International Students

A student who is in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa whose primary purpose is to study.

Group of students laying in a circle

Tips for Advising

One in ten undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota is an international student. These students represent over 130 countries across the world, and each brings a unique educational and cultural background to campus.

Two main areas that impact international students during their interactions with advisers are:

  1. adhering to immigration regulations and
  2. navigating an educational system that has a different structure, values, and beliefs from the one they may be familiar with in their home country. In fact, your role may be a new role they have not encountered previously.

New Student Advising Guides

The Advisor Resource Guides, updated annually, contain information about working with new international students. In addition to information about what students will do when arriving at the University, the guides also include ESL and general course recommendations.

Referring Students

When to Refer Students

U.S. immigration regulations impact numerous aspects of a student’s life. These regulations are often difficult to interpret and change often. When students have questions about the following areas, it’s best to refer them to ISSS:  

  • off-campus employment,
  • traveling outside the U.S.,
  • and registering for less than a full course load.   

ISSS serves as a liaison between the student and government immigration services. A partnership between students, academic advisers and ISSS advisors is critical for successfully navigating immigration regulations.

Students are not assigned to any specific ISSS adviser but can make a request. Advisors have access to can make notes in APlus. If you want to speak with an adviser who met with a student, you can call to request to speak with that advisor. 

If you have an urgent matter, please let our Welcome Staff know you are an advisor and are calling about a time sensitive matter, and they will expedite your communication with our staff. 

Virtual Drop-in Advising

Drop-in advising is available to students Mondays (10am-Noon), Wednesdays (1-3pm), and Fridays (1-3pm). Students can go to during the drop-in hours. Virtual appointments are available daily but must be made a day in advance at