UChicago O-Week 2019: International Family Orientation

NICK SEAMONS: Welcome to
the University of Chicago. On behalf of several
people, likely, over the course of
the next several hours and even the next
couple of days, I want to make
especially warm welcome to our parents of
international students. You all have come from afar and
we’re happy that you’re here. We’re happy your
children are here. And we look forward to working
with them and also with you over the course of
the next four years. I want to introduce myself. My name is Nick Seamons. I am the Director of the
Office of International Affairs here at the
University of Chicago. An office, as you see
from the slide behind me, that is specifically for
international students, for international scholars. So we work also with
faculty who are coming from abroad, their families. And of course,
students at all levels. We look forward to
working with your students over the course of
the next few years. And they become part of
a very global population here at the University,
as you can see. Currently, overall students,
both undergraduates and graduates, the international
population is almost 24%, which is actually quite high. And for students from over
110 countries, so it’s not– there is distribution in that. Our office– we’ll mention
this over the course of the next hour or so,
but our office really is a resource for your students. It can be a resource
for you as parents. And we love this
session because we get to give you the
information that we’re giving your children. And then we get
to work together, almost as co-parents
to make sure that they’re doing
what they need to do over the course
of the next few years. So again, you can see
just the distribution of international students
across the board– PhD students do
make up our largest international population. Or excuse me, masters. Masters students
make up our largest international population. Followed by the undergraduates
and then non-degree visiting students. Among the various
divisions, the college is the second most
represented internationally. So among undergraduates. And not probably different than
other colleges and universities across the United States,
the top sending countries to the University of Chicago are
China, India, and South Korea. I like to cover with parents
the advising structure. You’re going to hear a lot
about your student having access to an academic advisor. And in this case, having access
to an international student advisor, someone that they can
go to if they have questions about their
immigration documents, their visa, their passport,
travel, getting an internship, working with career advancement
here at the University, and then getting the related
permissions or authorizations in order to actually
take that internship. All students are assigned an
international student advisor. We happen to have
Sarah Tillman here up in the front, who is the
international student advisor to all international
students in the college. So Sarah sends a warm
welcome every quarter and reaches out via
email every quarter to international
students in the college. And as you can see, her contact
information is here, as well. So if you have questions,
please feel free to reach out to either she or I over the
course of the next few years. We do encourage students
to come to the office. We meet with them in other
locations across the campus, whether that’s in residential
halls in advance of breaks, like winter or spring
or summer breaks, just to provide them any
information they may need– travel signatures,
ensure that they’re not forgetting their documents. You can imagine at this point
how many students have made it to O’Hare International
Airport and realized that their passport is
still in their room. We try to do our best to remind
them to carry those things, to find a way, a method that
works for them, so that they’re able to ensure that they
have all of the documents that they need for travel
abroad and reentry. And we’ll talk about
that in just a moment. Sarah, again, even her
phone number this time. So I know that this session
is actually being recorded and will be accessible
to you afterwards. So don’t worry too much. Sarah’s been with the
office for a few years now and has worked been working
solely with undergraduates here at the University of Chicago and
is familiar with their rhythm over the course of four
years– when they’re taking internships,
when to reach out to them for various
things, again, like travel, but also getting
close to graduation, thinking about post-graduation
employment authorization, and that kind of thing. Some of this information
is the same information that we will actually be
sharing with your students. If we didn’t already
last week, we will be meeting with
your students on Thursday this week as part
of their schedules. So they’ll be
getting this session in a little more
in-depth way with other international students
who are current students, so that they can share some of
their best practices and tips with the new students. I’ve mentioned this before
and we will tell students over and over, but if you have
questions, come to the office rather than speaking
to your friend who goes to Stanford or Columbia
or residing or trying to look for information
specifically related to immigration on the internet. It’s a very interesting
time in this country, as you all probably are aware. And it means that immigration
is changing quite a bit, even in the past few years. And so we encourage students
to come to us so that they’re getting the correct
information, the correct legal interpretation of
immigration regulation in this country at this moment,
because it is so complicated. One of the things that we tell
students from the get-go– and that they’ll be hearing aid
number of times over the course of the next couple of weeks– is to make sure that they have
taken photos with their phones or scanned copies of all of
their important immigration documentation and
maybe other documents. A lot of those things
are easier to replace after they’re lost or destroyed
or, god forbid, stolen. Those things are easier to
replace if you have a copy that you can produce
either from email or on your phone via photo
or something like that. And also, it just
makes it easier if you need to pull up a number,
a reference number, anything along those lines. Any questions to this point? Feel free, as I go– this is meant really for you to
get your answers, get answers to your questions,
