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  Home > Admissions > International & Foreign > Frequently Asked Questions

International & Foreign
Frequently Asked Questions

Download a printable version of FAQs

 

1) Welcome to the College at Old Westbury.

  • Where is the college located? Maps.
  • How do I get there? Directions.

 2) What is the climate?

  • Average temperatures

3) What is so unique about the location?

  • What is there to do in New York City?
  • What can you enjoy on Long Island?

4) How do I apply to the College?

  • What documents do I need to file for admission to the College?
  • What are the admission requirements?
  • How long will it take to receive an admission decision?

5) What are the College costs?

  • Tuition and other college fees
  • What are the estimated extra costs for staying on campus during the winter or summer sessions?
  • Are there any financial aid or scholarship opportunities for international students?

6) How do I get a student visa?

  • What is an F-1 Visa?
  • How do I apply for a student visa?
  • How long does it take to get a student visa?

7) What must I do to enroll at the College?

  • When do I register for classes and pay my tuition?
  • How do I get my credits transferred?
  • What is the total cost that I need to pay when I arrive?

8) Arrival tips

  • When should I arrive to Old Westbury?
  • Is Orientation mandatory?
  • What should I bring with me when I move into the residential halls?
  • Commuter students tips

 9) Maintaining Your Immigration status and SEVIS

  • What is SEVIS?
  • What must I do to stay in status?
  • Important College contacts

 

 

1) Welcome to the College at Old Westbury. top

SUNY College at Old Westbury is a small public college located in a unique location on the north shore of Long Island. Located only 22 miles east of New York City, the College offers a sequestered setting with all the advantages of suburban shopping and a wide variety of recreational activities within a 10 minute drive. Students enjoy the ability to easily access the trains and buses to get to where they want to visit. When it is time to concentrate on classes, the quiet campus atmosphere provides the ideal environment for studying. The variety of experiences that students can gain makes Old Westbury an ideal place for International students that wish to pursue their studies in the United States.

The College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs in fields such as accounting, business, computer information sciences, education, psychology, sociology and visual arts. The high quality of the School of Business has enabled the College to offer Master of Science programs in both accounting and taxation. Students take advantage of quality academic experiences in small classes where the professors quickly get to know your name. A small population of 3,400 students and a student/faculty ratio of 17 to 1 encourages personal attention.

One of the most exciting features about the College is the diversity of its students. In addition to 80 international students, the student body is one of the most ethnically diverse in the tri-state area. In fact, the College has been rated as the most diverse in the United States (North) in 2005 Best Colleges edition published by US News and World Report.

Where is SUNY College at Old Westbury?

SUNY College at Old Westbury is located 22 miles east of New York City on Long Island. The College is located on the north shore of Nassau County. The area outside of the College is considered to be a suburban area with many houses and a lot of shopping areas.

Location Map of New York and the tri-state area with distances in miles.

Distance from Old Westbury to other major cities:

New York City = 22 miles, west (35 minutes)
Newark, New Jersey = 42 miles, west (1 hour)
Princeton, New Jersey= 76 miles,south (1.5 hours)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania= 125 miles,west (2.3 hours)
Montreal, Canada= 383.5 miles, north (6.5 hours)

Distance to other points of interest on Long Island:

Stony Brook= 35 miles east (1 hour)
Southampton= 68 miles, east (1.75 hours)
Montauk (the eastern coast of Long Island) = 95 miles (2.5 hours)

 

Old Westbury is located near the red star.

 

How do I get there?

By car -

Old Westbury is located immediately north of the Long Island Expressway (Route 495, exit 41N) in the village of Old Westbury, N.Y., approximately 22 miles east of the New York City. The main entrance to the College is located on the west side of Rte. 107 approximately one mile north of Jericho Turnpike.

From the Long Island Expressway (Route 495), east or west: Travel to exit 41 north, Route 106/107. Proceed north for 1½ miles to the campus entrance.

From the Northern State Parkway, east or west: Travel to exit 35 North, Route 106/107. Proceed north for 1½ miles to the campus entrance.

By Bus - accessible by the Nassau County Buses N-20

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) route N-20, which travels from Main Street in Flushing, New York, to the Hicksville railroad station, includes a stop at the College's main entrance. A shuttle bus meets MTA buses at the main gate during the school year and registration hours, at certain times.

