Grinnell College is committed to international education as a core value. We have a long tradition of enrolling F-1 students from around the globe, as well supporting J Exchange Visitors (students, professors, researchers, short term scholars, and dependents). These individuals accomplish their own educational and professional goals and they also enrich our campus, our community, and our curriculum.

The Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) is responsible for the institution’s compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). In addition, we are 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).

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

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.

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

OISA Advising Handouts, available on GrinnellShare (login required)

  • 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

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