Saint Louis University

International Student Orientation

Orientation is mandatory for all new international ESL, undergraduate and graduate students.

During Orientation, you will:

  • Learn about important regulations and requirements for maintaining your visa
  • Have a chance to go shopping
  • Sign up for cell phone service and local bank accounts
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor and register for classes
  • Take required tests (TOEFL and SLUWE)
  • Explore campus and learn about resources available to you
  • Connect with other students and the SLU community
  • Find support for your transition to life in a new country

Below is an overview of the Summer 2016 orientation schedule: 

Monday, August 15 Tuesday, August 16 Wednesday, August 17 Thursday, August 18
  Campus Tour   SLUWE Test   Academic Advising   INTO SLU Debrief
  Resource Fair   Immigration Check-in   TOEFL Test   INTO SLU Advising
  SLUWE Test Prep   Information Sessions     New Student Convocation
  Shopping Shuttle   Student Panel    

A complete version of the Fall 2016 international orientation schedule can be found HERE.

Orientation: Frequent Asked Questions

How can I learn more about what to expect during my SLU experience?
Before you arrive, we encourage you to read through the International Student Handbook. It provides information about transitioning to campus, academic life, and the city of St. Louis. You can also explore our General International Visitor Information pages.

How do I get to campus?
Sign up for Airport Pick-Up Service.  If you are arriving outside of the airport pick-up dates, check the information provided at Arriving in the USA to plan for your transport to campus.

Do I need to check-in with International Services?
Yes - your F-1 or J-1 visa requires you to register with OIS. All international students will complete the required check-in at Orientation. Please bring your I-20/DS-2019 and passport with you to the Orientation.

Why is Orientation important?
We encourage that all new international students join Orientation to meet other new and current students, learn about the supportive resources at SLU, and to learn more about our procedures for making sure that you maintain your visa status.

Do students that have been in the U.S. before and/or graduate students need to attend Orientation?
Yes. Although the immigration rules may not change from school to school, policies and procedures for following the rules may differ. We will guide you through our processes for maintaining your status. Also, we will give you more information about being a student at Saint Louis University. Finally, our staff enjoys meeting all the new international students!

What do I need to know about my immigration status in the U.S.?
We will cover information about your I-20/DS-2019, visa, and the basic rules about staying "in status" or legal while you study at SLU during Orientation. If you want to learn more, please explore Visa and Immigration.

When will I register for courses?
Most international students register for classes during Orientation.  An academic or faculty advisor can help you plan your course schedule.
  • Most international students register for classes during Orientation.  An academic or faculty advisor can help you plan your course schedule.

    • Fully admitted first year undergraduate studies and transfer students from SLU Madrid will have a scheduled time to meet with their advisor during Orientation and register for classes at that time.

    • Conditionally admitted first year students will receive testing to asses your placement and meet with an Advisor to schedule your courses.  As a result, you will be registered after your arrival to campus.

    • English as a Second Language students will receive testing to assess your placement. As a result, you will be registered after your arrival to campus.  

    • Transfer students from another U.S. institution that will be on campus earlier than Orientation can contact their advisor directly for more information about registration or wait until orientation week to register for classes.

    • Exchange students may be advised before they arrive and during Orientation week depending on their sponsoring program. Contact the administrator of your exchange to find out more about advising.

    • Graduate students should contact their academic department directly if you have questions about enrolling.

What is the SLU Writing Examination?
All new international students, including some graduate students are required to complete a writing examination (exchange students, students transferring from SLU Madrid, students from English-speaking countries, and students that had college level English at a U.S. college do not need to take the test). Students should receive an e-mail with more information about the exam. To prepare for your SLU Writing Examination, study this video prepared by SLU's ESL instructors (if you are unable to access Youtube, you can access this video on Youku):

Do I need to take the TOEFL when I arrive on campus?
Students that were conditionally admitted to SLU and ESL-only students will need to take a paper based TOEFL.  Saint Louis University reserves the right to require testing of any incoming student's English skills.  More information about the test will be sent by e-mail to new international students.  To prepare for your SLU TOEFL, study this video prepared by SLU's ESL Instructors (if you are unable to access Youtube, you can access this video on Youku):

When should I pay my bill?
If you have not registered for classes or signed up for on-campus housing, you may not have a bill until after you complete these steps.  During Orientation, we will show you how to pay your bill and inform you of payment deadlines.  We highly discourage students from carrying their tuition fee with them as they travel to the U.S. Refer to the information at the Student Financial Services website to learn more about gaining access to your account and methods to pay your bill. We suggest that you only pay the amount due on your bill because any additional payment over the amount due will be refunded to the address that you listed as your permanent address when you applied. 

How do I set up a bank account?
You can set up your bank account when you arrive for Orientation.  U.S. Bank is the bank that is located on campus. You will need a local address and your passport to open an account.  There are many banks located off-campus. If you decide to select a bank off-campus, please remember that you may need transportation to establish an account and use some the services of the bank.

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