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Next Steps for International Students

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The resources below will help you prepare for life in Evanston. 

Connect with current students

Want to learn more about life as an international student at Northwestern? Then Global Wildcats are international student volunteers available to answer your questions. To connect with a Global Wildcat via email or to schedule a virtual appointment, email You can also connect with other incoming students by joining Northwestern Global Wildcats Class of 2025 on Facebook. There are many ways for you to get involved in the campus community. Explore Northwestern's student organizations to get a feel for what’s going on at Northwestern.

Arrive early and get acquainted

International Student Orientation

New students should plan on arriving to Northwestern’s Evanston campus in time for Undergraduate International Student Orientation (ISO). ISO is a program specifically designed for new or transferring undergraduate international students, exchange students and U.S. citizens who grew up overseas.

Undergraduate International Student Orientation begins on September 11, 2021. For more information please see the ISO website.

ISO is facilitated by International Peer Advisors, current Northwestern students who will send you information over summer and be with you through the on-campus orientation.

Wildcat Welcome

ISO will immediately precede Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern's mandatory weeklong orientation for all new students. Wildcat Welcome discusses college transition issues, advising and course registration for your first quarter and provides an opportunity to meet your entire class. Wildcat Welcome will be held the week prior to the start of classes. Do not plan to make any other arrangements during that time period, as you'll be in programming most of the time. Classes begin on September 21, 2021. Students will register for classes during Wildcat Welcome. 

Student visa information

Northwestern University’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) is the main source for support and advising services to international students. Incoming students who do not hold U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, or a visa status that allows full-time study will need to secure a student visa or transfer a current SEVIS record in order to study at Northwestern.

Visit the OISS site for instructions

Helpful tips for required forms and documents

  • Before submitting your immigration document request, please confirm that you plan to enroll at Northwestern by paying your nonrefundable $400 tuition deposit (due May 1) or using a designated fee waiver.
  • You will need your activated NetID to complete the immigration document request.
  • To ensure the most efficient processing, Northwestern recommends submitting the immigration document request by May 20. Forms will still be accepted after this date, but processing times may vary.
  • Please complete all Learning Content, all Questionnaires, including uploading of all materials, and the I-20 Request Statement of Understanding.
  • You do not need to complete all items at the same time. You can have multiple sessions. Use the same link to access the request.
  • You will use the Undergraduate Funding Requirements and Documentation Questionnaire to upload your financial documents. Please ensure you have a completed and signed Sponsor Statement of Support for any funds not in your name. This includes funds from parents.
  • You must SUBMIT the request when you have completed all of the elements of the request. The SUBMIT button is at the top of the page.
  • Please keep a copy of all the documents you submit. You may be asked to present them when you apply for your visa or when you enter the United States.
  • A J Visa is allowed only in specific circumstances. If you are applying for a J visa, please contact with your NetID and NU email account. We will guide you through the process.