and also, for things that come up that may not be
readily apparent on the slides. Yeah. Yeah. So the question is, is a scanned
copy adequate for travel, or do you need the original? And the answer is,
you need the original. So each time– and we’ll
cover this in just a moment But each time you do
leave the United States and even just to
get on an airplane, both to depart but
also to return, your students are going to
need their original documents. So travel. We’ll talk specifically
about that. We do encourage
students to travel. We know that your students are
likely to be traveling, even coming up in December
over the winter break. And then potentially over the
spring break or the summer break, for sure, potentially,
in the first summer. And these are the
necessary documents that your students need not
only to depart the United States but to return. A valid passport. I often ask this
question of students as we meet with them over
the course of the beginning of each academic year– how many of you know
the expiration date of your passport? Anybody have that
readily available? I don’t often remember
until I’m actually using my passport for something
and then it’s like, oh, I need to remember to renew it. But your passport must
be valid six months into the future from
the next dated entry. An unexpired F1
or J1 visa stamp– that’s the sticker that
was affixed in the passport by the US consular embassy. And then of course, the
immigration document, either the I-20 or the DS-2019. Travel signatures are
provided to students throughout the year. They’re valid for
a 12 month period regardless of the
number of times a student may depart and
re-enter the United States. And again, Sarah is the
advisor in the office who not only issued the
documents to students, but will know when to
remind students to say, now is the time you need
to get a travel signature. I’m going to be at campus
north on this day and campus south on this day, or at
the library on another day. And we’d like to time
those things to correspond to peak travel seasons,
typically right before the winter break and then
again right before the summer break. So what is a travel signature? It is perhaps the most archaic
and bureaucratic component of the US government
immigration policy. It is an actual
signature from a school official on the student’s
I-20 or DS-2019. In fact, on the I-20, it
shows up on the second page, and on the DS-2019,
the related immigration document to the J-1 visa, it
shows up on the third page. So in just means that a
student needs a signature every 12 months to facilitate
their entry into the United States. So Customs and Border Patrol, at
the time of passport clearance, will look for that
travel signature to ensure that a student
has actually, I suppose– the nature of this
is that they’re looking to see that the student
has actually seen a school official and by
giving a signature, we’re ensuring that the
student is enrolled full time, is in good academic
standing, et cetera. Regardless of the
number of times you may travel abroad or reenter
over the course that 12 months, the signature is
valid for 12 months. And again, your students
will be getting reminders about this leading up
to big travel periods where we know they’re
going to be traveling. I think students actually
understand the travel signature bit. The one thing they more often
actually forget this document altogether when leaving. So if you know that your
student has a document holder of some kind or
keeps important immigration documents, encourage
your student to use that as a way to keep the
I-20 or the DS-2019 in place. Yes, in the back. Good question. The question is, is this
the same for Canadians? And the answer is, yes, with
the exception of the actual visa sticker in the passport. That is the only
component that does not apply to Canadian citizens. But otherwise, as
a Canadian citizen, you would need the valid
passport and the I-20 or DS-2019 with the
travel signature. Yeah, good question. Any other questions
about travel? Yeah, it’s a great question. The question is,
for students who are transferring from another
school in the United States, boarding school, preparatory
school, in the United States, they’ve transferred
their immigration records to the University of Chicago,
does the travel signature correspond to their
prior schooling? The answer is no. We would have issued
to them an updated I-20 and provided a travel signature
as part of that transfer process. Yeah. So now, moving forward, although
the student’s immigration number won’t have
changed, the institution reflected on the
document will have. And then Sarah or anyone in the
Office of International Affairs can provide that
signature moving forward. Any other questions
about travel? Yes. So the question is, if they
need to renew their passport, if their passport has expired,
or it’s lost or stolen for whatever reason, we would
encourage that a student visit us first and foremost. We’ll work with them to file
a police report for a lost government ID. And then refer them to
the actual consulate if there is a consulate from
their country of citizenship here in Chicago. They can work with the
consulate to actually apply for the renewed visa– excuse me, passport. Or with the embassy in
Washington DC for the renewal. What that does mean,
however, is if your student loses the passport, it’s like– the visa sticker itself is
in now the lost passport, and it means the next
time they’re at home, they would need
to actually apply for the updated or new
visa stamp to correspond. So that that new visa sticker
is placed in the new passport. Good question. So in short, they’ll be
working with the consular embassy of their home country
here in the US to renew. And then we can help them– excuse me– work through the
process of getting the updated visa stamp, which can
only, unfortunately, happen at a US consular embassy
abroad, typically in their home country. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think the one
clarification about the visa sticker is that it is required
only at the time of entry. The visa stamps themselves
are issued with validity dates that correspond to reciprocity
between the United States and whatever country. And that sometimes means
that a student’s visa sticker may expire within the four
year period of their study here at the
University of Chicago. And so all that
means, really, is that if their visa
sticker does expire, and they’re here in
