ORIENTATION

ISO Steps

ISO is for new students who are beginning a program of study or returning on an initial attendance I-20 or DS-2019. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires you to register with UW-Madison before starting your program of study in the United States. By completing the ISS Check-In and attending ISO, you will fulfill this obligation.

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Step 1: Update your addresses and emergency contact in your Student Center in MyUW

If you will come to an in-person ISS Check-In session, please complete this step in your MyUW account before coming to Check-In:

    • Mailing Address (local address in the U.S.)
    • Home Address (address in your home country)
    • U.S. Phone Number (if applicable)
    • Emergency Contact
      • The easiest way to update your emergency contact is to search for “Emergency” in MyUW. Your emergency contact is the person the university can contact in case you are injured, missing, or incapacitated. If you have problems updating your emergency contact information, contact the DoIT Help Desk.

You need to update both of these systems separately.

Step 2: Complete the ISS Check-In

The ISS Check-In can be completed online through Terra Dotta. Step-by-step instructions for this process are listed here on our website.

Please note the following important points related to the ISS Check-In:

    • You cannot complete the ISS Check-In online in Terra Dotta until you have entered the U.S. and have an I-94 record.
    • Per U.S. federal regulations, you may not enter the U.S. with an “initial attendance” I-20 more than 30 days before your program start date.

If you complete the ISS Check-In in Terra Dotta by Monday, January 13, 2020, you do not need to come to the in-person ISS Check-In sessions on January 15-17.

In-person ISS Check-In will be offered on the following dates:

    • Wednesday, January 15: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Memorial Library, Rooms 231 & 224
    • Thursday, January 16: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Memorial Library, Rooms 231 & 224
    • Friday, January 17: 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Union South, Wisconsin Idea Room

Please bring the following materials and information with you to the ISS Check-In:

    • Passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • I-94 Admission Record
    • Your local address in Madison
    • Your Net ID and password
    • Emergency Contact Information

Our orientation assistants will help you scan your documents and verify that you have completed Step 1 above. You will also meet briefly with an ISS advisor for a review of your documents, and may ask questions related to your student visa at this time. There will also be a resource table with information about ISS programs, campus offices, and Madison attractions on-site at the Check-In.

 

Step 3: Attend ISO

We suggest that you arrive in Madison at least 2-3 days before your orientation to ensure a smoother transition to your new environment.

See ISO dates below.

Orientation Dates

Virtual ISO Day and Time: We will do ISO via Webex on Friday, June 12th from 9:00-10:30 am Central Daylight Time (CDT)

This International Student Orientation (ISO) session with ISS will be for transfer, change of level, and change of status international students who are starting their programs in the summer term.

Summer start international students must also complete the ISS Check-in in the Terra Dotta portal within 15 business days of their program start date on their I-20/DS-2019.

Webex Meeting link for Summer 2020 ISO:

Joining Webex Meeting by clicking Join meeting

Meeting number (access code): 197 372 362

Meeting password: GMzbq6h5Tx6 (46927645 from phones)

 

Friday, January 17, 2020
8:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.
Grainger Hall, 975 University Avenue

ISO Welcome Lunch 
Immediately following orientation at Grainger, 12:15 – 2:00 p.m.
Union South, Varsity Hall

All newly admitted students must attend. You do not need to register in advance.

After the Welcome Lunch, there will be an afternoon program of free activities for you to enjoy at Union South including the following:

    • International Student Welcome Fair: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. in the Northwoods Room (3rd floor of Union South)
    • Bowling, Billiards & Board Games with BRIDGE: 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. in the Sett Recreation Center (basement floor of Union South)
    • Badger Trolley Tours of Campus & Downtown: 2:00 – 2:45 p.m., 2:55 – 3:40 p.m., 3:50 – 4:35 p.m., 330 N. Orchard Street (Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Orchard Street Entrance)

ISS CHECK-IN

In-person ISS Check-In will be offered on the following dates:

    • Wednesday, January 15: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Memorial Library, Rooms 231 & 224
    • Thursday, January 16: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Memorial Library, Rooms 231 & 224
    • Friday, January 17: 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Union South, Wisconsin Idea Room

Please bring the following materials and information with you to the ISS Check-In:

If you complete the ISS Check-In in Terra Dotta by Monday, January 13, 2020, you do not need to come to the in-person ISS Check-In sessions on January 15-17.

