ISSS counselors are trained to provide both counseling and advising.

Counseling usually involves a more in-depth meeting than advising. The ISSS counselor will listen, provide support, and help you understand yourself and your situation more clearly. The counselor will help you to make the changes that you deem necessary to feel more comfortable and successful at the University.

Many students, both international and U.S., experience academic and personal difficulties while working on their degrees. These problems are due to many reasons, including dealing with a new academic system, a new culture, pressure to succeed, a change in financial situation, a new romantic relationship, the first time being away from home, or a physical or mental health issue. Often times, personal and academic problems can lead to problems with your visa status as well. Be sure to seek help early, as soon as you think you might have an issue that you would want to discuss with a counselor. The sooner that we can address any situations that may be troubling you, the better chance we might have of helping you.

ISSS counselors offer safe, private counseling. They will offer suggestions for ways to improve your situation, and will make appropriate referrals to other University offices, as needed.

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Examples of Issues You May Want to Discuss

ISSS advisors and counselors are available to talk about any of the following issues. There are also a variety of other counseling resources on campus, if you prefer.

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Personal Concerns

  • Cross-cultural adjustment
  • Intercultural friendships and dating
  • Family conflicts or pressures
  • Roommate conflicts
  • Personal crisis
  • Visa status problems
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety, stress
  • Excessive alcohol or drug use concerns
  • Financial difficulties that cause academic problems
  • Racial harassment
  • Ethnic harassment
  • Religious harassment
  • Sexual orientation harassment
  • Unwanted sexual advances, harassment, or assault

Academic Concerns

ISSS's Academic Advisors are here to provide assistance with academic issues.

  • Low or failing grades
  • Time management
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Conflict with instructor
  • Conflict with academic advisor
  • Conflict with academic department or college

Please note: ISSS advisors are not trained to help students choose courses or plan degree programs. Please see your academic advisor for assistance with these matters.


ISSS staff provides advocacy for students and scholars who want to file a grievance, have a grievance filed against them, or have been discriminated against or harassed. ISSS counselors consult and collaborate with other campus offices that provide advocacy as well.

Career Issues

ISSS staff can provide assistance on career-related issues such as choosing a field of study, searching for a job, writing a resume, and preparing for a job interview. For more information, go to our Career Support page.

Last updated: September 8, 2021