Skip to Main Content
Girls on stage at the Culture Fest.

International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO)

The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) is dedicated to the University's commitment to global engagement and inclusion.
Girls on stage at the Culture Fest.

ISSO advises over 2,000 international students and scholars who hail from over 60 countries. We assist with cultural adjustment as well as immigration and academic compliance. ISSO works closely with campus-wide offices to ensure the best experience for international students and scholars, including Career Services & Corporate Education Center, Human Resources, Graduate and Undergraduate Admissions, Pathway partners, Study Abroad and Student Affairs.

We 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.


  • 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.