Do International students need to file taxes?
Yes, all students in F-1 or J-1 status are required to file Federal Tax Returns with the IRS each year, even if they have not earned any income. For more information see: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/visa/life-at-sbu/tax-information.php
What kind of online resources can I use as an international student to assist with my tax preparations?
Use Sprintax to file taxes electronically. Do not use other tax software such as TurboTax since it is not intended for international students, as they are designed for US residents and calculate taxes at a different rate.
I am seeking legal advice, where can I go?
GSO offers a monthly legal clinic, where you can seek advice, suggestions and recommendations from a legal professional. However, our legal experts can only provide advice on certain fields, including landlord/tenant rights, traffic law, civil disputes, criminal law, and marriage law. They do not specialize in international law, immigration issues, or tax law. If you need advice and recommendations, please contact the International Student Advocate (ISA@sbgso.org.) who can direct you to the appropriate resources.
As an international student, am I allowed to work?
Your F-1 student status allows you to work on-campus at Stony Brook University while you are enrolled in a full course of study. A good resource for finding on-campus jobs is Handshake.
You are not allowed to work off-campus legally except if you have an approved CPT or OPT. In order to be eligible to apply for CPT or OPT, you must attend a workshop. Information on workshop dates can be found here: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/visa/immigration-status/f1-students/curricular-practical-training#CPTWorkshops
What is CPT?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment that is an integral part of a student's established curriculum, such as a practicum or internship. You must be enrolled in an internship or practicum course at the university to be eligible for CPT.
See link for more information: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/visa/immigration-status/f1-students/curricular-practical-training#Eligibility&Applying
What are my options for staying in the US after graduation?
For immigration options after graduation, please see the PDF presentation here: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/visa/immigration-status/f1-students/options-after-graduation
Another option for prolonging your stay in the US is to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which is temporary employment that allows students in F-1 status to gain practical experience and training in a field directly related to their major area of study before or after completion of the program. Students are eligible for a maximum of 12 months of OPT for each degree level they complete. If you are studying within certain fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), you may be eligible for a 24-month STEM OPT extension, for a total of 36 months. For more information about OPT click here: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/visa/immigration-status/f1-students/optional-practical-training#Overview
What is the International Pals program?
The International Pals Program seeks to foster cultural exchange and help international graduate students better navigate their academic life at Stony Brook University, by pairing them with a domestic student or experienced international student who would use their knowledge of campus resources and American culture to assist the new international graduate student with any issues they may encounter in their first few months of study.
Enrollment forms will be available for both mentor and mentees at the beginning of each semester online.
Where can I find off-campus housing options?
You can find information about off-campus housing here: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/studentaffairs/css/Renting-Off-Campus/
Including information on house and apartment rentals, roommate search, rental checklists, legal housing, lease 101 and landlord reviews.
Where do I go if I need help, feedback, and issues in my writing?
Check out the Writing Center. They will be able to assist you with your writing problems. https://www.stonybrook.edu/writingcenter/
How do I navigate around the Stony Brook campus area without a car?
You can use the Stony Brook Transit bus system to navigate on campus (https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/transportation-and-parking/transportation/bus_sbu_transit/ ), and use available off-campus transportation such as Suffolk Transit Connection, and the LIRR https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/transportation-and-parking/transportation/off_campus_transportation/. There are also other alternatives such as Uber, ride shares and taxi services.
I don’t have a car, is there an easier option for me to go grocery shopping?
Yes, certain grocery stores such as Whole Foods offer delivery options. If you are looking for Chinese grocery, you could check out FreshGogo. They deliver on campus several times weekly.
I have a teaching assistantship and am looking for TA training and professional development, where I can go?
Check out the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). They provide services in many areas, such as teaching, and technology. https://www.stonybrook.edu/celt/
Where can I find help when I need assistance in resolving an issue and am unsure how to proceed and what options are available?
You may contact the Graduate Student Advocate, the International Student Advocate or visit the Ombudsman Office on campus.
Graduate Student Advocate (Gradadvocate@stonybrook.edu)
International Student Advocate (ISA@sbgso.org.)
Ombudsman Office (https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/ombuds/contact.php)