Quick Navigation

Find us on Facebook



International Student & Faculty Office 
Williston Hall, 406

Phone: (815) 753-1346
Fax: (815) 753-1488
Email: isfo@niu.edu

Hours: 8-12 pm & 1-4:30pm

Closed for lunch 12-1pm

Walk-in Hours: 1-3 pm

International Word Cloud 1

Welcome to the International Student and Faculty Office

We're very glad you have chosen Northern Illinois University! All of us in the Division of International Affairs are happy to meet you and graciously treasure the cultural heritage you bring to NIU.

The staff of the International Student and Faculty Office is here to help you transition to NIU and help you throughout your experiences.

The purpose of this website is to provide students, faculty, and staff with useful information about our office and how we can help answer any questions you have.


UPDATE 02/06/2017

The executive order is being challenged in the courts for being unconstitutional. At this time, a judge has issued a stay on the executive order. So, at this time, individuals with valid entry visas are again allowed to enter the U.S.

Also last week, the White House clarified in a memo that U.S. permanent residents, originally from the secen countries, are able to enter through normal means.

ISFO Statement on Friday's Executive Order

On Friday afternoon (01/27/2017), President Trump signed an executive order that suspends, for 90 days, entry visas for citizens of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. Over the weekend, we have seen several lawsuits filed against this order. While we continue to monitor the impact of this order, ISFO would like to make you aware of two important points regarding this action.

First, we recommend that no citizens of these countries leave the U.S. in the next 90 days. You will be deemed ineligible for re-entry regardless of your visa status. This recommendation also applies to legal permanent residents of the U.S. who are originally from these countries, although permanent residents are eligible for an exemption by completing a waiver to be evaluated on a case by case basis. We do not know what will happen when these 90 days expire, but ISFO will continue to carefully monitor this situation and provide you with updates as we get them. Please be aware that this executive order refers to entry visas only, and your current immigration status as students, scholars, employees, and/or dependents remains valid.

Second, ISFO wants to address the message this executive order is sending. If you are a student, scholar, faculty, staff, or dependent from one of these countries, you are probably feeling unwelcome in the country you have chosen to live, study, and/or work in. If you are not from one of these countries, many of the same feelings probably apply. We want you to clearly understand the following. You are welcome at NIU. You are wanted here. You are needed here. And you are valued here.

If you are looking for additional resources and information, NAFSA Association of International Educators has excellent resources. Information on this executive order can be found here: https://www.nafsa.org/Content.aspx?id=57494. We are also working on informational sessions about knowing your rights, those details will be released soon.

ISFO staff has a long history of advocating for you at both a local and national level, and will continue to do so. If we can be a source of encouragement, comfort, information or can help in any way please come in to see us any time. Our doors are always open.


Stephanie Brown
Arezou Kashani 
Sim Chin Tissa
Bradley Bond

OPT Workshop dates and times for Spring and Summer 2018 graduates now available!

All students graduating in the Spring and Summer 2018 must attend a Mandatory OPT Workshop prior to applying for OPT. The dates and times are available. The workshops are on a first-served basis and are marked closed when capacity has been met. Click here to see the list of dates and times for the OPT Workshop.

Do you need to have a document mailed to you because a friend cannot pick it up on your behalf?

ISFO is providing students with a service that allows you to create and pay for a mailer so that ISFO can send you your documents via FedEx or UPS. E-ship global allows students to create and properly input their address so that ISFO can send the documents without getting lost in the mail. Click here and create an account and pay for a mailer. ISFO will receive notification of the creation of the mailer and will send your document to you.

Reduced Course Load in Final Semester - New requirements and form available now!

For students in their final semester and not holding a graduate/teaching assistantship, there is no longer a minimum number of credits necessary to be enrolled in.  In the past, undergraduate students needed to be enrolled in 6 credits and graduate students in 4.5 credits in their final semester to be approved the underload. The new rule is that you will need to be enrolled in the number of credits necessary to graduate in the final semester. You will need to print out the form and go to your academic advisor before you drop it off at ISFO. The form can be found in ISFO. If you have a graduate assistantship, you will need to fill out the ISFO and  the graduate school form!

NOTE: 1) If you will be enrolled in only one course, it cannot be an online course; 2) if you do not complete your coursework in that final semester and have been approved an underload, you will have to be enrolled as a full-time student in the following semester (Undergrads: 12 credits for Fall and Spring; Grads 9 credits for fall or spring semester and 6 credits for the summer for both Undergrads and Grads).

Resources for Students

  • Orientation powerpoints can be found here.
  • OPT STEM Extension update. Click here for more information.
  • Celebrate Bilingualism and earn credits. Click here to learn more.
  • Outstanding Student Contribution to International Education Award
  • Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta; honor society for international education