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: We are happy to announce that classes have resumed as of today. Classes normally taught at the University Downtown Center have been relocated to the main campus in Vestal. Both Broome Transit and OCCT busses are running. Subscribers are urged to continue to check the BU Alerts webpage:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/alert/index.html The most recent alerts are at the top of the page.
Attention New Subscribers! Please note that all new students have been subscribed to ISSS-BU News under their Binghamton.edu e-mail account.
Reading ISSS-BU News is essential in order to be informed regarding changing U.S. immigration regulations. ISSS-BU News is published every Monday, and is also posted to the “ISSS-BU News” section of the ISSS website, http://isss.binghamton.edu
Some Guidelines for reading ISSS-BU News:
New readers will find that some weekly issues of ISSS-BU News may be longer than others. Subscribers are encouraged to scan the "Contents" list at the beginning of each issue, and then read the articles of greatest interest to them.
1. The ISSS Needs to Catch Up From Last Week, Your Patience is Appreciated
2. Have You Changed Your Address?
3. Attention F and J Students: Know Your SEVIS Rules!
4. English Conversation Pairs (for Non-native Speakers of English)
5. International Health Insurance Brochures Available in the ISSS and On-Line
6. Attention Graduate Students: Are You Considering Employment With a SUNY College or University?
7. Attention Summer 2011 and Fall 2011 Graduating Students! Fall Commencement is December 11, 2011
8. Are You Employed This Semester? Here's an Important Tax Tip for F-1s and J-1s!
9. Upcoming Career Fairs for Japanese-English Bilinguals
10. Study Skills
11. The Office of the University Ombudsman
Staff in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services were required to close the office when flood warnings were issued on Wednesday afternoon, September 7. Staff are just returning to work on Monday, September 12. Your patience is appreciated while staff catch up on email correspondence and requests/applications of all kinds that were received last week.
Do you have a new address? International Students in F and J status are reminded that reporting your change of address to the ISSS is a requirement under federal SEVIS regulations. The ISSS makes this requirement easy for you by providing a web form where you can easily report this information. Just visit: http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/changeofaddress/ for an easy-to-complete fillable form.
This week, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services will be in touch by e-mail with a number of international students to be sure that their Fall 2011 course registration is in compliance with federal SEVIS requirements. “SEVIS” stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, and is the federal tracking system that contains certain personal, educational and financial data on F and J students, J scholars and faculty, and dependents. All students need to know and comply with SEVIS regulations regarding course registration. These regulations are explained in the blue handout given to current students when they obtain a new SEVIS I-20, and were included in the Immigration and Tax Information Booklet (green cover) that was distributed to new students at Orientation: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/handbook/immigration/index.html
To briefly summarize the rules as they pertain to course registration:
To read the complete information sheet on SEVIS requirements for F and J students, visit:
To read the information sheet on Permissible Reasons Under F-1 Regulations to Register for Less Than a Full Time Course Load, visit: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/immigration/lesscourse.html
If you are like many Binghamton University ESL students, you may find that, for a variety of reasons, you have few opportunities outside of class to hear English being spoken and to speak it yourself. This lack of opportunities to practice English may slow down your learning of the language and perhaps prevent you from doing your best work in your courses. What can you do about this situation? One answer is to participate in the English Conversation Pairs Program.
In this program, a native English speaker and a non-native English speaker will join to form a conversation pair. Each pair will meet together approximately once a week, perhaps over lunch. These meetings will give the non-native speakers opportunities to practice spoken English and to ask questions about puzzling aspects of the language and American culture. In return, the native speakers will get a valuable chance to learn more about a culture different from their own.
There will be one organizational meeting Thursday September 22nd at 4:45 in the Old University Union Room 111, where you will meet your partner. After that, each pair will decide when and where they will meet. If you join this program, you should be committed to spending one hour a week in conversation with your partner, even if you are busy. You should also plan to call your partner sometimes to arrange your meetings; don’t let your partner do all the work!
To fill out an application online visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PDR2KVP
If you have any questions about this survey please contact the English Conversation Pairs Director Shannon Hilliker-VanStrander at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications are due by Friday September 16th!
