ISSS-BU News 10 October 2011 ISSS-BU News
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: Today is Columbus Day in the United States. Banks and post offices are closed, as are schools for grades kindergarten through 12. However classes at Binghamton University are in session, and many university offices, including the ISSS, are open.
We hope that our readers are enjoying the fall colors as you view the hills that surround the campus. This is one of the prettiest times of the year, and the colors will remain for two-three more weeks, so take a few minutes to stop and enjoy the view.
1. Remember to Download and Print Your International Health Insurance ID Card
2. Conflict Resolution for the 21st Century Workshop for Students on Thursday, October 13
3. Plan Now for Mid-Term Exams
4. Dropping Courses and Immigration Implications
5. Lecture on the Inca Calendar, Tuesday October 11
6. Opportunity For Undergraduate and Graduate Students to Participate in Doctoral Research!
7. This Week’s Campus and Community Connections Newsletter
8. Are You Working On-Campus on the State Payroll? Check Your Address for Accuracy!
9. Fall Commencement on Facebook
10. Safe Dating
11. Latest Information on H-1B Cap Count
1. Remember to Download and Print Your International Health Insurance ID Card
All registered international students at Binghamton University are automatically enrolled for the SUNY International Student Health and Accident Insurance policy at the start of each semester, unless you are a graduate student receiving health insurance as an employee benefit. For the Fall 2011 semester, your insurance coverage began 15 August 2011. The cost of the SUNY International Student Health and Accident Insurance is included in your tuition bill.
Information on how to retrieve your health insurance ID card is sent to you as an email message to your Binghamton.edu email address by the Health Insurance Company, HTHWorldwide.com The e-mail provides instructions on how to go to the http://hthstudents.com website to download your health insurance ID e-card. Those emails have now been sent, with the subject “SUNY-Your Health Insurance ID Card” from HTHWorldwide.com
When you receive the e-mail, please make sure that you read the instructions carefully and download your health insurance ID e-card. Once you print the insurance ID e-card you will want keep this ID card in your wallet.
For further information, please visit the “Health Insurance section of the ISSS webpage, http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/index.html Review How to Use Your International Student Health Insurance. If you need to locate a doctor or health care facility, review Finding a Participating Doctor or Hospital.
If you have questions about your health insurance coverage, or about a billing for services you receive from a doctor’s office or hospital, request an appointment with Terry Creeden, the International Health Insurance Coordinator by calling the ISSS office for an appointment, 607-777-2510. Terry and Lorraine Medionte, the International Health Insurance Assistant, also have walk in hours every Tuesday from 10:15am until 12 noon. You may e-mail Terry and Lorraine at firstname.lastname@example.org
BU students are invited to come learn global, cross-cultural communication skills for life at Binghamton University – and beyond!
The Workshop will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 pm in Old University Union Room 252 (Upstairs from the Susquehanna Room)
This lively, interactive workshop is an introduction to conflict resolution from a cultural and linguistic perspective. Students will learn basic conflict resolution skills and the language needed to use those skills in real life. Students will also discuss conflict resolution in the U.S. and in their various cultures. Topics to be covered include:
The presenter is Barrie J. Roberts, Esq., LL.M., MA TESOL from the UC Berkeley Summer English Language Institute (SELI)
For more information on this topic, visit: Mediation as a Second Language www.mslworld.net
This program is sponsored by the Office of the University Ombudsman and the English as a Second Language Program.
It is almost mid-October and at Binghamton University that means it is also time for midterm exams. In most classes, midterm exams are a major component of your grade. Do not worry too much, there are plenty of ways to prepare and be successful!
Meet with Your Professors or Teaching Assistants:
If you are concerned about any of your course material or are unsure of your understanding, ask your professor or teaching assistant for an appointment time. You can then meet with them, ask your questions and come to a better understanding of what is confusing you.
Tips from Successful International Students:
This website provides tips from successful international students to help you survivemidterm exams(academically and emotionally!)
