The family of an international student is welcomed into the University community in a number of different ways. The Slutzker Center offers assistance at the initial stages, providing immigration documents and letters of endorsement of a student's invitation to a spouse and child(ren) to join the student.
Financial proof of one year of full support must be proven prior to issuance of the immigration documents. The student must also agree to purchase health insurance for his/her family upon arrival in the United States prior to issuance of the immigration documents.
Family housing is provided at Slocum Heights. One and two bedroom apartments are available. Early application is needed to insure availability when your family arrives. Rental rates, found on the application form for family housing on South Campus Housing, include the convenience of a university community based environment.
Heat, electricity, trash disposal, water, and maintenance are all included. Price comparisons with off-campus apartments should include the consideration of these amenities. Students may also choose to house their families in off-campus apartments. However, one should keep in mind the sense of community Slocum Heights can provide, both to a spouse and to the children.
It is generally recommended that families seek accommodations in University housing if space is available, at least for the first year in Syracuse. If you seek off-campus accommodations, be certain that the lease you sign does not exclude children.
Spouses of full-time students may obtain treatment at the Syracuse University Health Services. The cost for an initial visit to a physician will be $35.00; follow-up visits for the same illness or injury will be $20.00. For women, visits to the gynecologist are $35.00 for the first visit; $20.00 for any follow-up visit.
Children may not be seen at the University Health Services. Several alternatives exist and are outlined below. You may discuss these options with the advisers at the Slutzker Center or with others from your country.
Pediatric Clinic of SUNY Health Science Center
Located at 750 E. Adams Street (very near the University). Call for an appointment, 464-4357. If a child is ill, an appointment can be set up immediately, within 1-2 days. For a general check-up (physical exam), the waiting period is normally about 1 month. At the beginning of the school year, August - September, the clinic is very busy, and the waiting period for a non-emergency appointment is about 2 months.
Immunization records, information about any medications your child is taking and history of illness is needed. The cost ranges from approximately $25.00 to $85.00 per visit. Remember that most insurance policies have a deductible of $50.00 per illness.
Bring your insurance card and claim forms with you if possible. When you go to the Clinic for your child's appointment, it is helpful to leave ample time for the entire process, including signing in and filling out any paperwork that needs to be completed.
If language is a problem, please bring along an interpreter. Many times students come in for an appointment between classes, and do not allow enough time for the check-up. You should be prepared to wait. The entire visit could well take between 1-2 hours. If the clinic is closed, call the Pediatric Emergency Room at 464-5565.
For a general immunization clinic, please see the Onondaga County Health Department website.
It is more expensive to have a private pediatrician, but some families prefer this type of medical care. A private pediatrician would see your child for both routine, preventative care (examinations, immunizations), and also be available when your child is ill. Please check with the Slutzker Center or the University Health Services if you need the name of a pediatrician. The first visit is approximately $45.00; follow-up visits are approximately $33.00, depending upon services rendered. Immunizations have additional charges.
Children who will be five years old by December 1 of any given year may be enrolled in kindergarten the preceding September. Kindergarten is optional, but school attendance is mandatory for children ages 6-16. You must inform the Syracuse City School District Office of children who will not attend kindergarten. Public schools in Syracuse are free. Free bus transportation both to and from school daily is also provided. Certain age limits and distance requirements must be met.
The Syracuse City School District Office, Pupil Services Department (435-4100) will provide you with the name and address of the school to which your child(ren) will go. You should find out from the Pupil Services Department when a school secretary would be available to make an appointment to meet you before your child(ren) begin school. To your appointment, bring with you the birth certificate(s) and all medical records of your child(ren).
Proof of immunization is required before your child may begin school. If you do not have proof of immunization your child will have to receive these immunizations before beginning school. Plan to bring your child's past academic records, if available, in English. The school will need to view these records to determine at which level he/she should begin studies.
There is an English as a Second Language Program, full time and half-day as need determines. Please call the Syracuse School District Office at 435-4927, and ask for Mrs. Sonia Otero for further information on these programs.
Kindergarten is available in some schools as a half-day program and in other schools as a full-day program. The school your child will attend depends upon your location. Lunch is a normal part of the day for all full-day programs. Children have the option of bringing their own lunch or buying lunch for a reasonable cost at the school. Family and personal food interests should determine whether or not a child buys or brings lunch.
Often children change their minds each day, buying lunch one day and bringing their own lunch another day. Milk and ice cream can always be purchased individually, even if a child brings his/her own lunch. If a child becomes ill during the school day, a School Nurse will examine him/her. Generally, the parent is contacted and asked to come to the school and pick up the child. If your child is ill in the morning, you should not send him to school.
Your daytime phone numbers should always be available to the School Principal in case your child becomes ill or there is an urgent need to reach you. A school calendar is sent to all parents at the beginning of the school year. School holidays are usually also announced to parents via information sheets sent home with the children. You should instruct your child to always bring home to you right away any information distributed to them in school.
Federal and state legal holidays are generally school holidays (i.e., Columbus Day - October 12; Veteran's Day - November 11; Thanksgiving - the fourth Thursday in November). The Christmas holiday is generally celebrated by a week or two week vacation. There is a mid-winter recess of one week in February and a spring recess of one week in April.
The school year begins the first Wednesday after Labor Day in September (usually the first week of September), and ends sometime in mid-June. Summer school is available, but it is usually a remedial type program and not mandatory. Few children attend summer school.