Support for Spouses

National Defense University recognizes that while you are busy with your coursework, it is important to ensure that your spouse is being supported. For this reason, ISMO has created a number of programs that empower spouses to experience American culture, develop their English skills, and build lasting relationships with other spouses and members of the NDU community.

Please note that all dates are tentative and subject to change.

Arlington County Police and Arlington County Public Schools Briefing


Spouses are welcome and encouraged to attend these informational briefings with the IFs. The Arlington County Police will cover safety regulations that are important for all families, including seatbelt and car seat regulations. Arlington County Public Schools will cover information about the public school system, and will explain how to register your dependents for school if you have not already done so. 


Spouses Orientation

A full day orientation in which the ISMO communicates helpful and important information to help spouses adjust to and enjoy their year in the DC area. This includes information and background on NDU, advice about the DC area, and ESOL opportunities.

Sponsor Welcome Event

At this casual gathering families will be able to meet their sponsors and mingle with others in the community. The event provides the chance for families to meet and begin developing a friendship with your sponsor.

Arlington REEP

The Arlington Education and Employment Program (‘REEP’) provides English instruction to adults over the course of 12 week sessions. These sessions have many start dates and vary in price and language level. They offer ESOL courses for native speakers of Amharic, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish, and Mongolian.

New Neighbors ELL

New Neighbors provides a semester long course (can re-enroll for Spring semester) offering ten different levels of English-learning classes for adults. Students can pay an additional fee to have childcare for their 0- 4 year-olds provided. Spouses can apply at

Spouses International Cultural Exchange (SpICE)

This volunteer-run program helps foster relationships between spouses and allows its participants to learn from other international spouses at NDU. Some activities include visiting museums in DC, country presentations, celebrating holidays, and attending local events. The SpICE coordinator is Mrs. Ratna Cary. Spouses are welcome and encouraged to join the SpICE Facebook Group: SpICE 2022-23.

Spouses Elective

The “National Security Studies Overview” course at the National War College is open to all spouses.

Field Studies Program (FSP) – Family/Spouses

ISMO usually coordinates one FSP trip for IFs + families . Per regulation, ISMO is only allowed to pay for IFs, and therefore spouses and families will have to cover their own costs. They are welcome to accompany the IFs on social events.


Child Immunizations & School Physicals

For students whose children will be attending Virginia Public Schools there are five medical requirements you must complete, please click the link below for more information.

Immunizations & School Physical Info

Childcare Info

More information about options for childcare in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area can be found here:

DC Childcare Info

MD Childcare Info

VA Childcare Info