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International New Student Orientation: All the things you wanted to know…

We are getting so excited to welcome all our new Illini to campus this fall! I’m sure you might have a lot of questions before you move to campus. Questions, like: when do I move in? When do I find out housing assignment? What is international student orientation? I’m hoping you’ll get many of those questions, plus others answered with this blog.

When do you move to campus?

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That depends on what summer programs you might be doing. In general, all new international students are required to be to campus by Monday, August 19th. However, you can begin moving here as early as August 16, 2019. We recommend moving to campus on August 18th, so you have plenty of time to get settled and attend International Student Orientation.

What is international student orientation?

International orientation is a 4 day program designed to help new students adjust to life in Champaign-Urbana, learn about campus resources, make new friends, and get excited about the upcoming school year. We HIGHLY recommend all new international students attend orientation.

This year international orientation has so many great activities planned! Orientation will begin August 19th and will end on August 22nd. You can get a cell phone and set up a bank account during the cell phone & bank fair (which will happen multiple days). There are socials every evening with various campus resources and personnel attending. One of the socials will be held at our ice rink on campus, so you have a chance to see multiple places on campus through these socials. There is also time for students to learn about the student visa process and how to maintain your status.

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This could be you!

What is the difference between orientation and check-in?

International orientation is not mandatory, but it is HIGHLY recommended. International check-in is required by all students. The check-in dates and times are:
Friday, August 16th (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM) 
Sunday, August 18th (12:30 PM – 5PM) 
Monday, August 19th (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM) 
Tuesday, August 20th (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
Wednesday, August 21st (8:30 AM – 12 PM)
Thursday, August 22nd (8:30 AM – 12 PM)
SDRP (Student Dining and Residential Programs)
301 E. Gregory, 2nd floor
Champaign, IL

What can parents and guests do during international orientation?

If your parents or family will be helping you move to campus, we have several things they can do during that week while you are in orientation meetings. There will be parent and guest programming during the week of international orientation that we encourage them to attend. Parents and guests are welcome to attend the orientation socials in the evenings as well.

Am I able to attend international orientation if I am an American citizen residing overseas?

We welcome our overseas Americans to move in early and participate in some of the orientation activities. Overseas Americans are welcome to attend the resource fair during the check-in process (times listed above), the cell phone and bank fairs (offered multiple times during orientation), and the evening socials. If you have questions about this schedule, feel free to email for more information.

Other important information:

All Illinois students we have an identification card (i-card) once you arrive to campus. This card will be used to get into your residence hall, pay for meals, check out books at the library, etc. You can submit a photo online to be printed ahead of time for your i-card, so you don’t have to wait in long lines that first week on campus. Be sure to check the requirements through the link above and get your photo submitted before you move to campus.

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Immunization/McKinley Health
Immunization records are due by July 1st. There is a new online Tuberculosis screening process to help making moving to campus easier. McKinley Health Center is an on campus resources for all students. All of the information regarding immunizations and the online screening process can be found on their website. If you need to visit McKinley Health Center when you arrive to campus, you must have your i-card first.

There are a lot of things to keep straight, but do not worry! We are here to help you throughout the entire process. Just know that there will be plenty of resources and staff members to help you move in and transition to your new life at Illinois!

Go Illini!




International Recruitment Coordinator, Undergraduate Admissions
I work with international students throughout the admissions process. My biggest piece of advice for anyone going through the college search process is to ask questions. There are no questions too small. That’s why we're here!