ISSS-BU NEWS FOR MONDAY, 01 FEBRUARY 2016


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Contents

1. Together: International Student Support Group

2. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 5

3. Important SEVIS Registration Information for International Students

4. ESL Conversation Pairs Application Now Available

5. Health Insurance for International Students – Renewal Spring 2016

6. Spring 2016 Health Insurance Waiver Deadline Quickly Approaching!

7. International Spouse Program ESL Classes

8. Spring 2016 Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, February 10

9. Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for All International Students

10. Graduating Students: How to prepare your Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application

1. Together: International Student Support Group

Discussion facilitator: Dr. Sangmoon Kim, staff psychologist at University Counseling Center

When: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00p.m.

Where: ISSS Conference room, LSG 552 (Ground floor of Bartle Library building)

Hello international students at Binghamton University! You are warmly invited to the Together: International Student Support Group. You will meet fellow international students. Together aims to promote international students’ social interaction and sense of belonging as well as academic success. You can practice and enhance your English skills. We will meet every Tuesday; our next meeting is Tuesday, February 2, 2016. Weekly attendance is not required but recommended.  If you have any question about the Together, please email Dr. Sangmoon Kim.

2. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 5

Good company! Complementary refreshments! Relax by coming to this month's International Coffee Hour from 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, February 5, in the UU-Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the University Counseling Center. February Coffee Hour participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsor, specifically M-HOPE and the 20:1 Bystander Intervention Program, while mingling with both international and domestic students.

International Coffee Hour strives to be a space where the entire Binghamton University community, including international students, U.S. students, faculty/staff and community members are welcome. The coffee hours are informal and provide an opportunity to meet and learn more about each other in a relaxed atmosphere. They are usually held from 3:30-5 p.m. on the first Friday of every month during the academic year. All are welcome!

If you have any questions about International Coffee Hour, contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator.

3. Important SEVIS Registration Information for International Students

Students in F or J status are reminded that in order for them to be in compliance with SEVIS requirement and maintain their immigration status, they must register for a full-time course-load promptly for the Spring 2016 semester. The last day to add classes for Spring 2016 is February 5, 2016. After that date, the University is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and terminate your SEVIS record.

4. ESL Conversation Pairs Application Now Available

If you’re like many Binghamton University 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.

There will be one organizational meeting Thursday, February 11 at 4:45p.m. 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!  Please click here to complete an applicationPlease note that applications are due by Monday, February 8, 2016!  If you have any questions about this survey please contact the English Conversation Pairs Director, Trena Haffenden.

5. Health Insurance for International Students – Renewal Spring 2016

International student’s health insurance is renewed every semester. The Spring 2016 insurance rosters are in process, and should be ready the first week of February. HTH Worldwide Insurance will send courtesy letters to all enrollees to inform you of how to access your account. The email will be from enrollment@hthworldwide.com and the website where you can access and print your new insurance ID card is www.hthstudents.com.

6. Spring 2016 Health Insurance Waiver Deadline Quickly Approaching!

The International Health Insurance Team is now accepting requests from non-funded students (i.e. those other than G.A.'s, T.A.'s and R.A.'s) that believe they are eligible to receive an international health insurance fee waiver. In order to qualify for a waiver of the fee you must:

  • Meet ALL of the requirements found here.
  • Send a detailed copy of your health insurance policy, as well as proof of coverage, in English, to Intl.insure@binghamton.edu.
  • Your policy submission must indicate which services are NOT covered under the policy. This information is usually found in the "Exclusions and Limitations" section of a policy. Additionally it must state if there is a deductible associated with the policy and how much the deductible is.

Approved waivers are valid for one semester only. Every semester a new request must be submitted. Submission does not guarantee approval. The deadline for submission of a waiver request is February 15, 2016. No exceptions are granted.  If you are a funded student (RA,GA or TA) and have not received an adjustment to your student bill for international insurance, please contact intl.insure@binghamton.edu.

7. International Spouse Program ESL Classes

The International Spouse Program (ISP) is for spouses of Binghamton University international students. The ISP offers its members free, weekly ESL instruction. The ISP provides an excellent opportunity to practice English, to learn about day-to-day living in the U.S, to become involved in community activities, to socialize with other spouses, and to learn from each other's experiences. Please contact Myriam Stanton or review this document for additional information.

8. Spring 2016 Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, February 10

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development is pleased to announce that representatives from over 100 for-profit, government, non-profit organizations will be available to speak with students regarding both full-time employment and internship opportunities at the Spring 2016 Job and Internship Fair. The fair will be held in the Events Center on Wednesday, February 10 from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Students of all majors and years are encouraged to attend. Students are encouraged to review the list of registered employers in advance, and conduct research on those employers they’re interested in.   To help navigate the fair, all students should download the Careers by Simplicity app. Once downloaded, choose SUNY at Binghamton University and then sign in with your PODS ID.

Students who have any last minute questions about their participation in the Spring 2016 Fair should visit the Fleishman Center during walk-in hours, either on Tuesday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. or Wednesday from 10 p.m.- 4 p.m.

9. Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for All International Students

Join staff from the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for a discussion on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) application process. Applying for OPT authorization can be complicated and figuring out visa status issues after graduating can be confusing. After this workshop, you will know general information regarding OPT, the kinds of employment allowed while on OPT and the regulations that govern you while on OPT authorization. Bring your questions; we look forward to meeting with you. This workshop will be held Monday, February 22 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm.  Click here to register for this workshop.  This workshop is open to all international students.

10. Graduating Students: How to prepare your Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application

The workshop, How to Prepare Your Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application, is recommended for international students who are graduating in May 2016. As a May 2016 graduate, you can apply for OPT authorization beginning February 22, 2016.  Participants will learn how to:

  • Prepare and complete all documents needed to apply to USCIS for OPT authorization
  • Understand the two-step application process
  • Learn how to pick an appropriate OPT start date

To better prepare for this workshop, review this OPT checklist prior to participation. The conference room door will shut at the start of this presentation.  As a courtesy to other participants, please arrive on time.   Event dates, times and locations can be found below.

 

Workshop:

How to Prepare Your Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application

Date

Time

Location

Thursday, February 25, 2016

12:45pm to 1:30pm

All workshops will be held in LSG552 (Library South, Ground Floor, Room 552)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

12:45pm to 1:30pm

Monday, March 7, 2016

9:15am to 10am

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

12:45pm to 1:30pm

Monday, March 21, 2016

9:15am to 10:00am

 

Please note that space is limited. To attend this event, register on B-Engaged.  You can register by clicking the blue button on the right side of the B-Engaged Event webpage that says: RSVP TO EVENT.  If you have any questions about this workshop or registration, please contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator.

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Together: International Student Support Group

Last Updated: 2/2/16