UChicagoGRAD International Student Initiatives office creates programs, resources, and practices throughout the University that support the professional and personal development of international graduate students. In collaboration with campus partners and student groups, GRAD International Student Initiatives aim to help international students build community; find enriching academic, professional, and personal experiences; and adapt and transition successfully to life in the United States and at the University of Chicago. 

This office is led by Josephine Cai (she/her), Director of International Student Initiatives. She has been with UChicagoGRAD since 2015, initially advising graduate students in career development and managing career related programming for international graduate students. Currently, Jo directs personal and professional development initiatives for international graduate students, and serves as the primary advisor for the International Graduate Student Advisory Board (IGSAB). She also offers coaching on navigating your professional identity and adjusting to U.S. professional and academic cultures. Originally from Singapore, Jo has an M.A in Lifelong Learning from Institute of Education, University College London and is a certified career development practitioner with the Career Industry Council of Australia.  

UChicago International students having lunch on a restaurant patio.

Personal and Professional Development Services 

  • Advising: on cultural adaptation to UChicago, navigating professional identity, other international student-related topics. 
  • International Graduate Student Advisory Board (IGSAB): promotes community building, conversations, resources, annual survey of international graduate student experience, International Allies mentorship program. 
  • Workshops & Conversations: such as Interstride – a job search platform for international candidates, ‘Ask me Anything’ conversations about international student experiences. 
  • Events: such as International Student Orientation Welcome, Fall International Student Panel, Community Day.
  • Monthly newsletters: outline relevant upcoming events and resources for international graduate students. All international students & postdocs are included on the list (unless you opt-out). In case you haven’t seen them, sign up to receive our future emails!