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ISSS-BU News 06 August 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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Editor’s Note: Staff in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services will be unavailable on Tuesday, August 7 from 11:30am to 1:30pm while they attend a University event.

CONTENTS:
1. Arrival of New International Students
2. Leadership Volunteers Needed - Fall 2012 International Student Orientation
3. Message from Binghamton University Emergency Management
4. Employment Walk-In Appointment Hours Are Cancelled for Tuesday, August 7
5. OCCT Summer Service Ends Friday, August 10, Fall Service Begins Thursday, August 30
6. Use the On-Line Form If You Need an Adjustment of Your International Health Insurance Fee
7. Does a F-1 or J-1 Student Need a Social Security Number Before Beginning Employment?

1. Arrival of New International Students

International Student Orientation begins in three weeks, on Monday, August 27. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services thanks the many students who will be assisting our new arrivals. International Student Orientation check-in will be in the University Union Old Union Hall from 9:30am to 2:30pm on August 27. Orientation information and registration is now open. The link to orientation information and orientation registration is: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/orientation/index.html. There will be different orientation schedules for graduate students, undergraduate students, exchange students and Dual Diploma students from Turkey. All of the orientation schedules will be posted very soon.

The orientation program features special presentations on the immigration regulations that all new students are required to know, as well as meetings with academic advisors and the opportunity to register for classes. We wish our new students "welcome" and much success with their academic program.

Although Orientation is still three weeks away, many new international students have begun to arrive on campus. If you happen to meet a new student, please be sure to direct them to the office of International Student and Scholar Services. Although ISSS will not be photocopying visa documents until Orientation, ISSS is recording new student arrivals and distributing their very helpful early arrival information sheet. ISSS looks forward to welcoming a record entering class of new international students this Fall!

2. Leadership Volunteers Needed - Fall 2012 International Student Orientation

Are you interested in helping new international students during Orientation and adding Leadership and U.S. Culture Training experience to your resume?

There is still time to sign up to be a Leadership Volunteer!

Leadership Volunteers are a select group of Binghamton University students, who join ISSS staff to welcome new international students during Fall International Student Orientation. Leadership Volunteer recruitment is now underway.

Leadership Volunteers engage in a 5-day training program to help prepare them for their role during Orientation. The training program is organized by the 5 goals of the Orientation program:
  • Help New Students Feel Comfortable in a New Environment (Networking)
  • Meet Students’ Needs
  • Share Important Information
  • Learn about U.S. Culture
  • Build Trust
The Training Program includes activities that give all Leadership Volunteers the opportunity to:
  • Become a Team
  • Prepare Presentations for Small Group Activities
  • Understand the Needs of New International Students

During Orientation, Leadership Volunteers greet new international students at Check-In, welcome them during the Introductory Meeting, lead small group discussions, accompany them to all meals, provide reassurance and essential information, and most importantly contribute to a warm and sincere presence during the new international student's first few days on campus. Many new students tell the ISSS how important the Leadership Volunteers were to their initial experience at Binghamton University. Many Leadership Volunteers tell the ISSS how valuable the training was to their own professional and personal development.

Leadership Volunteer Training will take place Monday, August 20, to Friday, August 24, 2012. International Student Orientation starts Monday, August 27 and ends on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Anyone who wants to be a Leadership Volunteer must participate in the full week of training and all three days of International Student Orientation.

If you are interested in applying to be a Leadership Volunteer, please complete the Leadership Volunteer application on our website: http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/LV/

3. Message from Binghamton University Emergency Management

Last week, there was a tornado warning posted for the Binghamton area and those people registered with the RaveAlert Emergency Alerting System received emergency communications via cell phone and email.

Binghamton University Emergency Management reminds the campus community to register for the RaveAlert Emergency Alerting System. RaveAlert is the Emergency Alerting System used to quickly and efficiently alert the campus community about dangerous situations through text messages, e-mails, electronic message boards and voicemail. If you are not already signed up for this system or if you would like more information about it, go to http://www.binghamton.edu/emergency/emergency-notification/text-alerts.html.

Signing up takes only a few seconds and could save your life in an emergency. Also find us on Facebook! "Like" our new Binghamton University Emergency Management Facebook page to receive up-to-date emergency preparedness information and alerts posted by the National Weather Service: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Binghamton-University-Emergency-Management/272770133475.

4. Employment Walk-In Appointment Hours Are Cancelled for Tuesday, August 7

Employment Walk-In Hours with the ISSS Employment Team are cancelled for Tuesday, August 7 due to a scheduling conflict. Employment Walk-In Hours will resume on Tuesday, August 14.

5. OCCT Summer Service Ends Friday, August 10, Fall Service Begins Thursday, August 30

OCC Transport’s summer service will conclude Friday, August 10. Service will begin again on Thursday August 30th with a limited schedule, and Tuesday September 4th with OCCT’s full Fall schedule. From August 13 – 29th, ITC Shuttles will begin at 8:00AM and end with the 5:40PM runs. They leave from the Mohawk bus stop every 20 minutes. The August 30 – September 3 OCCT service schedule will be posted on August 23 at this link: http://www.occtransport.org/index.php

6. Use the On-Line Form If You Need An Adjustment of Your International Health Insurance Fee

If you are an international graduate student who will have a Graduate Assistantship, Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship for the Fall 2012 semester, you generally receive health insurance as an employee benefit. However, your student bill may include a charge for the international student health insurance policy, which for the Fall 2012 semester is $477.00.

First, check your Fall 2012 student bill, which will be sent to returning international students’ Binghamton.edu email accounts and posted on BU Brain very soon. If you are receiving health insurance as an employee benefit but have also been billed for the international health insurance, you may request an adjustment to the international student health insurance fee by completing an on-line form. The form is on the ISSS home page at http://isss-new.binghamton.edu in the “News” section. The direct link is:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/waiverinfo.html

This form may be used by students with GA/TA/RA funding who have enrolled in their employee health insurance program, students who are doing research in their home countries for the current semester, or students who were incorrectly billed or who are otherwise eligible for an adjustment.

By completing the on-line form, you request is received in International Student and Scholar Services. If you are on GA/TA/RA funding, your funding will be confirmed with the appropriate University office before an adjustment is made to your student bill. Please note that funded international graduate students are still charged for mandatory medical evacuation and repatriation insurance at a cost of $43.80 per semester, since that benefit is not included in your employee insurance. Funded F-1 students who did not have health insurance as an employee benefit during summer 2012 will be charged $95.30 for Fall 2012. This charge includes “bridge” insurance coverage until your employee health insurance takes effect, plus the medical evacuation and repatriation insurance policy.

After funding is confirmed, or if not funded, after your eligibility for an adjustment is determined, please allow seven business days for processing. After seven business days (do not count Saturday, Sunday or holidays), re-check your current account on BU Brain http://bubrain.binghamton.edu to see if an adjustment has been made. If you are not eligible for an adjustment, you will be so notified by email.

7. Does a F-1 or J-1 Student Need a Social Security Number Before Beginning Employment?

Most students in F-1 or J-1 status are aware that in order to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number, you must be able to present proof of employment (such as a department funding letter or some other letter verifying employment). But staff in the ISSS have been asked if the reverse is true, meaning, do F-1 or J-1 students need to have a Social Security Number in hand before work can commence?

The answer is no! A Social Security Number is not required to begin employment. However, once employment has commenced, the employee must apply for the Social Security Number and report their number to the employer as soon as the number is received, so that the employer can update the record for tax reporting purposes.

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Last Updated: 8/28/14