By plane

Old Westbury is serviced by the major international airports in the New York City and New Jersey area including; JFK International Airport (21 miles), LaGuardia Airport (20 miles), and McArthur Airport in Islip, Long Island (28 miles).

From JFK Airport

Students can use the New York City Air Train to get to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) at the Jamaica Air Train station. Purchase a ticket at the Jamaica station to Hicksville station which is a station on the Main Branch of the railroad. The cost of a one way fare to Hicksville depends on the time of day and ranges between $6 to $9 U.S. dollars. The railroad charges an additional fee ($3 to $5 more) for tickets purchased on the train. It is more economical to arrive ahead of the scheduled departure time and purchase tickets at the ticket machines or in the ticket booth. For information about the New York train and bus schedules or to get the fare information visit their website at www.mta.info.

From the LIRR Hicksville train station students can take the N-20 bus or the SUNY College at Old Westbury shuttle bus that operates between the railroad station and the College. The N-20 bus costs approximately $2 and the Old Westbury shuttle is a free service for an Old Westbury student (must show student ID card). For information about the New York area train and bus schedules and to get the fare information visit their website at www.mta.info.

Students can get to the College from one of the major airports by using the Air Train from JFK airport to connect with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) train station in Jamaica, Queens. Transfer to the LIRR train that stops at the Hicksville station. Take the N-20 bus from the Hicksville train station to the front gate at the College. Our campus shuttle bus will pick up students at that front gate and bring you to the campus buildings.

 

1) What is the climate for Long Island and New York City? top

Average temperatures

The temperature in New York changes with the season. New York City and Long Island average temperatures are as follows:

Fall season (September to December) = October average temperature is 63° F day, 47° F night

Winter season (December to March) = January average temperature is 38° F day, 25° F night

Spring season (March to June) = April average temperature is 58° F day, 41° F night

Summer season (June to September) = July average temperature is 83° F day, 66° F night

The climate in New York State is often cloudy during the months of November, December, and January. This changes significantly from June through September, however, with plenty of sunshine during that period. The average monthly amount of rainfall in the summer months is about 4 inches and is much less during the winter months.

To find out more about the local weather visit www.accuweather.com and for information about the climate in New York City visit www.erh.noaa.gov.

 

1) What is so unique about the College's location? top

The College sits on a 604-acre campus, offering a setting similar to rural parts of the state. There are many trees and open meadows that surround the main buildings of the campus. Students can go outside their residential hall and enjoy a nice jog or walk in this quiet setting or they can get to several wonderful shopping malls within a 15 minute bus ride.

 The primary reasons International students choose Old Westbury for its academic quality and the personal attention they receive. They also enjoy the convenience of having a lovely country setting and being able to get to New York City (midtown Manhattan) within 30 minutes by train. They feel that the best of both worlds are within easy reach.

What is there to do in New York City?

Old Westbury students can chose from a large list of festival, concerts, conferences and sports events to attend and enjoy. The College's division of Student Affairs and Student Government Association often organize trips throughout the year to encourage students to participate in such activities as Broadways shows, walking tours of New York City neighborhoods and visits to museums.

If you want to know more about the thousand and one things you can do in New York City, visit these websites; www.nyctourist.com or www.iloveny.state.ny.us.

What can you enjoy on Long Island?

SUNY College at Old Westbury is located on the North Shore of Long Island, 22 miles east of New York City. If you are a student that loves to explore nature, there are many activities from walking on the sand at Jones Beach or taking a ferry to Fire Island. Those that want to explore the parks can visit nearby Cantiague Park and walk the trails, play shuffle board or go ice-skating. To find out more about the local parks visit the Nassau County Parks Department website at http://www.nassaucountyny.gov or visit our website at www.oldwestbury.edu for links about tourism information.

You can also find out more about events and activities on Long Island by visiting the Long Island Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website at www.licvb.com.

 

4) How do I apply to the College? top

As a College with one of the most diverse student bodies in the Northeastern United States, Old Westbury is proud to include among its undergraduate student body citizens from more than 20 countries and welcomes applications from other international students who can add to the rich mixture of ethnicities and cultures currently represented on campus.

