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2016 International Center Summer Orientation

2016 International Center's Summer Orientation is from Monday, August 15 through Friday, September 2. Please check back periodically for updates.  

Downloadable 3-Week Calendarspdf-icon  (draft and subject to change)



No registration is required (with a few exceptions) for workshops. Please be on time to the workshops (NO MICHIGAN TIME!). Workshop presentations/handouts will not be provided at the workshops. Please save your questions for the workshops.

Banking Information

This workshop will answer questions about starting a bank account, writing a U.S. check, using your bank account, keeping track of your money, protecting yourself from “identity theft,” ongoing financial issues, and different kinds of banks and accounts. A representative from PNC Bank, the official MCard bank, will be on-hand to answer any banking questions you may have.

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This workshop is co-sponsored by PNC Bank.

Benefits Overview for Graduate Students (GSI/GSRA/Fellowship Holder)

If you are a new Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) or a student whose fellowship will include GradCare insurance, come to this workshop for a brief explanation about how insurance works in the U.S., followed by information about selecting and using your insurance plan, including information about some important deadlines. The insurance coverage and other benefits you receive as a GSI/GSRA are very valuable but can be confusing -- this is your chance to learn from experts.

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This workshop is co-sponsored by the Benefits Office.

Budget Travel in North America

If you are a person who loves to see new things, this program is for you. Ann Arbor has a lot to offer in terms of recreational activities, but we also recognize that you might want to see other parts of Michigan or the US while you’re here. This workshop will provide information about budget travel in the United States, including how to find out what to see, low-cost transportation and accommodations, and safety information. We will also highlight resources available at the International Center for students who are interested in work, study, or travel in countries other than the United States – including Canada.

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Communicating by Email

Improve your English language emailing skills by learning some useful models and appropriate vocabulary. We will practice different strategies for effective email communication.

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ELI Services pdf-icon

This workshop is co-sponsored by the English Language Institute (ELI).

Communicating with Your Academic and Research Advisors (For Graduate Students Only)

In this session you will learn the different roles of your academic and research advisors, what their places are in the American educational system, what they will expect from you, and what you can expect from them. Advisors are some of the most important individuals in a student’s career. It is important to understand this relationship so that misunderstandings can be avoided.

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Cultural Differences in the Classroom

Each country has a unique educational system with specific expectations of students and faculty. This program will provide information about expectations of students and faculty in the American system, which may be different from those in other countries.

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Driver's License Written Test

Date Time Location

August 30, Tuesday
9am (must arrive no later than 11:00am)

Ballroom, Michigan Union (2nd floor)
1pm (must arrive no later than 2:30pm)
September 1, Thursday
9am (must arrive no later than 11:00am)
1pm (must arrive no later than 2:30pm)

Important Information:

  • In order to take the written test, you must have attended the Mandatory Immigration Check-in.
  • You must be registered for and take the test at the session you’ve signed up for. Each session has limited spaces available, so please register for one session only to leave space for others. If you register multiple times, regardless of whether your registration is for different days and times, your registration will be removed from all the sessions you registered for and you will not be able to take the test.
  • If you have a dependent and he/she wishes to take the test, you may register on his/her behalf. If you already registered yourself and are now unable to register for your dependent, just bring your dependent to the same session you registered for.
  • Check the website several days in advance of the test so you will have time to gather required documents.

Representatives from the Michigan Secretary of State's Office will administer the written driver’s license test (in English only) for international students, scholars, and their dependents who are affiliated with U-M. You cannot apply for a Michigan State ID at this workshop.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Michigan Secretary of State.

Driving in the U.S.

Are you new to driving in the United States? Driving conditions and customs may be different than what you are used to in your home country. This workshop will provide information to help you prepare for driving in the U.S., including driving tips, driving etiquette, and important skills to keep you safe on the roads in good and bad weather.

During the last 30-minute of this workshop, you can stay to learn what documentation you need to gather in advance if you plan to take the driver’s license written test on campus.

This workshop is co-sponsored by Michigan AAA.

