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International Student Services

Photo of students checking in at orientation

International Student Orientation

As a new student, you probably have a few questions about being a student at USC. International Student Orientation is designed to answer many of these questions and also inform you of important immigration regulations you will have to follow as an F-1 or J-1 student at USC.

Required for New Student Check-In:

We look forward to seeing you at International Orientation, check Blackboard for additional information.

More Orientation Information:

International Student Orientation is a mandatory requirement for all new   F-1 and J-1 international students at USC. It is hosted by International Student Services. It will cover a variety of areas that are important for all students to know. Topics such as health insurance, taxes, course registration, counseling services, and getting a drivers license will all be covered throughout the orientation. Most importantly, we will discuss the important immigration regulations you are required to follow as an F-1 or   J-1 international student at USC.

International Student Orientation is different from Undergraduate Orientation. If you are an undergraduate student, you will be required to attend an Undergraduate Orientation in addition to International Student Orientation. Both International Student Orientation and Undergraduate Orientation are mandatory for you to attend.

Many graduate students are also required to attend an additional departmental orientation. You should contact your department if you have questions about this.

All new F-1 or J-1 international students must attend International Student Orientation. If you are transferring from another school or institution in the United States, you are still required to attend International Student Orientation.

If you do not have an F-1 or J-1 visa, you are not required to attend International Student Orientation.

Spring 2020 Orientation will be held on:

Tuesday 1/7 at 8:30am

Friday 1/10 at 8:30am

You need to register for the session

Be prepared to spend the entire morning with us on that date!

The Spring 2020 International Student Orientation will be held on USC's campus. The address is 1705 College St.  Close-Hipp suite 450, Columbia, SC 29208.

Before you come to orientation, you will need to complete the Staying in Status Module on USC Blackboard. This is a mandatory part of orientation. If you do not take the time to do this before attending orientation, you will not be able to register for courses until you have completed the Staying in Status Module.

For Spring  2020 Orientation, you can "check in" with our office in end-December 2019 earliest. You must register for a specific day and time to check in with the International Student Services office. You may register here. The check-in process is part of the federal regulations for F-1 and J-1 international students.

After you submit your immigration documents during check-in and complete the Staying in Status Module, we will lift the "citizenship verification" hold that is on your student record. Lifting this hold will allow you to register for classes.

When you check-in, please bring the following documents to the International Student Services Office:

  • Your passport
  • Your visa (F-1 or J-1)
  • Your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1)
  • Your I-94
  • Your SEVIS I-901 Payment Receipt
  • If you have attended other schools in the United States, please bring your previous I-20s or DS-2019s
  • If you have dependents (spouse or children), please bring their passports, visas, and I-20s/DS-2019s with you as well

Your immigration documents will be collected at our front desk, scanned, and then returned to you.

For questions about the check-in process, please email us.

We recommend that you bring a pencil or pen with you to International Student Orientation so that you can fill out certain forms.

Registration for International Student Orientation can be completed online. Once your I-20 or DS-2019 has been processed by International Student Services, you will be given additional information about online registration.


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