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Fulbright Foreign Student Program Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Welcome Fulbrighters
Presentation Overview • Fulbright Partners • Your Fulbright Grant • Your Fulbright Advisor • Reporting Responsibilities • Understanding J Visa Regulations • Work Authorization • U.S. Tax Filing • Academic Integrity • Cultural Adjustment & Mental Health • ASPE • Harassment & Appropriate Behavior • Resources • Questions?
Fulbright Partners Administering Agencies • U.S. Department of State • Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs • U.S. Embassies • Bi-national Fulbright Commissions and Foundations
Understanding Your Fulbright Grant • Fulbright Programs can vary by program type, country, and funding source. • Refer to Fulbright Terms of Appointment or Commission Grant Documents.
The Role of Your Fulbright Advisor • Assist and support you during your program. • Address personal and academic concerns. • Liaise with your university offices. • Interpret J visa regulations. • Manage your immigration record.
Reporting to Your Fulbright Advisor • Address Updates:Always notify your Fulbright advisor of an address change within 10 days of moving. • Full-time Enrollment:Must be enrolled full-time every term (except in the last term of the program) or engaged in approved academic activity. • Academic Progress: Must make satisfactory academic progress. • DS-2019 & I-94 card: Must be valid and available during your stay in the U.S. If it is lost, it must be replaced as soon as possible. • Work Authorization:Always request authorization prior to beginning work (if your program country allows employment). • Travel: Must have a travel-validated DS-2019 in order to re-enter the U.S. The signature will reconfirm your status to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. • Passport: Must always be valid. You may renew it in the U.S.
Academic Reporting Requirements • Proof of Enrollment/Official Transcripts/ Academic Progress Reports: • You must demonstrate good standing: meaning at least a 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) and no more than one incomplete course per semester. • Visiting Researcher Progress Report. • Summer Plans Confirmation.
Understanding Fulbright and J Visa Regulations Fulbright Program: The Fulbright Program, an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. J Visa Purpose: J visas (or exchange visitor visas) are nonimmigrant visa provided for people who are approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States.
212 (e): Two-Year Home Residency Requirement Objective:You are expected to return to your home country to share the skills and knowledge that you acquired in the U.S. Requirement:Consequently, you must be physically present in your home country for a total of two years prior to applying for an immigrant visa. Additional Information:http://j1visa.state.gov/
Work Authorization • As a Fulbrighter, you are expected to be fully engaged in your approved academic and cultural exchange program as outlined in your Fulbright grant documents. • You must receive prior authorization from your Fulbright advisor before seeking employment. Working without prior authorization will jeopardize your Fulbright grant. • Program Policies & Stipend Reduction: • your Fulbright stipend may be reduced by any earned income. • policies vary from country to country. • If approved, work hours are limited to: • 20 hours a week during the academic year. • 40 hours a week during official academic breaks.
U.S. Tax Filing Obligations • All J-1 exchange visitors must report information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) while in the U.S. Depending on your sources of funding and employment (when approved) in the U.S., you will need to apply for an identification number – either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for U.S. tax filing purposes. • Fulbrighters who will not earn income in the U.S. and do not receive funding through U.S. sources do not need to apply for an SSN or ITIN, but are required to file a Statement for Exempt Individuals (IRS Form 8843). • If you have U.S. source income to report to the IRS, your Fulbright advisor will email you about applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and filing your U.S. tax forms.
Academic Integrity • Definition of Plagiarism: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.* • 3 Key Tips to avoid plagiarism:** • “When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it.” • When you: • “rely on someone else’s work, you cite it.” • use someone else’s words, “you quote them openly and accurately, and you cite them, too.” -- “When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully.” • Plagiarism and cheating are very serious offenses in the U.S., and they can result in expulsion from your university and revocation of your Fulbright grant. • * Council of Writing Program Administrators. • **From Succeeding as an International Student in the US & Canada by Charles Lipson. University of Chicago Press. 2008, pg. 60.
Cultural Adjustment Symptoms of culture shock: - homesickness - depression or anxiety - hostility/irritability - dependence on others Suggestions for dealing with culture shock? Image adapted from http://www2.pacific.edu/sis/culture/pub/2.2.1-_Returning_Home.htm
Maintaining Good Mental Health At some point during their studies in the U.S., most Fulbright grantees deal with issues related to stress and/or mental health. Seek help early before problems become unmanageable – don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. Suggestions for maintaining good mental health • Eat well, sleep well, and take good care of yourself. • Exercise and do outdoor activities to relieve stress and tension. • Take a break from your studies and have some time to relax. • Remain flexible and open-minded. • Talk to someone from your cultural background for tips. • Make friends and engage with the local community. If you start having difficulties • Talk to someone at the university with whom you feel comfortable – i.e your international student advisor or academic advisor. • Visit the university’s counseling/mental health center. • Talk to your friends, family, and/or your Fulbright advisor.
Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) • ASPE covers: • unexpected illness or injury that requires immediate treatment; • immunizations (if required by the university); and • prescription medicine. • ASPE does not cover: • health care for dependents; • routine dental care; • routine eye exams; • preventative health care (e.g. check-ups); or • medical treatment or prescriptions related to a condition that you had before you traveled to the U.S. (pre-existing condition). Administered by: Seven Corners http://usdos.sevencorners.com 1-800-461-0430
Understanding Harassment & Appropriate Behavior • What is harassment? • Unwelcomed, uninvited, or threatening behavior towards another person. • Harassment can be verbal, physical, or cyber/electronic. • Harassment can be based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. • Keep in mind that you can be either the harassed or the harasser. • Why should I worry about harassment? • It can happen to anyone. • Harassment is not always obvious. • Cultural norms vary widely. • Understand harassment prevention and rights. If you’re not sure, ask. • Examples?
University Resources International Student Office: provides support specifically for international students, including information on campus activities and organizations and resources in the local community. Academic Advisor: university faculty/staff who assist with course planning and academic concerns. Academic Center: provides academic support for all university students, including tutoring, writing workshops, and time management sessions. Counseling & Health Services: on-campus facility staffed with trained personnel to address physical or mental health concerns. IDENTIFY THESE RESOURCES ON ARRIVAL AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM REGULARLY
Fulbright Resources AMIDEAST IIE LASPAU http://www.amideast.org/fulbright/grantee_resources/8.5x11%20HANDBOOK.pdf http://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/current_grantees.html http://www.laspau.harvard.edu/grantee_guide/fulbright/about_fb.htm