Menu Side Navigation Close

We look forward to your arrival at Lehigh University—welcoming international students to campus is one of the most exciting moments for us in OISS.


International Student Orientation is for all international first-year and undergraduate transfer students who will complete a bachelor’s degree at Lehigh. Exchange students who are coming for one or two semesters should also attend.

Important Dates

Arrival and Move-In: Saturday, August 19 & Sunday, August 20 (Please note that you will be responsible for your own food these days as the dining halls will be closed)

International Student Orientation: Monday, August 21 - Wednesday, August 23

Office of First-Year Experience Orientation: Thursday, August 24 - Sunday, August 27

First Day of Classes: Monday, August 28


This International Student Orientation is for all international students who will complete a master’s degree or doctoral degree at Lehigh. This includes students who have previously studied at a U.S. university, as it's important to become aware of Lehigh specific resources and processes.

Important Dates

Suggested Arrival dates: Tuesday, August 15 & Wednesday, August 16

International Student Orientation: Thursday, August 17 & Friday, August 18

Department Orientation: Check with your department. Not all departments provide a separate orientation. If you are a teaching assistant (TA), you can find information about training here.

First Day of Class: Monday, August 28



Complete your entire New International Student checklist in iHome

The "New International Student Checklist" in iHome is the way for you to convey several bits of important information to us, including your visa stamp and travel arrangements. By fully completing the checklist, it allows us to better accomodate your arrival to the U.S.


Check your Lehigh email frequently

You will receive emails from our office, other campus offices, your academic department and many more throughout the months leading to your arrival. It is important that you read each of these emails carefully and take action when required. This will help ensure you have a smooth transition to Bethlehem.  All communication will be sent to your Lehigh email address, not your personal email address.


Communicate with our office if your plans change.

If you decide not to attend Lehigh, please contact us at

Summer Pre-Arrival Resources

OISS is hosting four webinars this summer to provide some guidance on common topics and questions. Click the links below to register.

Thursday, May 25 at 8:00 am EST: The visa application process

Thursday, June 15 at 8:00 am EST: Question + Answer session

Thursday, July 13 at 8:00 am EST: Packing & Preparing to travel

Thursday, July 27 at 8:00 am EST: What to expect when you arrive


For copies of our Pre-Arrival e-mails, click below.

Email #1 sent on May 15

Frequently Asked Questions

How is International Student Orientation different from the other Lehigh orientation programs?

We understand that international students have experiences and challenges that are unique from domestic students. Our orientation is designed to address those needs and make you familiar with the processes, resources, and staff that are unique to Lehigh and studying in the U.S.

What are the dates for International Student Orientation?

August 17 & 18 for graduate students and August 21-23 for undergraduate students.

Is International Student Orientation mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory for all students who are new to Lehigh. This includes transfer students and students who have previously attended school in the U.S. Our program provides valuable information about your immigration status, as well as resources, policies, and procedures specific to Lehigh. It will also give you an opportunity to network with Lehigh students, faculty and staff who will be an important part of your time here.

I’ve attended school in the U.S. before. Do I still need to attend International Student Orientation?

Yes, all international students who are new to Lehigh must attend. We also welcome U.S. citizens who have spent the majority of their life in another country and feel that they’d like to connect with our globally minded students.

What if I cannot attend International Student Orientation because of visa issues or other circumstances?

We can make an exception for extreme circumstances, and we will work with you to provide the information you need. Examples of exceptions may be visa delays, travel delays, or illness. Please email as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements. 

Are there any consequences if I miss International Student Orientation?

Missing orientation without prior approval may result in a hold being placed on your account. The hold will prevent you from registering for future classes. In order to lift the hold you will be required to complete the parts of orientation you missed and meet with an OISS staff member.

I have Orientation for my department or another program at the same time as International Student Orientation. Which should I prioritize?

Please email if this scenario happens. In these rare cases, OISS will help you determine how to prioritize your time to be able to attend the most important parts of both orientations. 

When should I arrive in the United States? When should I plan to arrive on campus?

Keep in mind that you cannot enter the country more than 30 days before the program state date on your I-20 or DS-2019. For graduate students or those living off-campus, we recommend arriving about one week prior to the start of orientation to allow you time to settle into your housing and the area. 

For undergraduates living on-campus, we recommend arriving one to three days prior to the start of International Student Orientation. This will accommodate any travel delays and provide time for you to settle in and adjust to a new time zone, if necessary.

Pay attention to e-mails from Housing Services about arrival dates, as you will need to notify Housing if you are arriving in the U.S. before their standard arrival date.  If you arrive before you are permitted to move into your residence hall, you may need to book a hotel stay.

Will the dining halls be open when I move in?

During International Student Orientation and the First-Year Experience Orientation (for undergraduates), we will provide all meals. The dining halls will be open, but your meal plan will not be active until the Sunday evening before the first day of classes. If you arrive before Orientation begins and want to eat in the Dining Halls, you will need to pay for anything you purchase. There are also a number of restaurants and food stores around campus that you may purchase food from.

Will airport shuttle buses be offered to campus?

We try to provide transportation from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and John. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). If we are offering shuttles, you will see an area in the New International Student Checklist in iHome where you can sign-up. Only new students who have confirmed travel plans to the U.S. will be able to register for airport pickup.

What if there is no Lehigh airport shuttle bus offered when I arrive?

Please visit this website for information about transportation options to campus.

Can I ship belongings or orders to campus before I arrive?

Yes. The Mail Center on campus will receive all packages; their hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. If you are arriving on the weekend or late at night and have a package that you need immediately (e.g. bed sheets), please ship them at least two to three weeks before your arrival and email to request that we pick it up from the Mail Center for you. We will make every effort to pick up your package and have it waiting for you when you arrive.

What if I have questions that are not answered here?

Please email