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ISSS-BU News 01 October 2012 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

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CONTENTS:
  1. National Holidays in October
  2. Employment Walk-In Hours Change This Week
  3. Career Development Center Events This Week
  4. International Student Grant-in-Aid Applications Due Wednesday, October 3
  5. Next International Coffee Hour Friday, October 5
  6. International Health Insurance ID Cards and Insurance Information
  7. Do You Want to Improve Your Communication/Public Speaking Skills?
  8. Registrar’s Office Announces Important Deadlines for Fall 2012
  9. Attention Graduate Students: Binghamton Foundation Travel Grant Award for Fall 2012, Deadline is November 2
  10. Graduating in December? Planning to Apply for Practical Training? Now is the Time!
  11. Do You Have Travel Plans for Thanksgiving or Intersession? Planning a Cruise?
  12. U.S. Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery 2014 Begins Tuesday, October 2 at Noon
  13. Travel Outside the United States and Unpaid U.S. Parking Tickets
  14. How to Stay Safe From Stalking
  15. New Group Sessions Forming

1. National Holidays for October

The following countries are celebrating national holidays during the month of October:
China 1-Oct
Cyprus 1-Oct
Nigeria 1-Oct
Guinea 2-Oct
India 2-Oct
Germany 3-Oct
Republic of Korea 3-Oct
Lesotho 4-Oct
Uganda 9-Oct
Fiji 10-Oct
Equatorial Guinea 12-Oct
Spain 12-Oct
Somalia 21-Oct
Zambia 24-Oct
Kazakhstan 25-Oct
Austria 26-Oct
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 27-Oct
Turkmenistan 27-Oct
Czech Republic 28-Oct
Turkey 29-Oct


2. Employment Walk-in Hours Change This Week

Walk-In Hours for Employment questions and applications change this week! Starting Wednesday, October 3, the new day for Employment walk-in appointments will be every Wednesday from 1:30pm to 3:15pm. Please come to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to check-in. You will be seen on a first come, first served basis.

If your question is complicated and requires more than 5 minutes to answer, then you will want to make an appointment with a member of the ISSS Employment Team by visiting or calling the ISSS office at (607) 777-2510. Can’t get to the ISSS for an appointment? Send your questions via email to: intl.work@binghamton.edu

3. Career Development Center Events This Week

Graduate School Fair
Tuesday, October 2
11:00 AM-2:30 PM
University Union, Mandela Room

Representatives from over 140 graduate and professional schools will speak with students about their programs. View a list of participating schools here

Law Day
Co-sponsored by Pre-Law Advising
Wednesday, October 3
11:30 AM-2:30 PM
University Union, Mandela Room

Representatives from law schools from across the country will be available to speak with interested students. View the complete list of registered institutions here.

4. International Student Grant-In-Aid Applications Due Wednesday, October 3

Each semester, awards of up to $500 are made to a small number of international students who have a severe financial need. To be eligible, students must be in F-1 or J-1 status, have been in attendance at Binghamton University at least one year (began their studies at Binghamton University in Fall 2011 or earlier), document need, have no outstanding obligations to the university, and be full-time students in good standing.

Some students may find themselves in financial difficulty through no fault of their own. Examples can include reduced support from a sponsor, or unanticipated expenses. Applicants are strongly advised to carefully document their financial situation when submitting the application form, as there are always more students seeking assistance than there are funds.

Students with outstanding balances in their student account with the University should note that based on BU policy, any scholarship award will first be applied towards the balance on their student bill.

Applications are available now in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and must be submitted no later than Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

5. Next International Coffee Hour Friday, October 5

Good company! Free refreshments! Celebrate the beginning of the Fall season by coming to this month's International Coffee Hour on Friday, October 5 from 3:30-5pm in the University Union Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is The Watson School.

