Office of International Students and Scholars

Under the leadership of the Director, the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) is a place of support where each international student is a valued and respected member of the Saint Joseph’s community. As part of our University's commitment to inclusion and diversity, ISS provides the environment and opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and engagement. ISS advises and advocates for international students and scholars and assists with their acclimation to American life and integration into the SJU community. ISS also provides expertise on immigration regulations, maintains compliance with federal government regulations and is a resource on intercultural issues.

barbelin hall

Important Information

We assist our international students and scholars in all phases of their time at SJU — from obtaining a visa before they arrive to maintaining legal status while they are studying, to assisting them in applying for work permission when they graduate.

We also provide cultural, regulatory and social programs such as International Student Orientation, employment workshops, international movie nights, and other social gatherings.

For New Students

For All Students


The collection of handouts below is a great resource for incoming and current international students. Click on each link to view or download them.

  • Affidavit of Support: Use this form when you apply for an I-20 if the financial documents you're submitting are in someone else's name.
  • Change of Status: This handout has information for students who want to apply for a change to F-1 status while in the United States.
  • Checklist for New Students: This list outlines everything new international students need to take care of when they arrive on campus.
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Find the information you need to get an internship and CPT work permission.
  • Campus Map: View a map of Saint Joseph's University and get familiar with our campus.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT): Learn about the application process for international students who are graduating and want to apply for the OPT work permission.
  • Applying for a Social Security Number: This handout explains how students who have received a job offer can apply for a social security number.
  • Filing Your Taxes: This handout provides important information about filing taxes as an international student or non-resident. 
  • Transfer Recommendation: This handout is for new students who plan to transfer their immigration status to Saint Joseph's.
Meryl Halpern

Meryl Halpern

Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars

Meryl Halpern, M.A., serves as Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) and has been at Saint Joseph’s University since January 1999. She is an advocate for the international students, assisting them with their immigration and other non-academic needs, from the time of admission until after they graduate.