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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

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.


Have you checked your Program end date on your I-20?

Does your I-20 state that your program end date is 08/15/2015? If so, will you be completing your degree requirements and graduating this semester? If not, then you need to come to ISFO immediately to start the process of applying for a program extenstion or you can find the form on the left hand side under the 'Forms' section. You MUST do this before the end date on your I-20 or you will be out of status.

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 here. If you have a graduate assistantship, you will need to receive the approval from the graduate school; do not fill out ISFO's 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.

Fall 2015 New International Student Orientation Information 

For all new undergraduate and graduate international students starting at NIU in August 2015, orientation will be held from Monday, August 17, 2015 trough Friday, August 21, 2015.  Check-in will be on Monday August 17 outside the Duke Ellington Ballroom in Holmes Student Center at 8:30 a.m.

Celebrate Bilingualism and earn credits. Click on the image below to find out more information.

Celebrate bilingualism

Immigration Telephone Scam

Over the course of less than a week, we have been made aware of a couple cases of fraudulent phone calls made to students by individuals posing as USCIS immigration officer in regards to their current immigration status. These individuals are asking for personal information (SSN, passport number, addresses, etc…), money transfers in order to correct the record and threatening students with immediate deportation back to their home country.  If you or anyone you know receives a phone call from such an individual, please make sure to hang up immediately and DO NOT give out any personal information over the phone.  USCIS and other government agencies will NOT call you to ask for any forms of payment to be made (whether it is a transfer or an over the phone payment) or anything personal (passport number, date of birth, SSN, etc…) regarding your case. They will send you a letter in the mail if there is anything that needs immediate action or will update your case status online with what you may receive in the mail. If you are a victim of this telephone scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1). You can also call USCIS and your local police department to report the fraudulent phone call and provide them with the phone number that it came from. Contact ISFO immediately if you receive anything that you suspect is fraudulent.

Master of Science in Management Information Systems is now a STEM Degree

The OM&IS Department and ISFO are pleased to announce that the Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) in the College of Business has been approved as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) designated degree program by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE).

Under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, international students who graduate from colleges and universities in the United States are able to remain in the country and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months.  Students who graduate from a designated STEM degree program are eligible for an addition 17 months of OPT Extension.  

Both departments are very excited about the opportunities for current and future international students who graduate from this program!!

Resources for Students

  • Attention Students! College of Business offers SAP Workshop!
  • Outstanding Student Contribution to International Education Award
  • Spring 2015 Powerpoint Presentations can be found here.
  • Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta; honor society for international education