This year, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) welcomed 3,243 new students to join an overall international student population of 10,577 registered students. As a whole, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) serves over 15,000 international students, faculty, staff, and scholars at Illinois. ISSS provides culturally sensitive services to the international population on campus as well as campus units and partners. They offer a variety of services including advising, immigration services, programming, advocacy, outreach, and training to create and environment that is conducive to a successful international education experience for everyone on campus.
ISSSTRAINS was launched in the 2017-2018 academic year and has been able to help students, faculty, and staff learn how to contribute to the creation of a more culturally inclusive university environment. The trainings are designed to provide a foundation in cultural competence so that campus community members will be able to engage with students and peers from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Trainings focus on communicating across languages with a language learning simulation that helps participants discover new skills for speaking and learning different languages. There are also opportunities to learn more about intercultural concepts and perspectives. Each semester includes new classes about new subjects. ISSTRAINS also includes trainings that are specific to working with students from specific countries. In 2018-2019, the classes covered Understanding Students and Scholars from China and Nigeria.
After a successful inaugural year, the intercultural communication initiative provided 17 different sessions for 1,446 faculty and staff in 2018-2019, and ISSS is planning more campus-wide opportunities for the next academic year.