About the International Student Management Office

ISMO Office

National Defense University

The National Defense University (NDU) is the premier national security institution focused on advanced joint education, leader development and scholarship. NDU is an internationally recognized graduate-level university which gathers and integrates public, private and international partners in an academic setting to address complex national and global security issues. NDU prepares future U.S. and international leaders of Armed Forces and civilian agencies for high-level policy, command and staff responsibilities.

"Here at the National Defense University, men and women come together to think, to learn and to seek new strategies to defend our union while pursuing the goal of a just and lasting peace."
—President Barack Obama, March 12, 2009, Dedication of NDU's Lincoln Hall

International Student Management Office (ISMO)

The International Student Management Office (ISMO) is administrative home to all of the international students attending education and training course at the National Defense University. ISMO's mission is to foster joint security cooperation by providing sustained superior support to NDU’s international students in order to effectively advance US security interests and build defense partnerships for the future.  ISMO integrates international students within University programs in support of NDU’s academic and engagement priorities, enables the academic success of international students to enhance partnership capability, creates opportunities for them to foster rapport with US classmates, and provides opportunities to develop a firsthand knowledge of the US, its people, institutions, way of life and commitment to principles of internationally recognized human rights.

In addition to administrative support ISMO manages and executes several courses and programs that provides additional support to Fellows, their families and the National Defense University. To learn more about our courses and programs please read the brief descriptions below and click the program or course titles for more detailed information.


What is Joint Security Cooperation?

American Studies & the Field Studies Program

In addition to providing administrative support, ISMO also teaches the American Studies elective, which goes hand-in-hand with our exceptional and comprehensive Field Studies Program. The Field Studies Program aims to provide international students with an opportunity to obtain a balanced understanding of the United States and to increase their awareness of basic issues involving international recognized human rights.

American Studies Course → Field Studies Program →



Graduate Writing & Research Course

ISMO also offers an Introduction to Graduate Writing and Research course (NDU 6100). We understand that writing academically in English varies greatly among individuals (Americans and internationals alike), so we specifically designed an intensive writing course for non-native writers of English. This course aims to help Fellows successfully write and articulate their thoughts for graduate-level papers required as a part of their college coursework.

Learn more →


Sponsor Program

To facilitate a smooth transition to the United States ISMO has developed an American Sponsor Program, which links International Fellows (IFs) and their families up with American families in the Washington, DC area. American sponsors assist with ensuring IFs and their families have a smooth and positive transition and experience in the United States. Sponsors will often invite Fellows and their families over to their homes to celebrate American holidays, which provides students and their families with unique exposure to American culture and society.

Learn more →



International Visits & Distinguished Visitor Orientation Tours (DVOT)

NDU also manages International Visits and Distinguished Visitor Orientation Tours (DVOTs) for the National Defense University. International Visits allows foreign leaders and international delegations to come to NDU to learn about the university, its curriculum and to hold round-table discussions with NDU's subject matter experts. The DVOT program provides a country's defense leadership the unique opportunity to learn about specific assets of the US defense establishments in order to address objectives specific to their own military and government. If you are a foreign leader or represent a foreign delegation that wishes to schedule an International Visit or DVOT please email ismo@ndu.edu. 

International Visits → DVOT 



International Military Student Office (IMSO)

ISMO also has a satellite office called the International Military Student Office (IMSO) that supports international military students studying at NDU's Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) located in Norfolk, VA . For parties interested in courses at JFSC, please contact the Chief, International Military Student Officer at ismo@ndu.edu or by phone (757) 443-6626.

Learn More →