ISSS-BU News 07 October 2013 ISSS-BU News


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CONTENTS:

1. National Holidays for October
2. International Student and Scholar Services Announces Walk-In Advising Hours for International Students
3. International Student Grant-In-Aid Applications Due Friday, October
4. Registrar’s Office Announces Important Deadlines For Fall 2013
5. Graduating in December? Planning to Apply for Practical Training? Now is the Time!
6. Do You Owe Any Money to the University for the Fall 2013 Semester?
7. Travel Outside the United States and Unpaid U.S. Parking Tickets
8. Laws That Every International Student Should Know
9. Halloween in the United States
10. Please Drive Safely at All Times
11. The University Counseling Center

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. International Student and Scholar Services Announces Walk-In Advising Hours for International Students

The ISSS team is very happy to announce that, beginning today Monday, October 7, the ISSS will begin holding walk-in advising hours every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The ISSS advising team will be on hand to answer any questions that students may have except for health insurance questions. Health insurance walk in hours will only be available on Tuesday mornings from 10:15am -12:00pm. There is no appointment needed for these times and all students will be attended to on a walk-in, “first come, first served” basis. Please be aware that appointments will only be made on a case-by-case basis for students as we move forward with our walk-in advising system.

The walk-in advising sessions will be as follows:

Monday - 10:00am – 11:45am

Tuesday – 10:00am – 11:45am

Wednesday – 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Thursday – 1:30pm – 3:30pm

3. International Student Grant-In-Aid Applications Due Friday, October 18

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 2012 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 Friday, October 18, 2013.

4. Registrar’s Office Announces Important Deadlines For Fall 2013

The Registrar’s Office has posted important deadlines for the Fall 2013 Semester at:

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

Continuing graduate student Spring 2014 pre-registration begins at 9am on Wednesday, October 30

Continuing undergraduate student Spring 2014 pre-registration begins at 9am on Thursday, October 31

Students who wish to withdraw from a course, change their grade option or apply for Fall 2013 graduation to complete the following steps by Friday, November 1.

5. 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 2014 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 .

6. Do You Owe Any Money to the University for the Fall 2013 Semester?

The Office of Student Accounts reminds all students to check their payment record in BU BRAIN to be sure that their student bills have no outstanding balance for the Fall 2013 semester. Why is it important to check? Because you won't be able to advance register for Spring 2014, order transcripts, or receive your diploma if you will graduate in December 2013, unless your account is paid. To check your account, just log into BU BRAIN, find the “student tools” menu, click on the student accounts menu, click on "QuikPAY-Web Payments" and re-enter your user id and password. Then, click on “view accounts” to view your bill.

At the end of the sixth week of classes, a “hold” is placed on the student’s record if there is an outstanding balance. An outstanding balance that results in a hold on the student’s record must be paid in full in order to participate in advance registration for the next semester.

7. 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.

8. Laws That Every International Student Should Know

Binghamton University Police has placed information on its website that discusses New York State laws and ordinances as they apply to college students. This section includes a discussion of alcohol law and other laws from the penal code that may be used in certain situations. To view the entire document, visit: http://www2.binghamton.edu/police/crime-information/law-and-you.html

9. Halloween in the United States

Thursday, October 31 is Halloween. You are likely to see children (and adults) dressed in costume on that day and/or evening. In some neighborhoods, children will travel from house to house to collect candy in the late afternoon and early evening. For more information on this holiday, visit: http://www.halloweenmagazine.com/history.htm

10. Please Drive Safely at All Times

The ISSS reminds all drivers to practice safe driving rules.

Be sure to gain experience driving in the United States and become experienced driving on US roadways. Consider taking the New York State road test to obtain a New York State driver’s license. To learn more about applying for a New York State driver’s license, visit: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/publications/lincense.html

Never drive after drinking alcohol. For those who go to a bar or attend a party, arrange for a designated driver who will not drink, or ask for help when you feel you are unable to drive.

Be sure to get enough sleep before long-distance driving. Drivers should pay extra attention to different traffic patterns or different weather conditions, and remember to stop for a rest on long road trips.

Here are some additional helpful links on safe driving:

NYS Driver’s Manual
http://www.dmv.ny.gov/dmanual/default.html

NYS DMV Traffic Safety Place
http://www.safeny.ny.gov/ts-place.htm

Traffic Safety Tips
http://www.safeny.ny.gov/roadrule.htm

Driving Safety Tips in Any Kind of Weather
http://www.weather.com/activities/driving/drivingsafety/drivingsafetytips/tipIndex.html

11. The University Counseling Center

The University Counseling Center is "committed to promoting the well-being of Binghamton University's undergraduate and graduate community so that every student may fully and effectively engage in all the opportunities available at the University."

The Counseling Center offers both individual and group therapy. Students are encouraged to look over the website to obtain more detailed information about the programs and services provided: http://www.binghamton.edu/counseling/

For additional information, please contact the University Counseling Center at 607-777-2772, located in room 1202 of Library North.

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Last Updated: 8/28/14