ISS Services


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.

New Advising Model
We heard you!  In our two recent surveys about ISS Services, international students indicated that shorter wait times for walk-in advising is a top priority to increase your satisfaction with ISS.

We are introducing a new walk-in advising model Fall 2016 to decrease wait time for walk-in advising and improve the advising experience.  We are more than doubling advising contact hours with students, increasing from one advisor on call during walk-in advising hours to four advisors.

While the majority of students indicated our advising hours work well, many requested hours later or earlier in the day.  To respond to this need, we have adapted our advising hours to begin an hour earlier some days (10:00am-12:00pm Thursday and Friday) and end later in the afternoon on other days (2:00-4:00pm Monday-Wednesday).

It is our goal to serve you well.

New Office Hours Fall 2016:
Monday – Wednesday
10:00am – 4:30pm

Thursday- Friday

Walk-In Advising:
Monday – Wednesday

Monday – Friday
10:00am – 4:00pm
(608) 262 – 2044


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
  • Academic Issues
  • Talking Across Cultures
  • Career Planning
  • Working in the USA
  • Success Luncheon Series
  • Career 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, , 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.