International Center Summer Orientation

Congratulations on your acceptance to University of Michigan! International Center staff is excited to welcome you to campus.

Though this summer we will not be able to offer an in-person orientation due to COVID-19, the International Center remains committed to serving and supporting new international students. You are welcome here!

See a list of comprehensive resources for new students, parents, families, and virtual offerings below.


Ask Me!

During this informal virtual chat, new international students will be able to ask general questions and connect with other new students. Each session will be primarily led by our summer orientation peer advisers who are international students. Register to view Zoom livestream information and receive a confirmation email.

Blog and Videos

Summer Orientation Peer Advisers use Blog and Videos to document their personal stories and share useful tips with new international students. 

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Conversations 

P2P Conversations is a program which connects our Summer Orientation Peer Advisers with new international students and offers an opportunity for new international students around the world to meet each other.

Through a series of virtual sessions, our Peer Advisers will provide information and resources based on their personal experiences and answer questions from new students. Each session starts with a short presentation on a specific topic and then is followed by a Q&A.

You may register as many sessions as you are interested by using either the registration link or the QR code. Register to view Zoom livestream information and receive a confirmation email. The presentations and recordings will be available in the International Center Summer Orientation Canvas site after the sessions.

P2P Registration QR Code

P2P Conversations

Virtual Office Hours

To make new international students feel welcome to the U-M community, effective Monday, August 17, Summer Orientation Peer Advisers will hold virtual office hours to answer general questions that are related to life in Ann Arbor and at University of Michigan. You may join as many as they like. You can also drop in or leave at any time during the office hours.

To secure the virtual office hours, you need to go to Summer Orientation Virtual Office Hours to select the date and time in order to obtain the Zoom link. When you join the Zoom meeting, you must use your umich email account to log in.

Join the Canvas Course: International Center Summer Orientation

Once you have joined our Canvas course, you will be able to view workshop presentations and videos. Some of the presentations will also be offered virtually and you can sign up here in order to view the live stream information. We are constantly uploading new presentations and videos as they become available so be sure to check the course site periodically for updates.

Description: Making small talk is one of the most challenging types of speaking to master in a second language. In this workshop, we will explore conversation topics, turn-taking strategies, active listening, and sources for sample conversations. We will consider different varieties of small talk in common graduate student contexts, such as getting to know classmates or seeming friendly and confident at a job interview or as a GSI. Come ready to practice with one another and to identify effective ways to practice on your own.

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

Description: Pamela Bogart and Anna Eddy from the U-M English Language Institute (ELI) invite you to a Zoom conversation to learn about ELI courses and other resources to support graduate students who speak English as an additional language.

ELI offers credit-bearing academic English courses (thus free to full-time students) to support you through all stages of your academic career. ELI classes are small, interactive, and provide students with extensive one-on-one feedback.

In Fall 2020, most ELI courses are offered online with flexible formats, so you can participate no matter where in the world you are. We also offer one-on-one speaking and writing support, opportunities for informal language practice, and one-time workshops, all online this fall.

ELI can help you communicate effectively and excel in your coursework and research. We look forward to meeting you!

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

Description: 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.

This workshop is co-sponsored by PNC Bank.

Description: 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.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Benefits Office.

Description: 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.

Description: 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.

Description: 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.

Description: 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.

Description: 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.

Description: 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.

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

Description: 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.

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

Description: In this workshop we’ll cover important things you need to know about dating in the U.S., healthy relationships, and awareness of issues related to sexual misconduct.

U-M Student Sexual Misconduct Annual Report

Description: 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.

Description: 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.

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.

Description: 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!

This workshop is co-sponsored by International House Ann Arbor (IHAA) and Michigan Language Center (MLC).

Description: 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.

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

Description: 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.

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

Description: This relaxed workshop discusses different communication styles, friendship patterns and social norms, which may be very different from what you are used to in your home country. You’ll also have the chance to ask orientation peer advisers for suggestions about how to get to know people and how to start making friends in the United States.

Description: 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.

Description: The University of Michigan is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In order to prepare yourself for DEI conversations in the classroom and beyond, come to this workshop to get an introductory overview of US perspectives on social justice, learn important vocabulary for inclusion, and learn about helpful campus resources for continuing your social justice education.

Description: The psychologists at the Counseling and Psychological Services will explain what stress is, discuss stressful experiences that international students may go through, talk about mental health and how to get help​,​ and provide ​tools to manage stress.

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

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

Description: 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.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Payroll Office

Description: 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.

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

Description: Have you ever struggled to write important email messages? Have you ever wondered whether your email messages hit the right tone and reflect the professional persona you wish to project? Given the importance of email in academic and professional settings, the ability to write effective e-mail messages is an essential skill. And in the Covid era of remote studying and working, this skill is even more important than ever. In this workshop we will focus on strategies for writing clear, effective and professional email. We will discuss the aspects of email that make it likely to be read, to be easily understood, and to create a good impression. NOTE: This is an interactive workshop, so please come prepared to participate!

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