Old Westbury welcomes applications from international students who have completed secondary education and are eligible to enroll in a university level program. SUNY College at Old Westbury uses the State University of New York (SUNY) application. This application is used to apply for up to four colleges within the SUNY system.

What documents are required for admission?

The following documents are required for admission and can be obtained by visiting www.suny.edu/student/form.cfm to download a copy or to fill out on-line.

  • SUNY Application- the application code for the College at Old Westbury is 46.
  • Autobiographical Essay
  • Data Entry Information (Education History)
  • English Proficiency Report
  • Foreign Student Financial Statement

In addition, a letter from the applicant’s sponsor must also be submitted. The “Letter from Sponsor” form must be notarized. This form will be mailed to you.

The following application documents must be submitted directly to SUNY College at Old Westbury:

  • Secondary school transcripts and certificates.
    • An original copy of the secondary school transcripts and certificates in the original language (for all applicants who have never attended post-secondary education).
  • Post-secondary school transcripts and certificates (diploma)
    • Applicants who have attended a post-secondary school must send a copy of their post-secondary school transcripts and certificates in their original language. It is also strongly recommended that a syllabus or college catalog translated into English, be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. This will facilitate the academic advisement and transfer credit evaluation process.
  • An evaluation of all non-American educational documents conducted by either the American Association of Admissions and Registrar's Organization (AACRAO) or World Evaluation Services ( WES).
    • All applicants must have all educational documents evaluated by the AACRAO or WES. An official copy of the AACRAO or WES evaluation must be sent to the College's Office of Enrollment Services unless an Admission Advisor waives the specific evaluation (this waiver may be available for a few foreign countries only). Contact the Office of Enrollment Services for further information. Information about AACRAO's Foreign Evaluation Services can be found at www.aacrao.org and information about WES can be found at www.wes.org.
  • TOEFL and IELTS test scores
    • All applicants whose native language is other than English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 513 on the paper version or 183 on the computer, or 65 on the Internet version is required. For graduate admissions a minimum score of 550 on the paper version or 213 on the computer, or 80 on the Internet version is required. For more information, visit www.ets.org .
    • A minimum composite score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For graduate admissions a score of 6.5 (IELTS) is required. For more information, visit www.ielts.org .
  • Immunization record
    • New York State Public Health Law requires all enrolled college students born after January 1, 1957 to show proof of immunity against measles, mumps and rubella. These records are required upon entry to the College and are kept on file in the Office of Student Health Services. Students must also show proof of vaccination for meningococcal meningitis disease or sign a statement on the College’s Immunization form stating that they decline obtaining this vaccine. To download the form visit www.oldwestbury.edu/campus/formsapps.cfm.
  • Transfer students must also submit copies of their passport, visa, I-94 and previous I-20’s.
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
    • All graduate applicants must take the GMAT exam. A minimum GMAT score of 500 is required. For more information, visit www.gmac.com .

After all documents are received and admission standards are met you will be sent:

  • An acceptance letter and package

The Acceptance package contains all information required to complete the enrollment (registration process).

  • A request for I-20 form

This form must be completed and returned to Enrollment Services

  • A request for $50.00 Tuition Deposit

Students that are living on campus must also submit another $50 for the housing deposit.

  • A Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 Fee Form

This form is required for all international students applying for a student visa. The fee for F-1 student visa is $100. For more information about this fee visit www.ice.gov.

  • Transfer of F-1 Status form (transfer students only)

This form must be filled out by the foreign student advisor (DSO) from the previous institution you attended. Caution- transfer students should not have their previous college release the SEVIS record until you have been accepted to the College. The SEVIS release date must be indicated on the F-1 Transfer form. Consult with the International Admission Advisor at Old Westbury to help you determine the release date.

What are the Admission requirements?

Freshman requirements
(applicants that have never attended post-secondary school)

Admission to the College is based on a student’s successful completion of secondary school and on their academic achievement. All evaluations conducted by World Education Services are designed to equate the level of education in the other countries to the level of education within the U.S. International freshman applicants must have an equivalent secondary school average of an 80 (US average) or above. In addition, all international freshman applicants whose native language is other than English must score a minimum of 513 on the TOEFL exam (183 computer or 65 on the Internet version) or 6.0 composite score on the IELTS exam.

