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About the International Students & Scholars Office

The international Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) collaborate with the Offices of Multicultural Affairs, Student Activities, Residence Life, and the Campus Recreational Center on escorted trips to shopping malls, downtown Lowell, Boston, local beaches, amusement parks, movie theaters, and more.

ISSO conducts daily personalized advising sessions and processes critical, time-sensitive documents by experiences immigration advisors. We assist with specialized off-campus work authorization, including Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Pre-, Post- and STEM-Optional Practical Training (OPT) applications. ISSO advises on H-1B, O-1, TN, Permanent Residency and other work-related visa categories.

We support Multicultural Affairs with all international initiatives, including support for the International Student Club and International Education Week. ISSO founded and now assists Multicultural Affairs with the UMass Lowell Pair-up Program, a friendship program that matches new international students with current UMass Lowell American students based on similar interests and hobbies, to foster multinational friendship.

We also offer: airport transportation services for newly arrived students; multiple new student and scholar welcome sessions in fall, spring and summer; and weekly informational Coffee Hours featuring a variety of on and off-campus resources.

The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) helps international students adjust to life at UMass Lowell and in the United States.

UMass Lowell is enriched by the unique perspectives, cultures and native languages of our international students, scholars and employees who come from more than 60 countries.

Since 2008, the international student population has doubled. The ISSO assists an average of 1,000 students and scholars annually with cultural adjustment, academic and immigration related concerns.

The ISSO is staffed with experienced advisors who have a cumulative total of 45+ years serving the international population in academic environments.

The ISSO works closely with offices across campus, including Career Services & Cooperative Education Center, Human Resources, graduate and undergraduate admissions, International Experience and Study Abroad, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, to ensure the best experience for international students and scholars.

ISSO Services

  • Conduct daily advising sessions with individual international students and scholars, as needed.
  • Advise and process critical, time-sensitive documents.
  • Advise and assist with off-campus work authorization, including the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and the Pre- and Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) processes. Services include facilitation with the social security application process, and working closely with the Payroll & International Tax Specialist in the Office of Human Resources to assist international students and scholars with their tax-related questions.
  • Oversee International Student Ambassadors on activities ranging from corresponding with incoming international students prior to their arrival, serving as greeters when they arrive and providing overall assistance to ISSO throughout their tenure as ambassadors.
  • Provide airport transportation services for newly-arrived students.
  • Offer three arrival orientation programs each year, which include tours of the campus and the cities of Lowell and Boston, as well as an introduction to other UMass Lowell services.
  • Conduct social activities such as weekly coffee hours hosted by the International Student Ambassador group, movies, bowling, ice skating, game nights and more.
  • Coordinate with Multicultural Affairs on annual campus-wide celebration of International Education Week.
  • Offer escorted trips throughout the academic year to Boston, local beaches, amusement parks, museums and other cultural activities.