FAQ for Faculty & Staff Working with International Students & Scholars at UNC
The International Student and Scholar Services Team (ISSS) in the Center for International
Education supports international students and scholars in certain visa statuses at
UNC, and is also responsible to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department
of State for meeting regulatory requirements related to hosting those students and
Staff members who are Designated School Officials (DSO) or Alternate Responsible Officers (ARO), are directly responsible to these government agencies for reporting certain activities and monitoring the well-being of exchange visitors. DSOs and AROs have access to the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information database (SEVIS) and immigration records for students and visitors in certain statuses. The Director of ISSS is the Principal Designated School Official and Responsible Officer, and carries additional reporting and regulatory compliance responsibilities.
The ISSS team uses a holistic approach to student development, building and sustaining ongoing educational relationships with students that promote persistence, encourage resiliency, and improve academic achievement, while maintaining regulatory compliance. The team leverages multifaceted expertise in providing guidance to international students, Exchange Visitors and academic partners on federal regulations and institutional policy, as well as acting as a liaison for international students and Exchange Visitors between university offices, sponsoring organizations and government agencies.
International student and Exchange Visitor outreach and support is the foundation of our work, from assisting with arrangements for arrival, integration to campus community, understanding US education system and UNC, working with sponsoring agencies, student success and retention support, while helping students and scholars identify academic and engagement opportunities that meet their personal and academic objectives. We also provide support in emergent and emergency situations.
Adapted with permission from “Immigration Basics: FAQ for Academic Advisors advising International Students” by Chris Bargerstock, Michigan State University; Kasey McCarthy, Gemological Institute of America