Office of International Affairs
1414 East 59th Street, Room 291
Phone: 773-702-7752 (2-7752 from on campus)
Monday–Wednesday: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Thursday–Friday: 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
The Office of International Affairs assists you with the immigration-related aspects of your stay as an F-1 or J-1 student in the University. We can help with employment authorization, travel, and Social Security matters, and we provide some tax-related support. Throughout the year, we offer various types of orientations and workshops related to your visa status.
If you have a question and are unsure whom to ask, try us!
OIA offers information about:
- Maintaining your legal status
- Employment authorization on or off campus
- Employment authorization for J-2 dependents
- Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)
- Applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Returning to the United States after traveling abroad
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions from international students.
How can I find other international students?
The International Students Association helps new students get accustomed to life in the United States and in Chicago. You can learn a lot from others’ experiences with insurance, shopping for inexpensive clothes and food, banking, telephone companies, travel, cultural activities, work, housing, schools for children, ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago, or buying a used car. To find out more, visit the International Students Association Web site at isa.uchicago.edu.
There are also many cultural/ethnic student organizations at the University. For more information on student organizations, visit the registered student organizations directory at studentactivities.uchicago.edu/php/public/search.php.
International House has social and cultural events throughout the year. For more information on International House, see page 64 or visit the Web site at ihouse.uchicago.edu.
How can I keep up to date about issues that affect international students?
OIA sends a monthly e-mail message to all international students. It has reminders, announcements, and information about maintaining status and applying for work permission. It is very important that you maintain your @uchicago.edu e-mail account, as this is the only way in which OIA communicates with international students collectively. For details, see the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations at studentmanual.uchicago.edu.
The Global Gargoyle newsletter is published online twice a year, in spring and autumn. Visit internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/DedicatedGargoylePage.shtml to view past issues.
How can my spouse or family can meet other families?
International House welcomes the families of international students and is a convenient and casual place to gather, study, and adjust to life in America. Through informal and friendly activities, spouses and children often improve their English skills, find friendships, and develop a sense of membership in the University community. (The ability to speak English is not required.) For details, see page 64 or visit ihouse.uchicago.edu.
The International Partners Program offers social, educational, and cultural activities for spouses and dependents of international students, including campus and city tours, cultural demonstrations, and professional development opportunities. For more information, visit ihouse.uchicago.edu/esl/esl_partners.shtml.
Members of the International Student Spouses Community provide support and programming to help each other find ways to become involved in the community, network, and socialize. For more details, visit the March 2009 issue of Global Gargoyle at internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/DedicatedGargoylePage.shtml.
The Family Resource Center is an opportunity for those with young children. See Family Matters for details.
What kind of ESL programs are available?
Basic, intermediate, and advanced English as a Second Language classes are held at International House. For each quarter’s class schedule, look at the I-House bulletin boards. visit the English Language Institute Web site at ihouse.uchicago.edu/esl, call 753-2281, or e-mail email@example.com.
One-on-one and small group tutoring is also available for students who want to work on a particular skill.
What if I am puzzled, frustrated, or unsure of how to proceed and want to talk to someone about it?
Let’s Talk provides easy access to informal confidential consultations with counselors from the Student Counseling and Resource Service. It is available to students and their dependents, including spouses. This walk-in service is available at the Office of International Affairs on Tuesdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.