Step-by-step instructions for completing the ISS Check-In in Terra Dotta are listed here on our website.

Please note the following important points related to the ISS Check-In:

    • You cannot complete the ISS Check-In online in Terra Dotta until you have entered the U.S. and have an I-94 record.
    • Per U.S. federal regulations, you may not enter the U.S. with an “initial attendance” I-20 more than 30 days before your program start date.

For questions regarding International Student Orientation (ISO), ISS Check-In, or other concerns related to your student visa, please contact ISS via email at iss@studentlife.wisc.edu or by phone at 608-262-2044. ISS office hours through the end of 2019 are listed here on our website.

Undergraduate degree-seeking

You need to register for SOAR first. Your ISO is built into your SOAR schedule.

Transfer

Your ISO is built into your SOAR schedule.

Graduate and Professional

Register and attend one of the sessions available.

    • Thursday, August 22, 2019, 3-5 p.m., Grainger Hall
    • Monday, August 26, 2019, 3-5 p.m., Grainger Hall
    • Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 9-11 a.m., Union South (this session precedes the New Graduate Student Welcome event)

Exchange and Visiting International Students (VISP)

Friday, August 30, 2019, 8 a.m. – 12:05 p.m., Grainger Hall

Please arrive 10 minutes early. Plan to stay for the entire program.

 

Immigration Check-in

Location: 2nd floor, Memorial Library

August 19 – August 29th
Monday through Friday
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Updated check-in dates:

Check-in is unavailable August 30th.

Extended check-in hours: Sunday, September 1st, 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Immigration Check is closed on Saturday, August 31st, and Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

Frequently Asked Questions

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When can I arrive in the United States?

If you are a newly admitted F-1/J-1 student, you are allowed to arrive 30 days before your program start date. Check the program start date listed on your form I-20/DS-2019.

We suggest that you arrive at least 2-3 days before your scheduled orientation.

What will I learn at ISO?

Compliance and Maintaining Status – Students will be able to . . .

    • Summarize basic federal regulations and institutional policies they must comply with in order to maintain their nonimmigrant student visa status.
    • Identify ISS’ location, contact information, and the immigration advising services and resources it provides.
    • List and describe the function of important immigration documents and agencies related to their visa status.
    • Recognize benefits and authorizations they are eligible for as student visa holders.

Safety and Student Success – Students will be able to . . .

    • Define “scam” and discuss types of scams and techniques for avoiding them.
    • Identify strategies and resources for maintaining personal safety.
    • Recognize basic U.S. laws and how to navigate administrative processes such as obtaining a Driver’s License and Social Security Number.
    • List campus departments and offices external to ISS which provide services for international students, including health and wellbeing, disability support, and academic success.

Transitions and Engagement – Students will be able to . . .

    • Describe challenges they may encounter during their transition to UW-Madison and identify strategies and resources for adjusting to living and studying in the U.S.
    • Identify ISS programs which provide opportunities for engagement, co-curricular education, and transition support.
    • Recognize campus and community organizations external to ISS which offer opportunities for extracurricular engagement and networking.

What will I learn at ISS Check-In?

Students who complete the ISS Check-In will be able to . . .

    • Recognize key requirements of maintaining their visa status as outlined in the International Student Agreement.
    • Differentiate entry documents, such as the U.S. visa and I-94, from standard immigration documents, such as a passport.
    • Demonstrate a basic understanding of how to navigate Terra Dotta to submit a request.
    • Identify ISS programs which provide opportunities for engagement, co-curricular education, and transition support (for students who complete ISS Check-In in-person).

Who must attend ISO?

All newly admitted F-1 and J-1 students must attend ISO. F-2 and J-2 dependents do not need to attend.

How is ISO different from SOAR?

ISO is for all students with an F-1/J-1 visa.

SOAR (Student Advising, Orientation, & Registration) is for all undergraduate first-year and transfer students who are studying a degree program at UW-Madison.

Graduate and professional students do not attend SOAR. If you are a graduate or professional student, check with your academic department for your program’s orientation. All graduate students should also attend the Graduate Student Welcome.

Exchange students and non-degree visiting students also do not attend SOAR.

If I'm an undergraduate first-year or transfer student, do I have to go to both ISO and SOAR?

Yes. Both ISO and SOAR are mandatory programs designed to support your success at UW-Madison.

Events

Jun 12

Virtual: International Student Orientation

June 12 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am

 

Check back often for updates!