the United States, there’s no problem
in that period. It just means the next
time they do travel abroad, if the visa sticker
itself has expired, they’ll have to go through
the renewal process with the US consular embassy. Any other questions about that? Yeah. Yes. So the question is, would they
need a new I-20 or DS-2019 to obtain a new visa stamp? And they could get that
before they left here. So we could provide them
with an updated I-20 if they needed or they could use
the I-20 in their possession. What that means is that
the passport number itself does not actually appear
on the I-20 or DS-2019. So no information
has to be changed if the passport itself is
updated or a new passport is issued. So you won’t need
an updated I-20 because the passport number
itself doesn’t appear on it. But if they get a
new passport, we can provide them with an
updated copy, if they need, of their I-20 or DS-2019. But it does mean that
they may actually have to then get a
new visa sticker, or travel with both the valid
and the expired passport. So if the valid passport
doesn’t have the valid visa stamp in it, and they still
have the expired passport with the valid visa
stamp, they can travel with both
passports and their I-20. Keeping old I-20s is going
to be valuable down the road, as they’re considering
other options post-graduation, as they
look at H-1Bs or green cards, that kind of thing. It is not uncommon
anymore for students to provide copies of
their I-20s or DS-2019s as part of those petitions. So we will tell them that. Again, it’s just more
benefit to scanning or having electronic copies of those
documents that can easily be pulled up and provided. Good. Any other travel
related questions? Yes. So if your students
are traveling in the United States,
of course they can use their passport
to board an airplane. It won’t be uncommon
for your students over the course of
the next four years to obtain a social
security number and then potentially
get a temporary state ID in the State of Illinois. Or they may have a
government ID from home that they may prefer to
use when getting on a plane or once they are 21 or
even before they’re 21, in order to get into a bar
or something like that. They might prefer to use a
government ID card rather than carrying their passport. So really, traveling
in the US, we recommend that they simply just
carry government issued ID, whether that’s home
government or in this case, US government-issued ID. The University of
Chicago ID card is not considered
government issued ID. So it does not it does
not make a student eligible to board an
airplane, either domestically or internationally,
with just the UC ID. So that’s one thing. It comes up quite a bit with
students because in the US, the drinking culture
is such that in order to get into even some
restaurants here, you have to show ID. So they know whether
you’re 21 and older or not. And if you’re not, then they
might give you a wristband of some kind or something. But that is when it
comes up, typically. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So the question is, is the
driver’s license sufficient ID? And if they have a US
issued driver’s license, that is valid for
boarding an airplane. Yeah. An international
driver’s license could potentially also work. Yeah. I think it just depends
on for what purpose. Again, if you’re trying to
enter a restaurant or a bar with an international
driver’s license, it’s probably highly likely that
person reviewing that document will have no idea, but it
will look official enough that folks will let them in. Yeah. We try to catch students
within nine months, actually. We tell them they’re
valid for 12 months. But each academic year
that they’re here, we’re reaching out
and saying, you need to come and
get a signature. You need to bring your
document to this location, whether it’s at our office
or at their residence halls, again, the library. Some of the major intersections
where students are. And we try to bribe them
with granola bars and apples. We should use candy, actually. Pardon? Correct. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think the main point simply
being, before they leave, we remind them and
we ask you to remind them– don’t forget
your passport and don’t forget your
I-20 or your DS-2019. Just make sure you have all of
your documentation with you. If your student forgets or
for whatever reason in transit or once they’re home, the
document is either destroyed– we’ve heard it all, from my
I-20 fell in the fireplace to it got washed in the laundry. If that is the case,
we can you know send an updated
fresh copy to them abroad to facilitate the entry. Yeah. So the question being, if
you have a picture of it, is that helpful? And the answer is yes. And this comes up
when scenarios are such that there’s
not sufficient time to send a fresh copy in unit. So if a student writes to
us and says, I’m in Beijing and I’m getting on an airplane
tomorrow morning for Chicago, we know there’s no
way for us to ship unoriginal document to them. The student can use
the electronic copy from their phone
or from their email or we will scan and
send them a copy. The other note that
I’ll just make here is that as an institution,
we are very close– as close as
potentially we can be– with Customs and Border
Protection here at Chicago. So as students are arriving in
the US, if their port of entry is O’Hare International
Airport and there is some question about
one of our students, Customs and Border Protection
will reach out to our office and say, can you confirm this
student is enrolled or is in fact who they say
they are, with the ID that they have on their
phone, something like that. And then we can work
to take care of that. So not not to plug O’Hare,
because not all flights are easily sorted
through O’Hare, but that is one benefit
of being in Chicago. Yes. So the question is, if
you’re international, can you get
government issued ID? And once a student is eligible
in the State of Illinois for a social
security number, they can apply for a driver’s
license or a temporary state ID and use that for
government issued ID. Yeah. Yep. And I’ll touch on
that in just a moment. Any other travel
related questions? The last thing I will say– and
some of you may already know this– but your students can
have multiple valid US visas in their passport
at any one time. So they may have
a B-1, B-2 visa, they might actually have
Esta clearance, as well as either an F1 or J1 student visa. And that’s OK. One of the things that we
