Grinnell College is committed to international education as a core value. We have a long tradition of enrolling students from around the globe, as well as to supporting the engagement of Exchange Visitors (students, professors / researchers, and short term scholars).  These individuals greatly enrich our campus, our community, and our curriculum.

The Office of International Student Affairs (OISA), within the Division of Student Affairs, is responsible for the institution’s compliance with SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor System). The OISA is also responsible to teach F and J students, scholars, and dependents about their legal rights and obligations, to help them remain in lawful status.

OISA staff are trained and certified as Designated School Officials (DSO) and Responsible Officers (RO). We maintain expertise as active members in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, we consult and network with colleagues in the field, and we consult legal counsel as needed.

  • Karen Edwards, Associate Dean & Director of International Student Affairs, RO/PDSO
  • Brenda Strong, International Student and Scholar Advisor, ARO/DSO

As DSO’s we comply with regulations relating to F-1 students, as verified though the School Official Compliance Agreement in SEVIS. This confirms that we understand and follow section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as well the Department of Homeland Security regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(f), 214.3, and 214.4.

As RO’s we comply with 22 C.F.R. § 62.11(a) by being thoroughly familiar with the Exchange Visitor Program regulations (J Students, Professors/Researchers, Short Term Scholars, and dependents) and the Department of State's current codebook and instructions for Responsible Officers.

To make an appointment, call (641)-269-3703 (from campus, only 3703 is needed)

Helpful Links:

OISA Advising Handouts, available on request.

  • F-1 / J-1  Statement of Responsibility
  • F-1 Students & Internships
  • F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • F-1 STEM Extension
  • J-1 DS-2019 Request Form and J-1 Overview
  • Iowa Driver’s License / Iowa State ID Card
  • F/J SEVIS Transfer Procedures
  • Consulting an Attorney (re. immigration or criminal matters)
  • H-1B Basics
  • Non Resident Tax Obligations