Workshop Presentation pdf-icon

Workshop Handouts:
Defensive Driving pdf-icon
Driving Distractions pdf-icon
Enhanced Mirror Settings pdf-icon
Wet Weather Advice pdf-icon

Finding a Job on Campus (For Students Only)

There are many employment opportunities on the U-M campus. Learn where to look for jobs, what to consider when taking a job, what restrictions apply to international students, and paperwork involved. General information about Graduate Student Instructor and Graduate Student Research Assistant positions will be included. Please note this workshop is not a job fair where you’d meet with employers to discuss job opportunities.

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Finding Your Voice: In Classes and Your Department

International students may sometimes feel that their opinions are not being heard in the classroom or that it is difficult to get their point across because of cultural or language differences. This workshop will help you anticipate and prepare for these challenges. Topics covered will include how to approach a classmate or a professor in the United States, when and how to ask for class notes, ways to discuss problems with your academic advisors, and strategies for participating in class discussions.

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This workshop is co-sponsored by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Getting Around Ann Arbor & Personal Safety

There are many different ways of getting around the U-M campus and around Ann Arbor, but they can be confusing at first. We’ll talk about U-M and Ann Arbor buses, bicycling, taxis, driving and parking, “zipcars,” and walking, including information about personal safety.

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This workshop is co-sponsored by Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS).

Getting Involved With University Groups and Organizations

Joining student organizations is a great way to meet people, learn skills, and enrich your university experience. Learn about the many student organizations on campus and the best ways to get involved in this part of campus life.

Maize Pages
Interactive Get Involved! Guide

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Center for Campus Involvement (CCI).

How to Buy a Used Car

This program is designed to give you some idea of what to look for when buying a used car. We will provide written information and address important questions about what to keep in mind when buying a used car.

Workshop Presentation pdf-icon

Workshop Handouts:

Checklist pdf-icon

Insurance pdf-icon

Outline pdf-icon

How to Use UM's International Insurance Plan

Detailed information about how to use the University's required health insurance (the International Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan). You'll learn how and where to obtain medical treatment if you need it and how to avoid unnecessary expense by understanding how this health insurance works.

Students who will be Graduate Student Instructors or Graduate Student Research Assistants should attend the Benefits Overview for Graduate Students (GSI/GSRA/Fellowship Holder) session instead.

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Information for Non-UM Sponsored J-1 Exchange Visitors

IMPORTANT NOTE: This information session is only for J-1 Exchange Visitors (students or scholars) whose Form DS-2019 was issued by an organization other than the University of Michigan. If Line 2 (Program Sponsor) of your Form DS-2019 says "University of Michigan", you should not attend this session.

At this information session, we'll give you a brief introduction to U-M and Ann Arbor, and answer any questions you may have.

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Information for Spouses/Partners

As a spouse/partner of a student, you may be asking yourself what you’re going to do while here in the United States. Come to this special program to learn about some of the possibilities. It’s a great time to meet other spouses/partners too!

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This workshop is co-sponsored by International Neighbors and the Ecumenical Center and International Residence (ECIR).

International Students and Cultural Adjustment

Moving away from home and adjusting to a new culture can be challenging. Feelings of excitement, frustration, and homesickness, although normal to the adjustment process, can be difficult to endure. In this workshop, you will be introduced to the ins and outs and ups and downs of cultural adjustment, and learn some strategies that will help you to cope with the adjustment process.

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It's Not Just a Good Idea…It's the Law!

Every country has norms for what is acceptable and unacceptable, and similarly for what is legal and illegal in that particular country. This session will offer important information on what is and is not permitted in the United States. Learn this information now; don’t risk being embarrassed, or even fined or arrested!

The session will also include a brief overview of landlord-tenant law, including information about what your landlord is and is not permitted to do, and your rights and obligations as a tenant. Avoid possible problems and prepare for a good relationship with your landlord by learning this important information now.

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This workshop is co-sponsored by Student Legal Services (SLS).

