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Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

If you do not find what you needed or have a suggestion for something to include on this page, please contact .

Is there a Facebook page for the School of Public Affairs and for International Students?

See the School of Public Affairs Facebook Page.

What are some of the serv​ices available to students?

  • General Support Services
  • Auraria Library Support Services
  • Campus Life and School of Public Affairs Resources
  • Faculty with experience in international issues

How many int​ernational students attend SPA?

Approximately 11% of the student population is comprised of International students. The majority of these students are from Korea, but we also have (or had) students from other Asian countries, South America, Africa and Europe.

 Academic Support Services

Where ca​n I obtain help with writing assignments?

Help with writing assignments can be found at the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Writing Center.

Where can​ I obtain assistance with American culture and enroll in conversation groups?

Spring International is located on campus in the Tivoli building. They offer a variety of services and programs- some at no cost and others for a fee.

Spring International Language Center.

Where can I obt​ain other kinds of Academic Support?

The University has a Learning Resources Center that offers a variety of programs related to language proficiency, time management, and study skills.

Learning Resources Center

 Library Services and​ Programs

How can I obtain assistance in conducting research on U.S. Government Policies and Practices?

Auraria Library - Article Database and Indexes
Auraria Library - Government Documents Center

There is also a Librarian assigned to the School of Public Affairs as well as special library web sites just for public affairs students.

The library also has a list of all of the Public Administration/Affairs article databases.  These databases provide Public Affairs-related full-text articles or article citations and abstracts.  The list is divided into three parts: Multi-Subjects Databases (which can be used to search for articles on any subject, including Public Affairs), Recommended Subject-Specific Databases (which primarily offer Public Affairs-related articles) and Other Useful Databases (which sometimes offer Public Affairs-related articles, and which might be useful to someone researching this topic).  In most cases a researcher would want to start with the Recommended Subject-Specific Databases.

The Library provides the following services for SPA and International students:
Both introductory and advanced library research instruction for students is available.  The library has a state-of-the-art, hands-on, instruction room and excellent instructors.  Generally, library research instruction sessions can only be scheduled by college or university instructors for their students and not by students individually.  For more information please contact Mary Ulibarri x63683, or

Reference librarians are available all hours the Library is open to assist students with their research questions.  Such long service hours are not the norm at all college libraries, so our students benefit from this additional service.  Reference staff assists with print resources, online databases, and the Internet.
Thomas Beck is the Professional Studies Bibliographer at the Auraria Library, and as such is liaison to Public Affairs students and faculty.  He can be reached at x68371 or

The library’s Interlibrary Loan/Information Delivery department has a turnaround for articles of approximately one week (articles are delivered to the patron’s home). Books, depending on where they are borrowed from, take one to two weeks.   We also work with Prospector, a database that alerts users to holdings of many libraries statewide.  Prospector allows users to borrow books from those libraries, with a turnaround time between 2-4 days.

The Computer Commons is the Library’s computer lab.  This lab has 67 computers, and each is connected to a printer.  It offers access to programs for word processing, database creation and Web searching, and to such programs as PowerPoint and Excel.  Adjacent to the Commons is the Combined Computer Access Center (CCAC), a lab specially created to assist patrons with physical disabilities.

Via the Library’s home page, the III (Innovative Interfaces, Inc.) system offers access to Skyline, the Library’s catalog, which includes individual records for the hundreds of thousands of items available in our institution.  These include books, audio and video tapes, DVD’s and much more.  Also available on our home page are well over a hundred article and research databases, librarian-created ‘how-to’ and class guides, and the Internet.  The library has 149 personal computers in the public areas, and each is linked to a printer.  Access to our home page is available in the Library and through all campus labs and offices.   Faculty, staff and students also have free access to all of the Library’s online resources, including subscription databases, from off-campus.

Services to Assist International Students Integrate into Campus Life and SPA

On campus the Office of International Affairs processes admissions and answers questions regarding visas.

The Office of Student Life web site has links to a variety of student resources related to housing, organizations, events, and programs.

Within the Office of Student Life are a number of student groups, including a Korean Student Association.

Within the School of Public Affairs a student association is generating support.
The larger campus has many other student groups.

