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Admitted Students Guide: International Students

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Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS)

Office of International Students and Scholar Services
J. Walter Wilson, 3rd Floor
69 Brown Street
Brown University Box 1906
Providence, RI 02912
(401) 863-2427
(401) 863-7543, fax

The Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISSS) is a resource for admitted international students with questions – even before they arrive on campus. On behalf of Brown University, OISSS issues applicable immigration documents to international students and scholars and guides them through processes such a maintenance of nonimmigrant status, employment, social security card and driver’s license applications etc., all of which require dealing with various governmental agencies. In addition, OISSS offers assistance with the navigation of the geography and culture of the University and the exploration of the many places and ways of life that make the United States unique. The Office maintains close relationships with the Graduate School, the CareerLAB and the Office of Campus Life & Student Services. Externally, OISSS is regularly in touch with government officials to keep abreast of policy and regulatory changes affecting its international clientele and to address specific issues.

OISSS, in collaboration with the Graduate School and the Office of Campus Life, provides a special two-day orientation for incoming international graduate students. OISSS also offers immigration and employment focused presentations throughout the year. The office interfaces with the International House of Rhode Island, whose programs include a weekly lunch for international students, scholars, and their families, a Socrates café and numerous other social activities and classes throughout the year. 

Students are encouraged to set up an appointment by calling (401) 863-2427 or to stop by the OISSS office during the open advising hours for brief consultations (Monday through Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.). For further information and upcoming events please visit the OISSS website.

English for International Teaching Assistants

English for International Teaching Assistants
Brown University Box 1982
Providence, RI 02912
(401) 863-3043
(401) 863-2551, fax

The English for International Teaching Assistants (ITA) program evaluates the English language proficiency of non-native English speaking graduate students who have been awarded teaching assistantships. If a student’s English language skills do not meet the minimum standards of certification, provisional approval of the appointment may be made on the condition that the student enroll in an English-language training course during the first semester of the appointment and be assigned to other duties that will prepare them for teaching.

During the academic year, the ITA program offers non-credit ESL courses (English for Internationals) that are designed to improve the spoken English language skills of international graduate students. The ITA program is a part of the Center for Language Studies (CLS). 

NOTE: Students who have not been certified at the appropriate level for the classroom or laboratory will not be supported as teaching assistants during the first year.

International House of Rhode Island, Inc.

International House of Rhode Island
8 Stimson Avenue
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 421-7181
Risa Gilpin, Executive Director

International House of Rhode Island promotes friendship, connection, learning, and global understanding by bringing people together from around the world for cross-cultural exchange. Located just a few blocks from the Brown campus, International House of Rhode Island is an independent non-profit, community-based organization whose purpose is to bring together people of different nationalities to get to know each other; provide a sense of belonging for international students and visitors; facilitate cultural expression and exchange; provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning; support partners/children of visitors from other nations; aid language development through teaching and tutoring and work towards creating a community of global citizens. 

They also offer an International Friendship Program, which pairs international visitors with an individual or family host in Rhode Island, who can help you to get settled and learn about American customs and culture. International House provides a “home-away-from-home.”