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Current ISO Student News

Issue 1: September 1, 2015



Table of Contents

  1. Welcome and Welcome Back!!  (more)
  2. Important Start-of-Term Reminders  (more)
  3. ISO Office Hours - River Campus and Eastman School of Music  (more)
  4. Free English Language Resources - Fall 2015  (more)
  5. Save the Date!  ISO Day Trip to Niagara Falls - October 3  (more)
  6. RGC SpotlightWelcome Picnic – September 13 and Fall 2015 Events  (more)
  7. Campus FocusUHS Health Insurance Deadline – September 15  (more)


Welcome and Welcome Back!!

The International Services Office would like to extend a warm welcome from the University of Rochester to all of our new and returning international students!  We are thrilled to invite over 1,000 new students to the University this year, and are pleased to have so many returning students back on campus for the start of another academic year.  We hope you will stop by the ISO with your questions, or just to say hello.  Please remember that it is best to schedule an appointment ahead of time for issues or concerns that you would like to discuss with an advisor.

If you are new to the University, this will also be your first introduction to “ISO Student News,” our electronic newsletter.  This is our primary means of communication for upcoming events, changes to U.S. regulations, and reminders about immigration responsibilities and benefits.  New issues are sent to your current UR email address.  If you prefer to use a personal account, please be sure to forward your campus email so you will continue to receive this important resource. 

Important Start-of-Term Reminders

Just a few reminders that international students should remain aware of:

All F-1 and J-1 students must maintain full-time registration each term.  If you will need to take a reduced course load, please make an appointment to see an International Student Advisor before you drop below your required credits.  If you believe you will need to take a reduced course load, please see the Reduced Course Load form online.

International students must have appropriate employment authorization before they begin working.  F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the school year while maintaining their immigration status.  J-1 students must complete additional documentation with the ISO for on-campus employment. Any off-campus employment for both F-1 and J-1 students must be specifically authorized and documented. Questions on your work permissions or limitations should be directed to an ISO advisor.

Report all address changes within 10 days.  International students are required to notify the ISO within 10 days of moving.  You can report this information at any time through our website, using the appropriate online registration tool for your UR division. Students on F-1 OPT, please use our OPT Reporting tool online.

Keep your immigration & other records up-to-date.  Make sure that you maintain a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 for the current academic year.  If you have renewed or extended your passport, please submit a copy to ISO.  Also, remember to update your GLACIER record with required address info, travel dates, and UR employment details.


ISO Office Hours - River Campus and Eastman School of Music

The ISO is located at 213 Morey Hall, River Campus.  The office is open 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Feel free to stop by during these hours to pick up documents, request an updated travel signature, or review University procedures.  If you wish to discuss minor questions, please take advantage of our Advisor Walk-In Hours from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm each afternoon.  More complex issues will require additional time and you should call (585-275-2866) or email ( ahead to schedule an appointment.  Appointments will not be available on Wednesday mornings to allow for document processing and staff meetings.

ESM Office Hours: An ISO advisor will also be available at the Eastman School of Music during the academic semester on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm in Room 506 of the main building.  Many forms and handouts are available on the ISO website.  If you need assistance at other times, Eastman students are welcome to make an appointment at our River Campus location as well.


Free English Language Resources - Fall 2015

The ISO is pleased to sponsor a weekly English conversation group, free of charge to the University of Rochester community!  This is an advanced class with an experienced instructor held on Thursdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Classes begin September 10th.   A preliminary conversation with the instructor will likely be needed to ensure that the class is appropriate for your English speaking skills.  Please contact Cynthia at if you are interested.  Only 5 available spots are currently open.

Additionally, the Warner School of Education is again partnering with the ISO to offer a free English Conversation Skills (ECS) Program!  Classes will run for about 10 weeks, starting the week of October 5th.  There will be three available sections, a beginner level course and two practical conversation skills courses, so that you may choose one that best suits your schedule and language needs.  You may sign up for an English Conversation Skills course starting Tuesday, September 15th at 12:00 noon online.  The online reservation form and additional details about these courses will be available in the next issue of ISO Students News.  There are limited spots available in each section, so don't delay in signing up!  


Save the Date! ISO Day Trip to Niagara Falls - October 3

Take a day trip to the American side of Niagara Falls!  We will depart at 8:00 am on Saturday, October 3rd from River Campus and return that evening around 6:30 pm.  ISO is still finalizing costs, but the cost of the trip will not exceed $75 for adults which will include roundtrip bus transportation and a Discovery Pass.  The Discovery Pass includes the following attractions: Niagara Legends of Adventure Theatre, Aquarium of Niagara, Cave of the Winds, Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, and the popular Maid of the Mist boat ride.  This day is yours to plan!  There are plenty of things to see and do during our day at Niagara Falls.  If you are interested, please email Stephanie Johnson at to reserve a spot now!  Additional details will be offered later this month in the next issue of ISO Student News. We hope you can join us!


RGC Spotlight: Welcome Picnic – September 13 and Fall 2015 Events

Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is a local community group dedicated to bringing Rochester’s local international students and families together with the community to develop friendships and promote understanding.  We hope that you will become involved and join in the many social and educational events that RGC has to offer throughout the year.  Please visit their website at for more information.  Each issue of ISO Student News will feature a section highlighting RGC’s upcoming events and various programs.

RGC Welcome Picnic for International Students, Scholars, and their Families
Sunday, September 13th - 3:00 to 7:00 pm
RGC’s Welcome Event will be held in the Millennium Lodge at Greece Canal Park, in Greece, NY.  The park is located at 241 Elmgrove Road (Route 386).  This is a great opportunity to meet international students from around Rochester, socialize with RGC members, and enjoy lots of good food!  Bring your friends and family, and enjoy plenty of outdoor activities such as badminton, volleyball, frisbee, football/soccer, and American football.  Please RSVP by September 7th by using the form online.  If you have questions, please contact RGC by email ( or by phone (585-275-8779).

RGC Events & Activities 2015-16
More information is available online about the additional events and activities planned for this 2015-16 Academic Year! Events and activities include: Fall Hike at Letchworth State Park, Square Dance at the Barn, Thanksgiving Dinner, Ice Skating, Cosmic Bowling, Line Dance and Chili Supper, George Eastman House Tour, Lancer’s Indoor Soccer Game, and Red Wings Baseball Game & Tour.

Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is a community-based volunteer organization that provides services to international students and Department of State visitors in the Rochester area. The International Services Office (ISO) hosts RGC at the University of Rochester and co-sponsors many events and activities.


Campus Focus: UHS Health Insurance Deadline – September 15

To promote student safety, all full-time students, including our international population, must have qualifying health insurance for the duration of their academic program.  Therefore, full-time students must indicate whether they plan to enroll in or waive the University's sponsored health insurance plan EVERY YEAR.  If you have not yet completed this process, please be aware that the deadline is September 15th if you want to waive with an alternate insurance plan.  The University requires all full-time students who have not waived the plan by September 15th to be enrolled in the UR-sponsored plan.  Students who are enrolled in the University's health insurance plan may also enroll their dependent spouse or children.  To find more information about the health care plan and available coverage and complete the enrollment/waiver process for the 2015-2016 academic year, visit the UHS website


Editor: Lena Ovcharov, International Student Advisor