do is encourage students after their arrival to check
their I-94 or their arrival record in the United States. And we have a link
to that for them. But that just makes– it’s their verification that
Customs and Border Protection in fact did process
their entry correctly on the right date
in the right status. Any questions? All right. I’m going to talk quickly about
some work authorization pieces and social security will
become a part of this. Students on F1 or J1
student visa status are eligible to
work on campus here at the University of Chicago. No prior authorization or
permission is required. This is an automatic benefit
of their visa status, and they can work
only part time. So during academic
periods, students are restricted from an
institutional perspective but also per the
federal regulation from working any more than
20 hours in a given week. But we do hear from
students who they’ll find research opportunities
as research assistants. Or maybe they want to work
in the library for a period. All of those things
are completely allowable per the
visa regulations but also from an
institutional standpoint. And if they do get
a job on campus, then they are then eligible
to apply for a Social Security number. So in order to be eligible
for a Social Security number, you have to have been
offered employment, whether that’s on campus or in
an internship capacity let’s just say during their
first or second summer. So on-campus employment
is permitted. No prior authorization
is required. The employment
authorization benefits or the employment benefits
tied to either the F-1 or J-1 student visa are listed here. Most of our students
in F-1 status will take advantage of
Curricular Practical Training, or CPT. This is pre-graduation
authorization that typically corresponds to an internship
or an off-campus job in some capacity. The requirement here
being that whatever they are doing off campus
is directly related to their program of study. All of your students
will have the opportunity to explore an internship
option while they’re here at the University of Chicago. You will likely hear
if you haven’t already of the Metcalf program. Actually in this building
directly down the hall that way is Career
Advancement who work tirelessly with all
students in the college for the purpose of not
only getting them access to internships that
they’re interested in, but soft programming
around looking for jobs, interviewing, writing
a resume, how to– they do things even like
handshake in the US context. Or don’t chew gum if you show
up right here, your interview, that kind of thing. So CPT is the corresponding
permission or authorization for international
students on F-1 visas. The related post-graduation
employment benefit for students on F-1 visas
is called Optional Practical Training, or OPT. So you’ll likely be
hearing these words. And we at the Office of
International Affairs host workshops throughout the
year every quarter, typically two or three times per quarter,
on these types of employment benefits for both F and J– J-1 visa holders. For J-1 student visas,
academic training is the corresponding
employment authorization that a student would actually
use to take an internship. Any questions about the
employment benefits? Yes. So the Office of Career
Advancement in this building, actually directly across the
hall, this is their location. They have an incredible staff
who are industry specific. So if you have a student
who’s interested in investment banking or just may want
to explore an internship opportunity in
investment banking, they’re going to be able
to work with that student to find opportunities
for internships but also just give some
context around what an internship in investment
banking is going to look like. They bring employers to campus
for recruiting events, again, not only just large recruitment
fairs but also industry specific recruiting
events over the course of every academic year. And internships are
supported both, of course, in the United States
but internships abroad. This past summer we
had a large number of students, undergraduate
students in general, interning around the world. And I think that is
testament to the work that Career Advancement does. And they work very
closely with alumni of the university to find
those types of opportunity. But it is important
that students who are on student visas
in the US, if they do take an internship
in the US, that they have the corresponding
authorization. But if they’re going to
be doing an internship– I don’t know– in Hong
Kong, for example, then Career Advancement
will work with the student to determine what is required
for local immigration. So if you are a UK– well, maybe not UK. If you’re a French citizen
and you’re actually going to intern in
Hong Kong, there may be some
internship-related visa that’s required in
order to actually do something like that. And they will be
supporting that process with your students
along the way. Yeah, in the back. Yeah, good question–
the question being, from the time of
offer to application for a Social Security
number, how long until you get the number? It does vary. We’re saying right around
two weeks right now. But I will also say that the
Social Security number itself is not required
to begin working. Simply applying in advance
of starting is sufficient, and then the number will come. The other thing I’ll say
about Social Security numbers is that they are
issued for life. So if your student has a
Social Security number based on previous
experience in the US, then that is the number
that they would be using throughout their time here. There are a few other questions. Yeah. The question– is it
difficult for F-1 students to get an internship? I don’t want to name drop here. But I think maybe– I think the
University of Chicago has a reputation for students
to navigate the recruitment process for internships,
and more to the point, find the best fit. The Office of Career
Advancement is completely dedicated to
that, to that process. And we work very
closely with them to ensure that as the student
moves through even just the interview process
for an internship, that we’re ready when they’re
ready to accept an offer to get the CPT authorization
that they need. Good– good question. Is time spent on CPT
deducted from the 12 months you have eligible
for post completion OPT? And the answer is, it is
not actually deducted. It is not deducted. So regardless, your student
