ISSS-BU NEWS FOR MONDAY, 05 JANUARY 2015


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CONTENTS:
1. MRC Home Away from Home Party
2. Soccer Day 2015
3. No International Coffee Hour in January
4. Are You Assisting New Spring 2015 Students?
5. New International Student Orientation is Wednesday, January 21
6. Change in Schedule for ISSS Walk-In Advising
7. Students Requesting Waivers/Adjustments of International Health Insurance for Spring 2015
8. Important Announcement Regarding International Health Insurance for Spring 2015
9. Important Caution to International Students When Taking On-Line Courses
10. Graduating in May 2015? Planning to Register Less Than Full-Time?
11. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Launches Border Wait Time App

1. MRC Home Away from Home Party

All students are invited to the MRC Home Away from Home Party on Tuesday, January 6 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Mohawk Great Room! Dinner will be provided along with free prizes and fun activities. There is no charge to participate; however, we ask that you please e-mail Mengchen Huang at mhuang@binghamton.edu if you would like to attend. Hope to see you there!!

2. Soccer Day 2015

Are you staying in Binghamton over Winter Break? Are you looking for something fun to do? Then you are formally invited to participate in Soccer Day 2015! This event will be held on Friday, January 9 from 10:30am to 3:30pm in the West Gym. All international and domestic students are invited to participate in this event! Please register here prior to January 8, 2015. You can register a team or as a Free Agent. If you register as a Free Agent, we will place you on a team with other Free Agents. Please bring your Student ID the day of the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS Programming Coordinator at: ltorrice@binghamton.edu.

3. No International Coffee Hour in January

There will be no International Coffee Hour in January. Instead, the regular International Coffee Hour schedule will resume Friday, February 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm in Old Union Hall. Watch for the announcement in the February edition of ISSS-BU News.

4. Are You Assisting New Spring 2015 Students?

New students are beginning to arrive to begin their studies for the Spring 2015 semester. If you are assisting a new student, be sure to bring them to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services so that ISSS can distribute its new student early arrival information. ISSS business hours through Friday, January 16 are 8:00 am to 3:45 pm weekdays. The ISSS returns to regular academic year office hours beginning Monday, January 19. Please visit the ISSS website for updates.

5. New International Student Orientation is Wednesday, January 21

International Student Orientation activities begin Wednesday, January 21, and orientation packets will be distributed during orientation check-in, Wednesday January 21. The first event will start at 8:00 am in the University Union Old Union Hall. Detailed information on International Student Orientation will soon be available here.

6. Change in Schedule for ISSS Walk-In Advising

Please be advised that ISSS advising walk-in hours are cancelled for Tuesday, January 20, 2015 and Wednesday, January 21, 2015. ISSS walk-in hours will resume as scheduled on Thursday, January 22. Please visit the ISSS Website for updates.

7. Students Requesting Waivers/Adjustments of International Health Insurance for Spring 2015

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, 2015. No exceptions are granted.

8. Important Announcement Regarding International Health Insurance for Spring 2015

International students whose health insurance is issued through HTH Worldwide Inc have insurance ID cards with an expiry date of January 14, 2015. Spring Semester coverage for both new and continuing students starts on January 15, 2015. However, enrollment processing cannot begin until the last add/drop day of classes and most likely will not be completed until January 31, 2015. Therefore, students that need to renew prescription medication and/or have appointments to receive medical services off campus during that time frame can contact the International Health Insurance team at intl.insure@binghamton.edu to request an early insurance enrollment in order to obtain their new insurance ID card in time for those medical services.

9. Important Caution to International Students When Taking On-Line Courses

Most international students are aware that US federal regulations limit the number of on-line or distance learning classes that can be taken by F-1 visa holders, even if the classes are offered by Binghamton University. A full description of the rules can be found here on the ISSS website.

If a student needs only one course to finish his or her program of study in the final semester (and this includes Summer Session or Winter Session), it cannot be taken through online/distance education. There must be a physical presence requirement for the course. If a student remains in the United States without reporting to any class, it becomes a security issue and cannot be allowed.

Students who take only a distance learning class in their final semester are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This is because the distance learning course taken by itself, with no other physical presence courses, is a violation of F-1 regulations. Don't let this happen to you! If you have questions, send an email message to isss@binghamton.edu or visit ISSS during walk-in advising hours.

10. Graduating in May 2015? Planning to Register Less Than Full-Time?

Undergraduate students who will be graduating at the end of the Spring 2015 semester and plan to register for less than a full-time course load because they need fewer than full-time credits to graduate must complete a Request for a Reduced Course Load Due to Course Completion form.

Graduate students who are graduating at the end of Spring 2015 and are registered for a course rubric that cannot be certified as full time must also complete this form.

11. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Launches Border Wait Time App

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently launched a Border Wait Time app making it easier for travelers to plan their trip across the border. The app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry allowing travelers to make an informed decision of where and when to cross the border. Wait times for pedestrian and passenger and commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.). Travelers can download the app for free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. Further details can be found by clicking here.

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Last Updated: 3/3/15