New Student Check-in and International Student Social Orientation (ISSO) is for all incoming F-1 or J-1 international students, including undergraduate, graduate, professional, transfer, and exchange students, as well as those returning from leave.

Scroll down to see ISSO events and activities for new international students!

Mandatory New Student Check-In Requirements

Federal regulations require that F-1 and J-1 international students register their presence at Penn. There are two parts to this process, known as the Check-In procedure:

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These steps must be completed after arrival in the US but within 20 days of the program start date on your I-20/ DS-2019.  

F-1 transfer students must complete the check-in procedure within 15 days of the program start date listed on the I-20.

  • Complete the New Student Arrival Information Form and Online Tutorial
  • Please enter your US arrival information using the iPenn logo below.

    • Log in to iPenn using your 9-digit admission ID, date of birth and PIN.
    • Complete the online tutorial including all embedded quizzes.
    • Be sure to have your US address and emergency contact information available.
    • You will receive a confirmation email after submitting the form.
  • Check-in with ISSS
  • Visit the ISSS office to have your immigration documents checked and report your physical presence at Penn. Bring your immigration documents listed below for document check at ISSS on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday any time between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon.

    You must come prepared with all of the following original immigration documents:

    • Passport
    • F-1 or J-1 US Entry Visa (except Canadian or Bermudian citizens)
    • I-94 (whether a hard-copy paper card; or electronic as indicated by an admission/entry stamp in passport)
    • I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students) issued by Penn
    • Any previously issued I-20(s) or DS-2019(s) from previous program, if applicable (This is required for transfer students)
    • Any other official correspondence from USCIS, such as an I-797, if applicable
Immigration Q&A Sessions for new international students arriving June 1 - August 12, 2015:

If you have general questions about your immigration status after you have completed the Check-In process, you are welcome to attend an Immigration Q&A with an ISSS advisor. Sessions will take place at ISSS every Wednesday afternoon, 4:30pm from June 10 - August 12, 2015.

Register for an Immigration Q&A Session Here

International Student Social Orientation (ISSO)

ISSO events are hosted by ISSS to provide new Penn international students with opportunities to meet other students and participate in activities that will help with adjusting to their new home. ISSO events will take place from August 17 - 28, 2015.

New International Undergraduate Student? Visit the New Student Orientation website.
Adjust to Penn Today: Workshops for New International Students

(Undergraduate & Graduate Students)

Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18  10:00am - 5:00pm
Living in a new country and in a different culture than your own can be difficult! Join ISSS and different Penn offices across campus for interactive and informative sessions on how to adjust to your new home. These sessions are optional and are not required to attend. Also, ISSS Advisors will be present to help you with the Immigration Check-In process at the designated times. Space is limited. 

Location: International House, Asia & Africa Rooms (2nd Floor), 3701 Chestnut Street


Monday, August 17
Time                          Title                                              Presenters                           
9:00am - 10:00am Immigration Check-in  
10:00am - 10:50am Slang and Sayings at Penn and the U.S. Ryan Villanueva (ISSS) & Lan Donovan-Green (ISSS)
11:00am - 11:50am Immigration Options after Graduation Frank Calabrese (ISSS) & Donna Steinfeldt (ISSS)
12:00pm - 1:00pm Immigration Check-in  
1:00pm - 1:50pm Party in the USA: Myths and Facts Aman Goyal (AOD) & Ryan Villanueva (ISSS)
2:00pm - 2:50pm Academic Leadership and Integrity Kevin Pitt (OSC) & Rudie Altamirano (ISSS)
3:00pm - 3:50pm Jobs, Internships and Work Permissions in the U.S.  Dr. Joseph Barber (Career Services), Fatimah Williams Castro (Career Services), and Jeremy Spohr (ISSS)
4:00pm - 4:50pm Small Talk in Different Social Contexts Anita Mastroieni (GSC) & Rudie Altamirano (ISSS)
4:30pm - 5:30pm Immigration Check-in  
Tuesday, August 18
Time                          Title


