if your social security number as well as your current address are included properly.
International students are reminded that if you received a grade of “Incomplete” for any course that you took for the Spring 2011 semester that ended in May 2011, and you have not yet submitted the required work for the course, the incomplete grade will automatically convert to “withdrawn” for graduate students and “failure” for undergraduate students after December ends. If the course was being counted towards your full-time registration, conversion of the incomplete grade to W will effectively place you in violation of your F-1 or J-1 status. You are urged to either complete your work by the deadline, or request that your professor file for an extension of your incomplete. Do not place your immigration status in jeopardy!
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Last Updated: 3/13/12