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Texas A&M International University Office of Student Affairs

Student Exchange Visitor’s Guide


Contact Information Office of Student Affairs Tel: (956) 326-2565 Email international@tamiu.edu http://www.tamiu.edu/studentaffairs

Exchange Student Academic Advisement/Housing Marina Hinojosa—Staff Assistant Tel. 956.326.2280 Email: mmhinojosa@tamiu.edu

Exchange Student Visa/Travel Itiel Valdez—Student Records Specialist Tel. 956.326.2282 Email: itiel@tamiu.edu

Housing Arrangements

Welcome to Texas A&M International University About us

Office of Student Affairs

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is located in a bi-lingual, bi-cultural setting on the U.S.-Mexico border. As an international university, students are exposed to many exciting opportunities at TAMIU and the Laredo Community. With beautiful weather year, TAMIU offers an ideal location to further your education while experiencing a melting pot of cultures. A variety of degree programs are offered for undergraduate and graduate students. There is also a doctoral program in International Business Administration, and joint–doctoral programs in Education and in Hispanic Studies.

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) is a proactive, innovative, learning organization that plays a critical role in the holistic development of students by offering quality and innovative programs and services that enable TAMIU students to perform optimally in challenging environments. Specifically to international students OSA offers non-academic advisement on immigration status, academic advisement and registration to exchange students, and the promotion of cross-cultural student life and activities.

1

Office of Housing and Residence Life Tel. 956.326.0160 Email: housing@tamiu.edu


Academic Calendar 2011 / 2012 Fall 2011 Aug 18-21 Aug 22-23 Aug 25 Aug 31 Sep 1 Sep 5 Sept 9 Oct 8 Oct 20 Nov 14-18 Nov 23-26 Dec 6 Dec 8-14 Dec 17

Check-In /Course Registration International Student Orientation First Class Day Final Late Registration Day Café Du Monde Labor Day Holiday Last day to drop courses without record AutMus Fest Mid-Semester Break International Week Thanksgiving Holiday Last Class Day Final Exam Period Commencement—end of Fall 2011 semester

About the Program The Exchange Visitor Program

Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is designed to promote and facilitate international competency between domestic and foreign students. Being immersed fully, as a student, in academic and social activities in a foreign university setting and local community, you will experience an international perspective that fosters communication, cross -cultural understanding and mutual respect and tolerance. We hope you will enjoy your time on the TAMIU campus, and make every effort to learn as much as possible about life and study in the United States.

Many Exchange Visitors are subject to what is known as the two-year home country physical presence requirement of Section 212 (e) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. A J-1 Exchange Visitor (and his or her J-2 dependent) may be subject to the home residence requirement on one or more of three bases: (1) Skills List: 212 (e) applies if the field of study, research or teaching is listed on the Exchange Visitor Skills . List for his or her country of citizen ship or country of last permanent residence. (2) Funding: 212 (e) applies if the Exchange Visitor receives U.S. or home government funding (directly or in-directly) specifically to support the exchange; (3) Receipt of graduate medical education or training. 212 (e) applies if the Exchange Visitor participates in the ECFMG’s Exchange Visitor Program to receive graduate medical education or training. For detailed information regarding the home residence requirement, visit USCIS at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/ types_1267.html#12.

Spring 2012 Jan 6-10 Jan 11-12 Jan 16 Jan 17 Feb 1 Mar 12-17 Apr 6-7 May 1 May 3-9 May 12

Check-In / Course Registration International Student Orientation Martin Luther King Holiday First Class Day Last day to drop classes without record Spring Break Easter Holiday Last Class Day Final Exam Period Commencement—end of Spring 2011 semester 2


Pre-Arrival Planning pected to stay in any of the local hotels at your own expense. See also the section on Housing on page 6.

All students living in University housing must have proof of Bacterial Meningitis Immunization Record. The vaccination must be administered no less than 10 days before the student moves into University facilities. If you have been vaccinated in your home country, you will need to bring in your vaccination record in English and present it to the Student Health Services located at the Student Center, room 125 upon arrival to TAMIU. For more information contact Student Health Services at 956.326.2235 or check online at: http://www.tamiu.edu/wellness/stuhealth.shtml.