will have that standard period of 12 months of OPT. And again, this is based on
current immigration regulation in this country. And as you all know,
that seems to be– that seems to vary widely
depending on Twitter, depending on the day. Well, and I will say that
part of the regulation is– has been congressionally
authorized. So changes to it would require
a very substantial movement on the part of the US Congress,
which is not really doing much at the moment anyway. But there may be impacts
or changes, for example, to the 24-month STEM
extension that many of you may have heard about. That’s been a constant grumble
from the current administration from the get-go. But to date, nothing
really has changed. This brings up a good
moment to plug a newsletter that we send to
students, and we’re happy to subscribe parents. We send a biweekly
electronic newsletter that is specifically for
international students here at the University. And we highlight
changes like this. So if something
does change, that’s how we’re going to
communicate it and then hold workshops and classes
around it afterwards. But if you would like
to be on that list, feel free to go to the
website, and that information will come up in just
a moment as well. So yeah. Any other questions? Yes, over here. Question is, can you use CPT
outside of summer quarter, for example? And the answer to that is yes. However, you cannot work more
than 20 hours a week during the academic quarter. So it could be a
part-time internship that they’re exploring. And that is reasonable. Yes. Yeah. Yes, in the back. Good question– with a
Social Security number, is there any
implication for taxes? And the answer is no. The Office of
International Affairs does support international
students through the US taxation process. So every typically right
around the end of February, we’re going to
start communicating with your students to say, soon
we will be providing you access to online tax filing support
that is free to you to use. We host both online workshops
but also in-person workshops for students to learn about it. It’s an incredibly, ridiculously
complicated process. But for most of your
students while they’re not interning maybe, even if
they’re working on campus, the process can be very
simple using the software that we’re providing to them. And if they attend
the workshops, then they can ask questions and
just go through that process. What I will say is that
even if you didn’t have any earned income in
the United States– so in the past calendar
year, if your student didn’t have any income, didn’t take an
on-campus job or an internship that would otherwise result
in [AUDIO OUT] they still should be filing something
with the Internal Revenue Service, the taxation
branch of US government. And we again make
that clear to them. But it is important for them
just to take note of that and ensure that they’re
getting to it every year. Yeah, true. So the question
is, if my student wants to apply for
a driver’s license in the state of
Illinois, one thing to keep in mind if you’ve had– if you have other students
who have been at other schools outside of the
state of Illinois is that driver’s license laws
and driving laws specific are state specific. So it may not be the case that
what applies in California, for example,
applies in Illinois. But in the state of Illinois,
to be eligible for a driver’s license, you first have to be
eligible and obtain a Social Security number. So that is the first step. And it does mean
that students could apply for a Social
Security number after they get an
on-campus job and then move through the
driver’s license process. Or if they have a Social
Security number issued previously, then they
can use that to apply for the driver’s license. The great part– and
we’ll get into this now. The great part about being
in a city like Chicago is that there are so many
transportation options, not just publicly available,
but also available through the University. And parking gets
super complicated in the city of Chicago and
can get very expensive. So I don’t know that that
warrants not applying for a driver’s license. But I’m just throwing
it out there. It’s true. You have to have an
offer of employment to get a Social Security number. Yeah. And most undergraduates,
again, won’t go– won’t try for the
Social Security number until after their first
academic year here. I think one of the most common– I don’t know that it’s a
complaint, but maybe just adjustments– that we hear from not
just undergraduates but from graduates, and
not just international– I mean, all students coming
to University of Chicago– is just that the pace
of the academic quarter is such that it goes
so quickly in 10 weeks and is so rigorous that outside
of maintaining their studies and getting involved
and figuring out that balance between my
involvement as a student and adhering to my
academic responsibilities is such that they don’t often
have time to really take a job in the first year. Yeah. Over here, yes. Yeah, so the question
is, if my student has an international
driver’s license, can they drive in Chicago? If you have a driver’s
license from home, the validity of that in
the state of Illinois again depends on the country
issuing the actual driver’s license. No one of those
driver’s licenses is valid for more than six
months from the initial entry into the US. So in this case, if your
student is just getting here, the driver’s license
itself will be valid typically for most
European Union countries it’s going to be six months. Yeah, there was another
question up here. Yeah. So the question is,
can the students apply for the Social
Security number themselves? And the answer is yes. We can help them
with that process. We have information on
our website about what documents need to be prepared. We write them a letter
supporting the Social Security application. And then we can tell them to
which of the Social Security Administration offices to go to. Thankfully there is a very
nearby Social Security office here in Hyde Park just a few
blocks south of the Midway, the big green park over here. Yeah. Yeah, right. So the question
about tax filing, if your student has earned
income outside of the United States, is that
actually reflected? And the answer is no. No. It will fully or
ultimately depend then on the student’s taxation
status in the US. But initially, at least for
the first five years in the US, you’re not to be considered
