Preparing for International Orientation

Orientation will be a busy time, so it’s important to plan ahead for the program.

Once you have registered for your International Orientation program, here are a few things to do before you come to orientation:

Submit your MCard photo

The MCard is the official University of Michigan ID card. All new students should submit a photo to be used on your MCard. To submit your photo online or for information regarding photo specifications, visit http://www.finance.umich.edu/treasury/mcard/timesaver .

Additional information about how to pick up your MCard before or during the International Orientation program will be posted here in early summer. 

If you have any questions about the MCard, contact the MCard Center at 734-936-2273 between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday. 

Make arrangements for your travel documents

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 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 and arrive on campus in time to attend the International Orientation Program.

At International Orientation, you will participate in the mandatory check-in required by the Department of Homeland Security. As part of that check-in, you will need to bring the original AND a photocopy of the following documents:

  • Page 1 of your I-20 or DS-2019
  • Printout of Form I-94 from www.cbp.gov/I94 OR I-94 card (small white card in passport) front side (if you were issued one)
  • F-1 or J-1 visa (except Canadian citizens)
  • Passport picture page

Photocopies must be made after you enter the U.S. Photocopies must be black and white and each photocopy must be on standard letter size paper (8 ½ x 11 inches).

Bring the right things to campus

The International Orientation Program will be very busy. Be sure to bring the following items with you to orientation:

  • Your uniqname and password
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack/book bag for your orientation materials
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather
  • #2 Pencils
  • Umbrella (if necessary)
  • Orientation confirmation letter
  • Picture ID
  • AP Scores and/or Transcripts, if available
  • Money for parking (if applicable)
  • Enthusiasm!

As you are making your plans to travel to the United States, you may also wish to review the University Housing list of suggested items to bring as well as the International Center’s website for newly admitted students which has information about living in Ann Arbor.

Online & Proctored Placement Exams - FRESHMEN

The University of Michigan provides two types of placement exams for incoming freshmen: online and proctored (in-person) exams. The Math, Algorithmic Thinking, and Spanish exams, as well as the Directed Self-Placement for Writing are offered online. Students must complete the online exams before attending orientation.

All test results will be given to your academic advisor and reviewed with you during your advising appointment at orientation. Results cannot be provided ahead of time by the Office of New Student Programs or the individual departments.

Browser Requirements
For each exam, you will need a computer with a web browser. It is recommended that you take the tests using Firefox, version 3.0 or later, as your browser. Other supported browsers are:

  • For Windows: Internet Explorer 7+ or Opera 9.1+
  • For Macintosh OS X: Safari 3.2.1+; Mac OS 9 is not supported.
  • For Linux: Konqueror 3.3+

In addition, please have your uniqname and password readily available.  Be sure your computer is fully charged (and with enough battery if you are away from an electrical outlet).  Arrange to take all online tests in a quiet area, free from distractions (TVs, phones, etc.), and allow yourself ample time, as indicated in each section.  Refer to the links below for specific deadlines by which each exam must be completed prior to orientation.  

Information regarding the online placement exams for Fall Term Freshmen students may be found at the following links:
MATH   (Available May 26 at 3 PM)
ALGORITHMIC THINKING (First Year Engineering Students Only) (CHANGED: Now Available May 5)
DIRECTED SELF-PLACEMENT FOR WRITING  (Available April 1 at 9 AM)
SPANISH  (April 3 at 9 AM)

Placement exams in chemistry and other languages are proctored on campus during international freshman orientation. Language exams in French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin and Russian will be offered. If you want to take a placement exam for a language other than the ones listed above, call the department directly to take the test after orientation. Do not schedule one of these exams while you are participating in the program. A list of languages and their corresponding departments can be found online. 

Information regarding the placement exams taken during Day One of Orientation may be found at the following links: 
CHEMISTRY  (Taken during Orientation)
More Information about LANGUAGES (Taken during Orientation)

If you are unsure as to whether you need to complete any of the exams, please review the Freshmen Placement Exam Chart.

If you would like to request extended testing time on your placement exams, please contact the LSA Test Center via email at lsa-test-center@umich.edu. You'll need to provide your name, UMID #, and uniqname.

