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International Student Orientation

Thursday, September 19 - Friday, September 20, 2019

International Student Orientation is designed to help you feel comfortable in your new surroundings and to adjust to life in the United States and at Caltech.  Orientation is for degree-seeking students only.  Students' family members are welcome to join us for meals.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE BELOW.  All programs will take place in Avery (building 99 on the campus map), unless otherwise indicated on the schedule.  Some programs are marked as optional, but all programs are oh so fun!

Thursday, September 19
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM iBegin@Caltech - a resource fair for new international students
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Lunch served concurrently
2:00 PM Mission Impossible* (a game of chase on the L.A. Metro, optional)
7:30 PM International Dessert Night (required for Mission Impossible participants, but open to all new students)

Friday, September 20
9:00 AM Breakfast
10:00 AM Group Photo (please wear your new ISP t-shirt)
10:15 AM Welcome by Ilana Smith, Director of International Offices
10:20 AM Introduction to ISP
10:40 AM Cultural Adjustment by Dr. Charisma Agonoy Bartlett
11:15 AM Student Skit
12:00 PM Lunch
1:15 PM Immigration Basics
2:15 AM Navigating the American Classroom
3:00 AM Peer Panels
5:30 PM Dinner and Games Night at Tournament Park, located behind the Caltech Athletic Center (optional)

Saturday, September 21 | Meet Ups
Bonus day of optional, student-led activities!

2018 Meet Ups are listed below as a reference. 2019 events may differ.
Orientation Leaders will take you to some of their favorite locations within walking distance from campus. Sign-up sheets available throughout International Student Orientation. Bring your own money for Meet Ups, as needed.

  • Science Walk Caltech 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM
    Take a walking tour of some of Caltech's most remarkable spots, including the Nobel Laureate Honor Room, LIGO Lab, and Cahill's Cosmology & Space Science Center.
  • Old Town Pasadena 3:15 PM
    Join us for a walk to historic "Old Town Pasadena." Over 200 specialty shops, over 100 restaurants, sidewalk cafes, coffee and ice cream shops. Along the way, we will visit the famous City Hall dome and other Pasadena landmarks.
  • Music Jam on the Caltech Campus 1:30 PM
    We'll walk to the on-campus Jam Room together. The room has equipment ready. Just bring your instrument, if any.
  • Intelligentsia Coffee House and Copa Vida Coffee House 5:00 PM
    Walk together to a local coffee house and just relax over a "cup of joe" and good conversation.
  • CISC: Caltech International Spouses Club Summer Party 4:00 PM
    Families of Caltech and JPL students and scholars (faculty, postdocs, staff) are welcome to join CISC's Annual Summer Party. CISC will provide main dishes and snacks. Participants are welcome to bring a small side dish (appetizer), dessert, or beverages.

All Saturday Meet Ups begin at the time indicated above from Avery Courtyard.

Monday, Sept 23 | 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM | ISP

  • Grad Student Check-In
    • Throughout the day, ISP and the Office of Graduate Studies will greet new graduate students.  If you have not yet provided your immigration documents to ISP, you must bring your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 on this day.
      ISP, Center for Student Services (building 86)
  • Undergrad Student Check-In
    • Visit ISP to complete your Immigration Check-In during the first week of classes (Don't worry about it until after Orientation ends).  Bring your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 with you.
      ISP, Center for Student Services (building 86)