Undergraduate International Transfer Requirements
(applicants that have attended post-secondary school)

Admission as a transfer student is based on the academic achievement within the post-secondary institution. The evaluation that is required from AACRAO or WES must reflect a minimum cumulative average of a 2.0 for most programs at the College (2.70 for Teacher Education majors, 2.5 for programs within the School of Business (2.7 for Accounting), Computer and Information Science and a 2.0 for Criminology majors). Transfer applicants whose native language is other than English must score a minimum of 513 on the TOEFL exam (183 computer or 65 Internet version) or 6.0 composite score on the IELTS exam.

Transfer students that have taken English Composition for credit in an American College and received a grade of C or higher are exempt from TOEFL or IELTS. English as a Second Language courses are not an exemption to TOEFL or IELTS.

Graduate International Admissions Requirement
Admission to the College is based on an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. All applicants must have an official GMAT exam score report dated within the past two years. In addition, a Personal Statement and two (2) letters of Recommendations are required for admission.

For more information, visit www.oldwestbury.edu/admissions/graduate.cfm .

 

How long will it take to receive an admission decision?

The time it takes to get an admission decision is based on how quickly all required documents are received at the College’s Office of Enrollment Services. Applications cannot be processed until all documents are received. Once an application is completed with all required documents, it takes approximately 4 weeks to review and process the application.

Application deadlines are March 15th for admission to the fall semester and December 1st for admission to the spring semester. International applicants may be processed after this deadline on a space available basis. Accepted students will receive an acceptance letter along with a tuition and housing deposit form ($100) and an I-20 Request Form. Once the deposit and the I-20 Request Form are received, an I-20 will be issued.

It is very important to apply as early as possible. You will need to allow for time to schedule an appointment at the American Embassy/Consulate in your country to obtain a student visa (F-1) after you have been accepted to the College. Contact the American Embassy in your country to inquire how long it takes to schedule the appointment.

Please contact the Office of Enrollment Services (516) 876-3073 to receive an application packet or email your request to enroll@oldwestbury.edu.

 

5) What are the College costs? top

The cost of education is the sum of your actual tuition and fees; the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who choose to not live on campus); the cost of books, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses; and an estimate for transportation.

Tuition and Fees

Annual costs normally include fall and spring semesters only. The winter session and summer sessions are considered extra semesters that are not included in the annual costs.

Undergraduate Tuition and Costs with Campus Housing

 

One Semester

Two Semesters

Tuition

$5,305.00

$10,610.00

College Fee

$12.50

$25.00

Student Government Fee

$63.00

$126.00

Intercollegiate Athletic Fee

$128.00

$256.00

Health Service Fee

$70.00

$140.00

Technology Fee

$100.00

$200.00

Dormitory

$2,983.50

$5,967.00

Board (Meal Plan)

$1,350.00

$2,700.00

Damage Deposits

$75.00

$75.00

Key Deposits

$35.00

$35.00

Orientation

$150.00*

$150.00*

Health Insurance

$353.75

$849.00

Books & Personal Expenses

$1,000.00

$2,000.00

 

0

0

Total

$11,625.75

$23,133.00

All charges are subject to change without prior notice

.

Additional Fees:

.

.

SEVIS Fee (I-901)
$100.00 *
 

* indicates a one-time fee

 

.

Undergraduate Tuition and Costs for Commuter Students

 

One Semester

Two Semesters

Tuition

$5,305.00

$10,610.00

College Fee

$12.50

$25.00

Student Government Fee

$63.00

$126.00

Intercollegiate Athletic Fee

$128.00

$256.00

Health Service Fee

$70.00

$140.00

Technology Fee

$100.00

$200.00

Dormitory

0

0

Board (Meal Plan)

0

0

Damage Deposits

0

0

Key Deposits

0

0

Orientation

0

0

Health Insurance

$353.75

$849.00

Books & Personal Expenses

$1,000.00

$2,000.00

 .

.

.

Total

$7,032.25

$14,206.00

All charges are subject to change without prior notice

.

.

Miscellaneous Fees:

.

.

SEVIS Fee (I-901)
$100.00 *
 

* indicates a one-time fee

.