Plan Your Time:
Waiting to the last minute is never a good idea when you need to prepare for an exam. Planning how you will use your time will help you prepare and be less stressed. Plan time for study and schedule breaks, or time for a little fun. Remember, sleep is an essential part of preparing for a mid-term exam!
This website has a calendar you can print out to use to plan your time before midterm exams.
You can also use the calendar function in Google to create a study schedule. Open your Bmail account, look at the top of the page to find the calendar function.
Visit the Discovery Centers:
Below you will find a link to the Discovery Center. If you are an undergraduate student, then at a Discovery Center you can learn about study groups and tutoring services. Don't forget, Binghamton University has many resources for academic support!
The last day to withdraw from a course for the Fall 2011 semester is Friday, October 28. Withdrawing from a course means that a grade of “W” will be entered on your transcript.
However, withdrawing from a class may have immigration consequences if the course is needed for you to be considered a full time student. ISSS reminds all international students in F-1 and J-1 status that U.S. federal regulations require that they be registered for a full-time course load as determined by their academic level and program.
What constitutes a full-time course load varies according to academic level.
Full Time Course Load:
|Exchange Students||12 credits per semester|
|Undergraduates||12 credits per semester|
|Graduate Master's: completion of less than 24 credits in your program (Class G1)||12 credits per semester|
|Graduate Master's: Completion of 24 credits or over in your program (Class G2)||9 credits per semester|
|Graduate Master’s students who are course completed and need only project or thesis to complete program||1 credit or more per semester, plus additional credits added by The Graduate School for full-time certification at 9 credits|
|Graduate PhD students: Master’s done and have begun doctorate (Class G3)||9 credits per semester|
|Graduate PhD students: Course completed or advanced to candidacy and engaged in pre-dissertation or dissertation research (Class G4)||1 credit or more per semester, plus additional credits added by The Graduate School for full-time certification at 9 credits|
Special Note for Graduate Students: Graduate students (both master's and PhD) who are course-completed and register for thesis, project, pre-dissertation, dissertation or other course rubrics that are eligible to be certified as full time even though the number of credits will be below the normal full-time course load do not need special permission from the ISSS for a reduced course load. Instead, such students must submit the Graduate School's "Certification of Full-Time Working Towards Degree Status For Students Not Receiving Funding” OR “Certification of Full-Time Working Towards Degree Status Funded Students Only” to their department each semester for filing with the Graduate School.
A graduate student who can be considered as “full-time” with fewer than 9 credits (such as a student taking thesis or dissertation credit) should still show as 9 credits in BU Brain because additional credits of GRAD 700 (if not funded) or GRAD 701 (if funded) will be added by the Graduate School to bring the student to 9 credits, once the student submits the required “Certification of Full-Time Working Towards Degree Status Form.”
There are some very limited exceptions to the full-time course requirement, including being in your final semester prior to graduation, having a medical condition, or having academic difficulty due to documented English language difficulty or course placement problems. Under Federal SEVIS regulations, these exceptions require prior approval from the ISSS before you can withdraw from the course. For complete information, stop by the ISSS to obtain a handout on “Permissible Reasons Under F-1 Regulations to Register for Less Than a Full Time Course Load,” or view the handout on the ISSS website at:
The most common violation of F and J status is failure to sustain a full-time course load through the end of the semester. A few students drop below the minimum number of credits needed to be full-time without prior permission, a smaller number of students withdraw from all courses late in the semester.
These same students may return to full course loads the following semester. However, they are all in violation of F-1 and J-1 status rules, because returning to a full-time course load does not "fix" the problem of having been less than full-time the previous semester.
The penalty for a status violation, like the ones described above, is loss of all F-1 benefits, including the right to be employed on or off campus. To restore benefits and return to legal status, the student must pay a $290 fee and apply for reinstatement with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This application is processed through the office of International Student and Scholar Services.
Obviously, a status violation is a very serious matter. Avoid violating the terms of your status, and come to the ISSS whenever you have a question or a concern regarding F-1 or J-1 issues, including the full-time course rule.
