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January 2015 International Student Newsletter:

CGE News, Health Insurance Waiver Application, Income Taxes,  Stay in Status, and OPT Workshop

New Student Employee at Center for Global Education
 
It is with mixed emotions that we announce the departure of Bing Liang from the Center for Global Education staff.  Bing has decided to focus more time on his dissertation during his last semester at Edgewood.  During the past 2 ½ years Bing has played an important role in our office through his work coordinating orientations, providing support and assistance to international students, and much more.  We will miss him in the Center and wish him the best on his dissertation!  
We are happy to welcome Vicky Ortiz Sayago as the new Graduate Assistant for International Student Services.  Vicky is an international student from Venezuela.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Business and Graphic Design from Edgewood College and she is currently working on her MBA.   Please stop by the office to meet Vicky! 
 
Health Insurance Waiver Application 
Deadline: February 1

All international students are required to purchase health insurance to protect against the high cost of medical care in the U.S.  Edgewood international students are automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan with WPS and the fee is billed directly to your student account.
 
If you are enrolled in a different health insurance plan, you can apply for a health insurance waiver for the Spring 2015 semester. The application deadline is February 1 and no late waivers will be accepted.  Please note that students who are sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission do not need to apply for a waiver.
 
For complete details about Edgewood’s health insurance policy and the waiver application, read the Health Insurance section on the Center for Global Education Website.


Income Taxes – Important Reminders 
 
All international students must submit (“file” is the term commonly used) tax information to the U.S. government concerning themselves and their dependents each and every year that they reside in the United States.  Watch your mail carefully during this month, if you receive documents in the mail marked “IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION,” do NOT throw them away. Save these documents because you will need them to file your annual income tax return.  The following are some of the forms you might receive:
  • W-2:  If you had income earned in the U.S. last year, you should receive a W-2 from each employer.  If you work on campus, Edgewood will have your W-2 form available in the middle of January for pick-up in the Business Office. If you don’t pick it up, they will mail it at the end of January to your permanent address on file at Edgewood.
  • 1099-MISC: If you had income earned in the U.S. last year, you may receive a 1099-MISC from your employer instead of a W-2.  
  • 1098T: If you are filing as a Non-Resident you should IGNORE the 1098-T Form since you are not eligible for any of the educational tax credits.
  • 1042-S:  If you received U.S. income last year and you are from a country that has a tax treaty with the U.S. and you filed for tax treaty benefits, or you received compensation classified as Income Code 15, you should receive a 1042-S statement. 
  • 1099-INT:  If you have an interest bearing checking or savings account and your banking institution did not know you were a non-resident last year, you should receive Form 1099-INT showing total interest earned on your account last year.
The Center for Global Education will be emailing all international students an income tax guide in February. Edgewood College staff, including Center for Global Education staff, DO NOT provide assistance or advice to students about their individual tax returns. The guide that will be released in February will provide some resources where you can get individual assistance.

Stay in Status: Important Reminders

With the start of a new semester, it can be challenging to keep track of everything – new classes, moving to a new apartment or residence hall, reconnecting with your Edgewood friends…etc. During this busy time, CGE wants to help you stay “in-status” with the regulations of your student visa. Please review these important reminders:
  • Notify CGE within 10 days of moving to a new address by submitting the Change of Address form to CGE. You don’t need to notify the Registrar’s Office—just submit the Change of Address form to the CGE and we’ll take care of the rest!    
  • Email Sara if you change your major (your major field of study should be correctly reflected on your I-20).  If, by changing your major, you will need more time to complete your program, you should apply for an extension of your I-20.
  • If you will not complete your academic program by the completion date on your I-20, submit an Application for Extension of I-20 BEFORE the program end date.  
  • Carry a valid passport (one that will not expire in the next 6 months).

OPT Workshop: February 3
 
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an optional benefit that students in F-1 status can apply for through the U.S. government. This opportunity for temporary employment in the U.S. must be directly related to your major area of study. Students in F-1 status who will graduate in May or August 2015 should attend the OPT Workshop on Tuesday, February 3 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Predolin 308.  All interested students must attend an OPT workshop before applying for OPT. 
 
For more information about OPT, read the F-1 Off-Campus Employment section on the Center for Global Education website.
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