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ISSS NEWS FOR THURSDAY, 01 FEBRUARY 2018


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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.  Please remember to click the page’s “Following” button to receive post notifications.

 

Contents:
1. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 2
2. International Student Grant-in-Aid Application Spring 2018
3. Availability of International Health Insurance ID Cards
4. Together: International Student Support Group
5. ESL Conversation Pairs Application Now Available
6. Graduating Students: How to prepare your Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application
7. Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop for All International Students
8. Olympics Viewing Party: Wednesday, February 21
9. Self Defense Class for Students: Wednesday, February 28
10. International Spouse Program ESL Classes
11. Binghamton University International Student Health Services Survey
12. ISSS Front Desk Student Worker Opportunity

1. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 2

Good company! Complimentary refreshments! Relax at this month's International Coffee Hour, 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, February 2, in Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. February coffee hour participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsor while mingling with both international and domestic students. There will be games, prizes, interactive activities and complimentary coffee, tea and cookies! If you have any questions about International Coffee Hour, contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator. All are welcome!

2. International Student Grant-in-Aid Application Spring 2018

Each semester a small number of financial awards (up to $500) are available to international students who have experienced a severe and unexpected financial need. To be eligible, students must be in F-1 or J-1 status, registered in a full-time program of study, have been in attendance at Binghamton University for at least one continuous year, and must be able to substantially document the events that have taken place which resulted in their unanticipated financial hardship (For example: Extreme unexpected loss in income, unexpected increase in expenditures beyond that which all students are facing, or both, due to circumstances beyond the student's control).

Applicants are strongly advised to carefully document their financial situation when submitting the application form, being sure to include all supporting documents with their Grant in Aid application upon submission. Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review.

Students with outstanding balances in their student account at the University should note that, based on Binghamton University policy, any monetary award will first be applied toward the balance on their student bill. Applications are available now online and must be submitted no later than 4:30pm on Friday, February 2, 2018. Please click here to access the application. Please note that paper applications will not be accepted.

3. Availability of International Health Insurance ID Cards

GeoBlue International Health Insurance will be processing the Spring 2018 health insurance enrollments February 2 – February 9. Your international student insurance ID cards will be available on www.geobluestudents.com once your account is active. Once active, GeoBlue (customerservice@geo-blue.com) sends each student a welcome email confirming your enrollment. The email will advise you to sign on to their website, www.geobluestudents.com where you can access their services, including the printing of your insurance ID card. Remember to check your spam folder if you do not receive an email confirming your enrollment.

We do not have a firm date as to when this process will be complete, so please, if you do not get an email, check the www.geobluestudents.com website for your updated ID card through February 9. Please wait until Monday, February 12 before making general inquiries to the ISSS Office regarding the availability of your insurance ID card.

4. Together: International Student Support Group

Discussion facilitator: Dr. Sangmoon Kim, staff psychologist at University Counseling Center
When: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00p.m.
Where: UU 121 (University Union, Room 121)

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 most Tuesdays; our next meeting is Tuesday, February 6. Weekly attendance is not required but recommended. If you have any question about the Together, please email Dr. Sangmoon Kim.

5. ESL Conversation Pairs Application Now Available

If you're like many Binghamton University ESL students, you may find that, 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. If you would like to practice your English, consider 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 on Thursday, February 8th from 4:45 to 6 in UU 111, where you will meet your partner.

Please click here to complete an application. Please note that applications are due by noon on Wednesday, February 7! If you have any questions about this survey please contact the English Conversation Pairs Director, Trena Haffenden.

6. 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 2018. As a May 2018 graduate, you can apply for OPT authorization beginning Monday, February 19, 2018. 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

Monday, February 12 2:30pm to 3:00pm
Tuesday, February 20 1:15pm to 1:45pm
Tuesday, February 27 3:30pm to 4:00pm
Friday, March 9 11:00am to 11:30am

All workshops will be held at the ISSS (please meet at the ISSS Front Desk in OH 142).

Please note that space is limited. To attend this event, register on B-Engaged. You can register by selecting the circular button on the right side of the B-Engaged Event webpage that says I will be attending and then by clicking the grey button below it that reads RSVP TO EVENT. If you have any questions about this workshop or registration, please contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator.

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

Join staff from the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development 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 Friday, February 16 from noon to 1:00pm in UU 103 (University Union, Room 103). Click here for additional information and/or to register to participate in this workshop. This workshop is open to all international students.

8. Olympics Viewing Party: Wednesday, February 21

You couldn't make it to PyeongChang, Korea for the Winter 2018 Olympics; however, you can watch the Olympics in style at the Korean Center. The Korean Center is a new event space on campus and is located in the Old Champlain Building, room 101. Join ISSS Staff and students from across campus and the world to watch the Olympic Games on Wednesday, February 21 from 7:30pm to 9pm! There will be games, swag, interactive activities and popcorn for all! This is a great opportunity to make new friends or spend time with old friends! Feel free to come for the whole time or to just stop by and say 'hi'! All students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend! Click here for additional information and/or to register to participate in this event.

9. Self Defense Class for Students: Wednesday, February 28

Members of the University Police Department (UPD) will discuss ways for participants to reduce their risk of becoming a crime victim and recognize potentially dangerous situations. UPD will also teach participants some basic physical self-defense skills. Both men and women are encouraged to attend. This event will be held Wednesday, February 28 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm in the Old Champlain Atrium. If you arrive at Old Champlain and cannot find the event room, please visit the ISSS Front Desk (Old Champlain, Room 142) and a member of the ISSS Team will be able to assist you. Click here for additional information and/or to register to participate in this workshop.

10. 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 click here for additional information.

11. Binghamton University International Student Health Services Survey

The Decker Student Health Services Center is looking for your feedback! Please complete this survey regarding your experiences with Decker Student Health Services Center. Completion of this survey should take approximately 5 minutes. Please note that all responses are anonymous. If you have any questions, please contact Noel Clinton Feik, Health and Counseling Director, at 607-777-2182. Thank you for your participation!

12. ISSS Front Desk Student Worker Opportunity

The ISSS will be accepting letters of interest and resumes for our Front Desk Student Worker position. If you are interested in working at our ISSS Office, stop by our March International Coffee Hour and drop off your letter of interest and resume. Please give your letter of interest and resume directly to the ISSS Staff members that are located at the Coffee Hour sign in table. We anticipate holding interviews in mid-March.

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Last Updated: 2/12/18