About ISSS

Since 1954, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) has welcomed thousands of students and scholars to AU. Our diverse staff is dedicated to a single notion: that all world-minded students deserve a global education, and that education exists here at AU.

Mission Statement

ISSS builds on American University's traditions of valuing diversity and a global outlook by promoting international student and scholar mobility and serving as a resource for intercultural initiatives to the university community. To cultivate academic success and personal development for international students and scholars, ISSS aims at providing quality services and programs to the university community by educating, advocating and training while complying with federal regulations governing international education exchange.

Senem Bakar Director, International Student & Scholar Services

With over 27 years of experience in International Education and Exchange, Senem is directing the office to ensure availability of superb services and programs for international students and scholars a


  (202) 885-3352

James Choi Associate Director, Immigration & Compliance

James joined the International Student & Scholar Services at American University in 2014. Before coming to AU, James was an associate attorney at an intellectual property law firm providing clients wi


  (202) 885-3522

Juliana Fernandes Associate Director, Immigration & Compliance

Juliana joined the International Student & Scholar Services in November 2015. Prior to joining ISSS, Juliana coordinated cross-cultural programs for AU graduates and pre and post departure orientation

  (202) 885-3355

Fatmira Hoxha Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Mira joined the International Student & Scholar Services in July 2010. She brings over 29 years of professional experience in higher education including 19 years with American University. Functioning


  (202) 885-3353

Yui Itokawa Advisor, Immigration and Programming

Yui joined the International Student & Scholar Services in August 2018. Prior to joining ISSS, Yui worked over five years at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC. At the Embassy, Yui was a national l


  (202) 885-3356

Nicole Powers Advisor, Immigration & Compliance

Nicole joined the ISSS Staff in July 2019. Previously, she worked at AUWCL as the International & Comparative Legal Studies Coordinator where she advised international LL.M. students and facilitated i


  (202) 885-3458

Alyssa Sistare Sr. Advisor for Immigration and Compliance

Alyssa joined the ISSS staff in August 2018. Prior to coming to AU, Alyssa worked at AMIDEAST on the Fulbright Foreign Student Program for the Middle East and North Africa. In that position, she focus


  (202) 885-3351

Anna Tigan Associate Director, Services & Programs

Anna has been coordinating international education projects for a number of global institutions, universities, and organizations in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining AU, she has coordinat