You are expected to arrive at TAMIU no later than the “report date� as indicated on your DS 2019. TAMIU offers orientation sessions for new international students at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. The orientation for international students usually takes place the week prior to start of classes (see academic calendar in the back of the brochure), and is a mandatory event. You will receive an email from OSA after your admission to TAMIU regarding early course registration. You are able to view scheduled courses for the upcoming semester at http://schedule.tamiu.edu (select semester schedule). Most incoming undergraduate students select courses starting with a 3 or 4, since that is when U.S. university courses start to specialize by discipline. Graduate students must select courses that start with the digit 5. Course descriptions can be found in the University catalog at http://www.tamiu.edu/catalog/.

Please let us know about your travel plans, indicating your date and time of arrival by submitting the New Arrival Form (www.tamiu.edu/dip/iss) 7 days before your arrival. Airport pick-up dates are scheduled between August 15-22. We will contact you to confirm your pick-up from the airport or bus station. We suggest that you call us before you depart Houston or Dallas on your last flight taking you to Laredo. For changes or delays call 956-3262282 between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. In case of an emergency call 956-326-2100. Remember to take time to make your housing arrangements before your departure. Students should submit documents for housing no later than 90 days prior to arrival. If you have no housing arrangements made, you will be ex-

3

Getting Involved International Student Mentoring Program (ISMP)

Association of International Students (AIS)

ISMP is a student support program which helps with the integration process of new international students to TAMIU and South Texas. Each new international student is assigned a student mentor who will provide guidance and advisement. Activities consist of pre-arrival interaction via email or social networks, orientation activities at the beginning of the semester, errand runs to local stores and banks, and general support throughout the semester. You will receive an introductory email from the ISMP mentor shortly before your arrival to the US.

You have the opportunity to learn from the different experiences that come with living in a foreign country, but you will also have the opportunity to represent your country. AIS members want to encourage you to be a good ambassador by participating in all of the activities that the Office of Student Affairs at TAMIU and our Association organize. Therefore, it will be a good idea to bring along some interesting information about your country, such as traditional costumes, cultural items, pictures, postcards, maps, posters, or anything you want. To become a member email tamiuais@gmail.com add us to facebook TAMIU Association of International Students. 8


Arrival

Accommodations

Travel

Housing

Arrival to Laredo can be arranged via air or road. If you are flying into Houston or Dallas, you can reserve a connecting flight from Dallas with American Eagle or from Houston with Continental Express Jet. Alternatively you can reserve a seat on the Greyhound bus (duration from Houston: approx. 7 hrs). This bus arrives at the Laredo Central Bus Station, and from there you take bus route 16, which will take you directly to the University. You may visit www.greyhound.com for bus information to Laredo for bus schedules. International students must report upon arrival to the Office of Student Affairs, located in Student Center Room 226. Our email address is international@tamiu.edu.

Texas A&M International offers on-campus housing: University Village and the Residential Learning Community (RLC). At the RLC you can have the privacy and lifestyle you deserve in communities built specifically for students. The RLC offers a great campus location, laundry room, private bedrooms, furnished units, individual leases, swimming pool, volleyball court, and a community center where students can use computers, watch TV, or just visit with friends. The RLC has a required meal plan for all of their residents so you don’t have to worry about finding food off-campus.

*student must submit documents for housing no later than 90 days prior to arrival

International Student Exchange Program Students (ISEP) ISEP students can only be housed at the Residential Learning Community (RLC) in the standard room. Please be certain to indicate on your housing application that you are an ISEP student, and select the RLC Standard Room. ISEP students will receive a meal plan as part of their benefits. You can choose from three different meal plan options:

  Another housing option on campus is University Village. These apartments are fully furnished twoand four- bedroom apartments, and a few one- bedroom units. University Village also has a community center, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sundeck, volleyball court, and a barbeque area. University Village offers an optional meal plan for their residents.

Local Bus System For public transportation you can use the local bus system called El Metro. There are two bus stops on the TAMIU campus. You can visit their website for more information about transit times and pickup locations. http://main.elmetrotransit.com/

Traditional Plan: 300 all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester in Dusty's Diner, Flex Plan: 250 all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester in Dusty's Diner and $75 Dining Dollars, My Plan: 200 all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester in Dusty's Diner and $125 Dining Dollars.