The Coffee Hour strives to be a space where the entire Binghamton University community, including international students, U.S. students, faculty/staff, and community members are welcome. The coffee hours are informal and provide an opportunity to meet and learn more about each other in a relaxed atmosphere. They are held on the first Friday of every month from 3:30pm-5pm. Each coffee hour has free hot and cold beverages and cookies, sponsored by a different department on campus.

6. International Health Insurance ID Cards and Insurance Information

BU international students enrolled in the University’s mandatory international health insurance plan for the Fall 2012 semester should have received an email message to their Binghamton.edu email accounts on Monday, September 24, 2012 from HTH Worldwide.com. The subject line of the message was: SUNY-Your Health Insurance ID Card.

Please open the email message if you have not already done so, make note of the certificate number assigned to you, and follow instructions to go the www.hthstudents.com website and access and print your health insurance ID card.

The only international students who would not have received an email message on September 24 are:

Sometimes, students have trouble accessing their insurance id cards, even when following the instructions in the HTH email. If you have a problem/question about your insurance ID card, please contact the ISSS health insurance team at intl.insure@binghamton.edu or come to health insurance walk-in hours Tuesdays from 10:15am to Noon.

For the Fall 2012 semester, your insurance dates back to 15 August 2012. The cost of the SUNY International Student Health and Accident Insurance is included in your tuition bill (INT’L. INS.”).

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 or visiting 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 intl.insure@binghamton.edu

7. Do You Want to Improve Your Communication/Public Speaking Skills?

Check out Binghamton University’s Public Speaking Skills Lab!

Students can make appointments to visit the lab for a variety of different reasons, including:

Every speaking session will be video recorded and followed by an assessment period with trained peer assistants. Students will also have the opportunity to view their sessions after they leave the lab as their video is emailed to them.

For additional information please visit our website www.binghamton.edu/public-speaking

Questions? Contact Tyler Lenga, Program Coordinator at tlenga@binghamton.edu

8. Registrar’s Office Announces Important Deadlines For Fall 2012

The Registrar’s Office has posted important deadlines for the Fall 2012 Semester at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/registrar/deadlines.html

Students who wish to withdraw from a course, change their grade option or apply for Fall 2012 graduation to complete the following steps by Friday, November 2:

• Withdrawals: You may drop a class, but since the add/drop deadline has already passed, a “w” will appear on your transcript for the course grade when you withdraw. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 2.

• Grade Option Changes: To have your grading option for a course changed (either from a letter grade to pass/fail or vice versa) you must print and complete the Grade Option Change form available at http://www2.binghamton.edu/registrar/students/course-registration/grade-option-change.html and drop it off at the Registrar’s Office in SW-109, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. by 4:45 p.m. Friday, November 2.

• Application for Undergraduate Degree for Fall 2012: Undergraduate candidates planning to graduate this semester must submit this online form available at

http://www2.binghamton.edu/commencement/fall/students/graduation-checklist.html

by 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 2.

9. Attention Graduate Students: Binghamton Foundation Travel Grant Award for Fall 2012, Deadline is November 2

Funds to support conference and research travel for graduate students are available through the Graduate School. You will find the information, instructions, dates, and application at the following webpage:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/grad-school/new-and-current-students/current-students/cost-aid-funding/travel-research-travel.html

The Deadline for submission of applications is November 2, 2012 for Fall travel

10. Graduating in December? Planning to Apply for Practical Training? Now is the Time!

Students in F-1 status who will be graduating in December and plan to apply for optional practical training (OPT) post graduation are reminded that it can take as long as three months to obtain their Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center. If you plan to begin employment as of January 2013 you should be submitting your paperwork as soon as possible. Application forms for optional practical training are available in the ISSS, or can be downloaded on line from:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/employment/index.html#opt

Employment cannot begin until you receive your EAD card.

Questions about your OPT application? Do you want your application materials reviewed? Come to Employment Walk-In Appointments every Wednesday from 1:30pm to 3:15pm or email your questions to intl.work@binghamton.edu .

