Life at NIU

Navigating the ins and outs of a new country can be tough. Luckily, we are here to help. Have questions about banking, driving in the US, your family, housing, workshops, orientation, social security cards or taxes? Check out our resources and then ask us if you have questions.

We even have a club for international students to connect with American students. Join us!

English as a Second Language (ESL) Center

The ESL Center located in Reavis Hall 306B offers many services for our international students, including free one-on-one tutoring, practice with oral presentations, consultations on writing, conversation practice and exam preparation. They also have a library of ESL materials and help with course assignments.

ELS Language Centers - DeKalb

ELS Language Centers are a group of private language schools. Find out more about their DeKalb programs.

Winter usually lasts from November through April. The temperature is usually below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius). Because the DeKalb area is flat, wind is a major consideration. In the winter months, the low temperature becomes more dangerous because of the wind.

If you dress appropriately for winter weather, you will be comfortable outdoors most of the time. For this reason, you must have the right outer clothing, which includes a hat to cover your ears and gloves to cover your hands. We also recommend that you have a heavy down coat and boots.

If you're coming to NIU from a tropical climate, we recommend that you purchase your winter clothes here after you arrive.

The ISSS provides a wide variety of programs and events for international students and other NIU and community members interested in international affairs.

Some of our past events have included trips to Chicago, Thanksgiving dinner, a trip to an apple orchard and volunteer opportunities.

Some international students are required to have NIU health insurance. Check the International Student section of the Health Services website to see if you are one of them.

Financial Aid is available to U.S. citizens only. However, international students are eligible for scholarships and graduate assistantships.

Contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for more information about how to apply for scholarships.

Graduate Assistantships

Many graduate programs offer assistantships at NIU. International students can and are encouraged to apply for an assistantship in your department or any other department/office on campus. A graduate assistant can work up to 20 hours a week and in return, will receive a tuition waiver and a small stipend. The NIU Human Resources department has more information on Graduate Assistantships.

Northern Illinois University and other academic institutions have an important code of ethics regarding the use of published materials for research, written reports etc. Failure to cite the sources of reference is plagiarism and is a violation of the university's Code of Conduct. Students assume responsibility for the content and integrity of their academic work.

Please visit the Academic Integrity page for more information and for helpful tutorials.

Contact Us

International Student Scholar Services (ISSS)
Williston Hall

Phone: 815-753-1346

Staff Office Hours

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Walk-in Appointments

No scheduled appointment needed in these hours

10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.