About SISS - Our Mission and Services


Established in 1968, Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) reports to the Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor for Global Affairs.  SISS is helping to build a campus community that includes students and scholars from over 100 countries and six continents. SISS serves over 8,000 international students, faculty, and researchers and their accompanying family members who come to UC Davis each year.  We welcome the World to UC Davis.


Services for International Students and Scholars assists incoming and current international students and scholars, and their families with visa and immigration issues while they are at UC Davis. In addition to preparing the necessary documents to apply for a U.S. visa, SISS assists international students and scholars in maintaining their legal status while in the United States. SISS also provides orientation, assistance, information, and referral to international students, faculty, and researchers regarding financial, personal, cultural, and academic concerns.

Advising for Students

  • Drop-In Advising: Students can see an Advisor during our drop-in periods ("drop-in" means you don't need an appointment) Monday afternoons 1 to 3:45 PM, Thursday afternoons 1 to 3:45 PM. These meetings are reserved for quick issues that take no more than 10 minutes. The Drop-In Advisor will help students with issues approved for drop-in on a first come, first serve basis. 
  • Advisor Appointments: Students and Scholars can also schedule an appointment with their advisor Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to noon, and 1 to 4 PM. You can make an appointment either at the SISS front desk or by calling 530-752-0864 ext. 0.

Advising for Visiting Scholars, Professors and Researchers

SISS is a resource for immigration and visa information that influences a broad range of issues at the University. For the increasing number of family members accompanying our international students and scholars, SISS is a source of information and a point of referral to support their needs as members of the UC Davis community.  All new J-1 international scholars are encouraged to start their visit with the New J-1 Scholar Orientation offered at SISS.  In addition, all categories of international scholars can consult with their international scholar advisor at any time by phone, email or by calling for an appointment at SISS (530-752-0864 extension 0).  To locate the appropriate international scholar advisor, see our Staff List. International scholar advising is assigned based on the family name of the scholar and/or his or her immigration status.

Services for Departments

SISS can assist any faculty or staff on campus with questions regarding international students and scholars; immigration issues; cross-cultural issues; and other matters.  We also act as a point of referral for departments for many other support services on campus, as well as many agencies off campus, such as the DMV, social security, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Among other services, we offer a listserv where the campus community can post housing opportunities and items to buy and sell.

The International Scholar Services staff at SISS work with over 200 campus department staff (whom we call “department contacts”) in departments that host international scholars from all over the world, all year long. SISS offers training to department contacts in person and through SDPS classes.  Department contacts can consult with an international scholar staff member any time by phone, email or arranging a time to meet.  For staff at the UC Davis Medical Center, Gayle Oberlies and Kimberly Haky each spend two days a week at the UCDMC Betty Irene Moore Hall and are available to meet with international scholars and UCDMC staff.  They can be reached by email for more information.