11. Do You Have Travel Plans for Thanksgiving or Intersession? Planning a Cruise?

If you have travel plans for Thanksgiving or Intersession, whether within the United States or abroad, you’ll want to read the latest information on travel, published by the ISSS, at the following link:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/travel/travelplan.html

Planning a cruise? Read the special information just for you at this link:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/travel/cruise.html

12. U.S. Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery 2014 Begins Tuesday, October 2 at Noon

The annual Diversity Visa lottery (DV) run by the U.S. Government begins Tuesday, October 2 at 12 Noon. This program makes available up to 50,000 permanent resident immigrant visas by random selection through an annual diversity visa lottery.

For complete information on the Diversity Visa Lottery, please see the article published in the September 24, 2012 edition of ISSS-BU News

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/isss-bu-news/2012/sept242012.html#l5

13. Travel Outside the United States and Unpaid U.S. Parking Tickets

International students and other foreign nationals could have difficulty re-entering the United States if they are drivers who have unpaid U.S. traffic tickets on their driving record. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is able to view this information in their databases. You are strongly advised to pay your traffic tickets, especially moving violations.

While unpaid tickets will not subject you to arrest unless a warrant has been issued by a local municipality, you may be subject to a more intensive and lengthy immigration inspection if your record is not clear.

14. How to Stay Safe from Stalking

Safety is our goal! So be careful what information you post on the internet. Did you know that 1 in 4 females and 1 in 5 males in some colleges are stalked or harassed? Use gender neutral user id’s and don’t post too much or very specific information to online places such as blogs and websites like Facebook, MySpace, etc.

University guidelines on harassment can be found at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/student-handbook/rules.pdf.

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/

15. New Group Sessions Forming

A number of new groups are forming at the University Counseling Center. For more information contact the Counseling Center at 607-777-2772 or Sefali Bhutwala at bhutwala@binghamton.edu

Demystifying Relationships Group – a nine-session education group that provides students with information regarding common relationship issues (communication, negotiating boundaries, problematic patterns of interacting) as well as skills to overcome issues and improve the quality of their relationships. It is a group for individuals, not for couples. Will meet Wednesdays from 10:30pm to 11:45am beginning in early October.

Sexual Orientation Support Group – a group for anyone struggling with issues related to their sexual orientation, coming out to family and friends, concerns about the future, inner religious conflicts, etc. Contact the Counseling Center at 607-777-2772 to set up a screening appointment with one of the facilitators if you are interested in joining this group.

Healing and Grieving Group - Have you lost a loved one? Feel like there’s no one to talk to, no one to understand? Healing and grieving is a therapeutic support group for students who are dealing with loss and was created to help students feel less alone, more supported, and to find hope and meaning. If you are interested in a safe space to talk about your own loss, and are looking for ways to cope, call the Counseling Center at 607-777-2772 to set up a group screening appointment with Sefali Bhutwala.

Understanding Self and Others – This is an interpersonal group where men and women can focus on relationships with others, be it friends, romantic partners, co-workers, or family members. Common concerns include anxiety in social situations, difficulty making friends, assertiveness, beginning and ending relationships, and conflict with others. This group will help you learn that other students struggle with similar concerns, which can help you feel less alone. During group sessions, members will explore how they relate to others both inside and outside the group, to help build strong, healthy relationships. Will meet Wednesdays from 2:30pm to 4:00pm beginning in early October.

Anxiety 101 Group – This group is for students who want to learn more about anxiety and how to cope with it in a healthy and effective manner. This will include learning about what anxiety is, how it affects our bodies and minds, how maladaptive anxiety is maintained, and how it can be positively coped with and managed in a variety of different ways. Each group session will typically involve education provided by the group leaders and discussion/interaction among the group members and leaders, so willingness to participate is important. Additionally, group members must be able to commit to meeting once weekly for eight consecutive weeks. Meetings will take place Thursdays for 90 minutes. Contact the University Counseling Center, 607-777-2772 for more information.

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Last Updated: 10/1/12