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.

All F-1/J-1 international students who are new to UMD should complete the mandatory online International Student Orientation. While you will complete the Spring 2022 International Student Orientation via asynchronous online modules, some optional synchronous sessions will be held on January 20 & 21, 2022.

Immigration Portion. Through your iTerp checklist you will be instructed to review important information regarding steps you need to take maintaining your F/J status. 

UMD Orientation

ISSS’s International Student Orientation is not the only orientation students will attend. There are also orientations given by a student’s school and/or department.

UMD orientation is different from the ISSS orientation and 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 in person undergraduate orientation. It is through this orientation that undergraduate students will meet with an academic advisor to register for classes. 


Undergraduate Students Orientations Graduate Students Orientations
  • International Student Orientation
  • New Student Orientation
  • Possible Departmental Orientation
  • International Student Orientation
  • New Graduate Student Orientation
  • Possible Departmental Orientation


International Student Orientation

All international students should complete the online International Student Orientation modules. ISSS offers a modular orientation to fit the varying needs of all students. You can  access this orientation starting on December 1st. The general orientation is offered via CANVAS/ELMS and is self paced.

How to Access the  International Student Orientation:

Starting December 1st you can self-enroll. ISSS will notify you via email and provide the link here.

International Student Orientation - Immigration Portion
Once an F-1/J-1 students is physically in the U.S. they will complete the immigration module in addition to the General - online International Student 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. driver's license and to be cleared for UMD employment.

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 adjust to a new educational environment, and 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! 

For F1/J1 students who need the immigration information related to maintaining their visa status, this piece is integrated into your iTERP Pre-Arrival Checklist; ISSS sends reminders to complete this step once you arrive in the US to ensure your F-1/J-1 record is “activated” in SEVIS. We will also explain immigration regulations to maintain your legal F-1/J-1 status while at UMD. As your Immigration Sponsor, ISSS must report your arrival to UMD in the government’s SEVIS system. 


Tip of the Week 

Starting in November, 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. 

Beyond Immigration Webinar Series

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. 


Meet and Greet with International Orientation Leaders (IOLs)

In January, 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 spring semester! Space is limited, so be sure to register in advance for one or more of the sessions below. 

Meet and Greet IOL Sessions

  • Jan. 5, 2022 at 09:00 AM
  • Jan. 6, 2022 at 03:00 PM
  • Jan. 12, 2022 at 3:00 PM
  • Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:00 AM


Community Building Events

ISSS hopes you will have fun and meet new friends during orientation! Educational and social events (virtually and in person, if possible) are offered to aid your transition to life at UMD and in the College Park area. The week before classes begin ISSS is planning to host optional in-person sessions, this is subject to change based on University, local, state and federal guidance related to the ongoing pandemic. Registrations will open in January, check your Tip of the Week emails.​


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 Gabriela Gillespie at .