The International Office is located on the 3rd floor of the Center for Liberal Arts (CLA). Phone: Sharon Albee, Office Coordinator 556.2770 Robyn Walter, International Student & Scholar Advisor 556.3190
The office is open Monday through Friday, 8am-12noon, 1pm-4:30pm.
The University and Office is closed during the winter break, typically 12/24-1/4.
If you have a quick question feel free to use Robyn’s Drop-In hours:
Monday 3-4pm; Tuesday 1:30-3pm, Thursday and Friday, 10am-11:30am.
If you have a complex question or concern, please schedule an appointment to ensure that you will have sufficient time to discuss your situation.
If you need a letter for travel, to affirm your student status, or to affirm your local address, please email Robyn (email@example.com) with your request. Typically this letter will be available and waiting for you to pick up the next day at the front desk of the International Office.
Working on Campus:
Work-Study is a financial award that enables you to work on campus for 10 hours/week. Most jobs on campus are only available to students with a work-study award. There are payroll jobs which are often for positions in which a special skill is required, such as knowledge of physics, chemistry, music, graphic design, etc. or with Sodexo, the campus food service office.
Payroll Jobs are available to all students, whether or not you have a work-study award.
The Financial Aid Office lists all current available student jobs
ALL international students are limited by their visa to working no more than 20 hours per week . Since University time cards are issued for a calendar month, you must be careful not to exceed 80 hours for any given month. Working more than 20 hours per week is in direct violation of your student F-1 or J-1 visa.
Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week when classes are not in session, winter and summer break.
A Social Security Card must be obtained to work in the United States. The following documents are necessary to obtain a social security card:
- a letter offering you employment on IWU letterhead, that includes your position and the day you are requested to begin working
- a letter from the International Office that affirms you are a full-time student
- a completed social security application
- a print copy of your I-94
- passport and visa
- your original birth certificate if you have it in the United States with you. If your original birth certificate is at home, you do not need a copy.
PUT YOUR CAMPUS ADDRESS ON THE SOCIAL SECURITY APPLICATION SO THAT YOUR CARD IS SENT DIRECTLY TO YOU.
At the beginning of each semester, several trips will be scheduled to take students to the Social Security Office to submit your application. You must apply in person. If you need to go to the Social Security Office later in the semester you will need to make independent arrangements.
You are eligible to work immediately after you apply for your social security card.
Most students receive their social security card in the mail 2 weeks after they apply.
To receive a paycheck the U.S. requires every student to complete the I-9 and W-4 tax forms. You can complete these at the Financial Aid Office, which will require that you have your social security number. You must take your passport with you to complete these forms since you are required to establish your identity. Once the I-9 and W-4 forms are completed the University can issue you a time card which is required to be completed and submitted to the Business Office in order to receive a paycheck.
is located on the 1st floor or Ames Library. Trained tutors and a professional ESL tutor are available to international students to assist with writing papers. International students find this resource to be immensely helpful as faculty at American universities have expectations that are generally quite different than teachers in their home countries. Learn more about the Writing Center here
Counseling and Consultation Services is located on the lower level of Magill Hall, accessed from the back of the building. This confidential and free counseling service provides emotional support to students who might be home-sick, struggling with anxiety, depression, loss of a relationship or other concerns. Seeking counseling services for support is a very accepted practice in the United States, and is not viewed as shameful or negative. Learn more about Counseling and Consultation Services here
Arnold Health Services are the health services available to students. It is generally best to start by consulting a health professional at Arnold Health Services rather than going to a hospital emergency room. Learn more about this resource here
Hart Career Center is a highly used excellent resource to help you: determine the best major for you, talk to professionals in your field of interest, explore internships on and off campus, create and polish your resume, cover letter, describe and help you prepare for a US interview, search for and apply to graduate programs, search for and apply to jobs. The Career Center is well-utilized by international students beginning early in their stay on campus!
To remain compliant with your visa you must:
*be enrolled as a full-time student (with 3 or 4 classes)
*be making satisfactory progress toward your degree
*work no more than 20 hours per week on campus, if you are employed
*inform the DSO (Robyn Walter) of any changes in your address or major
*NOT work off campus without first applying for OPT (optional practical training)
OPT students are expected to check-in within ALL of the following time frames: January 1-10, April 1-10, July 1-10, October 1-10, AND when an address or employment change occurs