The 2011-12 description of the International Health Insurance Policy is available in the ISSS as a brochure and also on line at this link:
The start date for this year’s policy was August 15, 2011. All eligible international students are insured under this plan. Health Insurance ID cards will be sent by email to your Binghamton.edu account during the fourth week of classes. Students with upcoming off-campus health care appointments who need their health insurance ID card sooner should send an email request to the International Health Insurance Team at email@example.com
Employment at a SUNY university or college that is not Binghamton University is considered off-campus employment. If you are in F-1 status, that means you must apply for and receive the appropriate authorization, usually Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), from the ISSS before you begin any employment activity at a different university or college. Students in J-1 status must also request written authorization from the ISSS. Remember: any position at the SUNY campuses in our regional area: SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Morrisville, Broome Community College or any other State University of New York institution is off campus employment. If you have questions please contact ISSS employment team at firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE you begin the employment.
Fall Commencement exercises will take place on Sunday, December 11, 2011. Students who graduated in Summer 2011 or who will graduate in Fall 2011 are invited to attend. The ceremony will be held in the Events Center beginning at 12 Noon. For complete information, visit:
If you are an international student in F-1 or J-1 status who is working on campus for Fall 2011, have you examined your paychecks carefully? Here is some important information for you. The information that comes with your paycheck may show that both federal and state income tax (or just federal income tax) are being withheld from your paycheck. This is correct, since students in F-1 or J-1 status do pay federal and state income taxes on money they earn through on-campus employment. However, if your paycheck information shows that social security tax and/or Medicare tax are being withheld from your paycheck, this may be an error! F-1 or J-1 students who have been in theUnited States in F-1 or J-1 status for five years or less do not pay social security or Medicare tax on employment earnings authorized by federal Immigration regulations, including on-campus employment. So, if you believe a mistake has been made, speak with someone in the appropriate payroll office, and have your pay stub with you. You are entitled to a refund of any social security or Medicare tax incorrectly withheld.
The rules are explained in IRS Publication 519: US Tax Guide for Aliens. To access a copy, go to: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf You need print only pages 1, 54 and 55.
DISCO International, organizer of the world's largest job fair for Japanese-English bilinguals, invite Japanese-English bilingual students to our upcoming Career Forums this fall.
6th annual LOS ANGELES CAREER FORUM
October 7th & 8th, 2011 (Fri. & Sat.)
Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa
*Special services available for LA Career Forum participants* http://www.careerforum.net/event/la/?lang=E
25th annual BOSTON CAREER FORUM
Nov. 11th - 13th, 2011 (Fri. - Sun.)
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (Boston, Massachusetts) http://www.careerforum.net/event/bos/?lang=E
Los Angeles/ Boston Career Forum are for anyone who is a Japanese-English bilingual(at minimum conversational level in both Japanese and English) and looking for a full-time or internship position.
Companies will be holding seminars as well as interviews at their booth during the event. Some companies may give out offers by the end of the event. Registration and attending the event is free.
For online registration and more info regarding the above, please go to:
Los Angeles Career Forum:
Boston Career Forum:
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
DISCO International looks forward to seeing you in L.A. and Boston!
Attention Undergraduates! Did you cruise through high school hardly having to crack open a book? Did your study skills serve you well in high school and now you’re concerned they may not be enough for BU? College is different. You may need to learn how to study. The UniversityCounselingCenterand Office of Services for Students with Disabilities may be able to help. Check out our websites: http://www2.binghamton.edu/ssd/ http://www2.binghamton.edu/counseling/
The University Counseling Center is located on the first floor of the Bartle Library Lobby,Room LN Room 1202. Telephone: 607-777-2772.
The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is located on the first floor of the (Old) University Union, Room 119. Telephone 607-777-2686.
11. The Office of the University Ombudsman
The Office of the University Ombudsman was created to encourage and support collaborative problem-solving among all members of the University community. The Ombudsman is committed to promoting a University culture that is ethical, respectful, inclusive and insistent upon fair process.
The University Ombudsman provides confidential, impartial and informal assistance to anyone with concerns related to work, school and life at Binghamton University. Informal mediation is also available and can be particularly helpful in interpersonal conflicts or when problems are not likely to be resolved through formal grievance procedures. The Office of the Ombudsman is independent of other organizational entities and is not affiliated with any academic or administrative unit.For more information, please contact the Office directly at 607-777-2388, or come to the office in the (old) University Union, Room 259 (one flight up from the Susquehanna Room.)
Should you wish to download the brochure or refer others to an electronic copy, please visit: http://www2.binghamton.edu/ombudsman/ .
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Last Updated: 4/10/12