Advising and Immigration Resources
Completing Academic Recommendations
International Student and Scholar Services relies heavily on academic advisors to provide details related to international students' academic standing. ISSS requires this information to advise students on their immigration options, determine eligibility for F and J visa immigration benefits, and conduct mandated federal reporting to the SEVIS database. We thank you for your cooperation and effort to confirm necessary information regarding students' academic progress, anticipated completion date, and required coursework.
International students complete most applications for immigration benefits through the online ISSS Portal/Terra Dotta. If ISSS requires further information from a student's academic advisor to process an application, the student will send you (the advisor) an email that links to a Recommendation Request. The advisor completes the Recommendation Request through the link provided, and when received, ISSS can process the student's application. Please find a detailed guide to submitting a Recommendation Request here.
Tips for Advising International Students
- Sensitivity to course selection and sequencing may be critical for international students who start at UConn with weaker English language ability, or unfamiliarity with background concepts in the academic major. International students have very little flexibility to withdraw from courses if they are struggling. Early intervention may be critical to support international students who experience academic difficulties. Try to be sensitive to any courses in your program that international students consistently struggle with - if the course is required, help your advisee to get extra support early on. If that course is not required, you may want to direct students away from the course unless you are confident in their success.
- While it can be helpful for some international students to delay courses with intensive reading and writing until later in their program, it may not be wise to avoid these courses for too long. It may be best to sequence courses so these academic skills can be gradually developed. Some international students have avoided intensive reading/writing courses until the end of their program, only to find that they cannot manage the course requirements. However, they cannot withdraw from the course because immigration rules only permit students to reduce their course load for academic difficulties when starting their program.
- Academic advisors should be aware of your student's career goals. Most international students have the opportunity to stay in the United States and work temporarily after graduation. This is a great opportunity for your student to further develop cross cultural skills and gain valuable work experience, but their U.S. work permit will only allow employment directly related to their academic major (not their minor, nor to any academic designation like pre-law or pre-med). Students in the humanities or social sciences may have a more difficult time determining which jobs directly relate to their major - you can be a great resource on this topic.
- Students who take classes in the humanities or social sciences may have more opportunity to explore global perspectives and their own identity development as an international student. If appropriate, you may want to encourage your student to minor or take coursework in these content areas to broaden their culture-learning.
Cultural Support Resources
Student Country Guides