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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

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.


OPT STEM Extension Update 

On Friday, March 11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published new STEM OPT regulations which replace the current regulations.  There are two significant changes that are of particular interest to students.  STEM Extensions will now be 24 months long AND STEM Extensions will now require a formal training plan with employers (the form I-983). The new regulations become effective May 10, 2016.  For more details click here.

OPT mandatory workshop dates and times for Spring and Summer 2016 Grads now available.

If you will be graduating in the Spring or Summer 2016, you will need to attend a mandatory OPT workshop before you can apply for OPT. The dates and times are now available. Click here to see the dates and follow the instructions on how to reserve your spot. Remember, there are limites spaces for each date so it is first come, first served basis.

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 receive the approval from the graduate school and also 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.

Resources for Students

  • Celebrate Bilingualism and ern 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