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International Student Advisor, DSO Job Description

Job Summary

Reporting to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, this position is responsible for providing support for the International Student Office at Cambridge College. Cambridge College's mission is to provide academically excellent, time-efficient, and cost-effective higher education for a diverse population of working adults. As such, the International Student Advisor should enjoy working for and with a diverse array of people, is enthusiastic about the mission of the College, and exhibits superior customer service skills and professionalism in their daily interactions and communication with students and colleagues.

The International Student Advisor, contingent on training and expertise, serves as a DSO for Cambridge College and is responsible for advising related to obtaining, regaining, and maintaining F-1 non-immigrant student status, as well as students' rights and responsibilities while in F-1 status. The International Student Advisor assists in the development and support of a strong regional DSO team at the College’s regional locations, helps plan and host the International Student Orientation, and supports student initiatives designed to promote cultural awareness for Cambridge College students and staff.

The International Student Advisor is responsible for developing and supporting on-campus international student groups and programs and provides on-going training to international students. The position also provides training to faculty and staff on best practices for supporting international students. This role involves some night and weekend responsibilities, as well as local travel.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities

  • Serve as Designated School Official (DSO). Attend SEVP Representative site visits for each of the five Cambridge College campuses.
  • Effectively communicate with the Office of Admissions to verify eligibility for I-20 issuance for newly accepted prospective international students based on the student’s demonstration of financial capability, English Language Proficiency and other factors.
  • Support the review and approval of documents submitted by international students to evaluate students' eligibility for obtaining, regaining, or maintaining F-1 status. Guide students through the reinstatement, change of status, change of level, transfer-in processes, as well as initial application from overseas.
  • Assist with gathering documentation for the I-17 recertification process in partnership with other data management departments at Cambridge College.
  • Offer regular training for all faculty, staff, and students on F-1 regulations and cross-cultural issues.
  • Attend NAFSA regional and/or national conference.
  • Regularly advise, manage, and provide guidance to all international students as they maintain status during their program of study.
  • Assist with the registration and maintenance of F-1 student records in SEVIS.
  • Guide international students through the CPT and OPT processes and work with Academic Advisors on CPT/OPT recommendations. Authorize CPT and OPT work.
  • Guide international students through the Reduced Course Load (RCL) process application. Authorize RCL for eligible students.
  • Stay informed of government updates for international students and communicate these updates as soon as they become available.
  • Share information with international students on various government regulations regarding Temporary Protective Status (TPS), Special Student Relief (SSR), and other programs. 
  • Attend and assist with orientation and Commencement Ceremonies. 

Advising and Supporting the F-1 International Students

  • Consistently communicate with F-1 international students and inform them of their rights and responsibilities as F-1 status holders.
  • Hold regular office hours for F-1 international student (three times a week for at least two hours each session)
  • Update form I-20
  • Monitor SEVIS records to ensure students stay in compliance with SEVP regulations.
  • Provide outreach to accepted students who have not received their F-1 VISA and need to be deferred to the next available term. Update their I-20 and acceptance letter to reflect the new program start/end dates.
  • Plan, budget, and execute off-campus cultural programming for both matriculated F-1 students and participants in special international programs to enhance the experience of living and studying in the United States.

Education & Experience Required

  • Bachelor's or master’s degree in international relations, cultural studies, or related field.
  • Minimum of three years of successful experience in an international services office in an institution of higher education serving in the role of DSO.
  • Familiarity with SEVIS reporting and F-1 international student regulations.
  • Must meet regulatory eligibility to be a DSO:
  • A DSO must be either a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Demonstrated experience with and sensitivity to working with students of diverse backgrounds for whom English is not their first language.

Skills & Knowledge

  • Experience living, studying, or working abroad; proficiency in a second language preferred, but not required.
  • Ability to prioritize conflicting projects and meet project deadlines.
  • Ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to successfully communicate and collaborate with multidisciplinary team members to achieve a common goal.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. Ability to plan and deliver training to others.
  • Computer proficiency and a demonstrated ability to quickly learn new technological systems a must.

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for Cambridge College. The institution fulfills its mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for students, faculty, and staff from every background. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the college community. Cambridge College provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, or disability. All are encouraged to apply.


To apply please forward a cover letter and resume to