a resident for tax purposes in the US. Yeah, good question. Yeah. Right, so the question about
the international driver’s license– if they renew it
every time they are home, the answer is no. Eventually it– the
state of Illinois is not considering the validity
of the home driver’s license, whether it’s home
country or international. They’re basing this off
of the initial entry into the United States
in the visa status, yeah. And then the maximum
duration or validity period is typically no more
than six months, yeah. Yes. No, just to– yeah, good point. Just to clarify– to be
eligible to even apply for a Social Security number,
you have to have a job offer. Yeah. Yeah. And then the student
can work with us to prepare the correct
materials in order to go to apply for the
Social Security number. But the job offer is required. It’s a great question,
the question being, if my student gets an internship
outside of the United States and earns income for that,
is that– does that become part of the US tax filing? And the answer is no. So we’re talking solely
about US-based earned income when talking about tax returns. So the second part
to that question, if I’m wiring money, especially
for tuition, et cetera, is that taxable? The answer is no. Yes. So the question– do
undergraduate international students have to file
tax returns every year? The answer is yes. There is some filing required
of all students on student visas in the US regardless of
whether they had earned income in the prior year. So typically what that
looks like, if you’re an international student who
did not have an internship that paid you, did not
have an on-campus job, you’re filing a form that
simply is just saying, I was here and earned
no income and here in an F-1 or J-1
student visa status. AUDIENCE: And that does not
require a Social Security number. NICK SEAMONS: That does not
require a Social Security number, that part of
the taxation process. Students who have
scholarships, whether that’s from the University
or outside entities, could also report those things
if they’re, again, US based as part of their tax returns. In most cases, if a student
is receiving a scholarship from the University or,
again, from a US-based entity, that benefit is
going to be taxed and in most circumstances,
for whatever reason, taxed over the amount
that is necessary. So the filing itself
is really applying for a refund of
the over-taxation from the US government. So that means that the
student would theoretically get some money in return. Yeah. Yeah, it’s a good question. Where else do you see Social
Security numbers pop up? And the answer is– I mean, it becomes not
even necessary required. But if your student moves
off campus, for example, and needs to initiate
electricity or internet to their new apartment or to get
a phone plan in some instances, it can make that process easier. It’s not required. But really, the one thing about
the Social Security number, I think it was used
for so much more. And often we get the
question from students, if I have a Social
Security number, it means I can work
in the United States. The Social Security
number itself isn’t tied to any sort
of benefit like that. It does not mean
that you can work in the United States with a
Social Security number only. It’s not government-issued
ID, even. So there’s no photo on it. It literally is an eight-digit
number that’s typically used for identification. Yes, back there. And then we’ll move over. So the question is,
if the internship is more than 20 hours,
is another visa required? The answer to this is that
during the academic quarter– autumn, winter, and
spring– students are not permitted to
work more than 20 hours. So it wouldn’t even be
possible to intern or work more than 20 hours in
that capacity, at least at an internship here
at the University. If a student during
the summer quarter has a 25-hour per week
internship as a research assistant here at the
University and then takes an off-campus internship for
20 hours, that is permitted. During the summer quarter,
the annual vacation quarter, students can work as
much as they would like. Yeah. Yes. Yeah, so the tax filing
actually happens online. And then students
actually just mail it in. And again, we help them through
that process every year. Every February
and March, they’re going to start receiving
information about that process. Yes, here. So any employment
freelance, I mean, it’s not uncommon
for our students to do this type of thing
where their employer-employee relationship resides outside
of the United States, where remuneration or
payment actually resides outside of the United States. No prior permission
or authorization from an immigration standpoint
in the US is required. So those things are permitted
so long as they remain outside. Yeah, so the question is, is a
Social Security number needed to actually see a doctor? And the answer is no. Yeah. And I’ll talk briefly about
that in just a moment. One more in the back. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] NICK SEAMONS: No. So if you opt to take
classes over the summer, if your student opts to take
classes over the summer, that is permitted. But you again are not restricted
to that 20 hours per week, because it’s not a
typical academic quarter for undergraduate students. I want to touch briefly
on a few other things that we really try over
the course, at least of this first quarter and
the first academic year here, that we try to bring up
with students, all students, undergraduate students as
well as graduate students. And that is their
safety and security. I want to mention specifically
the University of Chicago Police force, if you
didn’t know this, is the largest private
police force in the country. I don’t know that
that is necessarily something to brag about,
but it is in fact the case. They are ever present on this
campus and can be reached– you likely have
seen these towers that say Emergency that have
a blue light on the top. If a student is
walking at any point, feels unsafe or maybe needs
emergency medical assistance, they can, of course,
use their phone. Or they can hit the red
button on that tower. And that will notify police
to come to them immediately. They brag, the University
of Chicago Police. They do claim to be able
to reach any part of campus within 30 seconds
of being called. So again, I don’t know if
that’s a good or a bad thing. But it is in fact the case. The other thing I’ll
mention, University of Chicago safety
and security as part of the University
