2013 International Center Summer Orientation
The International Center's 2013 Summer Orientation for international students and scholars will be held from Monday August 12 through Friday August 30. The orientation workshop schedule with exact date, time, location, and room will be finalized in July.
Downloadable Draft Calendars of All Workshops and Social Events
The weekly calendars will be finalized in July.
No registration is required (with a few exceptions) for orientation workshops. Please be on time to the workshops. Please be advised that the workshop presentations/handouts will not be provided at the workshops. Remember to print and bring them with you to the workshops so you can follow the presentations. Please save your questions for the workshops.
Workshop Locations: to be announced in the future.
This workshop will answer questions about starting a bank account, writing a U.S. check, using your bank account, keeping track of your money, ongoing financial issues, and different kinds of banks and accounts. A representative from TCF Bank, the official MCard bank, will be on-hand to answer any banking questions you have.
This workshop is co-sponsored by TCF Bank.
Budget Travel in North America
If you are a person who loves to see new things, this program is for you. Ann Arbor has a lot to offer in terms of recreational activities, but we also recognize that you might want to see other parts of Michigan or the U.S. while you're here. This workshop will provide information about budget travel in the U.S., including how to find out what to see, low-cost transportation and accommodations, and safety information. We will also highlight resources available at the International Center for students who are interested in work, study, or travel in countries other than the U.S. - including Canada. A representative from STA Travel will be at the workshop as well to discuss the services offered by the student-oriented travel agency and to answer any questions you may have about travel in the U.S.
This workshop is co-sponsored by STA Travel.
Communicating with Your Academic and Research Advisors (For Graduate Students Only)
In this session you will learn the different roles of your academic and research advisors, what their places are in the American educational system, what they will expect from you, and what you can expect from them. Advisors are some of the most important individuals in a student’s career. It is important to understand this relationship so that misunderstandings can be avoided.
The Cultural Adjustment Rollercoaster
Moving away from home and adjusting to a new culture can be a crazy ride. Feelings of excitement, frustration, and homesickness, although normal to the adjustment process, can be difficult to endure. In this program, you will be introduced to the ins and outs and ups and downs of the cultural adjustment rollercoaster. In addition, you will learn about the experiences you will likely have as you adjust to your new home. You will receive information about strategies to ease the adjustment process and get a brief introduction to other orientation sessions that will help you conquer the frustrations that come with the adventures of navigating life in a new culture.
Cultural Differences in the Classroom
Each country has a unique educational system with specific expectations of students and faculty. This program will provide information about expectations of students and faculty in the American system, which may be different from those in other countries.
Driver's License Written Test
Please arrive at the time specified so you will have sufficient time to complete the written test.
Representatives from the Michigan Secretary of State's Office will administer the written driver’s license test (in English only). Please check the Driver’s License section of the International Center’s website several days in advance of the test so you will know what documents to bring to the test and will have time to gather these documents if necessary.
You cannot apply for a Michigan State ID at this workshop. If you’d like to take the written test in other languages, you will have to take it at a branch office of the Michigan Secretary of State.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Michigan Secretary of State.
Driving in the U.S.
Are you new to driving in the United States? Driving conditions and customs may be different than what you are used to in your home country. This workshop will provide information to help you prepare for driving in the U.S., including driving tips, driving etiquette, and important skills to keep you safe on the roads in good and bad weather. Information about AAA (American Automobile Association) courses and services available will also be provided. Please note this workshop IS NOT about how to get a driver’s license.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Michigan AAA
Finding a Job on Campus (For Students Only)
There are many employment opportunities on the U-M campus. Learn where to look for jobs, what to consider when taking a job, what restrictions apply to international students, and paperwork involved. General information about Graduate Student Instructor and Graduate Student Research Assistant positions will be included. Please note this workshop is not a job fair where you’d meet with employers to discuss job opportunities.
Finding Your Voice: In Classes and Your Department
International students may sometimes feel that their opinions are not being heard in the classroom or that it is difficult to get their point across because of cultural or language differences. This workshop will help you anticipate and prepare for these challenges. Topics covered will include how to approach a classmate or a professor in the United States, when and how to ask for class notes, ways to discuss problems with your academic advisors, and strategies for participating in class discussions.
This workshop is co-sponsored by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Getting Around Ann Arbor and Personal Safety
There are many different ways of getting around the U-M campus and around Ann Arbor, but they can be confusing at first. We’ll talk about U-M and Ann Arbor buses, bicycling, taxis, driving and parking, “zipcars,” and walking, including information about personal safety.
Getting Involved With University Groups and Organizations
Joining student organizations is a great way to meet people, learn skills, and enrich your university experience. Learn about the many student organizations on campus and the best ways to get involved in this part of campus life. The workshop will conclude with a tour of some student organizations and offices related to student organizations in the Michigan Union.
This workshop is co-sponsored by Center for Campus Involvement (CCI).
Health Insurance and Other Benefits for GSIs, GSRAs, and Fellowship Holders
If you are a new Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) or a student whose fellowship will include GradCare insurance, come to this workshop for a brief explanation about how insurance works in the U.S., followed by information about selecting and using your insurance plan, including information about some important deadlines. The insurance coverage and other benefits you receive as a GSI/GSRA are very valuable but can be confusing -- this is your chance to learn from experts.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Benefits Office.
“Hi!” Communicating by Phone and by Email
Improve your English language telephoning and emailing skills by learning some useful models and appropriate vocabulary for each. We will compare these two ways of "talking" and practice different strategies for effective communication using these two everyday tools.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the English Language Institute (ELI).