Graduate Tuition and Costs with Campus Housing

 

One Semester

Two Semesters

Tuition

$5,460.00

$10,920.00

College Fee

$12.50

$25.00

Student Government Fee

$63.00

$126.00

Intercollegiate Athletic Fee

$128.00

$256.00

Health Service Fee

$70.00

$140.00

Technology Fee

$100.00

$200.00

Dormitory

$2,983.00

$5,967.00

Board (Meal Plan)

$1,350.00

$2,700.00

Damage Deposits

$75.00

$75.00

Key Deposits

$35.00

$35.00

Health Insurance

$353.75

$849.00

Books & Personal Expenses

$1,000.00

$2,000.00

 .

.

.

Total

$11,630.25

$23,293.00

All charges are subject to change without prior notice

.

 .

.

.

Health Insurance

Fall Fee: $353.75

Annual Fee: $849.00

 

Spring Fee: $495.25

(Includes winter & summer)

Miscellaneous Fees:

.

.

SEVIS Fee (I-901)
$100.00*
 

* indicates a one-time fee

 

.

 

Graduate Tuition and Costs for Commuter Students

 

One Semester

Two Semesters

Tuition

$5,460.00

$10,920.00

College Fee

$12.50

$25.00

Student Government Fee

$63.00

$126.00

Intercollegiate Athletic Fee

$128.00

$256.00

Health Service Fee

$70.00

$140.00

Technology Fee

$100.00

$200.00

Dormitory

0

0

Board (Meal Plan)

0

0

Damage Deposits

0

0

Key Deposits

0

0

Health Insurance

$353.75

$849.00

Books & Personal Expenses

$1,000.00

$2,000.00

 .

.

.

Total

$7,187.25

$14,516.00

All charges are subject to change without prior notice

.

.

 .

.

.

Health Insurance

Fall Fee: $353.75

Annual Fee: $849.00

 

Spring Fee: $495.25

(Includes winter & summer)

Miscellaneous Fees:

.

.

SEVIS Fee (I-901)

$100*

.

* indicates a one-time fee    

 

What are the estimated extra costs for staying on campus during the winter or summer sessions?

The winter session residential dorm fee is estimated at about $900.00. The summer session residential dorm fee is estimated at $2,100.00. This estimate does not include meals and transportation. Meals may be very limited when classes are not in session. To secure housing during these periods, students must be registered for classes for that specific intersession and submit an application to the College's Office of Residential Life during the fall semester (for winter session) or the spring semester (for summer session).

Are there any financial aid or scholarship opportunities for International Students?

The College at Old Westbury does not offer any financial aid for international students. International students that have never attended a post-secondary institution may qualify for an International Residential Scholarship. This scholarship is based on academic achievement in secondary school. Qualified applicants are automatically considered for this award. A separate scholarship application is not needed.

Residential Hall Scholarships (available to entering freshmen only)

This renewable scholarship award is valued at approximately $5,900.00 per academic year (two semesters) and will cover the cost of a room based on double occupancy. This award can only be applied toward the residence hall room fee and cannot be applied towards any other college expense. It is renewable for up four years (eight semesters) as long as the student maintains a 3.0 grade point average, maintains full matriculation (12 credits) and fulfills all the conditions as identified in the agreement letter.

Applicants interested in being considered for the Residential Hall Scholarships must complete their admissions application; gain admission to the College and make the tuition deposit by May 1st for fall admission.

 

6) How do I get a student visa? top

What is an F-1 Visa?

This is a stamp that is issued by a U.S. consular post abroad allowing the bearer to enter the U.S. as a student on F-1 status. An F-1 visa is an entry permit and cannot be "extended" in the U.S. since F-1 visas can only be obtained or renewed at a U.S. consular post abroad.

How do I apply for a student visa?

As soon as you have been accepted by the College and receive your I-20 Form, you must contact the American Embassy/Consulate to make an appointment to obtain a student visa. There may be other visa applications that must be submitted to the embassy or consulate before your interview can be scheduled. For detailed information about the visa process and what to provide for the application and interview process, visit http://travel.state.gov .

How long does it take to get a student visa?

It is very important to apply as early as possible. Contact the American Embassy consulate to inquire how long it takes to arrange for the appointment and to inquire about the processing time for your application. It may take 30 days or longer for the appointment if there are special security checks or special registration processes that are required.

 

7)What must I do to enroll at the College? top

When do I register for classes and pay my tuition?

