Information for International Students

Office of Global Services

405 Ell Hall
617.373.8788 (fax)

The Office of Global Services (OGS) offers a vast array of programs and services to more than 11,000 international students and scholars who represent approximately 140 nations.

The OGS also works to promote meaningful interaction and intercultural understanding among citizens of other countries and their peers from the United States, providing educational and cultural enrichment opportunities for all members of Northeastern and the community at large.

The OGS oversees the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) at Northeastern, as mandated by the U.S. federal government, in order to ensure compliance with regulations and procedures affecting those international students and scholars in specified nonimmigrant visa classifications.

Affiliation with the OGS begins with the orientation program and continues through such initiatives as its cultural festival, International Carnevale, which celebrates the cultural diversity of the entire university community. For a list of OGS services and programs, visit the OGS website.

As an international student in F-1 and J-1 visa classification, you  must maintain full-time status at Northeastern to be in compliance with immigration and SEVIS regulations. Also, you must not engage in any type of employment unless previously authorized by the OGS. Note that timely registration for courses is especially important so that you may remain in compliance with current federal regulations. You should consult with the OGS if you have any questions about your individual status.

Coming to Boston

Preparing to travel to Boston and begin your studies at Northeastern University is exciting, and you have many things to do in preparation for both. When you plan carefully, your travels and arrival in Boston should go smoothly. Here are some of the key things you should do in preparation.

  • Obtain your F-1 or J-1 visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. An interview is required so request an appointment early. More information on the application process is available online.
  • If you are a transfer student currently studying in the United States in F-1 or J-1 visa classification, obtain an I-20 or DS-2019 from Northeastern and a Transfer-in Form.
  • Understand the medical insurance requirements and purchase health insurance coverage if you are not already covered by a policy that meets Massachusetts state requirements.

Make sure you received the Northeastern Health Report form in your admissions packet. Have your doctor sign the form and make sure you have received all of the immunizations listed on the form. If you have any questions, contact the University Health and Counseling Services in person at 135 Forsyth Building, by calling 617.373.2772 option #2, or by email.

Planning Information

As a new international student, you are expected to arrive by the start date of your program stated on the I-20 issued by Northeastern or on the DS-2019 issued by Northeastern or by your sponsoring agency/government.

When you plan your travel arrangements, you should seek admission to the United States no more than 30 days prior to the report date on your I-20 or DS-2019, and you should not arrive after the report date on your I-20 or DS-2019.

All international students will need to report to the OGS at their scheduled immigration clearance session during orientation. Check the orientation schedule for the date and time of your session.


Students at Northeastern University College of Professional Studies are not eligible for on-campus housing at Northeastern University. There are, however, a number of housing resources you may refer to if you are seeking housing in the Boston area.

SEVIS Compliance

The OGS is required to comply with immigration regulations governing your student status and must submit information every term as required by the Department of Homeland Security.

The OGS: Your Resource for SEVIS Advice and Assistance

The OGS advises F-1 and J-1 students on the complexities of immigration compliance and interfaces with various U.S. government agencies. The OGS maintains and updates the SEVIS system and advises students on relevant issues related to nonimmigrant student status by individual appointments or through workshops and information sessions. Consult the OGS whenever you have a question relating to your nonimmigrant student status or any aspect of SEVIS compliance.

Global Student Success

10 Belvidere

Global Student Success is committed to fostering the acculturation of international students to the Northeastern community and promoting internationalization across the institution. We support international students through cross-cultural, linguistic, and academic support services. We also partner with faculty, staff, and administrators to integrate global dimensions and cross-cultural understanding into the Northeastern experience.