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International Student and Scholar Services FAQ

Who does the ISSS office serve?

International Student and Scholar Services serves current international students and scholars participating in academic programs at CU-Boulder.  We do not work with prospective students, who should contact the appropriate admissions office with questions.  Please see our prospective student page for more information.

What does the ISSS office do?

The main purpose of ISSS is to provide a connection between international students and scholars and the U.S. government.  We monitor whether students and scholars are abiding by federal immigration regulations, and we do our best to ensure that the international members of our CU Boulder community remain in the U.S. legally.  Among many other responsibilities, we organize new-student immigration check-ins; provide one-on-one advising; process applications for visiting scholars; help international students get involved on campus and in the community; keep our international population informed of changes in regulations; and partner with other departments on campus to provide the best possible support to our international students and scholars.

Where is the ISSS office located and what are your hours?

ISSS is located in the Office of International Education, which also houses the Study Abroad Programs office.  We are in the Center for Community suite S355, and during the academic year we are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  During the summer semester we are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We do not close for lunch.

 

Our office closes for some holidays, which can be found on the university's holiday leave schedule.  We will close for each of the holidays listed.  Additionally, ISSS will close in the event of a campus closure due to inclement weather or another emergency.

How do I contact the ISSS office?

You may call our front desk at (+1) 303-492-8057 and you will be put through to an advisor. You can email us at adviser@colorado.edu.

What is the difference between a student and a scholar?

An international student is degree-seeking.  That means the person is participating in an academic program that will culminate with the bestowal of a degree such as a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or PhD.  International exchange students who are studying abroad at CU Boulder for one semester or academic year are also considered international students because they are degree-seeking, even though they will receive degrees from international universities.  Most international students are on F-1 or J-1 status. 

An international scholar is non-degree-seeking.  That means the person is participating in research, teaching, or other univeristy business that will not culminate with the bestowal of a degree.  For example, visiting research associates, professors, and non-degree-seeking interns would all be considered international scholars.  Most international scholars are on J-1 status.

How do I make an appointment to see an advisor?

Our office operates on a walk-in basis, which means you do not need to make an appointment in advance.  When you enter the office, the front desk receptionist will instruct you to sign in, which means you are putting your name on the list to see the next available advisor.  This does mean you will occiasionally encounter wait times, so plan your visit accordingly; for example, if you have an urgent issue it is not a good idea to sign-in fifteen minutes before you need to go to class or before the office closes.

Generally, ISSS is least busy in the morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and most busy at lunchtime from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Once again, this is just a general observation, and you should always anticipate wait times by allowing at least half an hour for your walk-in appointment if you plan to come at a slow time and at least forty-five minutes if you plan to come at busy time.

Do I have an ISSS advisor who is assigned to me, like an academic advisor?

No.  Except in rare instances (such as H1B status questions), each ISSS advisor is capable of handling your situation.  We keep extensive notes in our secure, electronic system so that each advisor can access the details of your previous visits to ISSS.  By the time you complete your program, you probably will have seen each advisor at least once.

What if I want to see a specific advisor who has helped me before?

Unfortunately, this person might not be available when you come into the ISSS office.  The best way to see a specific advisor is to email that person or call the ISSS front desk to find out the advisor's availability.  We will let you know at what point during the week that person has office hours for one-on-one advising, and you can sign in for a walk-in appointment during those hours.  While advisors will occassionally make appointments outside of their office hours, this is uncommon and will probably require you to wait much longer for a solution to your situation: it is usually faster and more convenient for you to sign-in to see the on-duty advisor at a time that works for you.  Please see the previous question for more information on why you do not need to see the same advisor each time you come into the office.

Can my friend pick up a document for me?

Only when you have emailed us first to let us know the name of the person who will be picking up your document.  You can send this email to adviser@colorado.edu.  Whoever is picking up the document must bring a photo ID or we cannot release your document to them.  This is to ensure your privacy and safety as your immigration documents contain personal information.

My cousin, who also went to CU, gave me some immigration advice--I can believe him, right?

NO!  Never take the word of a friend or family member when it comes to immigration regulations, even if that person also attended CU Boulder.  You should always double-check with an ISSS advisor before you make any decisions that might affect your immigration status.