University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

International Student
Funding Program



International Student Work Opportunity Program (ISWOP)

The International Student Work Opportunity Program (ISWOP) assists international graduate students who have financial need to receive an assistantship position in departments that otherwise would not be able to fully fund an assistantship. For an ISWOP award, ISSS provides half the salary and fringe benefits for a 25% or 50% graduate assistantship appointment, and the academic department funds the remaining half. Funds will be transferred directly to the department by the end of the fiscal year that the ISWOP was awarded.

Receiving an ISWOP award may limit your eligibility to receive other types of ISSS funding.

Eligibility Requirements

You must meet the following conditions to be eligible for an ISWOP award:

  • You must be able to document and verify your financial need.
  • You must be admitted to and enrolled full-time in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • You must be in legal F-1 or J- 1 student status , and you must have held this status for at least 12 months while attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • Your cumulative GPA must be at least 3.0.
  • You must have completed at least 12 credits if a graduate student or 24 credits if a professional school student.
  • ISWOP appointments are not guaranteed to be approved. Employment should not begin until an award notice has been issued by ISSS.
  • ISWOP applications are not renewed automatically. Renewal applications are not guaranteed and will be reviewed to determine approval or denial.
  • Priority is given to students who have not yet completed all their coursework and thesis credits.
  • Priority is given to students who will have received ISWOP for 2 or fewer semesters in total, depending on availability of funds.

Required Documentation

You will need to submit the following documents with your application.

  • The completed ISWOP application form
  • All of your bank and credit card statements for the previous 12 months
  • Letter from your funding source (as listed on your I-20 or DS-2019) explaining in detail why they cannot continue providing financial support. You will need separate letters for each source of funds, if you have more than one on your I-20/DS-2019.
  • A completed Department Information Form with the appropriate signatures.
  • Documents you that explain your financial need, including medical bills, employment records, or financial documents


There is not an application deadline for the International Student Work Opportunity Program. Funds are limited, however, and they will only be given out until funding is exhausted. ISWOP applications are subject to review and not guaranteed to be approved. Employment relying on ISWOP should not begin until an award confirmation has been received

How to Apply

Beginning with Fall 2017, the ISWOP application has been moved to an online application format. Please be aware that some of the eligibility and documentation requirements also have been changed.

Once you have gathered the required documentation, you may begin the ISWOP Application.