Thursday, September 12, 2013

All First-Year F-1 Students
Please bring your I-20 and passport by 105 Milbank in the afternoons after 2 pm for Dean Ani Bournoutian to sign your I-20 and to make a copy of your passport and visa page for your file. We need to complete these by Monday, September 30!


F-1 Student Updates

All First-Year F-1 Students
You must bring your Form I-20 and your passport to the Dean of Studies Office no later than Monday, September 30, so that we may make copies for your international student file.  Failure to do so may affect your visa status.

Planning on Working
Are you planning on getting a job during the academic year or doing some volunteer/unpaid work?  Take a look at the FAQ below before you begin.

What Happened to My I-94 Card?
Returning F-1 students, did you notice that you were not given an I-94 card when you entered the US?  US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has decided to keep that information in an accessible database.   Therefore ALL F-1 students, both returning and new first-years, should go to the website below and print out a copy of your I-94 information.  Although it is not required that you carry with your I-20 or passport, it is still a good idea to do so.  Just go to :
Follow the instructions on how to get your I-94 information, print it out and keep it with your passport.  You never know when it will come in handy.

Are you graduating in October 2013 or February 2014?
Please check in with Dean Bournoutian to discuss your post-graduation plans for travel, work and/or OPT.  OPT applications may be submitted at the earliest , 90 days before your end-of-completion date and at the latest 60 days after your end-of-completion date.

F-1 Students and Employment Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  I am a First-Year international student at Barnard on an F-1 visa.  Am I permitted to work?

A:  During your first year at Barnard, you are permitted to work only on campus.
“The campus” is defined as any office, laboratory or other place of work at Barnard, Columbia (including the Health Science Campus on 168th Street, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Rockland County) or Teachers’ College. An important exception to this is the Barnard Baby Sitting Agency and the Barnard Party/Bartending Agency.  Because students are not paid by Barnard College for this work, but the individuals who directly engage their services off-campus, F-1 students MAY NOT be employed at these jobs.

Q:  How many hours per week may I work?
A: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) says that you may work up to 20 hours per week.  BUT Barnard says that you SHOULD NOT work more than 10 hours per week, at the very most.
During school breaks (winter break, spring break) and the summer holidays, you may work up to 40 hours per week.

Q:  Will I need to obtain a Social Security card (SS card) in order to work on campus?

A: Yes, you will.  You must obtain a letter from the office which is employing you, or give them an employer’s form from the Office of Career Development (OCD), stating exactly what your duties will be, exactly how many hours per week you will be working, and the exact beginning and exact end date of your employment.  Do not put “until the end of the semester,” but an actual date.  Bring the letter to Dean Bournoutian, who will review the letter.  You will then take the letter/form, your passport, and your I-20 to the Social Security Card Center at 123 William Street, 3rd Floor.  Their phone number is 1-866-657-3406.  It should take between 2-3 weeks for you to receive your SS card. 

Q: What should be my first step in finding a job on campus?

A: Go to one of the Job Sessions held by the Barnard Office of Career Development.

Q:  May I work off-campus at all during my first-year at Barnard?

A: You may only work at an international organization that has been approved by USCIS.  Please see Dean Bournoutian for an updated list of these organizations.

Q:  May I participate in volunteer work off-campus during my first-year?

A: Yes, all F-1 students may volunteer or undertake unpaid internships off campus.  Please discuss the type of setting in which you would be interested with either Dean Bournoutian or the staff of the Career Development Office.

Q:  Once I completed my first-year at Barnard, do I have other options for paid work off campus?

A: After you have completed one full year of study, you may apply for either Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (Pre-Comp OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  These options and the reasons why you should or should not take advantage of them after your first year should be discussed with Dean Bournoutian.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Travel the world with VISP culture night

Celebrate the cultures of Australia, South Korea, Ghana,

 Brazil, Venezuela, Italy, Spain,and Bulgaria
  with food, music, and more!

Tuesday March 5, 6-8pm
Diana 2nd Floor Cafe

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thursday, February 21
5:30 - 7 pm
Mehler Parlor, Lobby of Elliot Hall
119th and Claremont Ave
Join Dean Ani Bournoutian to review Optional Practical Training, or OPT, in which every F-1 international student is allowed 12 months of paid work in a position that is related to her major (not the minor) While most international students choose to save up their 12 months of OPT for working after graduation, some Barnard international students do use part before they graduate.

Celebrate the cultures of China, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, Singapore, France and Russia with food, music, and more!

                         Wednesday February 13, 6-8pm
                              Diana 2nd Floor Cafe

           Sponsored by the Office of International Programs

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Would you like to have Thanksgiving Dinner with a Barnard alumna and her family? 

to sign up through the Barnard Student Government Association’s Thanksgiving with Alumnae Program. Spaces will be limited, so act quickly.

What Else Can You Do on Thanksgiving Weekend?

Thanksgiving Day, go to New York’s biggest parade of the year, the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Go to the colorful website below to get all the information that you need to view the parade.  Be sure to click on the FAQ’s and find out how you can see the huge balloon inflation the night before the parade. Every New Yorker either goes in person to the parade or watches it on television.  Be a “real New Yorker,” and become part of that tradition.    Be sure to check the weather report before you go---it can get cold outside!

The Rest of the Weekend:  The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday,” simply because that is when crowds of New Yorkers go out and begin their Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday shopping.  Midtown on Fifth Avenue will be packed with shoppers, the large department stores will be beautifully decorated for the Holidays (be sure to check out Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor’s window displays!), and there should be plenty of sales.  Be careful not to lose your friends in the crowd, and BE SURE to keep any money you bring in a safe place (the inside pocket of a coat, pants or shirt is good), as there are often “pick-pockets” about, looking for bags to snatch or outside pockets to pick.  While you are walking on Fifth Avenue, you might also want to try another New York fall and winter tradition:  eating roasted chestnuts that the street vendors will be selling.


All F-1 visa holders who are planning to travel outside of the United States over the Winter Break must come into the Dean of Studies Office for a travel signature on their Form I-20.  We have had several incidents this fall of students who did not have recent travel signatures, who were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel and issued I-515’s.

This requires you to surrender your I-20, complete several forms and pay a fee of $75 to process paperwork and have your I-20 returned to you.  Avoid any chance of this happening to you by coming in for a quick signature.  No appointments are necessary.  PLEASE be sure to come in the BEGINNING of December --- once final exams and end-of-term paper deadlines arrive, it will be easy to forget!   

Also, please be aware that our office will close for the Holidays on December 21; after that date you will not be able to obtain a signature until after January 2.