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Editor's Note: The ISSS Newsletter is distributed monthly. Please 'Like' us on Facebook to learn about programs, events, and additional information between monthly Newsletters. You can find our Facebook Page here. Please remember to click the page's "Following" button to receive post notifications.


1. Upcoming Employment Related Workshops

2. Together: International Student Support Group

3. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, April 8

4. Leadership Volunteers Needed - Fall 2016 International Student Orientation

5. Thinking of Applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

6. Are you thinking of applying for Optional Practical Training?

7. Processing Time for Employment Applications

8. Reminder of ISSS Availability


1. Upcoming Employment Related Workshops

* Monday, April 4: Optional Practical Training (OPT) workshop

* Wednesday, April 6: Professional success as a non-U.S. citizen: The story of Alon Eckhaus

* Tuesday, April 12: Optional Practical Training (OPT) workshop

* Wednesday, April 13: Visas after graduation for International Students

* Tuesday, April 19: How to Receive Your C.P.T. As Soon As Possible

Please note that space is limited. To attend, register on B-Engaged. (First select which event you would like to attend, then click on the blue button, on the right side of the B-Engaged event webpage, that says: RSVP to event.) 

Questions about event registration? Contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator, at

2. 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, April 5, 2016. Weekly attendance is not required but recommended.  If you have any question about the Together, please email Dr. Sangmoon Kim.

3. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, April 8

Good company! Complementary refreshments! Relax by coming to this month's International Coffee Hour from 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, April 8, in Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science.  April Coffee Hour participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsor, 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.

4. Leadership Volunteers Needed - Fall 2016 International Student Orientation

Are you interested in helping new international students during Orientation and adding Leadership and Cross-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 3-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. & foreign culture, and build trust and make new friends.

During Orientation, Leadership Volunteers greet new international students at check-in, welcome them during the introductory meeting, participate in group events, 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 Tuesday, August 9 to Thursday, August 11, 2016. International Student Graduate Orientation is Friday, August 12.  International Student Undergraduate Orientation is Monday, August 15 and Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

If you are interested in becoming a Leadership Volunteer, please click here to complete the application formPlease note that the current application deadline is April 17, 2016.

Questions? Contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS Programming Coordinator, at

5. Thinking of Applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

This is the time of year that many international students in F-1 status apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). CPT is the authorization required for any paid or unpaid internship. Planning is very important to making a successful CPT application.

Your application needs to be complete before you submit it to the ISSS office in order to avoid unnecessary delays. There are three essential elements to a successful CPT application:

1. Unless the internship is a degree completion requirement for all students in your academic program, a minimum of 1 credit of your full-time registration during the CPT period must be related to your employment. This includes Winter and Summer Terms, as well as Spring and Fall semesters.

2. The Advisor's Recommendation Form for Curricular Practical Training must be completed. Be sure your advisor has signed your form and filled out the required "Remarks" section of the form.

3. You must submit an offer letter from the employer that gives the start and end date of the proposed CPT, the number of hours to be worked each week and a brief description of the duties of the position. An actual signature from your employer or supervisor must also be included on the offer letter.

Processing of a CPT cannot begin until all the necessary parts of the application are received. Applications that are incomplete can take more than 7-10 business days to process because staff will need to wait until you submit the missing information. You can avoid unnecessary delays by planning ahead and submitting a complete application.

If you have any questions about how to apply for CPT authorization contact us at

6. Are you thinking of applying for Optional Practical Training? 

Optional Practical Training is an employment authorization for international students in F-1 status. This authorization is the one that authorizes employment in a job related to your academic major after graduation. You do not need a job offer to apply for OPT.

Your OPT application is processed in two steps:

*Step 1: You Submit the Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form to ISSS Office and we prepare an I-20 for OPT for you. This step in the process takes 7-10 working days. We will email you when your I-20 for OPT is ready.

*Step 2: After you receive your I-20 for OPT, mail your OPT application to USCIS. If your application is approved, USCIS issues an EAD card that authorizes employment under OPT. This step in the process takes 10-12 weeks.

If you are thinking of applying for OPT and are not sure what to do, you will want to review the information and guidance on our website. Visit the links below:

How to apply for OPT

Choosing a start date for OPT

Kinds of Employment Allowed during OPT

Deadlines for Applying for OPT

Arranging Health Insurance While on OPT

If you still have questions after reading the above information, please visit ISSS Walk-In Advising Hours for additional guidance.  Walk-In Advising Hours are Monday and Tuesday from 10am to 11:45am and Wednesday and Thursday from 1:30pm-3:30pm.

7. Processing Time for Employment Applications

ISSS kindly reminds students that it takes 7 to 10 business days to process employment applications (CPT and OPT). Business days are Monday through Friday, not including weekends and holidays. Please keep this time frame in mind in regards to your start date and also handing in your application to the ISSS for processing.

8. Reminder of ISSS Availability

Advising Walk-In Hours & Updates:

The office of International Student and Scholar Services holds walk-in advising hours on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00am to 11:45am and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  Please visit the ISSS Website for updates. 

Special Notice Regarding ISSS Unavailability:

The ISSS will be unavailable on Friday, April 29 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm.  Please visit the ISSS website for additional updates regarding availability.


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Together: International Student Support Group

Last Updated: 4/11/16