Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning  

  I woke up this morning, and was ecstatic to see the sunshine filtering in through my blinds.  I couldn't help but jump out of bed, throw open all the windows and just drink it all in.

     I don't think I just speak for myself when I say that all of this rain had me feeling meh.  But I digress.  So there is sun shining though my window, which means that Spring is starting to get into full drive.  This also means that this semester is halfway over.

This being said, as an International student you should be asking yourself some key questions. Like:
      -Have I purchased my ticket home?
      -Will I have enough room to pack all my stuff in my bags, do I need to mail some stuff home,
        do I want to donate it, and/or can I store it on campus?
      -Do I want to stay in the states over the summer?  If so where will I be living, and should/how do
       I get a job?

I know that seems like a lot.  In fact, I can imagine exactly what you are thinking.

But let's break this down into some more manageable chunks.


Buy all the Tickets 


-So you are needing to buy a ticket back home, but you do not want it to cost an arm and a leg?  Here are some sites that may offer what you are looking for:
     -Student Universe

Sort Out all the Luggage


-Next, look at the airline you are booking with and check what their weight regulations are for checked baggage and carry-ons.
-Also check and see what the charge is for additional weight as sometimes this can be less than the potential shipping cost.

-Speaking of which, look into the cost of shipping through all of the offered venues (U.S mail, UPS, FEDEX, etc...)

-Your last option would be to check with your dormitory to see what over the summer storage options are available to you *NOTE: This option is for students who will be returning to PLU the following year*

-Regardless of how you transport your things please make sure you are following TSA guidelines, or any guidelines imposed by countries you are traveling to/in.

Find off Campus Living Arrangements 


-Need some place to stay over the summer?  Here are some sites that could prove helpful!
     -Apartment Guide
     -Another option is to look at the apartment advertisements that are posted around campus

-Worried you might get stuck in a bad neighborhood?  Say no more.
     -Crime Spot Map

*As always use your own discretion when agreeing to meet with someone to look at an apartment.  Let's keep it safe now y'all*

Make all of the Money

Step 1: Find a Job

-Here are some great places to start looking!
     -PLU Student Employment
     -The Career Center ( located in Ramstad 112)

Step 2: (FOR ON CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT) SSN Request form 

-Submit a SSN request for to ISS (This can only be done AFTER you receive a job offer)
     -You can submit this request here under "Letter Request Forms"

 -Apply for Curricular Practical Training
     -Instructions, Information and Request Form for CPT can be found here!

Step 3: Pick up all of the Letters

-(For on Campus Employment Only) Pick up employment letter from the Student Employment Office (located in RAM 112)
     -Make sure to bring:
          -Your PLU ID Card
          -Your I-20
          -Your Passport
          -Your I-94 (For more info on this go here)
     -You will be asked to fill out a I-9 and W-4 form at this time.

-(For on Campus Employment Only) Pick up SSN Request Letter from International Student Center (located in HARS 112)
     -Make sure to bring:
          -Your PLU ID Card

-(For off Campus employment Only)  Obtain letter from prospective employer
     -Letter must indicate:
          -Job title
          -Dates of employment
          -Number of hours to be worked per week
          -Place of Employment
          -Brief description of work
               -See the CPT Employer Letter Template for an example

-(For off Campus Employment Only)  ISS CPT Letter of Approval
     -Make sure to bring:
          -Your PLU ID Card

*Please allow 5 business days for Student Employment Office and ISS to issue your letters.

Step 4: Print out SS-5 form

-Print and fill out SS-5 form
      -This can be found here

Step 5: Make a Trip to the Social Security Office
-This office is located at:  Suite A, 2608 S 47th St. Tacoma, Wa 98409
-Their office hours are:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (9am- 3pm)
Wednesday (9am-12pm)
-You will need to bring:
     -(For on Campus Employment Only) Your employment letter from Student Employment Office
     -(For on Campus Employment Only)Your SSN Request Letter
     -(For off Campus Employment Only) Your letter from Perspective Employer
     -(For off Campus Employment Only)  ISS CPT Letter of Approval
     -Your SS-5 Form 
     -Your I-94
     -Your I-20
*SS Office will give you a receipt indicating that you applied for SSN. Students may NOT start working without presenting this receipt to Payroll Office (located at the corner of 121st St and Park Ave).
You will receive SS card within 2-3 weeks in the mail. After receiving SS card, you must bring it to Payroll Office.


Of course if you have any questions about anything listed about please feel free to contact:
     -The ISS office at
     -Heather Jacobson at

*Additionally, the ISS office will be open during the summer at normal office hours, so feel free to drop by.

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