Professor Tom Zuidema (emeritus at U. of Illinois) will present a lecture on the Inca Calendar on
Tuesday, October 11, in Science 1 Room 149 at 7:00 PM.
Dr. Zuidema is surely the foremost living scholar of Inca civilization. He was recently awarded the "Orden del Sol" by the president of Peru, the highest civilian honor given in that country. The award was in conjunciton with his newest book,
El Calendario Inca: Tiempo y Espacio en la Orgtanización del Cuzco. La Idea del Pasado.
Tom is a Dutch anthropologist, trained in the structuralist tradition, at the University of Leiden. His has studied Peru and Inca culture since the 1950s and his bibliography is extensive. He has brought a series of ground breaking new understandings to the study of the Incas. Please come to this exciting lecture, and for subsequent discussions.
Jiangyuan Zhou is a doctoral candidate in Graduate School of Education at Binghamton University.
Currently she is working on a research on communication and learning, and hopes to provide practical suggestion to enhance the learning through effective communication.
She is fully certified through Human Subjects to conduct her research and she needs to recruit BU international students as the participants. Each participant will communicate with a teacher and learn several English vocabularies, and after that, take a quick survey and quiz about their learning process. The whole process will last about fifteen to twenty minutes.
If you are interested to participate in the research or have any further questions, please contact Jiangyuan at email@example.com. Her office is at Academic Building B – G15 and her office phone number is (607) 777-3916.
Thank you in advance for your participation!
The latest Campus and Community Connections newsletter has been posted at:
The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) publishes Campus and Community Connections to provide BU students with information on ways to participate in activities both on campus and in the local community, including:
* Upcoming Campus & Community Events
* Volunteer & Service Opportunities
* Internships (Credit & Non-Credit)
* Community-Based Research Project
Previous newsletters are archived at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/campusconnect.html
For more information on the Center for Civic Engagement, visit http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/
Annual W-2 statement of earnings forms will be mailed directly to faculty, staff and student home addresses in January, 2012. In order to be sure the mailing is successful, the Office of Human Resources needs to confirm that home addresses are correct in their systems. All faculty, staff and students should check the address as recorded on their paycheck to be sure it is accurate as of the check of 10/12/2011. If you need to make any changes, please report this to the department or office that employs you and they will submit the necessary Oracle personal data change form to assure the change is made to your record to allow for the timely arrival of your W-2 form. This form is an essential document needed to complete your income tax forms.
Are you attending Fall Commencement? Join the Facebook Event to stay up to date on the latest Commencement details: http://on.fb.me/pl3DSr
Healthy relationships are built upon a foundation of mutual respect, trust, and support. If you think that you or someone you know might be involved in an unhealthy relationship, the University Counseling Center can help.
The University Counseling Center is located on the first floor of the Bartle Library Lobby, Room LN Room 1202. Telephone: 607-777-2772. http://www2.binghamton.edu/counseling/
Our readers who are familiar with the H-1B “specialty occupations” visa know that October 1, 2011 was the first day of the U.S. Government’s federal fiscal year, and also the earliest start date for any H-1B petitions subject to the visa “cap” or limit. Employers have been filing H-1B petitions with October1 start dates with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) since April 1, 2011. The H-1B visa is for foreign nationals with bachelor’s degrees or higher who have been offered professional employment by US employers.
When the U.S. economy was stronger, the available number of H-1B visas was always used up prior to the October 1 start date. But, that has not been true for the last few years.
The most recent H-1B update was published two weeks ago, on Friday, September 23, 2011.
USCIS reports that approximately 36,300 H-1B cap-subject petitions (out of 65,000 available visas) and approximately 17,700 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption (out of 20,000 available visas) had been filed. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.
USCIS provides regular updates on the processing of FY2011 H-1B petitions. The updates can be found on the USCIS’ Web site at www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count
For full details about H-1B, please refer to the portal link below, which is from the USCIS website.
General Information on H1-B:http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=73566811264a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=73566811264a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD
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Last Updated: 4/10/12