International Student Services & Enrollment
SEU is proud and excited to welcome Christian students from dozens of countries and foreign territories worldwide. In fact, we believe so strongly in the value of expanding Christian higher education to all corners of the world that we have a department specifically dedicated to serving international students: the Department of International Student Services and Enrollment (ISSE). We’re here to guide our international students every step of the way. We’ll help you feel comfortable with the admission and enrollment process, and once you’re here, we help you get adjusted to campus life.
The mission of ISSE is to promote your success as a student. We help international and intercultural students adjust to the college environment by identifying with Southeastern University’s specific culture and promoting effective, positive academic behaviors. ISSE has two admission counselors who are dedicated to international students and can assist with all legal requirements for entering the U.S. to pursue a degree.
We're Here to Help
ISSE Student Services
ISSE serves international students, missionary students, and intercultural students at SEU by helping them with admission to the university and the intricacies involved in staying here as they complete their degree. We also assist with transitioning into the United States, maintaining nonimmigrant student status, and resolving other immigration issues as needed. Getting students enrolled is just the start. SEU provides a fully comprehensive package to make the transition simple so that you can acclimate to both a new country and to college life. These services include a specialized orientation, workshops, social events, academic support and assistance with finding legal resources as needed.
You will need more than dorm accommodations and books to get started in college. That is why ISSE offers a specialized and very detailed orientation just for international students. You will need visas, homeland security paperwork, and the like, so you will move in earlier than domestically based students do to get all of these processes squared away. SEU volunteers will pick you up from the airport and help you move in, take you out to eat and go school supply shopping. This helps ensure that you do not feel overwhelmed and gives you time to adjust before student orientation begins for the rest of the new student population.
ISSE hosts numerous workshops and events each semester, designed specifically to help you feel welcome, to take the stress out of the legal side of your education, and to integrate into your new surroundings.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop. These sessions show international students how to receive employment or internship opportunities off-campus and receive paid wages. As long as the internship is related to your field and you are earning college credit, you can usually qualify.
- Social security Workshop. In addition to workshops that teach you about social security, ISSE also helps you get your card once you qualify. Once you have a job (on campus) or a CPT position, you will qualify for a social security number. ISSE explains what to bring along to the social security office and provides transportation to get there.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshop. Once you graduate, you can qualify for OPT, which allows you to get a job anywhere in the U.S. The OPT application is a lengthy process, so if you are interested in pursuing it, ISSE will help you begin your application during your senior year. ISSE also provides workshops about this so that once graduation comes; you will be able to start working right away.
- Culture Shock Retreat. Each fall ISSE hosts a one-day weekend event specifically designed to help international students with your transition into the United States and to navigate the stigma around mental health issues and fatigue. ISSE explains the services we offer through presentations and activities. Returning students share their experiences with new students, giving you all a way to connect and be encouraged.
- Taxes Workshop. Tax professionals come to campus help you file the proper forms; one for when you are working and a different one for when you are not.
- State ID/Driver’s licenses Workshop. You will learn what you need to apply for a driver’s license and even set up a time to receive transportation to the DMV.
- Immigration Workshop. To ensure compliance with the law, we bring in a professional immigration lawyer to present ways to stay in the U.S. legally during and after college. The presentation covers everything from applying for a green card to applying for a work visa, and even the process to follow if you are planning to marry a U.S. citizen, and much more.
The ISSE office invites students to come hang out any time in our study space and a common area and offers a variety of social events to give you a chance to build friendships and community.
- Visa Signature Party. Just because something is required does not mean it should not be fun. Since you have to sign in to make your visa official, we make it a fun event to get the task done and give you a chance to interact with other students.
- Globe Fest. Each fall ISSE hosts a one-night social event for all new incoming International students to connect and meet with all the returning International students. It is our biggest social event for the year where we celebrate internationalization with food, fun, games, coffee, door prizes, music and a chance to celebrate with our united nations!
- Family dinners. Once a month ISSE highlights and celebrates a different continent by taking a group of international students to a restaurant that has the cuisine of that area. We participate in an ethnic dining experience together and then we do some exploring or fun activity in that local city area.
- Monthly newsletter.This specialized newsletter serves to highlight and celebrate a different continent each month, providing resources specifically for International students, and it features spotlights of our very own international students’ stories. It also provides important workshop information, resources, and upcoming ISSE event details to keep students informed.
- International coffee breaks.During this event, international students get a chance to connect with one another and to be proud of sharing about their home and maintain a connection to it. They take turns setting up a “coffee stand” in the ISSE office with a variety of snacks and drinks they would experience during a typical coffee/tea break in their home country. During this time, we also take a moment to celebrate the ISSE student birthdays of the month. We encourage all international students, MKs, TCKs, faculty, and staff to stop by for a refreshing, cultural learning experience.
- International Education Week. This annual week event is a time to celebrate global education, international students who come to the states to study, and to encourage students from the U.S. to study abroad. SEU hosts a “Taste of the Nations Event” featuring local attire, food, and items from various countries. ISSE collaborates with other campus departments like, Study Abroad, Multicultural Affairs, and Student Development offices to host cultural events for the entire SEU student body to experience.
- ISSE Tuscana Lunch Meetup. Once a month we reserve a salon in our main campus dining room, Tuscana Ristorante, and we invite all international, MKs, and TCKs students to a time of food, fellowship, and friendship with one another and the ISSE staff and faculty. Date and time details for this event is listed each month in the ISSE Newsletter.
- ISSE Language Corner. Once a month, we offer a time for International Students to share their native language with one another and the SEU student body. During this time, they teach and practice basic conversational skills within their native language to all who attend. The ISSE Language Corneris hosted in different locations around campus each month, with location details listed within the ISSE Monthly Newsletter. We encourage all ISSE students, faculty, and staff to attend.
- Mu Kappa International.SEU is proud to have our own chapter of Mu Kappa International, a club for students who are “missionary kids” (also referred to as “MKs”). These students are US Citizens but have also spent some time or most of their lives living abroad, and they often come to SEU feeling more like international students. This club serves to give these students a place to connect and belong while hosting specific events and experiences for them to enjoy as an MKs family.
Our specially trained staff is available to help you before you apply and once you’re here.
Betania Torres joined the ISSE team as the Director for International Student Services and Enrollment in July of 2016, having previously worked in SEU’s Office of Admission. In her role, Torres oversees the operations and program development of the ISSE Department. She also oversees the planning and coordinating of all aspects of social, cultural and educational programs, seminars/workshops and events that promote intercultural educational exchange experiences. These events are planned for the benefit of international students, missionary student, and the SEU community. Torres actively oversees recruitment efforts by working with international students and with the AG Hispanic Districts throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Torres is an active member of international organizations such as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) and the Florida Association of International Educators (FAIE). She is an associate member of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and is an integral member of the SEU team that promotes and supports the university’s continuous efforts for comprehensive internationalization. Torres also serves as co-advisor for SEU’s chapter of Mu Kappa International (MK/missionary student club) at SEU.
Juliana Diaz originally joined the ISSE team in July of 2017, and serves as our Immigration Advisor. Diaz assists with international student enrollment immigration processes and procedures. She also assists when prospective international students and their families visit SEU’s Lakeland campus. Diaz also coordinates immigration related seminars and service workshops and for our current international students in assisting them with status compliance. Diaz is a member of the Florida Association of International Educators (FAIE).
Schedule an Appointment
Need to meet with the ISSE team? Click the links below to schedule an appointment.