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 $150.00 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 September 8.

On this page:

Countdown to Orientation!


See the schedule for Make-Up Orientation below. 

International Student Orientation is a priority for first semester iStudents. Other important orientations (Graduate School, Laker Welcome) were included in the initial schedules so nothing was missed. Orientations offered by OMA for Affinity Group Orientations can also be great ways to meet more people but should be added around the iStudent Orientation Schedules as a supplement. 

REQUIRED: All new International Students were sent an invitation via email to attend International Student Orientation. Please check your personal email account and to the survey to confirm your place at GVSU for Fall 2023. 

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.

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: each student is provided with at least 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • PEEPS Activities
  • Supplies
  • Designated Arrival Days Support: Airport & On-Campus Housing
  • 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 a packet from our office.

In order to get the SSN packet from our office, you must:

  1. Attend International Student Orientation (Aug 21-23) in its entirety OR attend Make-up Orientation (Sep 8)
  2. Submit the 4 required forms


Page last modified August 30, 2023