Orientation is mandatory for all new F-1 and J-1 international students. It is carefully designed to give you the best start possible for your GVSU journey. There is a charge of $150 for the mandatory orientation. Even if circumstances outside of your control require you to miss the orientation, you will be charged as the many preparations needed for your arrival have already been made. The fee will be charged to your GVSU student account in September. Students who miss one or more session of Orientation will need to attend Make-up Orientation.

On this page:

Countdown to Orientation!


The Fall 2024 Orientation schedules are coming soon!

Arrival dates for new International Students: August 16, 17, & 18

The dates for Fall 2024 Orientation are as follows: August 19, 20, & 21 (exact times coming soon!)

International Student Orientation is a priority for first semester iStudents. Other important orientations (Graduate School) are included in the schedule so nothing is missed. Orientations offered by OMA for Affinity Group Orientations can also be great ways to meet more people. 

REQUIRED: All new International Students will be sent an invitation via email to attend International Student Orientation. Please check your personal email account to confirm your place at GVSU for Fall 2024. 

Immigration Registration

Immigration registration will be conducted during orientation. This will include registering your passport, visa, I-94, I-20 or DS-2019 as well as verifying your SEVIS record.

All new International Students must complete the four required online forms. There are dedicated times during orientation for new iStudents to submit these. If there are any forms that students didn't complete during orientation, students need to make sure to do this before the first week of classes. This information is needed to maintain your immigration status and to adhere to GVSU's policies.

Orientation Leaders

For each International Student Orientation, we give special attention to hiring the most exceptional GVSU students to work on the Orientation Team. Our outstanding leaders will guide, support, and welcome you to Grand Valley. They can't wait to meet you in-person!

PEEPS is a volunteer program that allows returning students (domestic and international) to take part in the social activities of international student orientation. As a new student, you will appreciate their warm welcome, insight, advice, and company! You'll meet many of the PEEPS at the scheduled social events throughout orientation.

New international students should not sign-up to be a PEEPS volunteer until they've completed one semester at GVSU. 

$150 Fee

All first semester international students are required to attend International Student Orientation. There is a $150 for this compulsory orientation. The fee covers the costs of:

  • Additional Staffing including our wonderful Orientation Leaders!
  • Meals
  • PEEPS Activities
  • Supplies
  • Designated Arrival Day Support for students living On-Campus 
  • Make-Up Orientation

Social Security Number (SSN)

Many new students are keen to get their SSN numbers as soon as they arrive for various reasons (receive paychecks, apply for off-campus housing, set-up bank accounts, etc). To apply via the SSN application process you MUST ATTEND INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION, submit the four forms online, complete the SSN application, have a job offer letter, and receive an invitation to our SSN Processing event.

In order to get the invitation to the SSN Processing event held by our office, you must:

  1. Attend International Student Orientation 
  2. Submit the 4 required forms


iStudent Orientation
iStudent Orientation Leaders

Page last modified March 11, 2024