WHO WE ARE
International Student Services (ISS) offers a wide variety of services and programs to international students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The ISS staff provides information and programs to international students about the campus and community and provide support and assistance concerning visas and related immigration issues.
ISS informs the campus and the larger community about the unique needs of and unique contributions made by international students and bring the international student perspective to a wide variety of campus programs and services.
In order to provide the campus and international students with up-to-date, comprehensive information concerning federal laws and regulations, ISS interacts with the U.S. immigration bureaus overseen by the Department of Homeland Security (formerly INS), Department of State, foreign governments, funding sources, NAFSA: Association of International Educators and other national and international agencies actively engaged in international education.
ISS administers UW-Madison's SEVIS (federal tracking system) and provides training and programs that enhance the awareness and understanding of cross-cultural and international issues on campus. ISS staff members consult daily with faculty and staff on issues related to international students and their dependents.
To contribute to the successful experience of all international students studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by providing vital services and programs. To advance the internationalization of campus and community by providing dynamic leadership and resources.
International Student Services assists the University of Wisconsin-Madison in fulfilling our commitment to international education by providing orientation, advising, documentation, information, programming and education to and about international students and their dependents.
WHO WE SERVE
ISS serves the more than 4,000 international students on the campus at any given time. The UW-Madison international student population is among the largest of any university in the country. All UW-Madison campus units may use ISS as a resource. Faculty, staff, and students may contact ISS about orientation, immigration, and cross-cultural issues. Consistent with the "Wisconsin Idea" -- that the boundaries of the University extend to the boundaries of the state -- ISS serves as a statewide resource concerning international educational issues.
At the beginning of each semester, ISS organizes orientation programming for new international students. This mandatory program includes information about:
Getting settled into the Madison and university communities
Class registration and the UW academic system
Immigration regulations and rights and responsibilities as a non-immigrant student
Student perspectives on student life
Cultural adjustment and adaptation
University health services and insurance
Information on campus resources
Tours of campus and libraries
Separate academic orientation sessions are offered for new undergraduates and graduate students. In the ISS orientation sessions, UW students, staff, and faculty offer lively presentations, addressing issues such as diversity, adapting to a new academic system, and UW-Madison policies and services.
Offers non-academic advising to all international students and their dependents.
Helps students make the transition to a new and often very different educational and cultural environment.
Helps students understand how immigration laws affect them and how to maintain their visa status and benefits, and regularly updates information about the frequently changing rules and regulations affecting international students.
Throughout the semester, ISS hosts workshops for international students to help them adjust to life in the U.S. and to promote personal, academic, and professional success. Workshops have been presented on topics such as:
Getting Connected on Campus & in the Community
Talking Across Cultures
Working in the USA
Success Luncheon Series
For new international students, ISS offers "Bridge", a peer mentor program which matches participants with American students who serve as mentors and friends for a semester.
ISS also sponsors diverse short-term events which bring international students and others together for the purposes of cultural exchange and increasing global awareness. Examples of these include Taste of Culture, the International Coffee and Conversation Hour, and the Millennium Development Goals Awareness Forum.
When invited, ISS provides training on cross cultural issues to requesting campus offices and units.
Document Services and SEVIS
ISS issues nonimmigrant visa documents required by the U.S. government for persons with F-1 (student) and J-1 (exchange visitor) visas. Documents are prepared for travel, dependent travel, change of degree program or major, transfer of schools, extension of stay, and employment options. The federal government requires instant notification via the web of all changes (SEVIS). ISS leads the campus in its compliance with SEVIS regulations.
ISS provides up-to-date information on immigration regulations and procedures. A variety of handouts are available in 217 Red Gym. Special events, general information, immigration updates, changes in service hours and much more can be found on the ISS web-site.
Access ISS, an electronic newsletter containing essential information, is e-mailed every two weeks to all international students on the UW-Madison campus.
ISS answers student questions via email. An email account for students, email@example.com , is answered every workday by one of the advising staff. Questions that are more complex may require an advising appointment.
Campus units and community organizations interested in learning about ISS and international students may arrange an ISS workshop. Call ISS for more information at 262-2044.