of Chicago app has a lot of really good information
on it, not just for students but also for parents. If you want to stay aware of
what’s happening on campus, if there are emergency
alerts or anything related to class closures or weather,
any of those types of things, those alerts are actually going
to be sent out through the app. So if you haven’t
already, I would encourage you to
actually download the University of Chicago app. Safety escorts as well
as NightRide shuttles– am I saying that correctly? Yeah, NightRide shuttle. They are available to
students if they, again, are walking from one end
of campus to the other, maybe after studying late at
a library on the north side, but they’re living
in South campus. They can actually
request a safety escort or use a NightRide shuttle
to actually get home. And that’s something that
is free to them to use. It as part of their time here. Any questions? Yeah. The question is, if
you dial 911 on campus, will it go to the University–
or will it go to Chicago police or to University of Chicago? And it will go to
both typically. But University of Chicago
Police are police. So anytime anything is
happening on campus or even around campus, they’re going
to be aware and involved. So if you’re dialing
911 on campus, it’s going to the University
of Chicago Police. Yeah. Yep. I will just mention, students
over the course of their time here will have bikes or laptops. University of Chicago Police
will register bicycles for students if they would like. That makes it easier
if for whatever reason the bike is misplaced or stolen. It can be returned to the
rightful owner if it’s found. I mentioned NightRide shuttles
throughout campus and Hyde Park as well. And the other thing I will just
say about safety and security– some of the things that
we tell students, be aware of your surroundings. And in order to be aware
of your surroundings, having headphones
on or both of them in is not going to be
conducive to that statement. So they’re going
to hear it from us. We know that they’re likely
going to hear it from you. And we try to
ensure that they’re aware of some of the tips
that can be helpful to them while they’re here. There was a question up here. Yeah, so the
question is, outside of Hyde Park and the
University campus, are there other
neighborhoods to maybe avoid? And I don’t think that
as a Chicago resident for the past 15 years– and I don’t live here. I live on the north
side of the city. I don’t think that there
are specific neighborhoods to avoid. I think it’s a matter of
understanding where you are, where you’re going. We often tell students to
ensure that before you leave, if you’re going someplace
you’ve never been, make sure that you’ve mapped out
the route, that you know where it is that you’re going and
how you’re going to get there, whether that’s public
transportation, Uber or Lyft, et cetera. If something feels
uncomfortable, leave immediately, of course. But is there a specific
neighborhood to avoid? Violence in this
city is notorious. Unfortunately we
are aware of that. It does concentrate in locations
even further south and further to the west of here. Students for the most
part may have no reason to go to those places. We know– and again
Safety and Security is conveying this
information to them. But also their peers
are telling them where to go, where not to go. Really it boils down
to common sense. Many of your students are
coming from major urban areas similar to Chicago. And if they’re not,
then they’re adapting to being in an
urban environment. And Chicago is just that. So being aware of
your surroundings and attempting to be smart
about your existence. So not wandering
around at 2 o’clock in the morning by yourself
is going to be helpful. Yeah. The schedule, it’s actually
available on the University of Chicago app. They run continuously. AUDIENCE: Whole day? NICK SEAMONS: Yeah. Yeah, and there are a number
of other transportation routes, bus routes, that run on
campus and within Hyde Park at different times of the day. So some will run many, many
shuttles at once in the morning during rush hour and then
cut back throughout the day and then get heavy again in
the late afternoon or evening. But these also go very
late into the night. So bus routes, NightRide
shuttles, and others will go well past midnight,
1:00, 2 o’clock in the morning, depending on the route. Yeah, the University of
Chicago, the Safety and Security website, has those statistics
that they are absolutely able to access and review. Yep, yep. That’s a good point. Yes. So the question is, if my
student requires emergency care and does not have University
of Chicago health insurance, do they need a Social Security
number to obtain care? And the answer is no. In a medical emergency,
you should, again, dial 911 or go to the hospital. I mean, the nice thing is the
University has a hospital. Students even on
insurance that is not the University of Chicago
insurance should first go– if it’s not an
emergency, should first go to Student Health Services. That always should
be their first stop, because those are our
medical providers. There are nurses. There is a pharmacy in the
actual Student Health Center that is robust. And they are here
throughout the week. So, yeah. Yeah, so the question is,
is the University of Chicago health insurance
fully comprehensive? The answer is yes. There’s no waiting period
for pre-existing conditions or anything along those lines. There is on the Student
Health Services websites a check list of
comparable coverage. And I think what you’ll
find is that what’s available through the University
is actually kind of the highest that you potentially can get. Augmenting that with
other plans I think would just be a
personal preference. But for the purpose
of their time here, it’s going to be
very comprehensive, and not just for basic care. I don’t feel well, so I’m going
to go to the Student Health Center and see a doctor. And they’re going to prescribe
me some medication for a cold. But if they need to go see
a specialist, for example, all of those things are going
to be part of that coverage. And again, the students
should actually begin with Student
Health Services. So if they want a
referral, even if they know to whom they’d like to see,
going first to Student Health Services and
getting the referral to the outside
specialist is going to be the natural
progression there. Right, that’s another
great question. Are they covered in
