Welcome to Penn! I also would like to welcome all of you to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). ISSS provides core services to international students, visiting scholars, faculty and academic departments at the University of Pennsylvania. Our staff provides advice, information and referrals on matters such as immigration, employment and overseas travel. We can also assist with problems related to social and personal adjustments to a new culture, as well as practical matters related to living in Philadelphia.

We have a dedicated and high-caliber staff to provide expert advice, services, programs, information and support aimed at enriching your US experience over the entire course of your stay. You can connect to our office through in-person advising, phone and email contacts, attending programs, receiving email announcements and by visiting our web site.

We serve as a key resource to the Penn community in the following areas:

  • Advising international students, scholars and departments on compliance with immigration laws and regulations
  • Offering guidance to schools and departments with regard to international student and scholar integration, cross-cultural issues and intervention strategies
  • Sponsoring programs for international students and scholars on a variety of topics including immigration regulations, adjustment to US society and culture, academic concerns and resources
  • Developing and conducting programs with other units on campus with regard to cross-cultural communication issues
  • Working with departments on employment-based immigration matters and processing pertaining to hiring international scholars
  • Assisting in determining visa and employment options for international scholars that will permit the greatest benefit to Penn, the department and the individual.

As part of our overall mission, we advocate for international education as a campus-wide and a national priority. My vision for ISSS is shaped by a sincere desire to partner with members of the Penn community. This is exemplified through the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), International Partners Outreach Group (IPOG) and the Intercultural Leadership Program (ILP).  If you have any suggestions, ideas or concerns about our service, please let us know.


Rodolfo R. Altamirano, Ph.D. 
Director, International Student & Scholar Services.

    • Rodolfo R. Altamirano, PH.D.
    • Rodolfo R. Altamirano, PH.D.