Spring 2021 International Student Orientation (ISO)

Please plan to arrive Tuesday, January 19, 2021 or Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Virtual International Orientation dates:  January 21 – 22, 2021

Spring 2021 Orientation Schedule – we will be holding a variety of virtual orientation sessions to help introduce you to  campus, connect you with peers, and prepare you for your academic  journey.   Whether your will attend classes in Maine or from abroad, we will help you get ready and connected.  We are still developing our schedule but all sessions will be available online for viewing at a later date if you miss something.

Volunteer to help at Orientation (current students)

Frequently Asked Questions About Orientation


Attendance at the International Student Orientation (ISO) is required of all new undergraduate and exchange students.  Graduate students should attend all ISO events that are not in conflict with the Graduate Student Orientation.


International Student Success at the University of Maine begins with ISO.  Orientation is designed to help you:

  • Adjust to academic and social life at the University of Maine;
  • Comply with government regulations that pertain to your stay in the US;
  • Learn about on- and off-campus resources and support services;
  • Become comfortable with the local community and US culture; and
  • Meet new people and make friends from around the world.

Studies show the benefits of participation in orientation programs.  Faculty members and academic advisers see a marked difference in the preparedness and success of students who have participated in orientation.


General Welcome: The University of Maine offers activities for ALL new students at the beginning of each semester.  International students are strongly encouraged to join the General Welcome.  It offers many social and recreational opportunities to meet other students and get to know UMaine.  A schedule of activities will be posted here soon.


Wondering Where to Stay During International Student Orientation?

If you are planning to live on-campus you can move in as early as the published arrival day (usually the start date of your I-20 or DS-2019).   Early move-in must be arranged through our office.  Be sure to submit your arrival details ahead of time, preferably no later than Monday, January 18, 2021.

If it is not practical for you to bring your sheets, blanket and pillow, the University will have “loaner” sets of sheets and blankets on hand during Orientation available on a first come, first served basis, which you can keep for a few days until you get your own.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions it may be difficult to find lodging unless you can present a negative test taken within the previous 72 hours.  We recommend that you arrive on campus for your scheduled move-in date/time or arrange to move in directly to your off campus housing.  If you have questions about acquiring temporary lodging please feel free to contact OIP.


Frequently Asked Questions about the International Student Orientation (ISO)

Do I have to attend the International Student Orientation (ISO)?—  Yes, ISO is MANDATORY and you should make all possible arrangements to arrive in time to attend. The Spring 2021 International Student Orientation (ISO) will be virtual and most of the content will be recorded.  

I am a graduate student and the ISO conflicts with the Graduate School Orientation.  Which one should I attend?–All graduate students should make an effort to attend the ISO. Graduate Teaching Assistants (TA’s) may have a time conflict between TA orientation and ISO.  TA’s should be sure to attend the make-up immigration session that will be scheduled the first week of classes.  All other graduate students should be able to attend ISO and then attend the Graduate School Orientation.

Why should I attend ISO?— Studies show the benefits of participation in orientation programs.  Faculty members and advisers see a marked difference in the preparedness and success of student who have participated in orientation.

What happens if I cannot get a flight that arrives in time or my flight is cancelled or delayed?–You should notify staff at the Office of International Programs by email (umaineimmigration@maine.edu) or phone (207) 581-3423) and let them know you will not be able to make it.  You will be required to attend a make-up session during the first week of classes and access other pre-recorded orientation content virtually.

Do I have to pay to attend ISO?–No, Orientation is free.

Where will I stay during ISO?–Your housing and dining campus contract are effective Sunday, January 24, 2021. Be sure to submit your arrival details ahead of time no later than January 18. Read more about Arrival here

If you are living off campus it may be difficult to find temporary lodging.  Please arrange for your lease to be active by the day you arrive in the US.

Where do I go to attend ISO?–We will be posting orientation session dates and times in August so please check back.  We will be providing both virtual and in-person activities so that everyone can participate.