First-Year and International Student Advisor

Bennington, Vermont, United States

Bennington College, Office of Academic Services, invites applications for the position of First-Year and International Student Advisor, whose primary role is to advise and support Bennington’s international student population.  The First-Year and International Student Advisor reports to and supports the work of the Director of the First-Year Experience and International Student Services to facilitate all aspects of the international student experience - social, cultural, academic, personal, financial as well as the transition to life in the United States and at Bennington College from matriculation through graduation.

In addition to working with our international student population, the First-Year and International Student Advisor will be assigned a caseload of first-year domestic students. First-year advising strives to support the work of the First-Year Forum faculty advisor in preparing first-year students to become autonomous, self reliant Bennington students capable of self advocacy and able to define and articulate their educational and personal goals.

International Advising Responsibilities include

  • Plan and oversee orientation of new F-1 undergraduate international students to campus.
  • Serve as a Designated School Official (DSO), managing the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as well as maintaining and processing international student documentation as required by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Keep up-to-date on student visa requirements and SEVIS administration as well as develop procedures for institutional compliance with all relevant regulations
  • Implement programming to aid with cultural transition, help students with travel, visa, work authorization, and tax-related issues.  

First-Year Advising Responsibilities include

  • Advise, support, and encourage students to engage academically and develop an understanding of the capacities of a Bennington education, Plan process, Field Work Term, and the student/faculty advisor relationship.
  • Work with a caseload of students on Academic Warning.

In keeping with its philosophy and practice, Bennington College encourages applicants from a wide range of experiences to apply.  Preference will be given to candidates who possess a minimum of 2 years of international student advising or international education, can demonstrate success advising, planning and implementation of international student programming, team building, and event planning for college aged students in a small liberal arts environment.  A Bachelor’s degree is required and a Masters degree is strongly preferred. As required by the United States Department of Homeland Security, applicants must be either citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. Direct experience with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and/or immigration regulations pertaining to the F-1 visa is highly preferred.

The successful candidate will demonstrate flexibility, creativity, intercultural awareness, and progressive thought.  They must have the ability to engage with students of diverse interests, backgrounds, and experiences in ways that are meaningful and genuine.  To that end, exceptional written and verbal communication and relationship-building skills are essential, as is the ability/willingness to work flexible hours (some evenings and weekends) to meet the needs of our students.  Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to supporting students through a collaborative and team-oriented approach, and also have the ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously, work independently, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and be comfortable taking initiative and being self directed. The position requires detailed organization, flexibility taking on tasks of varying depths and detail, experience with marketing (print, electronic, and social media), as well as strong technology skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office with advanced knowledge of Excel; experience using Gmail/drive highly preferred.