Spouses, Partners & Dependents

Yale is a diverse institution with many resources for spouses, partners, and families. New Haven and the Greater New Haven area offer opportunities to enrich your experience in the U.S. We encourage you to take a look at the list below to prepare for your time at Yale and become involved in your community.

Before You Leave Home

  • You will want to bring certain official documents with you, including a translated and certified copy of your marriage license and health records.  If you have children who will entering school or daycare, you will need to bring their health and immunizations records and any school records. 
  • Prepare for travel & make a departure checklist.
  • Arrival information: Clearing U.S. Immigration, transportation to Yale & reporting to the OISS.
  • Follow the OISS and the International Spouses & Partners at Yale through Facebook, and ask fellow internationals any questions you may have.
  • Sign up for the OISS Newsletter.

Joining the Yale Community: Getting involved

  • Check out out the OISS Events Calendar, and register for events.
  • Familiarize yourself with ISPY, our very own community of International Spouses and Partners at Yale
  • Join one of our ISPY groups. Every year, now groups are formed through the leadership of spouses and partners who have shared interests and the desire to meet regularly for social, cultural events. If you would like to form your own ISPY group, please come to ISPY Orientation (we have them twice a year, at the beginning of each semester).
  • Participate in our Community Connection Programs. The OISS coordinates both the Community Friends program, and the Thanksgiving Holiday at Home program.
  • Check out the Graduate School's guide for Spouses & Partners, which includes information on how to obtain Yale ID (identification cards), auditing courses, employment, volunteering and parental support and relief.

Parenting & Schools

General Resources for Families

Child-specific Resources

Education & Learning

Auditing Classes

Spouses and partners who are interested in attending a course in Yale College or the Graduate School without receiving academic credit may do so for free by auditing a course. Begin by choosing the class you are interested in from the Yale course listings online. Then contact the professor/instructor by email to ask if you may audit the class. It is sometimes possible to audit courses at Yale Professional Schools, but please note that these courses may incur registration and/or equipment fees.

Your participation level in the class is determined by the professor/instructor. Some would like you to fully participate in the discussion and assignments while others expect you to observe only. Feel free to ask if you are unsure.

If the professor/instructor says “no” to auditing the class, don’t take it personally. There may be limited course materials or restrictions according to the department or program.

You will need the professor of each course you are auditing to sign off on a separate form. This should be done at the beginning of the term, but since Yale College has their shopping period for classes the first two weeks of the semester, instructors may not give you a firm answer until the third week of classes. Permission is required of the instructor and of Dean Risa Sodi, 1 Prospect Street, SSS 25, 432-8427. 

Open Yale Courses

A number of Yale University courses are available online through Open Yale. Choose a course you are interested in from the selected list and stream the recorded class lectures from the Open Yale website. Course materials can be downloaded in PDF form. These courses are free and registration is not required. No course credit is given.


Volunteering is a rewarding way to meet new people and become a part of the community. You can use volunteer opportunities to strengthen skills you already have or learn new skills in a field that interests you. This can be particularly appealing for spouses and partners who are ineligible for employment in the U.S. due to immigration status.

The Office of New Haven and State Affairs maintains an online list of volunteer opportunities and resources in the Greater New Haven area. Short-term and long-term volunteer positions are available on campus and at local non-profit organizations throughout the year. Whether you are interested in mentoring youth, taking care of animals, helping health workers, or building houses, you can find a meaningful way to be involved in your new community!

Local sports, recreation, cultural and arts activities

Obtaining a work permit in the U.S. on a J-2 visa

  • After obtaining an Employment Authorization Card, here are are couple of suggestions (this is not an exhaustive list of they types of employment you can get in New Haven, of course):

Volunteer Opportunities for Spouses & Partners