Cris Toffolo, Ph.D., Interim Director of International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) was established in 1996 as a reflection of Northeastern Illinois University’s commitment to an internationalized campus and curriculum. In 2004, the university was awarded the prestigious Institute of International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award for Internationalizing the Campus. The primary goal of the OIP is to prepare students to function effectively in the global society of the twenty-first century. The OIP works closely with state, national, and international alliances to promote the awareness and importance of international education. It is a member of the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), the European Association for International Education (EAIE), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), ICEF, the Institute of International Education (IIE), and Study Illinois.

General questions should be directed to C. Gonzalez at +1-773-442-4796 or

Study Abroad

Semester- or Year-Long Exchange Opportunities

Northeastern has established formal partnerships with universities in fifteen different countries around the world. Through these partnerships, Northeastern students have increased the opportunities available at either the undergraduate or graduate level to spend from one to two semesters at an international partner university (IPUs), enhancing their understanding of other cultures and expanding their experience with global and international affairs. During their time abroad as exchange students, Northeastern students remain registered and pay their tuition and fees to Northeastern; for that reason, federal financial aid may still be used to cover these costs. Additionally, Northeastern students may also qualify to apply for study abroad scholarship opportunities, such as the HACU Scholarship Program and those administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) (e.g., IIE Midwest, Gilman or Borman Scholarships, and Freeman Asia). For more information about exchanges and IPUs, contact us at +1-773-442-4068.

Faculty-Led Study Tours

If students are not able to commit to a semester or two and/or would like to engage in a shorter study abroad experience, each year different Northeastern faculty propose study tours linked to individual classes. Through these faculty-led study tours, students are able to enhance their understanding of world cultures, sharpen their cultural sensitivity, and increase their intercultural competencies while earning credit for registered classes. Recent tours have taken students to Belize, China, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Students should check with the Office of International Programs at +1-773-442-4796, at, or on the OIP website for current faculty-led study tour opportunities.

International Students

Northeastern has also expanded international student enrollments. International students are required to meet with the appropriate international student advisor in the Office of International Programs for orientation and action that could have an impact on their international student status. In order to maintain international student status, all international students must meet USCIS enrollment requirements during the fall and/or spring semesters and may not work off campus without authorization.

F-1 Degree-Seeking and Non-Degree-Seeking Students

International students must submit all required documents and meet all requirements specified for full admission to an undergraduate (bachelor) or a graduate (master) degree program. Those who meet all academic requirements, but still need to improve their English language proficiency may request consideration for "conditional admission" by applying simultaneously to Northeastern's intensive English program, the School for the Advancement of English Language and Learning (SAELL), and the university/degree program. Degree-Seeking Students may direct questions to C. Gonzalez at +1-773-442-4796 or; Non-Degree-Seeking/"Language Only" or "Conditional Admission" Students may direct questions to +1-773-442-4796.

  1. International students coming from outside the U.S. may arrive up to thirty days before the start of their academic program. They are encouraged to do so in the event that they need to be authorized to register for classes as soon as possible. All students with an initial attendance I-20 must report to the international advisor before classes start for orientation and submission of all official documents (e.g., copy of the F-1 visa, original Northeastern Financial Statement, original bank letters).
  2. International students transferring from other U.S. colleges or universities may choose to attend either the early orientation session or the general orientation session, which will normally be scheduled during the week before the first day/week of classes in any academic semester.
  3. Students changing status to F-1 are required to attend an orientation session preceding their term of admission, even if their change of status has not yet been granted. The orientation dates and times will be included in a letter from the F-1 Advisor, which will be sent out in the admission packet prepared by Enrollment Management Services (undergraduate/bachelor students) or the College of Graduate Studies and Research (graduate/master students).
  4. International students coming for language study only (SAELL) will also need to follow the rules indicated above (coming from outside the U.S., transferring, or changing status). The orientation dates and times will be included in a letter from the SAELL Director.

J-1 Exchange Students and Visiting Scholars

International exchange students (J-1) coming from international partner universities are required to attend an international exchange student orientation session, which normally takes place during the week before the first day of classes in any academic semester. International exchange students are required to contact the Coordinator of International Partnerships regarding academic issues, questions about their status, and traveling outside the U.S. during the term of their DS-2019. All international exchange students must meet program requirements based on the agreements between Northeastern Illinois University and their home university. Students may direct questions to us at +1-773-442-5447 or at +1-773-442-4068.

Visiting scholars must send an official request, as well as their curriculum vitae, to be considered for approval to be in residence at Northeastern. Inquiries may be directed to us at +1-773-442-5447.