Within SPA there is a Coordinator of International Student Programs as well as two Student Services staff.

The Student Services Contacts are:
Dawn Savage,
Phone: (303) 315 - 2743
Antoinette Sandoval, 
Phone: (303) 315 - 2487
Their office is located in Room 525 on the 5th floor of 1380 Lawrence Street.

The Coordinator of International Student Programs:
Scott Steinbrecher,
(303) 315 2755
His office is in room 440P on the 4th floor of 1380 Lawrence Street.

Spring International
The Spring International Language Center is housed on-campus as well.

Programs Offered at Spring International
Intensive English
“Intensive English at Spring International offers students a strong foundation in English through small classes taught by professional instructors.  Classes are designed to improve all aspects of English, such as grammar, writing, reading, listening, speaking, pronunciation, accent improvement, conversation, computer use, American culture, research, and TOEFL preparation.”

Contact Spring:

Support Services for Families of International Students

Some of the services and programs listed on the links page and on the FAQ page may also provide services for families. The SPA Coordinator of International Student Programs can provide some limited assistance with finding support programs for families of international students.

Other programs include, Spring International that has contacts and services for English as a Second Language.

Denver-Area Korean Population

The Denver Metro area is home to many Koreans, as well as several Korean churches.

Sources for Americans on International Cultures

There are many excellent resources, but a good place to start is the book Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands.  The web site also includes news articles, articles, quizzes and more. 

SPA Faculty also have interests related to International issues:

Dr. Richard Stillman-
Editor in Chief of the prestigious Public Administration Review, is knowledgeable on European Public Administration

Dr. Robert Gage-
Dr. Gage is the author of a recent book on intergovernmental strategy and has research interests in international regional organization, intergovernmental relations, and quantitative methods. His most recent research focuses on China and Hong Kong.

Dr. Christine Martell-
Dr. Martell’s teaching and research interests include debt policy issues, fiscal federalism, international development, and the development of municipal credit markets in developing countries.

Dr. Tanya Heikkila, has research experience in India.

Other Useful Information
Another good source is the United States Department of State background notes.

How to G​et a Driver’s License

Students who want to drive in Colorado must have a valid Colorado license within 90 days of moving to Colorado.  In the meantime, students can drive on an international permit or another state’s license.

  1. Students need to request a driver’s license letter from ISS

  2. Students need to have either 1) a social security number or 2) a social security denial letter

  3. Go to a full service DMV to obtain a license

  4. You may be required to take a written test or a driving (road) test

Students need to wait 10-15 days from the first day of class before attempting to get these letters.

Students need to be registered as full-time students.

Students need to take to all offices 1) passport 2) I-20 or DS-2019 3) I-94 and 4) appropriate letters.

Minor Traffic Accidents

If for some reason you need to report a minor traffic accident, in the City and County of Denver you can visit their website to report this online.

If your accident is in a place other than the City and County of Denver you will need to check the website for that city/county.​

 Health Insurance Information

The University has a mandatory health insurance plan for all international students in the non-immigrant visa categories of of F-1, J-1, and J-2. These students will automatically be enrolled in the student health insurance program. The fee is added to the tuition account each semester. All other international students with a the immigration status of H-1, H-4, TN, R-2 and PR that are taking 6 or more credit hours on an undergraduate basis or 3 or more credit hours on a graduate basis will be allowed to voluntarily enroll on the plan. The enrollment form must be completed by the deadline date and submitted to the Student Health Insurance Office located in the Tivoli 303.

Please contact Diane Siewert at or call 303-556-3399 for more information. 

How to Get a Social Security Denial Letter

International students are not allowed by US law to obtain a social security number UNLESS they have an offer of employment.

  1. Students need to request a social security denial letter from ISS
  2. Go to a social security office to fill out an application
  3. Students should receive a denial letter immediately

How to Get a Social Security Number

International students are not allowed by US law to obtain a social security number UNLESS they have an offer of employment.

  1. Students need to request a social security number letter from ISS
  2. Students need to also bring their offer of employment letter
  3. Go to a social security office to fill out an application
  4. It may take up to eight weeks to get a social security number; however, students can begin working prior to receiving their number. | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

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