International Students

Pre-Arrival Sessions

The Office of International Affairs provides Pre-Arrival Sessions in a webinar format as a resource to help guide new international students as they prepare to begin at Ohio State. The webinars are available to new international students prior to the International Student Orientation and students' arrival on campus. Registration is required. Please only register for one session—the content will be the same for all sessions.

Students will learn important information and be reminded of to-do items that must be completed before traveling to the United States. Staff members from the Office of International Affairs, Student Health Services and the Office of Student Life will present, and students will have time to ask questions at the end.

The Pre-Arrival Sessions will help new international students:

Upcoming Sessions

Details for next semester's sessions are to be determined. Please check back for updates.

Watch a recording of July 2021's session.

International Student Check List

Get organized and make sure you have accomplished the items on this list as you get ready to start your your journey at The Ohio State University. The most important step is to check your BuckeyeMail account frequently and read the pre-arrival emails from the Office of International Affairs (OIA). 

Download and print the check list.

  1. Download your I-20 or DS-2019 visa eligibility document if you haven’t already (verify your BuckeyeMail)
  2. Pay your I-901 SEVIS fee at

  3. Schedule your visa appointment with the nearest U.S. Consulate or embassy to apply for a visa (Canadian citizens do not need a U.S. visa)
  4. Transfer students only: Complete the SEVIS transfer process if you are transferring from another U.S. school 

  1. Make plans to complete Immigration Check-In and International Student Orientation Schedule your Mandatory Immigration Check-In with OIA – 
  2. Complete the Mandatory OIA International Student Virtual Orientation through Carmen Canvas (you will be automatically enrolled on July 21) 
  3. Plan to arrive early—we recommend arriving 2-3 weeks prior to classes
    • F-1 or J-1 visa students cannot arrive more than 30 days prior to start of classes

  1. Decide arrangements for early-arrival and permanent housing 
  2. Complete the Student Health Services International Student Vaccination Requirement – 
  3. Take placement test online in ESL and/or Math, if required

  1. Make flight arrangements to Columbus, Ohio – John Glenn International Airport (CMH) 
  2. Purchase interim student health insurance available through Ohio State’s Student Health Insurance Health Program if you will arrive in the United States before August 17 
  3. Request a free Lyft code to use upon arrival for transportation from the airport to your campus residence by emailing—codes available for request starting June 23 
  4. Review COVID-19 regulations for the United States and for your airline carrier prior to departureYou may be required to have a negative test result prior to your departure and upon entering the United States

  1. Visit the Ohio State Welcome Booth at the Columbus airport
    • While there, learn about welcome events and get assistance using your Lyft code for transportation to campus
  2. Arrive at your residence hall, off-campus apartment or temporary accommodation
  3. Download OIA’s event app to explore fun events and view important resources and information to plan and enhance your orientation experience – 

  1. Receive and review welcome packet of resources and learn more about:
    • Obtaining your BuckID (student ID)
    • Opening a bank account 
    • Purchasing a mobile telephone service 
  2. Schedule an appointment to obtain your BuckID (student ID) 
  3. Review the assigned orientation program that you completed in Carmen Canvas to refresh your memory on registering for classes, paying for tuition and fees, transferring academic credit (if applicable), cultural adjustment and academic expectations 
  4. Attend meetings, orientations and scheduling appointments required by your specific college/department
  5. Attend your scheduled mandatory Immigration Check-In appointment with OIA. Prepare the following documents in advance of your appointment:
    • Complete your Student Record eForm in advance at
    • Download and print your I-94 entry card from 
    • Compile required immigration forms in advance of appointment including:
      • Current Passport
      • Current U.S. Visa
      • I-94 card
      • Ohio State Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
      • Form I-20(s) or Form DS-2019(s) of your dependents (spouse and children), if applicable 
  6. Complete your staggered on-Campus move-in, starting August 16, based on your assigned date and time

  1. Review and complete the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes Student Training, then sign the Together as Buckeyes Pledge
    • The 10-minute training is now available through BuckeyeLearn, and the pledge must be signed upon completion of the course
  2. Set up MyChart account upon arrival
    • If you do not have a Social Security Number, call 1-614-366-6975 and press 3 to set up an account
  3. Enroll in the Student COVID-19 Testing Program that you qualify for –
  4. On-campus or off-campus student requirements 
    • Vaccinated or Unvaccinated student requirements 
    • Download Ohio State Mobile App from iOS or Android store –
  5. Monitor and complete your daily health checks through the Ohio State Mobile App.
  6. Consider scheduling voluntary COVID-19 vaccination (if applicable) as an active student, starting August 24