Placement Exam Dates

Online & Proctored Placement Exams - TRANSFERS

The University of Michigan provides two types of placement exams for incoming transfer students: online and proctored (in-person) exams. The Math and Spanish tests and the Directed Self-Placement for Writing are offered online. Students must complete the online exams before attending orientation

All test results will be given to your academic advisor and reviewed with you during your advising appointment at orientation. Results cannot be provided ahead of time by the Office of New Student Programs or the individual departments.

Browser Requirements
For each exam, you will need a computer with a web browser.  It is recommended that you take the tests using Firefox, version 3.0 or later, as your browser.  Other supported browsers are:

  • For Windows: Internet Explorer 7+ or Opera 9.1+
  • For Macintosh OS X: Safari 3.2.1+; Mac OS 9 is not supported
  • For Linux: Konqueror 3.3+

In addition, please have your uniqname and password readily available.  Be sure your computer is fully charged (and with enough battery if you are away from an electrical outlet). Arrange to take all online tests in a quiet area, free from distractions (TVs, phones, etc.), and allow yourself ample time, as indicated in each section.  Refer to the links below for specific deadlines by which each exam must be completed prior to orientation.

Information regarding the online placement exams for Fall Term Transfer students may be found at the following links:
MATH (Available May 26 at 9 AM)
DIRECTED SELF-PLACEMENT FOR WRITING (Available April 1 at 9 AM)
SPANISH (Available April 3 at 9 AM)

Language tests in French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, and Russian are proctored on campus during International Orientation programs. If you want to take a placement exam for a language other than the ones listed above, call the department directly to take the test after orientation.  Please do not schedule one of these exams while you are participating in the program. A list of languages and their corresponding departments can be found online

To determine whether you need to take a particular placement exam, please view the Transfer Placement Exam Chart. 

If you would like to request extended testing time on your placement exams, please contact the LSA Test Center via email at lsa-test-center@umich.edu. You'll need to provide your name, UMID #, and uniqname.

Placement Exam Dates

Make your travel plans

Traveling to Orientation by Plane


Please plan to fly into Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).  Any student on a visa may arrive into the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start of their visa start date. 

ONSP strongly recommends that you do not use airline ticket services that do not allow you to pick specific arrival and departure times. If you cannot choose specific travel times, you may end up with an itinerary that causes you to miss a portion of the orientation program. You are required to attend the full orientation program, and we may require that you attend another program if you cannot do so. Do not purchase a ticket where the company determines flight times. We will not make any special accommodations, and ONSP will not be responsible for costs associated with attending another orientation program and/or booking another flight.

Getting to Ann Arbor from Detroit Metropolitan Airport


There are many shuttle services and cab companies that provide door to door service from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to the Michigan League.  A list of these services is available online or you can contact our office. The AirRide bus service offers 12 round trips daily from Detroit Metro Airport to Ann Arbor. Check the AirRide schedule and make reservations online at MyAirRide.com. Please note, you must make your own travel arrangements from the airport to Ann Arbor.

Other Means of Travel


Ann Arbor is accessible by both Amtrak train service and Greyhound bus. Please note: there is no regularly scheduled public transportation (i.e. train or bus) from Detroit Metro to Ann Arbor. You must make your own travel arrangements. To inquire about train schedules or make reservations, you can call 800/USA-RAIL or 872-7245 or you can book online at www.amtrak.com. The telephone number for Greyhound is 800/231-2222 or you can book online at www.greyhound.com. For directions from the train station or bus depot to campus, please contact our office.

Take the Wolverine Access Online Tutorials

Wolverine Access is the system that you will use to register for your classes. Your academic advisors at orientation will expect you to already be familiar with this system when you meet with them to register for courses. There are several online tutorials available to assist you in learning Wolverine Access prior to orientation:

These tutorials will introduce you to the services available through Wolverine Access, and they will prepare you for course selection and registration at 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.

If you did not indicate any necessary accommodations when you registered for orientation, please contact our office immediately; some accommodations take at least two weeks to arrange. You should also contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities to discuss your needs for the upcoming academic year (http://www.umich.edu/~sswd; phone: 734-763-3000).