ISSS-BU News 26 March 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:
Spring Break begins with the end of classes on Friday, March 30. Residence Halls close on Saturday, March 31 except for break housing halls and the apartment communities. The Residence Halls re-open on Monday, April 9 at 2pm and classes resume on Tuesday, April 10. ISSS-BU News wishes all our readers a relaxing and enjoyable Spring Break! The Office of International Student and Scholar Services, and most University offices, will remain open throughout Spring Break.

Planning to travel during Spring Break? Be sure that you have read our travel information at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/travel/springbrk.html and be sure you have your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, I-94 departure card, and insurance ID card with you when you travel.

CONTENTS:
1. National Holidays for April
2. Leadership Volunteers Needed for Fall 2012 International Student Orientation
3. March 21 Post-Graduation Employment Issues Workshop Now Available for On-Line Viewing
4. Registrar’s Office Reminds Students of Important Deadlines THIS WEEK
5. Physical Facilities Seeks Summer Student Employees
6. This Week’s Campus and Community Connections Newsletter
7. April 2 is the Deadline for Spring 2012 Health Insurance Adjustments
8. 2012-13 Scholarship for BU Undergraduate International Students: Preference for South Korean Students
9. Pre-Registration for Fall 2012 Begins April 10 for Graduate Students and April 11 for Undergraduate Students
10. Attention Undergraduates: Help With Selecting Courses During Pre-Registration
11. Important Notice From Student Accounts Regarding Fall 2012 Pre-Registration
12. Don’t Forget the April 17, 2012 Deadline for Filing Income Tax Forms
13. H-1B Visa Issues are at the Forefront This Week
14. International Student Graduation Reception is Friday, May 18

1. National Holidays for April
The following countries are celebrating national holidays in April

Senegal 4-Apr
Tunisia 9-Apr
Denmark 16-Apr
Syria 17-Apr
Zimbabwe 18-Apr
Turkey 23-Apr
Tanzania 26-Apr
Sierra Leone 27-Apr
South Africa 27-Apr
Netherlands 30-Apr



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? Then, 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.

If you are interested in becoming a Leadership Volunteer, please fill out the form at this link: http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/LV/ Questions? Contact Associate Director Karen Keefe-Guzikowski at kkeefe@binghamton.edu

3. March 21 Post-Graduation Employment Issues Workshop Now Available for On-Line Viewing
On Wednesday, March 21, 2012, immigration attorney Rosanne Mayer from the law firm of Miller Mayer LLP in Ithaca, New York presented a very informative workshop on Post-Graduation Employment Issues. This workshop addressed an number of employment topics, including employment options in the United States beyond Optional Practical Training, the H-1B Visa Category, Labor Certification, PERM, and Employment-Based U.S. Permanent Residency.

The workshop itself and the handouts that were provided as part of the presentation are now available on-line at this link: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/employment/pgemploy.html

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services thanks Ms. Mayer for granting permission to have her presentation recorded.

4. Registrar’s Office Reminds Students of Important Deadlines THIS WEEK
Students who wish to withdraw from a course, change their grade option or apply for Spring 2012 graduation are reminded to complete the following steps by Friday, March 30:

• 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, March 30. For step-by-step instructions, visit the Registrar’s website at http://www2.binghamton.edu/registrar/news.html

• 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://www.registrar.binghamton.edu and drop it off at the Student Records Office in SW-119, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Friday, March 30.

• Application for Undergraduate Degree for Spring 2012: Undergraduate candidates planning to graduate this semester must submit this online form available at http://bubrain.binghamton.edu
by 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 30.

5. Physical Facilities Seeks Summer Student Employees
Physical Facilities is now accepting applications for its Summer Student Hiring Program. For more information and/or to complete the application process, visit:
http://binghamton.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp?JOBID=30898

Additional information can be found here http://www2.binghamton.edu/physical-facilities/summer-student-hiring.html

Questions regarding this program should be e-mailed to pfsummer@binghamton.edu. Do not call to inquire on the status of your application; all applicants selected will be contacted via e-mail.

6. This Week’s Campus and Community Connections Newsletter
The latest Campus and Community Connections newsletter has been posted at:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/cce/connect/CCC-Spring2012-30.pdf

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/

7. April 2 is the Deadline for Spring 2012 Health Insurance Adjustments
Please note that there is a deadline for requesting a Health Insurance Waiver or adjustment. – International students requesting a waiver or adjustment of their international health insurance fee must do so by April 2, 2012 for the Spring 2012 semester. The normal deadline is April 1, but since that date falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the next business day, April 2. To file a waiver or adjustment request go to: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/waiverinfo.html. Filing a request does not guarantee a wavier or adjustment. You must either be a graduate assistant (G.A.), Teaching Assistant (T.A) or Research Assistant (R.A.) funded through Binghamton University and enrolled in employee health insurance, OR meet the standards for comparable coverage outlined on the ISSS Health Insurance web page located through the above link.

If you have questions about the International Student Health Insurance, please contact the International Health Insurance Team at intl.insure@binghamton.edu

8. 2012-13 Scholarship for BU Undergraduate International Students: Preference for South Korean Students
The Office of Financial Aid Services announces that applications are now being accepted for the 2012-13 Stanley Prep Scholarship for BU undergraduate international students. The scholarship is sponsored by Stanley Prep. To apply, students must meet the following criteria:

1) Be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time at BU with demonstrated academic merit (GPA of 3.5 or higher)
2) Preference for a student of South Korean descent (others may apply but students from South Korea are given first preference)
3) Must participate actively in school activities. Candidates are required to submit an essay describing their involvement in student activities at BU, along with a copy of their resume. You will also be asked which (if any) Korean Studies coursework you have taken at Binghamton University.

