UMD: A Globally Connected University

International Student Orientation

International Student Orientation

We are excited to welcome you to the University of Maryland.  During International Student Orientation you will be introduced to the ISSS team, learn about your immigration responsibilities, connect with other new Terps as well as current students, and get acquainted with campus resources. An online orientation allows for the most flexibility for our students, which is paramount given evolving public health challenges. Therefore, ISSS has made the difficult but necessary decision to move the Fall 2020 International Student Orientation online.  

All F-1 international students who are new to UMD must complete the mandatory online International Student Orientation. 

While Fall 2020 International Student Orientation will be online, optional in-person events will be held during the week before classes, if social distancing guidelines and UMD policies permit.

UMD Orientation

UMD orientation is offered by the Office of Orientation for undergraduate students or your academic department and Graduate School Orientation for graduate students. 

Undergraduate freshman and undergraduate transfer students should visit the following website to schedule your required online undergraduate orientation. It is through this orientation that undergraduate students will meet with an academic advisor to register for classes. 

International Student Orientation: Two types to meet the needs of all students 

Every F-1 student must complete the online International Student Orientation modules. ISSS has two different orientation paths to accomodate all of our students. You will be registered into the appropriate online module based on your situation. We will determine this based on your responses in the Fall Enrollment Intent form on iTERP, which will be open to you starting on July 1. 

Type 1: Orientation with an immigration module
F-1 students who have their visas and are physically in the U.S. will complete the  immigration module as part of the online orientation. This enables us to activate your I-20 or DS-2019 and report your arrival to the U.S. Government. This step is necessary before students can apply for a Social Security number or U.S. drivers license.

Type 2: Orientation without an immigration module 
Students who plan to remain in their home country for fall and can begin their program remotely will be asked to complete ISSS orientation without the immigration overview.  Since I-20s/DS2019 will not be activated for students who start programs remotely,  immigration will not be covered during your orientation to the University. 

How to Register for International Student Orientation:

  1. After July 1, log into iTerp.
  2. Select and complete the “Fall 2020 Enrollment Intent Form” - This form is not open until July 1. We will send you another reminder when it is available for you to complete it. 
  3. For students enrolling in the Fall 2020 term, starting August 3, ISSS will register YOU into the appropriate online International Student Orientation. 

What happens during the Online International Student Orientation?

The online modular orientation session will cover critical information to facilitate your transition to UMD. You will learn about campus resources, tools to adjustment to a new educational environment, and you’ll get to know other new students. International Orientation Leaders (IOLs) are a group of current students who are excited to share their favorite parts about being Terps as well as answer your questions and make you all feel welcome at UMD! 

Immigration Module (Type 1 orientation). In this module, ISSS advisors will explain how this works and what steps you need to take as a new student to ensure your F-1 record is “activated” in SEVIS. We will also explain immigration regulations to maintain your legal F-1 status while at UMD. Please complete your online International Student Orientation by August 31, though earlier is better. Once completed, your participation in the orientation session will be recorded and graded. As your Immigration Sponsor, ISSS must report your arrival to UMD in the government’s SEVIS system. You will then  be invited to participate in a live Q&A session with ISSS advisors to ask any questions you may have regarding the immigration section and beyond!  

Summer Online Engagement

We’re excited to offer three ways in which newly admitted students can engage with our current International Orientation Leaders and campus resource partners prior to the start of the Fall term. 

Tip of the Week 

Starting in June, we send a weekly Tip of the Week to all new students. These emails are meant to help prepare you for coming to the U.S. and adjusting to life at the University of Maryland. Look for them in your inbox. 

2020 Summer Webinars

This series of virtual webinars will cover topics that are relevant to your transition to living in the U.S. and attending UMD. You will find registration links in your Tip of the Week emails. 

  • Leasing in the U.S. - June 24 at 9 a.m. ET
  • Off-Campus Housing - June 26 at 9 a.m. ET
  • Graduate Student Life - July 2 at 9 a.m. ET
  • Career Services - July 10 at 9 a.m. ET 
  • U.S. Healthcare and University Student Insurance - To be announced 


Meet and Greet with International Orientation Leaders (IOLs)

This summer, newly admitted students will have an opportunity to talk with IOLs in small group virtual sessions. You will be able to ask questions about what it is like to study at UMD, get tips and advice on how to make the most of your time, and get to know current and newly admitted students ahead of the Fall semester! Space is limited, so be sure to read your Tip of the Week for information on how to register. 

  • June 22 at 9 a.m. ET
  • June 25 at 10 a.m. ET
  • July 14 at 9 a.m. ET
  • July 16 at 10 a.m. ET
  • August 18 at 9 a.m. ET
  • August 20 at 10 a.m. ET 

Community Building Events

ISSS hopes you will have fun and meet new friends during orientation! Educational and social events are offered to aid your transition to life at UMD and in the College Park area. Pending information on what campus operations will be like for the fall, the week before classes, ISSS will host small group lunches and self-guided campus tours that will include campus history, traditions, and more.

Resource Fair - The week before classes, you will have an opportunity to learn about various campus resources that will facilitate your transition to campus, as well as student organizations! This event will be hosted online. The date and time will be announced in August.  


Disability Support for Orientation

If you require any disability support to attend International Student Orientation, please contact Disability Support Services at


For questions regarding ISSS orientation, please contact Dr. Gabriela Gillespie at .