International Students and Scholars

328 O'Dowd Hall
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3358
Fax: (248) 370-3351

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Newly Admitted Students


Congratulations on your admission to Oakland University! We extend a warm welcome to all new international students and look forward to getting to know you in the year ahead.

In order to ensure a smooth transition into your new program, please follow these steps:

  1. Read the Welcome Guide.
  2. Pay the SEVIS fee and schedule your embassy appointment. 
  3. Activate your SAIL account and sign up for your NetID (Oakland email). 
  4. Once you receive your visa, sign up for your mandatory orientation:
  5. Start looking into on-campus housing or off-campus housing. We recommend living on campus at the International Village (IV) Special Interest Floor. For more information about the International Village, watch this IV video
  6. Whether you will be living on campus or not, you can purchase on-campus meal plans.
  7. Start planning for your mandatory health insurance.
  8. 'Like' our Facebook page for updates and important information.
  9. Watch our orientation video here or look at our Welcome to Michigan presentation here.

Mandatory Orientation:
All new, transferring and change of status international students are required to attend International Orientation. Our next Orientation is:
Winter 2021 Online Orientation - will be held on January 5, 2021, at 9:00 AM (EST). This session is for all new international students (In the US and outside the US). Due to COVID-19 concerns, we will be holding orientation virtually this Winter semester. We will use Google Meet to conduct this events. 
The orientation provides information you will need to become acquainted with your new academic environment and life in the Rochester, MI area. We hope to answer all of your questions! 
Attendance is mandatory. Please be on time and please be aware we have a no guest policy.

Once you receive your visa, sign up for your mandatory orientation: 
Bring the following items to orientation
  • Passport
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • If you have F-2 or J-2 dependents (spouse or children) who traveled with you to the U.S., bring their I-20/DS-2019s and passports
Do I need to report to my new school's international office?
F-1 students: Report to ISSO within 15 days of the program start date listed on your I-20.
J-1 students: Report to ISSO within 30 days of the program start date listed on your DS-2019.

What do I do if I have attended a U.S. institution or completed a program in the United States, and I am currently outside the United States, but plan on re-entering to attend Oakland University?
In addition to requesting the release of your SEVIS record, keep in mind that you can be outside the U.S. for no more than five months without being registered in coursework in the U.S. to be eligible for a visa transfer. If you plan to be outside the U.S. for more than five months and do not intend to register in U.S.-based coursework during this time, or have been outside the U.S. for more than five months already, you will not be eligible for a SEVIS transfer. Oakland University will make a new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID for your re-entry. You must then pay the SEVIS fee again and apply for a new F-1 visa per Department of State regulations. In order for the SEVIS to transfer, you must apply to your program of interest.

What do I do if I am currently participating in OPT in the United States, but plan on starting a new degree program?
In addition to requesting that your former institution release your SEVIS record to Oakland University, keep in mind that your OPT will terminate on the date that your SEVIS record is released. Therefore, if your OPT start date is May 1, and you request that your former institution release your SEVIS record to Oakland University on June 15, your OPT ends on June 15, and you would no longer be eligible to work on that authorization. OPT authorization is non-transferable. If you intend to have your SEVIS record transferred after your OPT ends, you must request your release and have that release granted within 60 days following the completion of your OPT. 

When can I register for classes?
You may contact your academic adviser at any time after admission to discuss your plan of study.  Once you do so, the adviser will remove the hold and you can register for classes.  If you do not meet with an academic adviser ahead of orientation, you may also do so that day.

How do I get from the airport to Oakland University?
Many times, alumni or current international students will help with transportation from the airport- you could connect with others on our Facebook page. We also work closely with a local non-profit organization, International Oasis, and you can request airport pickup on their website. 

How can I find off-campus housing with other international students?
Please contact the president of any multicultural organization. You can also email the ISSO and we will forward your request to our current students to see if someone is looking for a roommate. Please also check our

When can I move to on-campus housing?
Oakland's housing department allows international students to move in one day before international orientation. Visit University Housing.