ISSS-BU NEWS FOR MONDAY, 02 FEBRUARY 2015


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CONTENTS:
1. Pursuit of Academic Success Group Meeting
2. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 6
3. Important SEVIS Registration Information for International Students
4. Change in Schedule for ISSS Walk-In Advising
5. Job and Internship Fair
6. English Conversation Pairs Program
7. How to Receive Your C.P.T. As Soon As Possible
8. University Day at the Oakdale Mall
9. ESL Department Announcements
10. International Spouse Program ESL Classes
11. Do You Know the Rules for Off-Campus Employment?

1. Pursuit of Academic Success Group Meeting

The Pursuit of Academic Success group assists international students in maximizing their academic achievement. Each week a different challenge or barrier to academic success is discussed. This group is a drop-in meeting and weekly attendance is not required. All international students are invited!

Next Meeting Topic: Speaking up & Asking for Help: Let's Review University Resources

Facilitator: Dr. Sangmoon Kim
When: Wednesday, February 4 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Location: ISSS Conference Room (LSG552, Library South, Ground Floor, Room 552)
Questions? Contact Dr. Sangmoon Kim at 777-2772 or sakim@binghamton.edu

2. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 6

Good company! Complementary refreshments! Relax by coming to this month's International Coffee Hour from 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, in Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the Division of Advancement. February Coffee Hour participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the Division of Advancement 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 on the first Friday of every month during the academic year from 3:30-5 p.m. 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 2015 semester. The last day to add classes for Spring 2015 is February 6, 2015. After that date, the University is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and terminate your SEVIS record.

4. Change in Schedule for ISSS Walk-In Advising

Please be advised that ISSS advising walk-in hours are cancelled for Wednesday, February 11, 2015. ISSS walk-in hours will resume as scheduled on Thursday, February 12. Please visit the ISSS Website for updates.

5. Job and Internship Fair

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development is pleased to announce the Spring 2015 Job & Internship Fair will take place on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, in the Event Center from 11:00 to 3:30 pm. Representatives from for-profit, government, and non-profit organizations will be available to speak with students regarding both full-time employment and internship opportunities. Students are encouraged to review the list of registered employers in advance, and conduct research on those employers they're interested in. Please click here for more information.

6. English Conversation Pairs Program

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 Tuesday, February 17 at 4:45 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!

Applications are due by Friday February 13th! Please click here to complete an application.

If you have any questions about this survey please contact the English Conversation Pairs Director, Shannon Hilliker, at hilliker@binghamton.edu.

7. How to Receive Your C.P.T. As Soon As Possible

Curricular Practical Training (C.P.T.) is an off-campus employment authorization for international students in F-1 status. It allows you to do an internship or other temporary employment experience that is directly related to your program of study. Come to this workshop to learn the regulations governing CPT, when it can be used. You will also learn what you need to do to submit a successful application!
Date: Thursday, February 19
Time: 1:00-2:30pm
Location: University Union, Room 133-A

8. University Day at the Oakdale Mall

Binghamton University will hold its fifth-annual community outreach event at the Oakdale Mall in February. Faculty members and students will showcase their work through demonstrations, interactive displays and performances from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in Center Court. Come and explore all that the University has to offer! Please click here for more information.

9. ESL Department Announcements

ESL seats remaining for:
Speaking and Listening, ESL 205 / MWF 8:30 and 2:20
Pronunciation and Presentations for Advanced English Speakers, ESL 215 / TR 8:30
Writing, ESL 210 / MWF 10:50

ESL classes are 4 credit "C" or "O" courses, small, helpful, friendly and available to help you achieve academic success! Register now or email Jennifer Brondell brondell@binghamton.edu.

Attention all International Teaching Assistants:
Free course! Learn skills for teaching in the US, ways to be better understood by your students and a chance to sharpen your pronunciation. Register yourself today. GRD 575 TR / 8:30

ESL Department has moved:
The ESL department is now located in Academic A Building, Room 101.

Questions? Email Jennifer Brondell at brondell@binghamton.edu.

10. International Spouse Program ESL Classes

These are non-credit bearing classes for spouses of Binghamton University international students, faculty and staff. Binghamton University Research Scholars are welcome to join as well. These classes are NOT intended for current BU students.

The fee is 5$ total for the semester for each class level you wish to attend. For example, if you wish to attend the elementary level class, the total is 5$. If you wish to attend the elementary level class and the discussion group, the total is 10$, etc. This money is used to cover the cost of copies and is paid only once.

No need to register for these classes beforehand. Please go to the class(es) you wish to attend. The instructor will register you at that time. For more information on course offerings, please see the attached document.

11. Do You Know the Rules for Off-Campus Employment?

Federal regulations exact heavy penalties for those students in F and J status who work off campus without authorization. The ISSS reminds all F and J students that all off-campus employment must be authorized before it can begin. This includes internships, curricular practical training (CPT), and other types of off-campus experiences, whether or not you are receiving college credit for it.

To work off-campus without the appropriate authorization is considered illegal employment according to federal immigration law and is a potentially deportable offense. SEVIS regulations require that all unauthorized employment be reported. So, now more than ever, it's essential for international students to understand the off-campus employment rules that pertain to them.

Special Note: International students who are employed off-campus as part of a cooperative arrangement with their BU academic department AND are paid by either the State or SUNY Research Foundation payroll under the terms of a GA or RA stipend are considered to be authorized for this employment. The SPIR program is an example of this kind of cooperative arrangement.

Definition:
"The term employee means an individual who provides services or labor for an employer for wages or other remuneration." 8 CFR 274a.1(f)

Remuneration means something is given to you because you provided a service. It can be a paycheck, a bonus payment, a stipend, or it can be meal vouchers, room and board, or payment of your travel costs. Any of these would be considered to be employment under federal regulations. Simply put, if you receive anything for providing a service you are employed.

Volunteering is defined as engaging in an activity that anyone (US citizen or citizen of another country) would engage in without expectation of compensation, monetary or otherwise, for the service provided.
Complete information on all of the different employment categories for F and J students can be found by visiting the ISSS website. If you are unsure if an activity would be considered employment, ask the ISSS by sending an email message to intl.work@binghamton.edu!

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Last Updated: 4/12/16