International Orientation Overview

We are delighted that you have chosen to attend the University of Michigan. The International Orientation program is designed to welcome students to the U-M and help make your transition to campus as smooth and successful as possible, with specific programming to meet the needs of students who meet the following criteria:

  • You live outside the United States
  • You are in the United States on a temporary or student visa
  • You are an undergraduate exchange student (if attendance is required by your academic unit)
  • You are a United States citizen educated abroad*

If any of the above conditions apply to you, you must attend the International Orientation Program.

*Students who are U.S. citizens educated abroad will have to contact our office for assistance with registering; however, please read all of the documentation on this website first. 

During the orientation program, we will be presenting key information on immigration matters, health insurance, and many campus resources. You will complete all necessary procedures for class registration including placement testing, general information sessions, and academic advising. Orientation will also be an opportunity for you to meet other new students and talk with current international and American students. You must attend orientation before you will be allowed to register for classes.

If you are unable to attend the International Orientation Program, then you are required to attend the Final Fall Orientation. Click on “Cannot Attend” to learn more about Final Fall Orientation.

Transfer Students: 

If you are an international transfer student who is currently living and/or studying in the U.S., you may be eligible to attend a domestic transfer student orientation between mid-May and mid-August. Please note that International students do not receive information about signing up for orientation until late May.  If you would like to be considered for one of the domestic transfer orientation sessions, please contact the Office of New Student Programs at (734) 764-6413 or email in mid-April. 

Canadian Residents:

We appreciate your familiarity with the American culture and want to give you a choice of orientation programs to attend. You may be eligible to attend either the International Orientation Program or an appropriate orientation program over the summer. Please contact the Office of New Student Programs at (734) 764-6413 or email

Click on the links to learn more about each of these events as you make your plans for orientation! 

Program Dates

International Orientation for 2018 will take place Monday, August 27 - Friday, August 31 for all students EXCEPT International Transfer Students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA). Transfer students in LSA will begin International Orientation on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 and will continue through Friday, August 31, 2018. 

Information about International Orientation is emailed at the end of May to the UMICH email accounts of all students who have paid their enrollment deposit.

You are strongly encouraged to apply for your U.S. student visa as soon as possible after you have received your certificate of eligibility document from the University of Michigan. It currently may take significant time for visa processing. Please allow at least a month to plan for your travel to the United States. You should plan to obtain your visa to enable you to arrive on campus before your orientation program begins. The International Orientation program will be very busy, and we expect you to be well-rested prior to the orientation program date. 

Program Check-In for All Students Except LSA Transfers

Check-In Time

Check-in for the International Orientation Program is at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 27, 2018. The location for check-in is still to be determined, and will be posted in late May. 


Check-In Procedures

When you arrive for orientation, you will be asked to sign in and will receive some orientation materials and further instructions. Please plan to bring a photo ID with you (a passport or your MCard) and a backpack or book bag in which to put your orientation materials. 

Program Schedule for All Students Except LSA Transfers

The International Orientation Program varies in length each day, and each person’s schedule is unique. Do not plan any other activities during your orientation program until after you have received your individual schedule for the orientation program. The orientation schedule indicated below is subject to change. Here is a brief overview of the program activities:

Day 1
Orientation activities will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Sessions include orientation check-in, orientation welcome, overview of the orientation program, general campus information, international student experience theatre presentation, International Center information, health insurance, immigration issues, health and safety, student life information, campus walking tour, the Department of Homeland Security mandatory check-in, and other activities. 

Day 2: 
Orientation activities will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sessions include placement exams, academic unit advising and other activities.

Day 3: 
Orientation activities begin at 8:00 a.m. The ending time will vary based on your academic school/college. There is a mandatory SEVIS check-in for those on F-1 or J-1 visas.

Day 4-6: 
Time for orientation activities vary by your academic school/college. Activities will be in your school/college, and include academic advising and course registration on the final day of your orientation program. Some students may finish orientation activities and register for courses earlier than others. 

