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International Student Advisor

Berklee College of Music
South Boston, MA
Closing date
May 10, 2024

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Student & Scholar Services
Position Type
Adviser / Advisor
Employment Type
Organization Type
College / University

Institutional Overview:

Located in the historic Back Bay neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, and having recently merged with the Boston Conservatory of Music, Berklee is the world's leading educational institution in the instruction of contemporary and classical music, dance, and musical theater. The Berklee community consists of 5,500 talented and diverse students, 820 faculty members, over 600 dedicated staff, and an extended alumni network.

Berklee is committed to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus and embodies the diversity and enrichment international students contribute to the institution. Its international students comprise approximately 35% of the student population-among the highest percentage of international students of any college/university in the nation.

Departmental Overview:

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) is an integral part of a dynamic Student Enrollment and Engagement division and operates under the Associate Vice President/Dean for Student Advising and Success. ISS serves approximately 2,000 students annually and is planning for significant future growth and diversification. The office provides a wide range of assistance and support to promote the transition and success of Berklee's international student population. The office and its staff advocate on behalf of international students both within the college and to federal regulatory agencies to ensure that they are afforded every opportunity to complete their educational and professional objectives. ISS promotes a greater understanding and appreciation for all cultures across the institution.

Position Overview:

Reporting to the Associate Director of International Student Services and Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), the International Student Advisor (ISA) serves as a Designated School Official (DSO), and along with the other DSOs, ensures institutional compliance with all federal regulations as well as maintenance of student and campus records through the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

The ISA helps international students integrate into the culture in the United States, Boston, and Berklee. The ISA provides advisement and counsel on social, cultural, academic, personal, financial, career, and immigration matters; assists in the planning and execution of international student success programs; and researches and implements best practices for effective service delivery. The ISA collaborates with campus partners to provide a holistic approach to international student success and serves as a resource for students, staff, and faculty with regard to international student support.

The ideal candidate is passionate about helping international students transition to their new life in the United States and supporting them throughout their educational journey at Berklee. We are seeking an enthusiastic professional who takes initiative in implementing new ideas based on their own experiences living/working abroad and serving diverse constituencies. Candidates must be willing and able to work some nights, weekends, and holidays.


  • Serve as Designated School Official/international student advisor and point of contact for ~600 students.
  • Research, interpret, and apply federal and institutional regulations and policies to the specific situations of international students in F-1 non-immigrant status.
  • Ensure compliant reporting to federal governmental agencies via SEVIS and International Student and Scholar Manager (ISSM) as required by Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Cultivate relationships and advise international students in regards to complex issues related to immigration regulations: maintaining lawful status; eligibility for part-time enrollment, vacation semester, Form I-20 (Certificate of F-1 Eligibility) revalidation, program extensions, practical training, campus employment, and other F-1 benefits under DHS regulations.
  • Issue new Form I-20s for authorization and prepare relevant documentation and applications.
  • Maintain integrity of student data in student information systems (Colleague and PowerCampus), and all campus technology platforms.
  • Assist students with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) applications. Prepare supporting documentation for applications such as "change of nonimmigrant status" or "reinstatement."
  • Consult with other professionals/immigration attorneys when appropriate.
  • Refer students to other staff within the College and to other campus or community resources, as appropriate.
  • Advise students on non-immigration matters, including on-campus academic and personal support resources, clubs and organizations on campus, and related academic, logistical, financial, health, travel, and career development issues.
  • Provide consulting services to offices, faculty, and staff with regard to international student issues (e.g., work permission, intercultural topics, etc.).

Student Success Programming
  • Assist in the facilitation of workshops/informational/educational sessions on cultural- and immigration-related topics.
  • Assist in the planning and delivery of international student orientation for entering international students each semester focusing on their transition to American culture and the academic and cultural expectations of Berklee.
  • Collaborate with international student faculty/advisors to support student needs.

Administrative and Other
  • Use visual aids and design techniques to create materials (forms, handouts, presentations, etc.) that effectively communicate complicated information to students.
  • Coordinate the maintenance of the Policy and Procedures Manual (web-based) for international advising in conjunction with supervisor.
  • Assist in development and documentation of policies and procedures concerning international students.
  • Oversee system of communications to international students regarding F-1 status: travel guidelines, SEVIS compliance, immigration updates/reminders, etc.
  • Assist with projects within ISS to enhance efficiency and customer service.
  • Recruit, hire, train, and supervise ISS student employees.
  • Serve on College committees and participate in College events.
  • Participate in association/industry committees, regional and national professional meetings (Third Thursdays, NAFSA, etc.) in order to stay current with international student advising policies and practices.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key partners within and outside of the college.
  • Network with other international student services professionals to ascertain best practices in the field. Understand trends/regulations nationally and internationally that will impact international student recruitment and services.
  • Some weekend and evenings required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Eligibility Criteria:

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse student population, especially international students; good listening, assessment, and problem-solving skills demonstrated by relevant professional experience.
  • Ability to understand and explain the complexities of college, academic and curricular policy to students, and assist students in implementing their educational plans while maintaining F-1 status.
  • Ability to organize multiple tasks with a high degree of attention to detail. Ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including developing creative communication (email, presentation, handouts, etc.) and facilitating large group discussions and presentations for non-native speakers of English.
  • Excellent judgment and ability to deal with difficult situations.
  • Knowledge of advising and counseling techniques, including student mental health and supporting students in navigating and adjusting to cross-cultural differences.
  • High degree of emotional intelligence, including a strong social perceptiveness to be aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident as mandated by federal regulations for all DSOs.
  • Previous employment, study, or residence in another country; knowledge of world geography and cultures.
  • Professional or paraprofessional experience at the university/collegiate level, in the field of International Education and/or Student Affairs (Education Abroad, International Student Services, Multicultural Affairs, etc.) working directly with students (experience as a graduate assistant may be applied).
  • Demonstrated intercultural competency; commitment to student service and ability to work effectively with students, faculty, and university representatives from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Experience specifically working with international students and competence in working with students from diverse cultures.
  • Creative, strategic and analytical thinker with the ability to manage multiple projects.
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Master's Degree from a regionally-accredited institution preferably in counseling, student affairs, education, social sciences, international affairs, or a related field.
  • Bilingual in English and another language.
  • Experience working closely with ESL students.
  • Familiarity with higher education systems in other countries.
  • Knowledge of DHS regulations governing F-1 students; knowledge of SEVIS regulations and reporting requirements.
  • Experience with SEVIS, Real-Time Interactive (RTI), and batch reporting systems. Knowledge of ISSM, Colleague, and/or PowerCampus.
  • Experience interpreting federal legislation and policies.

This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an "at will" employment relationship.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Equal Employment Opportunity at Berklee:

We support an inclusive workplace where everyone excels based on personal merit, qualifications, experience, ability, and job performance. Berklee affirms that inequality is detrimental to our faculty, staff, students, and the communities we serve. Our goal is to make lasting change through our actions. Berklee is committed to providing fair and equitable consideration of all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, place of birth, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, genetic information, or status as a member of the armed forces or veteran of the armed forces, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

As part of this commitment, Berklee will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact the Human Resources Team at or call 617-747-2375.

Berklee is committed to increasing the diversity of our institution, community, and the curriculum. Candidates who can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths in this area.
  • Currently enrolled Berklee students are not permitted to apply for staff or faculty positions.*

Employee Type:


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