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, by completing check-in with ISSS:

  1. Complete the tutorial in iPenn (You can complete the tutorial before you arrive in the US.)
  2. Complete the arrival form in iPenn (After you arrive in the US.)
  3. Bring your immigration documents for immigration document check at ISSS.  Select a time in iPenn.

Please complete these check-in requirements on or before Tuesday, August 25, 2015.  If you are unable to do so for any reason, please complete the arrival form and contact ISSS for further instructions.

  • Bring your immigration documents to ISSS
  • Visit the ISSS office to have your immigration documents checked and report your physical presence at Penn. Select a time in iPenn, and bring your original 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

    We recommend getting your PennCard before bringing your documents to ISSS. If you don't have your PennCard, please bring your PIN number.

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 - 27, 2015.

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

(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 for your Immigration Document Check at the designated times. Space is limited and advance registration is required. 

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

Monday, August 17
Time                          Title                                   Presenters                           
9:00am - 10:00am Immigration Document Check (register through iPenn)  
10:00am - 10:50am Slang and Sayings at Penn and the U.S. Ryan Villanueva, Program Coordinator (ISSS) & Lan Donovan-Green, ISO Coordinator (ISSS)
11:00am - 11:50am Immigration Options after Graduation Frank Calabrese, Associate Director (ISSS) & Donna Steinfeldt, Assistant Director (ISSS)
12:00pm - 1:00pm Immigration Document Check (register through iPenn)  
1:00pm - 1:50pm Party in the USA: Myths and Facts Aman Goyal, Program Coordinator (Alcohol & Other Drugs) & Ryan Villanueva Program Coordinator (ISSS)
2:00pm - 2:50pm Academic Leadership and Integrity Kevin Pitt, Deputy Director (Office of Student Conduct) & Rudie Altamirano, Director (ISSS)
3:00pm - 3:50pm Jobs, Internships and Work Permissions in the U.S.  Joseph Barber, Associate Director, (Career Services), Fatimah Williams Castro, Associate Director (Career Services), and Jeremy Spohr, Advisor (ISSS)
4:00pm - 4:50pm Small Talk in Different Social Contexts Anita Mastroieni, Director (Graduate Student Center) & Rudie Altamirano, Director (ISSS)
3:30pm - 4:30pm Immigration Document Check (register through iPenn)  
Tuesday, August 18
Time                          Title (click on titles for description and registration)


9:00am - 10:00am Immigration Document Check (register through iPenn)  
10:00am - 10:50am Eating in Philadelphia Marianna Chiaravalloti, Advisor (ISSS) & Frank Calabrese, Associate Director (ISSS)
11:00am - 11:50am The Power of Strong Social Networks Yuhong He, Counselor and International Student Specialist (Counseling and Pyschological Services) and Lily Zhang, Senior Associate Director(ISSS)
12:00pm - 1:00pm Immigration Document Check (register through iPenn)  
1:00pm - 1:50pm The Unwritten Rules of Communicating with Professors and TAs Julianne Reynolds, Learning Instructor for International Students (Weingarten Learning Resources Center) & Kathryn Fogle, Advisor (ISSS)
2:00pm - 2:50pm LGBT Issues in the U.S. Erin Cross, Senior Associate Director (LGBT Center) & Kate Miller Syoum, Advisor (ISSS)
3:00pm - 3:50pm Introduction to Healthcare in the U.S. and Penn Ashlee Halbritter, Health Educator (Student Health Service) & Kate Madeano, Advisor (ISSS)
4:00pm - 4:50pm Practical Matters for Life in the U.S. Kate Madeano, Advisor (ISSS) & Traci Martin, International Scholar Specialist (ISSS)
3:30pm - 4:30pm Immigration Document Check (register through iPenn)  
Graduate Student Social Hour

(Graduate Students Only)

Wednesday, August 19   5:00 – 6:00pm
ISSS invites you to an evening of global 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.

Location: International House, Australia Lounge (2nd Floor), 3701 Chestnut Street
Registration: Not required

The Schuylkill River Bike Trail (Cancelled)

Thursday, August 20  9:45am – 2:00pm  Cost: $15
Location: Meet in front of ISSS, 3701 Chestnut Street at 9:45am
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. Transportation, bicycle rental and helmet are included in the price of a ticket.

Sorry, the bike trip has been cancelled.

Social Mixer for International Students Traveling Alone

(Undergraduate, Non-exchange 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
Sorry, the registration for the Social Mixer has reached maximum capacity.

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

Welcome Dinner for New International Students and Families  (Registration Now Closed)

(Undergraduate, Non-exchange Students 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: Now Closed - An 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
Registration: Not required

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. Advanced registration required.

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

Sorry, registration and waitlist has reached maximum capacity.

Phillies Baseball Game

(Undergraduate & Graduate Students)

Thursday, August 27   7:05pm game (6:00pm departure from campus) Cost: $20
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 Mets 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.

Location: Citizens Bank Park. Meet in front of ISSS, 3701 Chestnut Street at 5:45pm.
Register and Pay Here

*There is a cost to attend this event. Sorry, no refunds.