9:00am - 10:00am Immigration Check-in  
10:00am - 10:50am Eating in Philadelphia Marianna Chiaravalloti (ISSS) & Frank Calabrese (ISSS)
11:00am - 11:50am The Power of Strong Social Networks Yuhong He (CAPS) and Lily Zhang (ISSS)
12:00pm - 1:00pm Immigration Check-in  
1:00pm - 1:50pm The Unwritten Rules of Communicating with Professors and TAs Julianne Reynolds (Weingarten) & Kathryn Fogle (ISSS)
2:00pm - 2:50pm LGBT Issues in the U.S. Erin Cross (LGBT Center) & Kate Miller Syoum (ISSS)
3:00pm - 3:50pm Introduction to Healthcare in the U.S. and Penn Ashlee Halbritter (SHS) & Kate Madeano (ISSS)
4:00pm - 4:50pm Practical Matters for Life in the U.S. Kate Madeano (ISSS) & Traci Martin (ISSS)
4:30pm - 5:30pm Immigration Check-in  
Graduate Student Social Hour

(Graduate Students Only)

Wednesday, August 19   5:00 – 6:00pm
ISSS invites you to an evening of international fellowship with other new international graduate students. This is your opportunity to mix and mingle, make new friends, and to be a part of Penn’s thriving international community.  Refreshments will be served.
Registration: Not required

Location: International House, Australia Lounge (2nd Floor), 3701 Chestnut Street

Social Mixer for International Students Traveling Alone

(Undergraduate Students Only)

Thursday, August 20   4:30pm-5:00pm
Flying solo? Meet other new international undergraduate students who traveled on their own and then walk to the Welcome Dinner together!

Location: Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room

Visit the New Student Orientation Calendar for other international undergraduate orientation activities

Welcome Dinner for New International Students and Families

(Undergraduate, Non-Exchange Only)

Thursday, August 20   6:00pm-8:00pm (Doors open at 5:00pm)
Penn Global leaders and Penn Parents welcome new international students and their families to Penn. Meet other new Penn families from across the globe and enjoy a delicious meal!

Location: Tent on Wynn Commons, 3417 Spruce Street

Registration: An email invitation to register was sent to all parents of entering freshmen international students.

Visit the New Student Orientation Calendar for other international undergraduate orientation activities

Flash Talks - Adjusting to Your New Home

(Undergraduate & Exchange Only)

Friday, August 21   9:00am-10:30am
International Student and Scholar Services, in partnership with Counseling and Psychological Services and Weingarten Learning Resources Center, hosts a series of brief and helpful presentations that will help you succeed at Penn. Light breakfast refreshments will be served.

Location: Chem Building, 231 South 34th Street, Rooms B13, 109, 119

Visit the New Student Orientation Calendar for other international undergraduate orientation activities

Graduate Student Welcome Reception

(Graduate Students Only)

Friday, August 21  5:00pm - 7:00pm
Welcome to Penn! ISSS invites new international graduate students to celebrate the start of your Penn experience. Meet new friends, enjoy a delicious meal, and if you’re lucky enough, win a prize! Space is limited.

Registration: Opens in August

Location: International House, South America Room (2nd Floor), 3701 Chestnut Street

Phillies Baseball Game

(Undergraduate & Graduate Students)

Thursday, August 27   7:05pm game (6:00pm departure from campus)
It’s a homerun!!! ISSS welcomes you on a trip to Citizens Bank Park in South Philly to witness the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the New York Metz in the traditional US sport sensation – baseball! Enjoy the game as it was meant to be enjoyed from outfield seating. Who knows? You may even catch the game- winning homerun ball. Space is limited. Don’t strike out on this opportunity of a lifetime.

Registration: Opens in August
*There is a cost to attend this event.

The Schuylkill River Bike Trail

(Undergraduate & Graduate Students)

Thursday, August 20  (Time TBD)
Join us for a morning of fitness fun as we bike the Schuylkill River Bike Trail to take in the scenic view of Philadelphia’s aquatic vein. Bicycle rental and helmet are included in the price of a ticket. Advanced registration required. Space is limited.

Registration: Opens in August

*There is a cost to attend this event

Check back soon for more activities and events!


Online Webinars for Graduate & Professional Students
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