International Student Advising Options

Whenever you have a question related to your time here at UW–Madison you should always refer to the ISS website first. If you still can’t find the information or resources you are looking for, it might be time to check in with the advising team. But what are your advising options?

You actually have FOUR options outside of reviewing resources on the ISS website:

  1. Peer Advisors: Peer Advisors are graduate student staff that work at our front desk welcoming you to the ISS Office and answering the ISS phone. They are an excellent source for document pick up, minor changes or edits to a Terra Dotta request and basic information for subjects like:
  • How to get a new I-20 if your document is lost, stolen or damaged
  • On campus employment resources
  • Extending a program end date
  • Changing education levels
  • Bringing a spouse/child to the U.S.
  • Changing or adding a major
  • Full-time enrollment
  • How to contact an ISS advisor
  • How to schedule an appointment or meet an ISS advisor
  • How to apply for an update on Terra Dotta


  1. Drop-ins: Drop-in advising (10-minute sessions) is for students to meet with any ISS advisor to ask quick questions. If we are unable to fully answer your questions in 10 minutes, we will help you set up an appointment with your ISS advisor to continue the conversation. Drops-in are hybrid with in-person and online options, and are first come, first served. Examples of topics we could answer during drop-ins are:
  • OPT
  • Maintaining status questions
  • Travel reminders
  • CPT extensions
  • Leave of absence or withdrawal
  • Terra Dotta questions
  • University holds
  • Questions on dependents


  1. Information requests: Information requests via Terra Dotta are a great way to ask ISS caseload advisors questions. By submitting a request via Terra Dotta and not email, all advisors are able to see the request and therefore get you an answer back sooner! Allow ISS up to 5 business days to respond and we can provide resources and answers to your questions. On rare occasions, we will request you come for advising at drop-ins or make an appointment with your ISS advisor due to the complexity or sensitivity of the subject.


  1. Appointments: Appointments are for longer meetings, typically 10–25 minutes, with your assigned ISS advisor. Appointments can be made in Terra Dotta, through a peer or ISS advisor and are online through Zoom unless otherwise indicated by your ISS advisor. Common appointment topics are:
  • Change of status
  • Correcting status
  • Health and well-being concerns
  • Academic difficulty concerns
  • Economic hardship
  • Return from Leave of Absence
  • I-515 recipients
  • Work authorization denials
  • J-1 Transfers or change of category