Library Basics

It's extremely important to learn to use the University's library services as soon as possible. This workshop will introduce new international students and scholars to the University's extensive library system so that they can start using library resources immediately, and will provide an introduction to online research using University and other databases. Students and scholars may attend either the Central Campus or North Campus workshop, but the North Campus workshop will be of most interest to engineering, art, and architecture students.

Date Registration Location
August 19, Friday





Register Now

Central Campus (Hatcher Library Gallery, Room 100, north entrance)
North Campus (Classroom 1500 in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building)
August 26, Friday Central Campus (Hatcher Library Gallery, Room 100, north entrance)
North Campus (Classroom 1500 in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building)
September 2, Friday Central Campus (Hatcher Library Gallery, Room 100, north entrance)
North Campus (Advanced Training Lab, Room 3336 in the Duderstadt Center)

This workshop is co-sponsored by MLibrary and College of Engineering.

Making Friends With Americans

This relaxed workshop discusses communication styles of Americans, friendship patterns and relationship norms, which may be very different from what you are used to in your home country. You’ll also have the chance to ask U.S. and international students for suggestions about how to get to know people in the United States and how to start making American friends.

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Sexual Misconduct Awareness

This workshop is designed to help new international students raise their awareness about sexual misconduct issues in the U.S. from a cross cultural perspective.

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Workshop Handout pdf-icon
Our Community Matters Resource Guide 

Shopping – An Insider's Guide

This workshop will 1) offer you an insight into the essential and budget-friendly places to shop in Ann Arbor for furniture and groceries, 2) give you tools to save on textbook fees, 3 teach you how to prepare your wardrobe for winter and, 4) introduce you to Michigan’s sales tax, returns, warranties and tipping. Most importantly, we'd also provide you with our very own insider’s tips on how/where/what to shop for in Ann Arbor.

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Social Security Number Application or Letter of Ineligibility

Date Time Location
August 29, Monday Arrive between 9:00am-11:30am OR
Arrive between 1:00pm-3:00pm
Wolverine ABC, Michigan Union (1st floor)
August 30, Tuesday

Representatives from the Ann Arbor Social Security office will help international students, scholars, and their dependents who are affiliated with U-M apply for a social security number and card or for a “letter of ineligibility”. Please arrive at the time specified.

Applying for a Social Security Number and Card lists the documents you must bring to the session. There are different requirements for the social security number application and for the application for the letter of ineligibly. Please read the information that applies to you several days in advance so that you will have time to gather or prepare the documents you will need.

If you plan to take the Driver's License Written Test, read What to Bring to the On-Campus Michigan Driver's License Written Test for information about the documents you should bring to the test.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Social Security Administration.

Things to do in Ann Arbor

This program will give you an introduction to leisure, cultural and educational activities at the University and in Ann Arbor.

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University Health Service: Information & Tour

University Health Service (UHS) staff will describe campus health care services available to students and scholars, how to use services and how services relate to insurance. The workshop includes a 30-minute presentation followed by an optional tour of UHS.

Workshop Presentation pdf-icon

This workshop is co-sponsored by University Health Service (UHS).

U.S. Tax Withholding Forms (for Students only)

This orientation workshop is designed for all U-M international employees (including international students who will work for U-M), and for students who will receive fellowships that pay for living expenses (not just tuition.)

Before you start work, you will be asked to fill out a number of forms, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-4, State of Michigan Form W-4, the "Alien Certificate", and perhaps other forms if your country has a tax treaty with the United States.

During this workshop, a representative from the U-M Payroll Office will explain how to fill out these forms so that you can be sure you are filling them out correctly. The Payroll Office representative will also explain the tax-related documents that you as a U-M employee can expect to receive from the Payroll Office and when you can expect to receive them. The workshop will conclude with a brief introduction to the ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and an explanation of who does and does not need to apply for the ITIN.

Workshop Presentation pdf-icon

Workshop Handouts:

Fellowship/Scholarship Yellow Packet pdf-icon

Student Employment Blue Packet pdf-icon


This workshop is co-sponsored by the Payroll Office.

Last reviewed: 05/16