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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 (F-1 & J-1) first-year, transfer, and graduate students who will begin their degree at Lehigh in August. Exchange students who are coming for one or two semesters will also attend.


International Student Orientation (ISO): Monday, August 19 through Wednesday, August 21

First-Year Student Orientation: Thursday, August 22 through Sunday, August 25

First Day of Classes: Monday, August 26

graduate students (Masters and doctoral students)

International Student Orientation (ISO): Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16

Graduate Life Orientation: TBD

Department Orientation: Not all departments provide a separate orientation, but you should check with your college, department, and/or advisor to see if you need to be on campus prior to International Orientation.


Summer pre-arrival webinars

1. Preparing for your visa appointment

Thursday, May 23

8:00 - 9:00 AM EST

Register here >

2. Preparing to travel to the U.S. (with current international student panel)

Thursday, June 13

8:00 - 9:00 AM EST

Register here >

3. What to expect when you arrive at a U.S. Port of Entry (i.e. airport)

Thursday, July 11

8:00 - 9:00 AM EST

Register here >

4. Question & Answer Session (with current international student panel)

Thursday, July 18

8:00 - 9:00 AM EST

Register here >



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

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 Spring International Student Orientation?

Graduate students - August 15 & 16

Undergraduate and Exchange students - August 19 - 21

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.

Is there a fee?

Yes. Since orientation is mandatory, all matriculating students will be charged an international student orientation fee on their student account. The fee is $80.00 for graduate students and $160.00 for undergraduate students.  This fee goes toward food and other supplies that are need throughout orientation.  This fee also helps OISS cover the cost of our airport pickup service. This fee will be applied to all student accounts and is not refundable.  Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

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.

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. If you arrive before Orientation begins, you are responsible for your own food. There are a number of restaurants and food stores around campus that you may purchase food from.

Will airport shuttle buses be offered to campus?

OISS offers limited airport pick-up service for Fall arrivals from NYC Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Airport (EWR).  You will tell us if you want to use our airport pick-up service in the "Travel Plans" e-form in your pre-arrival checklist. Please plan ahead to determine the best way for you to arrive to campus. Do not wait until you land to figure out how to get to Bethlehem. You may 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