The purpose of the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) is to enhance the international student community at Penn and provide feedback and recommendations to ISSS in order to provide effective and successful programs and services. Members will also give insight and develop relationships with other Penn units and student organizations. 

ISAB is a key advocate for international students’ rights at Penn.  Working with a range of administrative offices, ISAB aims to better the lives of international students by providing feedback, challenging current policies and designing new initiatives, particularly with International Student and Scholar Services. ISAB also works with a variety of other on-campus agencies via the International Partners Outreach Group (IPOG).  As a member of ISAB, not only will you meet a diverse range of peers and learn about the inner workings of our university, you’ll also have a real chance to make a lasting impact on Penn’s international community.

The ISAB membership includes undergraduate and graduate international students from across Penn’s 12 schools, representing a wide range of cultures, disciplines and experiences.  ISAB meets regularly with representatives from other on-campus stakeholders, such as ISSS, Assembly of International Students, Undergraduate Assembly and GAPSA,  to discuss the needs of international students and provide vital links to other student initiatives.

As an ISAB member, you will be expected to think critically, ask difficult questions, perform research and analysis, engage in dialogue, work with myriad cultures and promote advocacy. Members will be expected to meet once every two weeks throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. A typical meeting will last about an hour.

If you have any questions about membership in ISAB, please contact us at the email addresses below.  We hope you decide to apply to join us, to act as a vital advocate for international students across the Penn community.

Fangming Li, Graduate Co-Chair - 

Chhavi Aggarwal, Undergraduate Co-Chair -

Mitchelle Matesva, Vice Chair -

How to Apply

If you are committed to furthering campus internationalization at Penn and would like to serve on ISAB, we invite all international students (undergraduate and graduate students) to apply for board membership. Applications are accepted immediately during early Fall semester of every year and are reviewed as they are received. Interviews are conducted after the posted application deadline. A limited number of applicants are selected as board members. All participants will be awarded a certificate during a spring dinner at the end of the academic year. Regular attendance and participation is required so please make sure that you can commit the time before submitting your application.

Application Deadline: Thursday, September 15, 5:00pm


Terms of Board Service

A term is one academic year, however members may return for succeeding years. Regular participation in the board's meetings and activities are essential and expected in order to be effective. ISAB will decide whether or not to convene at least one open forum per year to discuss international community issues or to seek other venues for community input.

Requirements of Participation

Members of the International Student Advisory Board attend meetings during the Fall and Spring semesters; share their questions, concerns and ideas with Penn administrators (International Partners Outreach Group) twice a year; and communicate with their fellow students to obtain feedback on ISSS services.

  • Members will be expected to meet on a regular basis throughout the academic year. A typical meeting lasts one hour. (see fall meeting schedule below)
  • Board members will be required to communicate regularly with other international students and Penn administrators in between meetings.
  • Presentations to Penn administrators during IPOG meetings will also be conducted by ISAB members.
Fall 2016 Meeting Schedule (All meetings take place Thursdays, 6:00pm at ISSS)

Thursday, September 29

Thursday, October 13

Thursday, October 27

* Tuesday, November 8, 12 - 2pm (IPOG MEETING)

Thursday, November 10

Thursday, December 1

Leadership Experience

ISAB Members represent the international student body at Penn, assess the services provided by ISSS, and provide recommendations that will improve operations. Members provide insight into what is working well and opportunities that ISSS could consider.

ISAB chairs and subcommittee chairs are elected by ISAB members. At the end of the spring semester, members vote for an ISAB Undergraduate Chair. The Graduate Chair is elected in December. 

ISAB Contact

 – ISAB Founder
Director, International Student and Scholar Services

 - ISAB Advisor
Program Coordinator, International Student and Scholar Services