Go to this link for the required application cover sheet, which must be submitted with the essay and resume: http://www2.binghamton.edu/financial-aid/pdf/stanley-prep-scholarship.pdf

Deadline for submitting: Friday April 6, 2012 at 4:00pm to the Financial Aid and Student Records Office, Student Wing Room 109, or by fax to 607-777-6897 or by email to finaid@binghamton.edu

9. Pre-Registration for Fall 2012 Begins April 10 for Graduate Students and April 11 for Undergraduate Students
The Registrar’s Office has posted the Fall 2012 Schedule of Classes on BU Brain It can be viewed as a grid schedule of classes and as a detailed schedule of classes. The online schedule is the most up to date and accurate source of course information and is the only published version of the Schedule of Classes.

Fall 2012 Pre-Registration begins on April 10 for current graduate students and on April 11 for undergraduate students. Pre-registration ends on Friday, May 11th. For general information on registration times visit: http://registrar.binghamton.edu/registration.htm For your specific registration time for Fall 2012 pre-registration, go to BU Brain

Students with outstanding financial obligations and students who haven't complied with health requirements to the Health Service office will be blocked from registering. Students can also view their account balances and pay any outstanding debts through BU Brain.

Accessing your schedule: You can view and print your schedule online by logging into the BU BRAIN. Room assignments shown online are the most accurate and up to date, but know that these assignments are subject to change.

Credit limit: The maximum number of credits you may register for are listed by student level and term at http://registrar.binghamton.edu/registration.htm These limits include HPEY or MUSP credits and are enforced regardless of GPA. If you seek to register for more than the stated limit, please follow your school's procedure for petitioning for an overload (see http://bulletin.binghamton.edu).


10. Attention Undergraduates: Help With Selecting Courses During Pre-Registration
Undergraduates are invited to attend a series of programs where you can receive assistance with selecting courses during the Fall 2012 pre-registration period.

Undergraduates from all schools are invited to an Academic Advising and Scheduling Fest on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm in University Union Old Union Hall. This event is sponsored by the Discovery Center.

The Harpur College Academic Advising Office is offering three “Spring into Advising” programs for Harpur College undergraduates. These programs provide extended walk-in hours in the Harpur College Academic Advising Office, Academic B Room G 18 during pre-registration. They will be held on Wednesday, April 18, Thursday April 26 and Tuesday May 1. All three will take place from 1pm to 5pm.

11. Important Notice From Student Accounts Regarding Fall 2012 Pre-Registration
Any outstanding balance on your Student Account the must be paid or cleared at least 24 hours prior to your Fall 2012 pre-registration time. Please do not wait until the last minute to resolve any outstanding debts in order to ensure that you will be able to register at your priority time. You can view and/or pay any balance due by visiting http://bubrain.binghamton.edu and select “Quick Pay Student Payment.”

12. Don’t Forget the April 17, 2012 Deadline for Filing Income Tax Forms
If you were present in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status in the United States during any portion of calendar year 2011 (even for just a few days) you are required to file an income tax form with the US Internal Revenue Service, even if you had no US income!

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services offers GLACIER Tax Prep free of charge to BU international students, alumni, scholars and faculty. GLACIER is a web-based income tax preparation system designed exclusively for international students, scholars and faculty who file federal forms 1040NR EZ, 1040NR and form 8843 as Non-Residents for tax purposes. GLACIER computes and prints the required federal income tax forms. You can be anywhere in the world, and as long as you have an internet connection, you can complete your tax forms.

In order to use GLACIER you must first log in. Please go to the following link and follow the detailed instructions:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/glacier.html

Please note that GLACIER is designed to prepare and produce only federal non-resident forms. GLACIER does not complete state income tax forms. Other options include ISSS-sponsored income tax webcasts, walk-in assistance (every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00am to 1:00pm through April 12, 2012) or using a qualified volunteer or professional tax preparation preparer. Please go to the following web link for details. http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/taxsem.html

13. H-1B Visa Issues are at the Forefront This Week
Our readers who are familiar with the H-1B “specialty occupations” visa know that Monday April 2, 2012 will be the first day that H-1B petitions subject to the visa “cap” or limit can be submitted by employers to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to hire foreign nationals with bachelor’s degrees or higher for the new federal fiscal year. The normal submission start date is April 1 but that date falls on the weekend, so the next business day is being used. The fiscal year starts October 1, 2012. So, it is on April 2 that all “cap-subject” H-1B petitions with start dates of October 1, 2012 will begin to be processed by USCIS.

The April 2 date is watched closely each year, because the available number of H-1B visas is always used before the year ends. For full details, please refer to the portal links below, which are from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

General Information on H1-B
http://www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count

14. International Student Graduation Reception Friday, May 18
Students who are graduating, and exchange students completing their programs may wish to mark their calendars now for the 26th annual International Student Graduation Reception, taking place Friday, May 18 at 7:00pm in University Union Old Union Hall. This is the Friday of commencement weekend.

Invitations will be sent by e-mail in several weeks, but we wanted to alert our readers who are graduating. If you graduated in December 2011 and are returning to campus for the May 19 and 20 Commencement Exercises, and would like to receive an invitation to the International Student Graduation Reception on May 18, please let ISSS know by sending an e-mail message with your current e-mail address to: isss@binghamton.edu

The information provided to the ISSS by the Registrar's Office only lists Spring 2012 graduates, but they know some Fall 2011 graduates will return for the ceremonies, and they want to be sure they don't miss anyone! Also, if you will graduate in Summer 2012 and would like to attend the International Student Graduation Reception on May 18, please follow the instructions above.

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Last Updated: 8/28/14