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International Student Services

International students and postdoctoral trainees are an important part of The Graduate School’s diverse research and scholarly community. In addition to the many resources available to all graduate students, the University maintains offices designed specifically to help you adjust to life in the United States, develop English communication skills, and flourish in your scholarship.

Resources for developing English communication skills

English Language Programs (ELP)

English Language Programs, a unit of The Graduate School, offers non-credit group language classes, individual instruction (tutoring), supported online language training, language testing, and orientation programs to graduate students enrolled in TGS degree programs and postdoctoral trainees. All of these programs are free and open only to Northwestern students and scholars. Please visit the English Language Programs site for more information on these services and on other language-learning resources available on campus and in the wider community.

English Language Program Website

Research Communication Training Program (RCTP)

 The goals of the Research Communication Training Program (RCTP) are to increase awareness of the urgent need for excellent research communicators, and to coach graduate and postdoctoral researchers to improve their own presentation skills. The program focuses on three important and basic components of communication: building confidence in all communication roles, enhancing the clarity of the message, and forming a connection with any audience. Learn more at the RCTP website and apply for workshops.

Research communication training program Website 

The Graduate Writing Place

A resource for international students who wish to improve their writing skills, The Graduate Writing Place serves graduate students from all across Northwestern’s many schools, departments, and programs, as well as postdoctoral trainees and Northwestern faculty. Clients may book appointments for individual writing consultations with Graduate Writing Fellows (PhD candidates at Northwestern) to review a variety of writing, including papers for coursework; conference papers and presentations; journal articles and manuscripts for publication; dissertation proposals and chapters; and materials pertaining to the academic and non-academic job markets.

 The Graduate Writing Place Website

Support services for international students and postdoctoral trainees


There are many resources available at Northwestern to help international students and scholars thrive as scholars and members of our community.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) 

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) provides advising services and supportive programs in order to enrich the academic, research and cultural experience of Northwestern's international students, visitors, employees, and families. These services include new student and scholar orientations, visa processing and support, mentoring, training, international student organizations, and community events for students, scholars, and their families. OISS also connects international students and scholars with local members of the community through the Community Council for International students.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services website

Coffee Talk

This year-round workshop + dialogue series for international students is a collaboration between Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. International students enjoy free coffee, tea, and snacks and a break from their studies while learning important information and developing intercultural skills. There are opportunities to interact with other students, staff, and faculty, develop social support, become familiar with campus resources, and build self-confidence and ease in intercultural interactions.

Coffee Talk Website

International student associations

Several of the major graduate student associations for students on the Chicago and Evanston campuses serve the international community, including the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Comunidad LatinX (CLX), the Indian Graduate Students and Scholars Association, and the Graduate Student Association for Latino and Spanish Activities (G-SALSA). These groups promote interactions among graduate students, provide academic and social programs, and serve as advocates for graduate students on both campuses.