Message from the Director

Welcome Message from ISSS Director of Immigration & Integration Services
Dr. Rudie Altamirano
Message from the Director

Headshot of Dr. Rudie AltamiranoWelcome to Penn! 

As the Director of Immigration and Integration Services, I welcome all of you to Penn and to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). I was once an international student in the US, so I know first-hand what it’s like to experience a different culture and the excitement and nervousness in navigating new experiences. It is our mission at ISSS to provide a welcoming and supportive atmosphere throughout your time here! ISSS has dedicated staff to provide you with expert advice, services, programs, information and support to enrich your US experience over the entire course of your stay and beyond. Connect with us through in-person advising, phone and email, immigration and integration programs, social media, and our website.

As part of our overall mission, we advocate for international education as a campus-wide and national priority. My vision for ISSS is inspired by the incredible collaborations that take place with members of the Penn community. This is exemplified through initiatives like the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), International Student Table for Advocacy & Relations (ISTAR), International Partners Outreach Group (IPOG) and the Intercultural Leadership Program (ILP)

ISSS provides essential services to all international students, visiting scholars, faculty and academic departments at the University of Pennsylvania. Our staff provides guidance, information and referrals on matters such as immigration, employment authorization, overseas travel, and integrating into the Penn community. We also assist with challenges related to social and personal adjustments to a new culture, as well as practical matters related to living in Philadelphia. ISSS is here for you, every step of the way! We are always open to your suggestions, ideas and concerns about our services, so please feel free to let us know how we’re doing.


Rodolfo R. Altamirano, Ph.D. 
Executive Director, International Student and Scholar Services
Executive Director, Immigration & Integration Services