Program Fees

The fee for International Orientation 2018 is $143.00. The fee will be included on your student account in September. Please do not send this fee in advance. If you participate in the Early Arrival Move-In program, there will be an additional charge for housing which will also be charged to your student account.

Parent & Family Orientation is free of charge.



Information regarding lodging will be posted in late May of 2018.

Placement Exam Information

Placement exams in chemistry, mathematics, algorithmic thinking, certain languages, and an essay and questions to help you choose your first writing course (a process called Directed Self-Placement for Writing) are administered prior to and/or during orientation. All tests are for placement in University of Michigan courses only.  Advisors use the information from the placement exams in conjunction with information from your transcripts and your prior course experience. Students are not expected to study or prepare in advance for the placement exams. 

Placement exams are mandatory if: 

  • you are required to take these subjects by your academic school/college 
  • you wish to continue in these subjects
  • in the case of writing, to help you choose the writing course most appropriate for you

Please visit Online & Proctored Placement Exams under the Preparing for Orientation link to the left for an explanation of each exam (opening dates, due dates, etc.), as well as links to the exams. 

**Students who need to arrange for extended testing time should visit the Testing Accommodation Center for more information.


Further information will be posted in late May 2018.  

Cannot Attend?

The Office of New Student Programs strongly encourages international students to attend the International Orientation Program if possible. The International Orientation Program addresses issues of academic and social adjustment specific to international students and provides students with the Department of Homeland Security mandatory check-in as part of the program.

If you are unable to attend the International Orientation Program, you may be eligible to attend Final Fall Orientation which will allow students to complete all necessary procedures for class registration including placement testing, general information sessions, and academic advising.  If you attend the Final Fall Orientation, you will be required to visit the International Center upon arrival in Ann Arbor to schedule a time for your Department of Homeland Security mandatory check-in.

To register for Final Fall Orientation, you will need special approval from the Office of New Student Programs. Once you pay your enrollment deposit and receive our email inviting you to register for orientation, you should email with "Request for Fall Orientation" in the subject line.  Briefly describe the reason you need to attend Final Fall Orientation, and attach supporting documentation which documents your inability to attend International Orientation.  

Spaces in the Final Fall Orientation are filled on a case-by-case basis. If approved, you will receive written confirmation of your assigned orientation date. Your confirmation letter will include information specific to the Final Fall Orientation Program regarding check-in, parking, and what to bring to orientation.

Special Accommodations

If you have a condition that might affect your participation in orientation, ONSP can coordinate most arrangements you may need while you are on campus for your session. Please note: participants may need to travel to various points on campus during their orientation. We do have a wheelchair available for those who may request one. However, please consider bringing to campus whatever you might already utilize to ensure you are able to enjoy the full range of activities scheduled during your orientation.

You can contact our office regarding necessary arrangements in two ways:

  1. You can mark the appropriate box during web registration, and we will contact you prior to your program to discuss your needs.
  2. You can contact our office directly to indicate your needs.

Because some arrangements take time to complete, please contact us at least two weeks in advance of your assigned date.

**Students who need to arrange for extended testing time should visit the Testing Accommodation Center for more information.

Accommodations made during orientation do not reflect how those same accommodations will be made during the school year. It is important that students with disabilities contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible to discuss your school year needs.

Check-In and Program Schedule for International LSA Transfer Students

Check-in for the LSA International Transfer Student Orientation will be at 8:00 a.m.on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. Please plan to arrive in the U.S. no later than August 21.

The Schedule of Events will be posted as soon as it becomes available. 

Post-Orientation Checklists

Going to college is an exciting and busy time for new students. Often though, there is so much information coming from your new school it can be overwhelming. The Office of New Student Programs has created post-orientation checklists for freshmen and transfer students to help remind you of important things to accomplish before classes begin. Items in BOLD are required; all others are recommended.