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ISSS NEWS FOR FRIDAY, 01 FEBRUARY 2019


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Contents:
1. International Coffee Hour Today: Friday, February 1
2. OPT Workshop for All International Students: Monday, February 11
3. Graduating Students: How to prepare your Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application
4. Leadership Volunteers needed for Fall 2019 International Student Orientation
5. International Health Insurance Team is Now Accepting Insurance Fee Waiver Requests
6. Tax Filing Season
7. Together: International Student Support Group
8. ESL Conversation Pairs Application Now Available
9. Free class for International Teaching Assistants
10. February Sporting Events
11. Free H-1B and Selected Immigration Alternatives in 2019 Webinar: Thursday, February 21

1. International Coffee Hour Today: Friday, February 1
Good company! Complimentary refreshments! Come relax at today's International Coffee Hour, from 3:30-5:00pm in the Old Champlain Atrium (Old Champlain, Room 133). February's coffee hour sponsor will be the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsor while mingling with both international and domestic students. There will be games, interactive activities, and complimentary coffee and snacks! If you have any questions about International Coffee Hour, contact Katie Barvinchak, International Student Advisor. All are welcome!

2. OPT Workshop for All International Students: Monday, February 11
Join staff from the ISSS Office and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development for a discussion on the OPT application process. After this workshop, you will know general information regarding OPT, the kinds of employment allowed while on OPT, the regulations that govern you while on OPT and tips for finding employment. Bring your questions; we look forward to meeting with you. This workshop will be held on Monday, February 11 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm in the Old Champlain Atrium (Old Champlain, Room 133. Click here to register for this workshop. This workshop is open to all international students.

3. 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 2019. As a May 2019 graduate, you can apply for OPT as early as February 18. The ISSS Office strongly encourages all students graduating in May 2019 to apply for their OPT authorization early. During this workshop 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:

Tuesday, February 12 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Monday, February 18 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Tuesday, February 26 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

All workshops will be held in the Old Champlain Atrium located on the ground level of the Old Champlain building.

Please note that space is limited. To attend this event, register on B-Engaged. If you have any questions about this workshop or registration, please email intlwork@binghamton.edu.

4. Leadership Volunteers needed for Fall 2019 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! All international and domestic students are welcome! Leadership Volunteers are a select group of current 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 two day training program to help prepare them for their role during Orientation. The training program is organized by the five 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 for new international students during their 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 Monday, August 12 and Tuesday, August 13. International Student Graduate Orientation is Wednesday, August 14. International Student Undergraduate Orientation is Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16.

If you are interested in becoming a Leadership Volunteer, please click here to complete the application form. Please note that your application must be submitted by April 26, 2019. Questions? Contact Katie Barvinchak, International Student Advisor.

5. 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:

  • Meet ALL of the requirements found here.
  • Upload documents as instructed here.
  • Your policy submission must indicate the services that are NOT paid for under the policy, found in the "Exclusions and Limitations" section of the policy, plus the deductible charged to you.

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 February 15, 2019. No exceptions are granted.

6. Tax Filing Season
If you were in the U.S. in F or J status between January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018 you are required to file taxes, even if you earned no income in the United States. Information and instructions on how to file taxes will be available in the near future on the ISSS website.

7. Together: International Student Support Group
You are warmly invited to the Together: International Student Support Group. This group will provide you with the opportunity to meet fellow international students and exchange advice, knowledge and experiences on life as a student and/or life in general. Through this process students can develop a sense of belonging and enhance English language skills.

Dr. Sangmoon Kim, who was an international student in the U.S., will facilitate these groups and share his experiences and how he addressed difficulties he encountered.

This group will meet every other Tuesday from 3:30-5:00pm at the University Counseling Center (OO-264). If you are interested in joining the group, or have any questions, please email Dr. Kim at sakim@binghamton.edu.

8. ESL Conversation Pairs Application Now Available
If you are 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. 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 one hour a week.

There will be one organizational meeting on Tuesday, February 12th from 4:45pm-6:00pm in UU 111. If you have been assigned a partner, you will get to meet them on this day. After this first meeting, each pair will decide when and where they will meet.

Click Here to Fill Out an Application Online. Please note that applications are due by noon on Monday, February 11! If you have any questions, please contact the English Conversation Pairs Director, Trena Haffenden at thaffend@binghamton.edu.

9. Free class for International Teaching Assistants
The English Language Institute offers a free, non-credit bearing course for international teaching assistants to improve pronunciation and learn skills and strategies for teaching in the U.S. You can register yourself for GRD 575. The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:40am - 1:05pm. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Sukarat at lsukarat@binghamton.edu.

10. February Sporting Events
Come cheer on your fellow Bearcats! All home basketball games are played on campus in the Events Center. All home lacrosse games are play at the Bearcats Sports Complex. Undergraduate students can get in for free with their student ID.

  • Saturday, February 2 – Women's Basketball vs. Albany @ 2pm
  • Wednesday, February 6 – Men's Basketball vs. Stony Brook @ 7pm
  • Saturday, February 9 – Women's Basketball vs. UNH @ 2pm
  • Wednesday, February 13 – Men's Basketball vs. UMBC @ 7pm - Binghamton University Bookstore Giveaway!
  • Saturday, February 16 – Men's Lacrosse vs. Colgate @ 1pm
  • Sunday, February 17 – Women's Lacrosse vs. Niagara @ 1pm
  • Wednesday, February 20 – Women's Basketball vs. Lowell @ 7pm
  • Saturday, February 23 – Men's Basketball vs. Vermont @ 2pm - Binghamton University Dining Services Winter Hat Giveaway!
  • Sunday, February 24 – Women's Lacrosse vs. Dartmouth @ 1pm
  • Wednesday, February 27 – Men's Basketball vs. Hartford @ 7pm

11. Free H-1B and Selected Immigration Alternatives in 2019 Webinar: Thursday, February 21
The immigration group at Miller Mayer will be offering a free webinar on Thursday, February 21 at 1:00pm to discuss the Cap H-1B lottery and additional immigration alternatives in 2019. You can register for this free webinar here.

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Last Updated: 5/1/19