International Students

Office of International Education (OIE)

Upon arrival in Pittsburgh, all international students should check in with the Office of International Education (OIE) as soon as possible. The OIE is the center for information and issues concerning international students, and provides a myriad of services to assist international students. OIE advisors are on hand to help all incoming international students with visa problems, temporary housing and many other issues.

International students may arrive in Pittsburgh 30 days prior to their program start date written on their I-20 Certificate. There is a possibility that students arriving late without prior notification can be denied entry. If you believe that you will be late arriving in the U.S. to start an INI program, contact the INI and OIE immediately.

New Student and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS) regulations require that international students keep all contact information and addresses current.

OIE Orientation

International students are required to attend the OIE orientation session. Posters announcing the OIE orientation are provided with your I-20 Certificate. If you will miss the orientation dates, contact the OIE to arrange an alternative orientation session. The OIE can be reached at or (412) 268-5231.

Intercultural Communication Center

The Intercultural Communication Center offers a unique language program that is highly individualized and allows full-time students to take a variety of workshops, tutoring sessions and self-paced appointments that give them maximum training in a minimum amount of time. The ICC is available free of charge to all students at Carnegie Mellon.

International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Test

The International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Test is required by state law before nonnative speakers of English can accept Teaching Assistantships (TAs) for recitation and lab classes, if the lab requires presentation of material to the class. The test is offered three times a year: November, April and August (incoming students only).

You must complete a Placement Interview in order to take the ITA test. The interview should be taken during the orientation period in August and is required before registering for ICC services. All incoming international students should complete the Placement Interview.

Please note that you must have already secured a TA position before you may take the ITA test. This means the department for which you intend to work has offered you a position, not that you have interviewed for a position.

International Student Organizations

At the university, there are about 300 student-led organizations that allow students the chance to take part in social events and professional development activities and to explore new interests with each other. You can browse these organizations in the student organization directory. Specifically, international students may be interested in cultural heritage-based groups, such as the examples listed on the International Student Organization page.