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ISSS-BU NEWS FOR MONDAY, 04 AUGUST 2014


An electronic news service for international students and scholars, owned by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at Binghamton University, State University of New York

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Contents

1. Arrival of New International Students
2. Reminder: ISSS Relocation is Complete 
3. New Rates for International Health Insurance Effective August 15, 2014
4. International Health Insurance Team is Now Accepting Insurance Fee Waiver Requests
5. Summer Vacation Story Contest!
6. Important Caution to Binghamton University International Students When Taking On-Line Courses 
7. Does a F-1 or J-1 Student Need a Social Security Number Before Beginning Employment?
8. Music Department Fall 2014 Audition Schedule is Now Available

1. Arrival of New International Students

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services thanks the many students who will be assisting our new arrivals. Orientation information and registration is now open. Please click here for orientation information and registration. There will be different orientation schedules for graduate students, undergraduate students, exchange students and Dual Diploma students from Turkey.

The orientation program features special presentations on the immigration regulations that all new students are required to know. You will also have the opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and students, and ask questions about academic offerings, student services, living in the United States and what it is like to be a student at Binghamton University. We wish our new students "welcome" and much success with their academic program.

Orientation is less than a month away and 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. ISSS is recording new student arrivals and distributing their very helpful early arrival information sheet. ISSS looks forward to welcoming all new international students this Fall!

2. Reminder: ISSS Relocation is Complete

The office of International Student and Scholar Services has relocated to their new office in LSG500 (Library South, Ground Floor, Room 500). ISSS will continue to operate on summer hours, weekdays from 8:00am to 3:45pm until Friday, August 22. On Monday, August 25 ISSS will resume regular business hours, weekdays from 8:30am to 4:45pm. ISSS walk-in advising hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00am to 11:45am and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. We look forward to seeing you in our new space!

3. New Rates for International Health Insurance Effective August 15, 2014

Each August HTH Worldwide, the health insurance company that provides coverage to Binghamton University international students, scholars and their families has the opportunity to review and adjust their rate structure to be aligned with the cost of health care and new taxes or fees imposed by the U.S. government. These rates become effective August 15, 2014. The view the new rates go to: http://binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/healthrate.html. This change will affect those on OPT currently purchasing international insurance on a monthly basis (see http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/optInsform.pdf for the updated OPT enrollment form), international research scholars purchasing insurance on a monthly basis, study abroad students who's programs begin after August 14, 2014, and all inbound international students.

4. International Health Insurance Team is Now Accepting Insurance Fee Waiver Requests

The International Health Insurance Team is now accepting requests from those that believe they meet the requirements for an international health insurance fee waiver. In order to qualify for a waiver of the fee you must:

Please note that a submission does not guarantee approval. A full review of your policy must be conducted to ensure compliance. Approved waivers are valid for one semester only. Every semester a new request must be submitted.

The deadline for submission of a waiver request is October 15, 2014. No exceptions are granted.

5. Summer Vacation Story Contest!

Did you do something fun, different, adventurous, or educational over summer vacation? If so, ISSS wants to know about it! Send your 2014 Summer Vacation stories and/or photos to ltorrice@binghamton.edu. After review, select stories may be published and/or highlighted. All students that submit a story before September 1, 2014 will be entered into a raffle to receive a gift card!

Questions? Contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS Programming Coordinator, at ltorrice@binghamton.edu.

6. Important Caution to Binghamton University International Students When Taking On-Line Courses

Most international students are aware that US federal regulations limit the number of on-line or distance learning classes that can be taken by F-1 visa holders, even if the classes are offered by Binghamton University. A full description of the rules can be found here.

If a student needs only one course to finish his or her program of study in the final semester (and this includes Summer Session or Winter Session), it cannot be taken through online/distance education. There must be a physical presence requirement for the course. If a student remains in the United States without reporting to any class, it becomes a security issue and cannot be allowed.

In the past, students who took only a distance learning class in their final semester have found that they are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) because the distance learning course taken by itself, with no other physical presence courses, is a violation of F-1 regulations. Don't let this happen to you! If you have questions, send an email message to isss@binghamton.edu or visit advising walk-in hours.

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.

8. Music Department Fall 2014 Audition Schedule is Now Available

The Music Department has posted the Fall 2014 Audition Schedule. Students are welcome to audition for the Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, Chamber Music, Studio Lessons, The African Drumming Ensemble, Harpur Jazz Ensemble, University Chorus, and other performance groups. Please see the attached PDF for audition dates and locations. Questions? Please contact the Music Department at: musinfo@binghamton.edu.

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Last Updated: 8/28/14