                       

               

7

On the days that Dusty’s Diner is closed (i.e. Thanksgiving) you will receive a stipend of $10 per day to cover the cost of purchasing groceries. The RLC has open kitchen facilities on each floor for student use.

     

 

4


Entry into the United States D/S stands for “Duration of Status” and means that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you stay in status through the date for the completion of your studies as indicated on your DS 2019 form. Your DS 2019 form will show an admission number that is also on the I-94 form. Normally you will return your I-94 form when you leave the U.S. and receive a new form when you re-enter. Your admission As a J-1 student or visitor, you should have your number will remain the same. When you leave and passport, and I-94 form marked D/S stapled in your re-enter the U.S., the preprinted number on your passport, and your DS 2019 form marked D/S. new I-94 form will be crossed out and your admission number will be written on the form. Once you enter the U.S., United States Citizen and Immigration Services places you into a status. The status has the same name (usually) as the visa of J-1 non-immigrants. For the duration of stay in the U.S., you must maintain your status. If you leave the U.S., you will need a valid visa to re-enter the country and current DS 2019.

Expenses Meal Plans Since you will be living on campus housing, it will be very efficient to eat your meals on campus as well. Aramark (TAMIU University Dining Services) offers a selection of meal plans. They are offered to students at reasonable rates. For more information about restaurants and prices, please visit: http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSSW/ TexasAMInternational/MealPlans/.

Health Care and Insurance ISEP students do not need to obtain the TAMIU health insurance plan, as they are covered through the ISEP insurance plan. All International Students enrolled at TAMIU must have insurance, and will be automatically enrolled for TAMIU’s Basic 50K Plan. The cost of this plan is $291, which will be automatically charged to your student account each semester

Fees and Other Costs As a foreign exchange student, you will be waived from paying TAMIU tuition and fees. Your approximate expenses to enroll at the University are as follows for one semester of study: SEVIS fee ($200), Visa fee ($140), Room and Board ($6,918), Transportation ($1,040), Medical Insurance ($291), Living Expenses ($2,288), Books ($1,750).

To obtain further information on the Basic 50K insurance plan http://www.aipinternational.com/ TAM/plan.html?campusID=3&planID=3

5

6


Entry into the United States D/S stands for “Duration of Status” and means that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you stay in status through the date for the completion of your studies as indicated on your DS 2019 form. Your DS 2019 form will show an admission number that is also on the I-94 form. Normally you will return your I-94 form when you leave the U.S. and receive a new form when you re-enter. Your admission As a J-1 student or visitor, you should have your number will remain the same. When you leave and passport, and I-94 form marked D/S stapled in your re-enter the U.S., the preprinted number on your passport, and your DS 2019 form marked D/S. new I-94 form will be crossed out and your admission number will be written on the form. Once you enter the U.S., United States Citizen and Immigration Services places you into a status. The status has the same name (usually) as the visa of J-1 non-immigrants. For the duration of stay in the U.S., you must maintain your status. If you leave the U.S., you will need a valid visa to re-enter the country and current DS 2019.

Expenses Meal Plans Since you will be living on campus housing, it will be very efficient to eat your meals on campus as well. Aramark (TAMIU University Dining Services) offers a selection of meal plans. They are offered to students at reasonable rates. For more information about restaurants and prices, please visit: http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSSW/ TexasAMInternational/MealPlans/.

Health Care and Insurance ISEP students do not need to obtain the TAMIU health insurance plan, as they are covered through the ISEP insurance plan. All International Students enrolled at TAMIU must have insurance, and will be automatically enrolled for TAMIU’s Basic 50K Plan. The cost of this plan is $291, which will be automatically charged to your student account each semester

Fees and Other Costs As a foreign exchange student, you will be waived from paying TAMIU tuition and fees. Your approximate expenses to enroll at the University are as follows for one semester of study: SEVIS fee ($200), Visa fee ($140), Room and Board ($6,918), Transportation ($1,040), Medical Insurance ($291), Living Expenses ($2,288), Books ($1,750).

