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Current ISO Student News

Issue 8: January 16, 2017


Table of Contents

  1. Welcome and Welcome Back for 2017! (more)
  2. Reminder: Full-Time Registration Requirement (more)
  3. Free English Conversation Skills Program starting February 7 (more)
  4. ISO Employment Workshop for Graduating Students – February 5 (more)
  5. Getting Ready for Tax Season (more)
  6. RGC Spotlight: George Eastman House Tour – Saturday, February 18 (more)
  7. Campus Focus: 7th Annual inspireDANCE Festival – January 25 to 30 (more)

Welcome and Welcome Back for 2017!

The International Services Office (ISO) would like to offer a warm welcome to the newest members of our international community at the University of Rochester! To our returning students, we wish you a wonderful new year and a good term at UR. 

As always, our staff is committed to helping you make the most of your academic program and life in the US. Throughout the year, we hope you will feel free to contact the ISO with any questions or concerns you may have. Currently, our office is regularly open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. You are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss any matters in detail by phoning the office at +1 585-275-2866 or emailing A student advisor is available for short walk-in advising every afternoon, between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Students at the Eastman School of Music may visit with an ISO advisor on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. You will also find extensive resources on our website and may request certain letters and services, as you need them:

If this is your first edition of “ISO Student News” please note the email address and subject line. This is generally the best and most efficient way to keep our international students informed of important deadlines, new changes to immigration regulations, and upcoming social programs and events!! Look for future issues of ISO Student News coming twice per month.


Reminder: Full-Time Registration Requirement

The ISO is required to report every academic term whether all F-1 and J-1 students are maintaining a full-time course load. Please verify that you are registered for the appropriate credits this term. Full-time enrollment is 12 credits per semester, 9 credits per quarter, or equivalent registration (with certain courses or other academic activities such as a Teaching or Research Assistantship). If you need to request an authorized Reduced Course Load, you will find the necessary form online. If needed, please speak to an International Student Advisor before you drop below your required credits. Unauthorized part-time enrollment is a violation of F-1 and J-1 student status.


ISO Employment Workshop for Graduating Students – February 5

The ISO has scheduled an employment workshop in early February for students graduating this term. If you are thinking about work options for after graduation, we encourage you to attend this session to learn more about your eligibility and the application procedures for the necessary work permission. This workshop will cover work authorizations available to graduating F-1 students, including information on Optional Practical Training and the transition to the H-1B, extensions to OPT, unemployment, and travel. This workshop will also offer detailed guidance on applying for OPT. Especially if you are planning to complete your program requirements this April or May, now is the time to start planning!

Work After Graduation & OPT Application Procedures
Sunday, February 5 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
1-101 Dewey Hall, River Campus

Also, stay tuned for information about additional employment workshops we will offer later this term.


Free English Conversation Skills Program starting February 7

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 February 7 with a one week break from March 11 through the 19. Please choose the session that best suits your schedule and language needs. Your class section options are the following:

Tuesdays, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm (Beginner Level)

Wednesdays, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Conversation Skills)

Thursdays, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Conversation Skills)

Fridays, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Conversation Skills)

You may sign-up for an session starting Wednesday, January 18 at 9:00 am. There are limited spots available in each section so don’t delay in signing up! To sign up for a class section please use the online form: If you have any questions please e-mail


Getting Ready for Tax Season

International students who were present in the US during any part of 2016 must comply with Federal and State tax filing requirements. All F-1 and J-1 students who are categorized as Non-Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes must file a Federal Tax Statement (Form 8843), regardless of whether any income was earned. Additionally, any student who has earned income while in the U.S. during 2016 may also need to file income tax forms for Federal and State earnings. Over the next several weeks, you may receive important tax forms by mail from the University, off-campus US employers, banks, or other financial institutions. Do not discard these forms! You will need to use them when preparing to file your 2016 taxes.

To help in understanding your US tax obligations, several resources will again be available to UR international students. The GLACIER software system can help to determine your tax filing category and will allow access to its tax preparation program beginning in February. More details regarding additional tax resources, including the return of ISO's GLACIER Tax Prep Assistant, will be published in future issues of ISO Student News.


RGC Spotlight: George Eastman House Tour – Saturday, February 18

George Eastman House Tour
Saturday, February 18
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
900 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

The George Eastman Museum is a National Landmark and unique destination that you don’t want to miss! George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the world’s oldest film archives, combines the world’s leading collections of photography and film with George Eastman's elegant mansion and gardens. After the tour, network with international students and community members! *Free early bird tickets for first 20 international students that register.  Regular price is $5.00/student and transportation can be provided on an as-needed basis.  Register online at

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 most events and activities. For more information about RGC, visit their website at


Campus Focus: 7th Annual inspireDANCE Festival – January 25 to 30

7th Annual inspireDANCE Festival
January 25 to January 30
University of Rochester

The seventh annual inspireDANCE Festival will take place here on the UR campus over six days from January 25 to January 30. The six-day celebration of dances from cultures all over the world will feature a free UR student dance group Kickoff Concert (January 25 at 8:00 pm in Spurrier Dance Studio), guest performances by Heginbotham Dance and inspireJAM, and over 30 classes in dance and movement from all over the world! For more information or a complete schedule, visit the Program of Dance and Movement at the University of Rochester at or call + 1 585 273-5150.


Editor: Lena Ovcharov, International Student Advisor