How to Buy a Used Car
This program is designed to give you some idea of what to look for when buying a used car. We will provide written information and address important questions about what to keep in mind when buying a used car.
How to Use U-M's International Insurance Plan
Detailed information about how to use the University's required health insurance (the International Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan). You'll learn how and where to obtain medical treatment if you need it and how to avoid unnecessary expense by understanding how this health insurance works.
Students who will be Graduate Student Instructors or Graduate Student Research Assistants should attend the Health Insurance Information for GSI'S and GSRA'S session instead.
Information Session for Non-UM Sponsored J-1 Exchange Visitors
Important Note: This information session is only for J-1 Exchange Visitors (students or scholars) whose Form DS-2019 was issued by an organization other than the University of Michigan. If Line 2 (Program Sponsor) of your Form DS-2019 says "University of Michigan", you should not attend this session.
At this information session, we'll give you a brief introduction to U-M and Ann Arbor, and answer any questions you may have.
Information Session for Spouses/Partners
As a spouse/partner of a student, you may be asking yourself what you’re going to do while here in the United States. Come to this special program to learn about some of the possibilities. It’s a great time to meet other spouses/partners too!
This workshop is co-sponsored by Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), Washtenaw County SafeHouse Center and International Neighbors.
International Student Panel
Join an informal and interactive panel discussion with continuing international students as they talk about making social and academic transitions to Michigan. You will learn about the different kinds of strategies they used to successfully make those transitions! Time will be available for you to ask questions at the end.
Introduction to the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor
This program will give you an introduction to leisure, cultural and educational activities at U-M and in Ann Arbor. We will also have maps and brochures for you about places to visit.
It's Not Just a Good Idea…It's the Law!
Every country has norms for what is acceptable and unacceptable, and similarly for what is legal and illegal in that particular country. This session will offer important information on what is and is not permitted in the United States. Learn this information now; don't risk being embarrassed or even fined or arrested!
The session will also include a brief overview of landlord-tenant law, including information about what your landlord is and is not permitted to do, and your rights and obligations as a tenant. Avoid possible problems and prepare for a good relationship with your landlord by learning this important information now.
This workshop is co-sponsored by Student Legal Services (SLS).
Maintaining Your Car
After you have purchased your car, knowing how to maintain your car will help your car last longer. This workshop will give you an orientation to car care in the United States. You will also learn about what you can maintain or fix yourself and what may require a licensed mechanic. Get ready to talk “car talk”!
Making Friends With Americans
This relaxed workshop discusses communication styles of Americans, friendship patterns and relationship norms, which may be very different from what you are used to in your home country. You’ll also have the chance to ask U.S. and international students for suggestions about how to get to know people in the United States and how to start making American friends.
“Oops, I'm Sorry!” Avoiding Social Mistakes in the U.S.A.
Part of adjusting to a new country is learning about what to do and what not to do in social situations. Don't miss this session -- you'll have a chance to relax and laugh but will also learn some things that could save you from discomfort or embarrassment later. The workshop presentation is 1.5 hour and additional 30-minute is reserved for participants to ask any questions.
Shopping – An Insider's Guide
This workshop will help you develop skills to 1) navigate sales tax, returns, warranties, pricing, and different ways to pay; 2) save money on books, food, clothing, technology and home furnishings; 3) discover the best places to shop; 4) distinguish between types of stores; and 5) shop without owning a car. We will also cover winter clothing and how/when to buy it.
The workshop presentation is available online.
Social Security Number Application or Letter of Ineligibility
Representatives from the Ann Arbor Social Security office will help international students and scholars apply for a social security number and card or for a “letter of ineligibility”. Please arrive at the time specified.
Applying for a Social Security Number and Card lists the documents you must bring to the session. There are different requirements for the social security number application and for the application for the letter of ineligibly. Please read the information that applies to you several days in advance so that you will have time to gather or prepare the documents you will need.
If you plan to take the Driver's License Written Test, read What to Bring to the On-Campus Michigan Driver's License Written Test for information about the documents you should bring to the test.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Social Security Administration.
University Health Service: Information and Tour
University Health Service (UHS) staff will describe campus health care services available to students and scholars, how to use services and how services relate to insurance. The workshop includes a 30-minute presentation followed by an optional tour of UHS.
This workshop is co-sponsored by University Health Service (UHS).
UM Library Basics
It's extremely important to learn to use the University's library as soon as possible. This workshop will introduce you to the University's extensive library system so that you can start using library resources immediately, and will provide an introduction to online research using University and other databases. You may attend either the Central Campus or North Campus workshop, but the North Campus workshop will be of most interest to engineering, art, and architecture students.
NORTH CAMPUS: For the North Campus workshop, please meet by the Information Desk area of Duderstadt Center (1st floor).
CENTRAL CAMPUS: For the Central Campus workshop, please meet in the lobby area (north entrance) of the Hatcher Graduate Library (located on the Diag).
This workshop is co-sponsored by UM Library.
U.S. Tax Withholding Forms
This orientation workshop is designed for international students and scholars who will work for the University of Michigan, and for students who will receive fellowships that pay for living expenses (not just tuition.)
Before you start work, you will be asked to fill out a number of forms, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-4, State of Michigan Form W-4, the “Alien Certificate”, and perhaps other forms if your country has a tax treaty with the United States.
During this workshop, a representative from the U-M Payroll Office will explain how to fill out these forms so that you can be sure you are filling them out correctly. The Payroll Office representative will also explain the tax-related documents that you as a U-M employee can expect to receive from the Payroll Office and when you can expect to receive them. The workshop will conclude with a brief introduction to the ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and an explanation of who does and does not need to apply for the ITIN.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Payroll Office.
Last reviewed: 04/13