International Postdocs

Welcome to WashU and St. Louis! Approximately 50% of postdocs are international, and we are working hard to make you feel welcome! The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs recognizes that relocating to a foreign country can be overwhelming, and getting settled can be confusing. It is also hard to be far from family and friends. We are committed to helping you meet these challenges and making the most of your time here. To get started, please visit the Relocating pages if you are looking for information on housing, utilities, driving, banks, etc or the Visiting St. Louis pages if you are looking for information on St. Louis attractions. Also, getting involved in campus groups is a great way to meet other postdocs and students. We hope that the resources below help you acclimate to St. Louis and Washington University.  

The Office of International Students & Scholars

The Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) is located in Stix House at 6470 Forsyth Boulevard across the street from the Danforth University Center (DUC) on the Danforth Campus. Their mission is to provide social, cultural and academic support; English language instruction; information on governmental regulations; and to facilitate cross-cultural understanding within our university and the St. Louis metropolitan area. The International Office provides a variety of resources for international students and scholars. OISS also produces the International Voice Newsletter, which provides much information on current international happenings. The main international office is located at the Danforth Campus at Stix House, but there is also an office at the Medical School. 


All postdoc visas are handled first at the department level and then by OISS. If you need to apply for or renew a visa, please speak to your department administrator first. The department administrator will contact OISS. If you are planning to leave the country for a conference or for vacation, please check with your department administrator to see what paperwork or requirements are necessary to ensure you can safely return to the United States. The U.S. Government has changed many regulations recently, and they continue to change, so please check to see what the current requirements are before you leave the country. 

English Language Skills

Benefits-eligible postdoctoral appointees are able to take English Language Program (ELP) classes at Washington University through the Postdoc Tuition plan. For more information about the types of ELP classes offered and how to choose one appropriate for you, please visit the ELP website at http://oiss.wustl.edu/english-language-programs/courses/. ELP classes are offered through University College (http://ucollege.wustl.edu) and include a variety of writing, speaking and biomedical-specific classes both at the Medical and Danforth campuses. The Postdoc Tuition plan allows postdocs to take up to four undergraduate credits at UCollege per semester for career development purposes only. This plan covers the tuition costs only - each postdoc is responsible for books and fees. Postdocs should register for classes online, review the instructions for postdoctoral appointees, and submit the Postdoc Tuition Assistance Form found here.

If you have been thinking of polishing your English communication skills, please consider registering for a voluntary English test in speaking, listening, and writing. You can register online at http://oiss.wustl.edu/english-language-programs/testing/. This test is completely voluntary, lasts only about 30 min, and will not result in any required courses, but in addition to the testing you will learn of the courses available to you in research writing, listening, speaking, presentation skills, and cultural communication through the English Language Programs (ELP). 

The St. Louis Public Library offers free English as a Second Language Practice Sessions. Visit their website and select "Calendar of Events" for current locations, dates and times.

International Foods

St. Louis has a variety of international markets and restaurants serving a diverse community. Restaurants can be searched by cuisine at SauceMagazine.com. Additionally, the DBBS Student Advisory Committee and others have put together a list of international markets. Please check the address/hours of operation before you go as items may have changed. Not all stores may take credit cards. 

National Postdoctoral Association

The National Postdoctoral Association has an International Officer that advises and advocates for postdoctoral issues.  Additionally, the NPA has put together an International Postdoc Survival Guide and a Quick Guide to Visas

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