As soon as you obtain your F-1 Visa, contact the International Admission Advisor in the Office of Enrollment Services (1.516.876.3073 or enroll@oldwestbury.edu). By this point, you should have submitted your deposits and may be ready to make travel plans. The International Student Advisor will discuss your arrival date and will notify our Office of Residential Life if you have already submitted a housing application and deposit.

You will need to meet with the International Admission Advisor immediately when you arrive in the United States.

These are the basic enrollment steps that need to take place when you arrive:

  1. All new students will need to meet with the International Admission Advisor. Students will meet to review the SEVIS requirements and remaining enrollment procedures.
  2. If required, you may need to take the English or Math placement exams for placement into these courses.
  3. You will need to make immediate arrangements to pay your tuition and housing bill. Remember, this is required for your room to be secured before the first day of classes and you cannot register until this payment is made.
  4. Meet with an Academic Advisor from the department that you have selected as a major. That advisor will let you know which classes to take that semester. There is a form that the Academic Advisor will give you to take to the International Student Advisor.
  5. Once the International Admission Advisor has signed the class schedule form, you can register using the College’s website on-line registration process.

How do I get my credits transferred?

Once you have submitted the official WES or AACRAO evaluation, it will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for transfer credit equivalencies. The College will transfer up to 72 credits towards the undergraduate degree. Graduate students must contact the graduate department advisor to determine how many graduate classes may transfer.

Transfer credits should appear on our student database by the time you arrive to the College. Transfer credits can be reviewed when you meet with your Academic Advisor before you register for classes. All students must meet with an Academic Advisor each semester.

If you have any questions about the College’s determination of credit transfers, discuss this with your academic advisor. It will help to have with you a course syllabus (or college catalog) translated into English for the advisor to review.

What is the total cost that I need to pay when I arrive?

As soon as you arrive to campus (before the first day of classes), you will need to immediately pay your entire bill for the semester of attendance. That includes all the tuition, housing and other related fees. Refer to the previous section on college costs to review how much must be paid when you arrive. Tuition and housing payment can be made by cash, check, money order, VISA, Discover, or MasterCard.

It would be wise to establish a bank account with a local bank when you arrive to the United States. While you are at home, meet with international banks in your area to see if there are any branches in our neighborhood. You may be able to transfer funds from one branch to another. Be sure to investigate the banking processes before you leave the country. You can avoid stressful situations by planning this ahead of time.

All students must have their bills paid before the start of classes. Students that do not do so may have their classes cancelled.

 

8) Arrival Tips. top

When should I arrive to Old Westbury?

The I-20 has a date that reflects that last date that you can arrive on campus, which usually coincides with the day of Orientation or Campus Moving-In date. Usually international students are expected to move onto the campus (or report to the International Admission Advisor) a few days before the first day of class. Contact the International Admission Advisor to confirm your arrival to campus. International students residing on campus cannot move into their dormitory room until the Move-In date. This date will be indicated on the letter sent to you when your room is confirmed after your tuition and housing deposit are received. The College has special instructions to assist international residential students upon their arrival to the College. Remember that you will need to complete the enrollment steps mentioned in the previous section once you arrive. These processes must be followed to ensure that all is ready before the first day of classes.

If you are living off campus with a friend or relative, you can enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the date on the I-20. Once you arrive to the country, immediately contact the International Admission Advisor in the Office of Enrollment Services (516.876.3073). You will need to make your own transportation arrangements from the local airports to the college. Please read the section on this webpage related to the location of the College for specifics related to transportation information.

The first day of class and the academic calendar are posted on the College’s website and is published in the College Catalog (www.oldwestbury.edu).

Is Orientation mandatory?

Yes! It is important that you attend our Orientation meetings every semester. These meetings are designed to ensure that you have all the information about the College and about the government regulations related to the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS). We need to ensure that you are informed especially if there are any updates or changes to these regulations.

Orientation and scheduled meetings with all international students are also a good time to meet other students. On-campus and off-campus events sponsored by our Student Government Association or other student organizations are also discussed during these meetings. It’s a good way to get to become familiar with other international students on campus.

What should I bring with me when I move into the Residential Halls?

Students need to pack wisely. Consider the climate and the travel constraints and pack clothing that does not easily wrinkle and fits with the seasons. All rooms are occupied by two students. Remember that each of you needs to share the space.

