International Student Advisory Board


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 also give insight and develop relationships with other Penn units and student organizations. 

ISAB is a key advocate for international students at Penn. Working with ISSS and other administrative offices, ISAB aims to better the lives of international students by providing feedback, challenging current policies and designing new initiatives. ISAB also works with a variety of other on-campus agencies via the International Partners Outreach Group (IPOG).  Members of ISAB meet a diverse range of peers and learn about the inner workings of our university and have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on Penn’s international community.

ISAB members are expected to think critically, ask difficult questions, perform research and analysis, engage in dialogue, work with myriad cultures and promote advocacy.

The ISAB membership includes undergraduate and graduate/professional international students from across all of Penn’s 12 schools, representing a wide range of cultures, disciplines and experiences. ISAB leadership actively collaborates with representatives from ISTAR (International Student Table for Advocacy & Relations), which is comprised of ISSS, Assembly of International Students, Undergraduate Assembly and GAPSA, to discuss the needs of international students and provide vital links to other student initiatives.

View ISAB Membership Here

For any questions about ISAB, please contact Ryan Villanueva, ISSS Assistant Director for Integration and Community Engagement Email

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.

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 4 to 6 times per semester. A typical meeting lasts one hour.

  • 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.

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 are elected by ISAB members. At the end of the spring semester, members vote for the next leadership team consisting of an Undergraduate Chair, Undergraduate Vice Chair, Graduate Chair, and Graduate 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. All international students will receive a notice in late August when applications are being accepted. Applications are accepted at the beginning of the 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.

Regular attendance and participation is required so please make sure that you can attend the meetings and commit the time before submitting your application.

The deadline has passed for Fall 2019 applications.

Do you have any questions for ISAB or any recommendations to enhance the Penn international student experience?

Send your comments to ISAB Leadership