International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO)

The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) helps international students adjust to life at UMass Lowell and in the United States.
Students from the Manning School of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange

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.


  • 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.