To obtain further information on the Basic 50K insurance plan http://www.aipinternational.com/ TAM/plan.html?campusID=3&planID=3

5

6


Arrival

Accommodations

Travel

Housing

Arrival to Laredo can be arranged via air or road. If you are flying into Houston or Dallas, you can reserve a connecting flight from Dallas with American Eagle or from Houston with Continental Express Jet. Alternatively you can reserve a seat on the Greyhound bus (duration from Houston: approx. 7 hrs). This bus arrives at the Laredo Central Bus Station, and from there you take bus route 16, which will take you directly to the University. You may visit www.greyhound.com for bus information to Laredo for bus schedules. International students must report upon arrival to the Office of Student Affairs, located in Student Center Room 226. Our email address is international@tamiu.edu.

Texas A&M International offers on-campus housing: University Village and the Residential Learning Community (RLC). At the RLC you can have the privacy and lifestyle you deserve in communities built specifically for students. The RLC offers a great campus location, laundry room, private bedrooms, furnished units, individual leases, swimming pool, volleyball court, and a community center where students can use computers, watch TV, or just visit with friends. The RLC has a required meal plan for all of their residents so you don’t have to worry about finding food off-campus.

*student must submit documents for housing no later than 90 days prior to arrival

International Student Exchange Program Students (ISEP) ISEP students can only be housed at the Residential Learning Community (RLC) in the standard room. Please be certain to indicate on your housing application that you are an ISEP student, and select the RLC Standard Room. ISEP students will receive a meal plan as part of their benefits. You can choose from three different meal plan options:

  Another housing option on campus is University Village. These apartments are fully furnished twoand four- bedroom apartments, and a few one- bedroom units. University Village also has a community center, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sundeck, volleyball court, and a barbeque area. University Village offers an optional meal plan for their residents.

Local Bus System For public transportation you can use the local bus system called El Metro. There are two bus stops on the TAMIU campus. You can visit their website for more information about transit times and pickup locations. http://main.elmetrotransit.com/

Traditional Plan: 300 all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester in Dusty's Diner, Flex Plan: 250 all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester in Dusty's Diner and $75 Dining Dollars, My Plan: 200 all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester in Dusty's Diner and $125 Dining Dollars.

                       

               

7

On the days that Dusty’s Diner is closed (i.e. Thanksgiving) you will receive a stipend of $10 per day to cover the cost of purchasing groceries. The RLC has open kitchen facilities on each floor for student use.

     

 

4


Pre-Arrival Planning pected to stay in any of the local hotels at your own expense. See also the section on Housing on page 6.

All students living in University housing must have proof of Bacterial Meningitis Immunization Record. The vaccination must be administered no less than 10 days before the student moves into University facilities. If you have been vaccinated in your home country, you will need to bring in your vaccination record in English and present it to the Student Health Services located at the Student Center, room 125 upon arrival to TAMIU. For more information contact Student Health Services at 956.326.2235 or check online at: http://www.tamiu.edu/wellness/stuhealth.shtml.

You are expected to arrive at TAMIU no later than the “report date� as indicated on your DS 2019. TAMIU offers orientation sessions for new international students at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. The orientation for international students usually takes place the week prior to start of classes (see academic calendar in the back of the brochure), and is a mandatory event. You will receive an email from OSA after your admission to TAMIU regarding early course registration. You are able to view scheduled courses for the upcoming semester at http://schedule.tamiu.edu (select semester schedule). Most incoming undergraduate students select courses starting with a 3 or 4, since that is when U.S. university courses start to specialize by discipline. Graduate students must select courses that start with the digit 5. Course descriptions can be found in the University catalog at http://www.tamiu.edu/catalog/.

Please let us know about your travel plans, indicating your date and time of arrival by submitting the New Arrival Form (www.tamiu.edu/dip/iss) 7 days before your arrival. Airport pick-up dates are scheduled between August 15-22. We will contact you to confirm your pick-up from the airport or bus station. We suggest that you call us before you depart Houston or Dallas on your last flight taking you to Laredo. For changes or delays call 956-3262282 between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. In case of an emergency call 956-326-2100. Remember to take time to make your housing arrangements before your departure. Students should submit documents for housing no later than 90 days prior to arrival. If you have no housing arrangements made, you will be ex-

3

Getting Involved International Student Mentoring Program (ISMP)

Association of International Students (AIS)

ISMP is a student support program which helps with the integration process of new international students to TAMIU and South Texas. Each new international student is assigned a student mentor who will provide guidance and advisement. Activities consist of pre-arrival interaction via email or social networks, orientation activities at the beginning of the semester, errand runs to local stores and banks, and general support throughout the semester. You will receive an introductory email from the ISMP mentor shortly before your arrival to the US.