All rooms have the following items;

  • Two twin beds (extra long) and mattresses
  • Two desks and chairs
  • Two closets
  • Two small dressers
  • Two lamps
  • Telephone access
  • Internet access
  • Satellite television

All the new dorms are centrally heated and air conditioned. There are no refrigerator or kitchen appliances. Students may wish to purchase a small refrigerator (1.7 cu. Ft.). Small refrigerators can also be rented. Please note that microwaves are not permitted in the rooms. The Office of Residential Life will send all students information about housing after being admitted to the College.

Here are just a few items that you may either bring with you or purcahse once you arrive on campus. Please contact your airlines regarding items that you plan to carry on board the plane. There may be several restrictions and you will need to know this prior to your departure.

  • A telephone and answering machine. Many students bring their cell phones. Be aware that quality of reception varies across campus.
  • Cable ready television, radio/cd player/ipod
  • Ethernet cord
  • An iron
  • Surge protector cord (regular extension cords are not permitted)
  • Two or three pillows
  • Twin size sheets (extra long to fit a mattress size of 36” X 80”), pillowcases, blankets and comforter
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, a laundry bag or a basket
  • Broom, dustpan
  • Toiletries and a bag to carry them to the restroom/shower rooms
  • A mirror

There are many other items that you may also need to purchase upon your arrival. The College has a shuttle bus that stops a local supermarkets and shopping malls. You will have time during the weekend before classes begin to acquire whatever you might need.

Commuter student tips

If you are staying off campus, remember that you must meet with the International Admission Advisor before the first day of classes. This is important to make sure that all students properly maintain their student status.

A few pieces of advice:

  • Take a day to travel from your home to the campus and become familiar with the local transportation. See the section on travel directions. Pick up local train/bus schedules. Trains and buses operate at different frequencies during off hours. If you are traveling early in the morning or late at night, make sure you know the schedules.
  • Take a tour of the campus before classes begin. It will help relieve your stress of finding your classrooms during the first day of school.

 

9) Maintaining your immigration status and SEVIS. top

To ensure that you properly maintain your status while attending college in the United States, please carefully read the information provided below. Many processes and procedures have strict deadlines and failure to adhere to these regulations will result in termination of your status as an International F-1 or J-1 student.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is the name of the US government’s foreign student computer information tracking system. The information collected by the Foreign Student Advisor is reported using the SEVIS system and is routinely updated for accuracy. Biographical information includes items such as: name, address in the home country, and address in the United States, country of birth and country of citizenship.

What must I do to stay in status?

Listed below are some of the highlights about the regulations that must be followed for all International students on an F-1 Visa.

1. The International student advisor or DSO (Designated School Official) must routinely monitor the SEVIS system to update your SEVIS record. There are mandatory time frames for reporting changes. There are several DSO officials (International Admission Advisors) in the Office of Enrollment Services at the College at Old Westbury.

  • Your class registration must be filed on SEVIS within 30 days of the start of class. (Report to your DSO at the start of each semester)
  • Changes in address, telephone must be reported on SEVIS within 10 days. (Please let DSO know of change to e-mail address as well)
  • A change of major must be reported within 30 days.
  • Failure to maintain status must be immediately reported to SEVIS

2. Always enroll full-time during the academic year

  • F-1 students must maintain full-time student status every semester. For undergraduates students, full time means you must register and complete at least 12 credits each semester

3. Keep you immigration documents valid and current

  • You should make photocopies of your immigration documents and keep the copies and originals in a safe place. (Passport-personal information page & page containing U.S. Visa stamp, Visa, both sides of I-94 card, I-20-all 3 pages)
  • You should keep your passport valid for at least six months in to the future while you are studying in the U.S.
  • Consult your country’s consulate or embassy in the U.S. to renew your passport. You can find the contact information at: http://travel.state.gov

4. NEVER work off-campus without prior authorization

Employment opportunities for international students are restricted by law. In general there are two types of employment: on-campus employment and off-campus employment

  • On-campus Employment: Enrolled F-1 Students are permitted to work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during summer and winter breaks.
  • Off-campus Employment: This type of employment is any type of work or services not on campus. You must have authorization for this type of work. There are only a few reasons for approval for this type of employment. See your DSO for more details.