the US and abroad? And the answer is, they
are also covered abroad. Yeah. I mean, we realize
that for some of you, you will also have
health insurance on them while they’re at home as well. But if they need it,
then it is in fact there. I want to just draw your
attention– oh yeah. So if over the course
of the four years, your students decide
to study abroad, whether that’s in Paris or
one of the other centers or elsewhere, not only will they
have the University of Chicago health insurance or
their comparable coverage if it’s not that, but the Study
Abroad office will actually guide them through adding
some additional coverage specific to traveling. Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s
a good question. So the question is, does Student
Health Services cover things like dental, physical
therapy, or counseling, and psychological services? The dental insurance
is an additional plan. But it is available. I often hear from
international students that dental care and
dental health insurance outside of this
country is often better than what they might find here. But if they need some
emergency service, then they can find that
through Health Services or by adding the dental plan. The physical therapy
and the counseling and psychological
services, that is also part of Student Health Services. So Student Health
and Counseling will be opening a new center,
a massive renovation, here on 59th Street
directly due west of us here over the course
really of the next year. And those things are covered. And not only are they covered,
but they’re encouraged. And the Health and
Counseling Center has a variety of
workshops for students, especially as they’re
adapting to life on their own. So if you notice that
your student is talking about having trouble
sleeping, they have a sleep lab, if they– now that they have access to
these dining facilities as part of their residence
halls, maybe they’re unsure even just
about their diet or they want to speak to someone
about that, that is part of it as well. But they do other things
like coping workshops if your student is feeling
stressed or a procrastination series, study skills. And really the approach
is your mental, your physical health
are major players in your academic
well-being as well. So I want to– we try to ensure that
parents hear this as well. And we hear from students,
and this is a pervasive issue in this country at
the moment, just given the current
administration’s lack of protections. But there are increasing numbers
of telephone scams affecting really everyone. But we do hear from
students often. They’ll call us and say,
I just got a phone call from someone who said that
they know my parents or they– that I’m in violation of my
home immigration regulation, or I’m in violation of my
visa status in this country. And they’re demanding
that I pay fines or fees. We tell them– and we’re telling
you to ensure that we’re all giving the same message– the US government
will never call you. So if someone is
calling and telling you that they are a representative
of the government and demanding money,
please tell your students to hang up immediately
in those instances. I even myself get
these phone calls where people say that my Social
Security number is in violation and that there’s a
warrant out for my arrest. And these are just all scams. Unfortunately at least
once a year, a student falls into this really
terrible psychological trap of being on the phone with
someone who then extorts money in the form of Apple gift cards
or other types of gift cards where they’re scratching and
taking pictures and sending these things to the person on
the other end of the phone. So if you hear
from your students that they’re getting
these types of calls, we ask them to contact us if
they are hearing from someone. If you hear about it,
please just reassure them that that is in fact
not something that ever is going to be the case. That is not a real call. I want to just address something
that occasionally comes up with this group. And that is, if any
of you have students who for this first year or the
first year and however long will be under the age
of 18, you as a parent should be filing a waiver with
US Health Services– or not US Health Services,
Campus Health Services. So the Student Health Center
cannot treat an underage minor under the age of 18 unless
they have your written consent as a parent or legal guardian. So if any of you have a student
for at least the first year or first couple of quarters
who will in fact be under the age of
18, then you’ll want to actually visit
this link and download the waiver or the
authorization release form. You can sign it and submit
it to Health Services either while you’re here
or even from abroad just to ensure that your student
can be treated when they– if they need to be. Yes. So if your student is
over the age of 18, then they have to give you
authorization to be informed. It’s true. HIPAA is an acronym for a
policy, a regulatory policy, providing privacy to anyone’s
health information in effect. And that’s why if your
child is over the age of 18, they would have to give
you– give authorization or permission to
the health provider to give any of their information
to anyone, whether it’s a parent or even another
doctor, a specialist, or something like that. Yeah, so there is– I know that they’re
updating their system. But there is–
there’s going to be an online portal, [INAUDIBLE]
portal in effect for students to use if they want to
schedule an appointment. Or if they’re communicating
with a nurse or a doctor, they’re doing so via
the portal, billing all of that information. If they’re having tests done,
then the lab results typically would be reflected there. Immunization records
now moving forward will be recorded in the
portal there as well. Yeah, good question. So that is kind of it. If there are any other
questions, I know that I’m– I don’t know what time it
is, but we’re probably over. So any other questions? Well, thank you again. Have a wonderful day today. I hear that it’s going to rain
this afternoon, so make sure that you have an umbrella. But enjoy your time here at
the University of Chicago. Please feel free to
reach out to us if you have follow-up questions. Again, this session
was recorded, and you’ll have access
to it after the fact. But otherwise, welcome to the
University of Chicago family. And have a great
rest of the day. Thank you.

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