Skip to main content

FAQs

International Units at Northwestern

What are the central international units at Northwestern?

The Office of the Vice President for International Relations advances the strategic goals of the university in a global context by developing and strengthening international partnerships, developing international opportunities for students and faculty, hosting foreign delegations and events, and supporting and integrating the global activities of various units on campus.

The International Office (IO) offers Northwestern's international students and scholars professional support, advising services, and programming regarding immigration.

The Office of Undergraduate Learning Abroad (ULA) is the first stop for undergraduates seeking a global learning experience. ULA unites the former Study Abroad Office and Office of International Program Development (IPD) in a single team dedicated to meeting Northwestern students’ diverse overseas learning needs. Through ULA and the Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI), Northwestern offers credit-bearing study abroad, exchange, and academic internship opportunities that prepare students for success in today’s interconnected world.

The Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) supports the health, safety and security of students, faculty and staff who travel abroad for a variety of reasons under university support or sponsorship.

The Buffett Institute for Global Studies addresses critical global issues through collaborative research, public dialogue, and engaged scholarship.

Global Engagement at the Buffett Institute equips students with the knowledge, tools and experience needed to confront global challenges. Its Global Engagement Studies Institute takes students to the developing world to work with nongovernmental and grassroots organizations to advance sustainable, community-driven change.

Do Northwestern's schools and colleges have their own international units?

Yes - most of them:

Developing Partnerships and Global Programs

Whom do I contact about developing a new partnership?

The Office of the Vice Presdient for International Relations is responsible for developing and supporting Northwestern University's partnerships with institutions all over the world. These partnerships lead to student exchanges, customized study abroad programs, dual and joint degree programs, faculty exchanges and research collaborations. Please contact Devora Grynspan, the Vice President for International Relations, if you seek to develop a partnership between Northwestern University and your institution.

Whom do I contact about developing a new faculty-led program?

Northwestern's Office of Undergraduate Learning Abroad offers Northwestern-designed study abroad programs for undergraduate students, including faculty-led programs. Karey Fuhs at the Office of Undergraduate Learning, can provide further assistance in developing faculty-led study abroad programs

How can I find out with which foreign institutions Northwestern already has an existing partnership?

Northwestern has strong partnerships with a number of prestigious universities throughout the world. For a comprehensive list of Northwestern's existing partnerships, visit the partnership map and database page.

Bringing International Visitors to Campus

Whom do I contact about hosting an international visitor?

The Office of the Vice President for International Relations regularly welcomes international visitors to Northwestern. Contact Emily Wilson, the Director of International Relations, for assistance in organizing a visit to Northwestern and information on the protocol for hosting a foreign delegation visit.

Where do I find information about visas for short-term visitors?

Northwestern's International Office provides information to assist in determining visa needs for international short-term visitors and their host departments.

How do I pay an international visitor?

Staff or faculty members who wish to bring a non-resident to campus to perform independent contract work will need to review Northwestern's policies to ensure compliance. If you are paying a foreign national for speaker fees, honorariums, prizes and awards, please refer to Northwestern's Human Resources department for information regarding payment to nonresident independent contractors.

Staff Resources and Opportunities

What international opportunities are available for Northwestern staff?

The Office of the Vice President for International Relations offers international exchange opportunities for Northwestern staff and administrators to develop their professional skills. The Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminars program provides another opportunity for university administrators to expand their professional skills and connections at institutions in countries such as Germany, France, India and Taiwan.

What domestic exchange opportunities are available for Northwestern staff?

As a member of the Big Ten, Northwestern staff can participate in the Big Ten Academic Alliance's International Visiting Professionals Program, a program that allows staff the opportunity to shadow international education colleagues at another Big Ten university. If you are interested, contact Kim Rapp, the Assistant Vice President for International Relations, for more information.

Travel

Where can I find updated information on travel alerts and warnings?

Students, Faculty and Staff:
Northwestern's Office of Global Safety and Security regularly reviews global safety and security information and lists emergency messages to provide updates for Northwestern staff, students and faculty planning to travel abroad. The U.S. Department of State also maintains a list of travel alerts and warnings for travelers to review before going abroad.

Am I required to register my international trip?

Students:
Before departure, Northwestern undergraduate students are required to register their trip on the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website. Undergraduate students are also required to register their trip in Northwestern's International Travel Registry. Please see the Office of Global Safety and Security's pre-departure requirements page for further steps.

Faculty and Staff:
Northwestern does not regulate the international travel of its faculty or staff. Please visit the faculty and staff travel policies section on the Office of Global Safety and Security's website for more information.

Am I required to obtain a visa before traveling internationally?

Students: Students who plan to study abroad should ask their Northwestern program advisor about visa requirements for their respective country.

Faculty and Staff:  Northwestern faculty and staff who plan to go abroad, should refer to http://www.embassy.org/ for information about visa requirements for their destination of travel.

What do I need to know about travel safety and security before going abroad?

Northwestern recognizes the importance of establishing, in advance, policies and procedures to guide the university's response to crises affecting international travelers. Northwestern's Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) provides a plethora of information regarding health and safety while abroad. Please refer to their site for more in-depth information on topics related to:

  1. Health insurance while abroad
  2. Traveling abroad with medication
  3. Travel advisories
  4. Travel security
  5. Medical emergencies
  6. Chronic health conditions and dietary requirements
  7. Required immunizations

How can I stay connected while traveling internationally?

  • Northwestern's Office of Undergraduate Learning Abroad provides information for undergraduate students about communication while abroad.
  • WhatsApp is a messenger service that allows travelers to stay connected to family and friends anywhere in the world for free. The app can be downloaded to any smartphone.

How do I secure my electronic devices for travel?

Northwestern IT provides valuable tips and tricks to optimizing your devices while abroad and keeping your information secure.