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Autumn Semester

International student orientation

Incoming international graduate students should review the mandatory immigration check-in and orientation information carefully.

Please note that you can only enter the United States a maximum of 30 days prior to the reporting date on your Initial Form I-20 or DS-2019. We recommend that you arrive at least 2 - 3 weeks before orientation for fall semester, in order to complete necessary activities, such as settling into your residence hall or apartment, setting up a bank account, obtaining your student ID, and attending MANDATORY Check-In.

The Office of International Affairs has designed a series of emails to help prepare you for your arrival at Ohio State. You will be receiving these emails every Monday leading up to your arrival on campus. These emails are also archived below.

Also, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our website and with our International Student Handbook for important information about immigration, tuition, academics, cultural awareness and life in the United States.


Pre-Arrival Email Archive

Below are the archived emails sent to incoming graduate international students for Autumn Semester 2018.

Email #1
Topics: welcome to Ohio State

Email #2
Topics: when to arrive in Columbus, applying for a U.S. visa and activating your Ohio State email

Email #3
Topics: housing, health screening, required vaccinations and the ESL placement test

Email #4
Topics: immigration check-in and orientation, paying tuition and health insurance

Email #5
Topics: academic preparation, ESL placement test and packing information

Email #6
Topics: entering the United States, what to pack, transportation arrangements and orientation events

Email #7
Topics: registering for immigration check-in and orientation and getting involved on campus

Email #8
Topics: transportation arrangements, temporary housing options and getting involved

Email #9
Topics: deadline to register for immigration check-in and Global Engagement's newsletter


Immigration Check-In 

At mandatory immigration check-in, staff will be available to meet with you, review your immigration documents, discuss important immigration regulations, and answer any questions you may have. Please note that check-in only occurs during weekdays and is not possible to schedule a check-in time during weekends. Immigration check-in appointments will take place starting July 30 - August 15 at the Ohio Union (1739 N High Street). You must register for a mandatory immigration check-in appointment.

American Language Program (ALP) students should report directly to Room 60, Arps Hall for check-in.

All other students should check-in directly with OIA including exchange, transfer and returning.

Registering for Autumn 2018 mandatory immigration check-in: 

Registration is now closed. If you have any questions, please email iss@osu.edu and include your name, email, SEVIS ID# or Campus ID#.

You must bring the following documents with you to immigration check-in:

  1. Admission letter to Ohio State
  2. Current Passport
  3. Current U.S. Visa
  4. I-94 card (Print a copy at cbp.gov/i94)
  5. Ohio State Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (Note: if you have an active immigration record that is being transferred from another institution in the U.S. to Ohio State, please bring your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from your previous school.)
  6. Form I-20(s) or Form DS-2019(s) of your dependents (spouse and children), if applicable
  7. Student Record Form

At immigration check-in, you will also receive information regarding:

  1. How to maintain your immigration status
  2. Orientation
  3. Placement tests (if necessary)
  4. Required health screening
  5. BuckID (university identification card)
  6. Parking permit (if necessary)
  7. Resources on and off campus
  8. Calendar of events and activities available to sign-up

Note: You will not be able to register for your classes unless you have attended immigration check-in, and immigration check-in appointments cannot be scheduled for the weekends.



When you register for an immigration check-in time, you will be automatically scheduled for the corresponding orientation, which cannot be changed. All students must attend their assigned orientation session, no exceptions. Below are the available sessions for planning purposes. For example, if you register to check in on August 1, then you will automatically be scheduled to attend the orientation session that will take place on August 2, which you must attend.


Mandatory Immigration Check-In Dates Corresponding Orientation Sessions

July 30 - August 1

Orientation #1: August 2
August 2 - 3 Orientation #2: August 9
August 6 - 8 Orientation #2: August 9
August 9 - 10 Orientation #3: August 16
August 13 - 15 Orientation #3: August 16
Location: Ohio Union Location: TBD