You have the opportunity to learn from the different experiences that come with living in a foreign country, but you will also have the opportunity to represent your country. AIS members want to encourage you to be a good ambassador by participating in all of the activities that the Office of Student Affairs at TAMIU and our Association organize. Therefore, it will be a good idea to bring along some interesting information about your country, such as traditional costumes, cultural items, pictures, postcards, maps, posters, or anything you want. To become a member email tamiuais@gmail.com add us to facebook TAMIU Association of International Students. 8


Academic Calendar 2011 / 2012 Fall 2011 Aug 18-21 Aug 22-23 Aug 25 Aug 31 Sep 1 Sep 5 Sept 9 Oct 8 Oct 20 Nov 14-18 Nov 23-26 Dec 6 Dec 8-14 Dec 17

Check-In /Course Registration International Student Orientation First Class Day Final Late Registration Day Café Du Monde Labor Day Holiday Last day to drop courses without record AutMus Fest Mid-Semester Break International Week Thanksgiving Holiday Last Class Day Final Exam Period Commencement—end of Fall 2011 semester

About the Program The Exchange Visitor Program

Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is designed to promote and facilitate international competency between domestic and foreign students. Being immersed fully, as a student, in academic and social activities in a foreign university setting and local community, you will experience an international perspective that fosters communication, cross -cultural understanding and mutual respect and tolerance. We hope you will enjoy your time on the TAMIU campus, and make every effort to learn as much as possible about life and study in the United States.

Many Exchange Visitors are subject to what is known as the two-year home country physical presence requirement of Section 212 (e) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. A J-1 Exchange Visitor (and his or her J-2 dependent) may be subject to the home residence requirement on one or more of three bases: (1) Skills List: 212 (e) applies if the field of study, research or teaching is listed on the Exchange Visitor Skills . List for his or her country of citizen ship or country of last permanent residence. (2) Funding: 212 (e) applies if the Exchange Visitor receives U.S. or home government funding (directly or in-directly) specifically to support the exchange; (3) Receipt of graduate medical education or training. 212 (e) applies if the Exchange Visitor participates in the ECFMG’s Exchange Visitor Program to receive graduate medical education or training. For detailed information regarding the home residence requirement, visit USCIS at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/ types_1267.html#12.

Spring 2012 Jan 6-10 Jan 11-12 Jan 16 Jan 17 Feb 1 Mar 12-17 Apr 6-7 May 1 May 3-9 May 12

Check-In / Course Registration International Student Orientation Martin Luther King Holiday First Class Day Last day to drop classes without record Spring Break Easter Holiday Last Class Day Final Exam Period Commencement—end of Spring 2011 semester 2


Contact Information Office of Student Affairs Tel: (956) 326-2565 Email international@tamiu.edu http://www.tamiu.edu/studentaffairs

Exchange Student Academic Advisement/Housing Marina Hinojosa—Staff Assistant Tel. 956.326.2280 Email: mmhinojosa@tamiu.edu

Exchange Student Visa/Travel Itiel Valdez—Student Records Specialist Tel. 956.326.2282 Email: itiel@tamiu.edu

Housing Arrangements

Welcome to Texas A&M International University About us

Office of Student Affairs

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is located in a bi-lingual, bi-cultural setting on the U.S.-Mexico border. As an international university, students are exposed to many exciting opportunities at TAMIU and the Laredo Community. With beautiful weather year, TAMIU offers an ideal location to further your education while experiencing a melting pot of cultures. A variety of degree programs are offered for undergraduate and graduate students. There is also a doctoral program in International Business Administration, and joint–doctoral programs in Education and in Hispanic Studies.

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) is a proactive, innovative, learning organization that plays a critical role in the holistic development of students by offering quality and innovative programs and services that enable TAMIU students to perform optimally in challenging environments. Specifically to international students OSA offers non-academic advisement on immigration status, academic advisement and registration to exchange students, and the promotion of cross-cultural student life and activities.

1

Office of Housing and Residence Life Tel. 956.326.0160 Email: housing@tamiu.edu


Exchange Student Visitor Guide