ISSS-BU News 10 September 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: The photos of the International student orientation welcome dinner are now available on Facebook! Here is a link to the album:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.489245611087179.115706.211721465506263&type=3
Don't forget to tag yourself and 'like' the photos!

CONTENTS:
1. Have You Changed Your Address?
2. Pipe Dream Article on New International Students
3. Attention F and J Students: Know Your SEVIS Rules About Your Course Registration!
4. BU Japanese Association General Interest Meeting (GIM) Tuesday September 11
5. Mark Your Calendars! Fall 2012 Job and Internship Fair is Coming September 20
6. English Conversation Pairs (Non-native Speakers of English)
7. Want to Know When Classes are Cancelled or if There is a University Emergency? Sign up For Rave Wireless! Also, Do You Know How To Reach Binghamton University Police?
8. Attention Graduate Students: Are You Considering Employment With a SUNY College or University?
9. Attention Summer 2012 and Fall 2012 Graduating Students! Fall Commencement is December 16, 2012
10. Are You Employed This Semester? Here's an Important Tax Tip for F-1s and J-1s!
11. Consultation Services
12. The Office of the University Ombudsman

1. Have You Changed Your Address?

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.

2. Pipe Dream Article on New International Students

Last week, Pipe Dream, the Binghamton University student newspaper, published an article about international students that is now posted on the Pipe Dream website:
http://www.bupipedream.com/news/11110/international-students/ Several new BU international students were quoted.

3. Attention F and J Students: Know Your SEVIS Rules About Your Course Registration!

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 2012 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 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:
  • All students who are registered for less than a full time course load must either have prior permission from the ISSS or be certified as full-time by their departments. 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
  • Graduate students who have completed coursework and have advanced to thesis, project, candidacy or dissertation research and are registered for a course that can be certified as full time (most commonly 599, 698 or 699, but selected departments include other course rubrics as well) must visit their academic department and request to have sufficient non-billable certification credits added to their schedule to bring them to nine credits total. This procedure is for students not receiving funding, as well as funded students who are ABD. However, all funded students who are not ABD must be registered full time. 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 and ABD) will be added by the student’s department to bring the student to 9 credits.

To read the complete information sheet on SEVIS requirements for F and J students, visit:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/regulatory-updates/sevisfj.html

4. BU Japanese Association General Interest Meeting (GIM) Tuesday September 11

Binghamton University Japanese Association (BUJA) is having its first GIM this semester, September 11th (Tuesday) at 7-8pm in (old) University Union Room 111. They will have free food and will discuss what events they will bring to you. So, bring your friends and BUJA hopes to see you there!

In addition, BUJA's biggest event in the fall, Ghost House is happening this semester and they are open to sign-ups if anyone would like to take part or help in this event! For more information, contact Yosuke Yamaga yyamaga1@binghamton.edu

5. Mark Your Calendars! Fall 2012 Job and Internship Fair is Coming September 20

The Fall 2012 Job and Internship Fair, sponsored by the Career Development Center, will be held Thursday, September 20 from 11:00am to 3:30pm in the Events Center.

Employers from a wide range of industries will be on campus to discuss internship and full-time opportunities with students from all academic majors. View a list of registered organizations on the CDC website at Employers from a wide range of industries will be on campus to discuss internship and full-time opportunities with students from all academic majors. View a list of registered organizations on the CDC website at http://binghamton.experience.com/stu/cf_details?fhnd=5594

6. English Conversation Pairs (Non-native Speakers of English)

If you’re like many Binghamton University English as a Second Language (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 October 4th at 4:45 in the 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 https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PQSYKHX

If you have any questions about this survey please contact the English Conversation Pairs Director Shannon Hilliker at svanstra@binghamton.edu

Applications are due by Friday September 28th!

7. Want to Know When Classes are Cancelled or if There is a University Emergency? Sign up For Rave Wireless! Also, Do You Know How To Reach Binghamton University Police?

Binghamton University uses Rave Wireless as its provider for emergency text and e-mail messages when a situation arises that warrants immediate communication to the campus community. We urge all students, faculty and staff to register and manage their account information at https://www.getrave.com/login/binghamton. You may sign in using your current Binghamton University e-mail address and be prompted to complete the registration process. Additional information may be found at http://www2.binghamton.edu/banner/rave.html. There is no additional expense to you to participate except for any per-text message fee your cellular phone provider may charge.

And, while we have your attention…do you know how to reach Binghamton University Police on your mobile phone if you are on-campus and have an emergency? Don’t call 911 when on campus, as that call will go to the County Emergency Dispatch Station. If you are on campus, which includes the Downtown Campus, Vestal Campus (main campus) or ITC and need University Police in an emergency, the number to call from your mobile phone is 607-777-2393. Save this number in your mobile phone address book!

8. Attention Graduate Students: Are you Considering Employment with a SUNY University or College?

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 intl.work@binghamton.edu BEFORE you begin the employment.

9. Attention Summer 2012 and Fall 2012 Graduating Students! Fall Commencement is December 16, 2012

Fall Commencement exercises will take place on Sunday, December 16, 2012. Students who graduated in Summer 2012 or who will graduate in Fall 2012 are invited to attend. The ceremony will be held in the Events Center beginning at 12 Noon. For complete information, visit: http://www2.binghamton.edu/commencement/fall/index.html

10. Are You Employed This Semester? Here's an Important Tax Tip for F-1s and J-1s!

If you are an international student in F-1 or J-1 status who is working on campus for Fall 2012, 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 the United 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, 52 and 53.

11. Consultation Services

Roommate troubles? Boyfriend/Girlfriend troubles? Parent troubles? Want to consult with someone removed from the situation but wise enough to help? Come to the University Counseling Center. Contact the University Counseling Center for more information or to sign up: 607-777-2772.

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/

12. 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 Library South, Ground Floor Room G526.

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: 8/28/14