5. Registration

  • You must be advised by an academic advisor. Your advisor must sign your course selection sheet indicating that they advised you.
  • The classes and course numbers must be indicated on course selection sheet.
  • In order to register you need to show your course selection sheet to the international student advisor who will sign it and remove your registration hold
  • Registration holds will be put on for registration each semester.

6. Travel

  • In order to re-enter the U.S. the DSO must sign your I-20. The signature is valid for 12 months.
  • You may need to receive a new copy of your SEVIS I-20 signed by a DSO indicating approval for travel outside the United States and expected date of return. You should notify the DSO as soon as travel is being considered. This will ensure that a DSO will be available to issue the new I-20. Always be prepared with information when you travel.
  • When traveling bring the following with you: a copy of current semester’s transcript or registration list of courses for the upcoming semester, copy of financial statements, passport, visa stamp, I-20, school ID card and any other important documents.
  • Check with DSO to inquire about any extenuating circumstance that you should know about before re-entering the United States
  • Remember several countries conduct background security checks before they allow you to exit the country.

7. Extensions

  • Must be filed 30 days prior to the expiration date on your I-20. There are only a few valid reasons for approval of program extensions. The DSO will discuss them with you prior to the extension request.

8. What to do when approaching graduation:

  • Make sure that you have filed for graduation. There is an official form that is filed with the Office of the Registrar mid-way through the second to last semester of attendance. Know the deadline for filing this form and meet with your academic advisor to make sure all graduation requirements have been met.
  • Alert the DSO of your future plans to make sure you do not miss any filling deadlines.
  • After graduation options: OPT (Optional Practical Training), transfer to another college for a higher level education or return to your home country (60 day grace period).

9. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Must be submitted up to 90 days prior to graduation
  • Full time work upon completion of studies
  • Part time OPT is allowed if employment is near the college
  • The maximum time allowed for OPT is 12 months regardless of the amount of hours worked during that period
  • A Employment Authorization Card (EAD) is issued
  • Forms for OPT can be picked up at the DSO’s office

10. Dropping below full-time status

  • If you do not need 12 credits for your last semester you must get approval from the DSO to drop below full-time status. This is true even if your academic advisor says you may do so.
  • Permission to drop below full-time status must be given by the DSO prior to the first day of classes for that semester.
  • Failure to do notify your DSO will result in the termination of your status.

11. Transferring

  • Students must obtain a new I-20 to continue their studies at another college or to pursue a higher level degree. Even if you plan to attend the same college for a Master’s degree, you will need a new I-20.
  • The new I-20 will be issued upon acceptance (remember to inform the DSO about your plans to do this prior to graduation). The SEVIS record will be updated and the new institution will be responsible for maintaining your SEVIS record after the release date on the current I-20 has expired.
  • Speak with your DSO about this transfer date
  • You have 60 days upon program completion to complete the transfer process

Other important facts:

  • The International Advisor/DSO is located in the Office of Enrollment Services-Campus Center Room I-202
  • The Office of Enrollment Services is here to assist you with making sure that you have all that is needed to graduate on time and enjoy your experiences at SUNY College at Old Westbury
  • Your I-20 is what establishes your status in the United States
  • Your visa is what allows you to come into the United States; your visa can expire while you are here. It is only when you are leaving the U.S. and need to return that you must be sure that you have a valid U.S. visa stamp to re-enter the U.S.
  • For F-1 students, the “completion of studies” date under item 5 on your I-20 Form is the end date of your immigration status.

Important College contacts

Office of Enrollment Services
SUNY College at Old Westbury
PO Box 307
Old Westbury, New York 11568

Associate Director of Admission (DSO)
Ms. Olga E. Dunning
Telephone: 1.516.876.3013
Fax: 1.516.876.3307
Email: dunningo@oldwestbury.edu

Vice President for Enrollment Services (PDSO)
Ms. Mary Marquez Bell
Telephone: 1.516.876.3082
Fax: 1.516.876.3909
Email: bellm@oldwestbury.edu

International Student Advisor (DSO)
Ms. Becky Evans
Telephone: 1.516.876.3906
Fax: 1.516.876.3909
Email: evansb@oldwestbury.edu

 

 

 



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