International Student Services

Division of Student Life

International Student Orientation

International Student Orientation is an essential part of the international student experience and is carefully designed to help launch you into a successful semester at Reed College.

Fall 2024 International Student Orientation (ISO) will take place from August 22-26 and is required for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders. Thursday, August 22 is the designated arrival date for new international students. The program orients international students to the United States and Reed and also connects each student with an InterConnect peer mentor who will guide students through their first semester. There is no registration fee for ISO; all activities and meals are free for participants. 

Please confirm your participation in ISO by completing the International Student Orientation registration form in IRIS between June 1 - July 15, Reed's website for community members only.

Registration opens June 1See an Example of the 2023 ISO Schedule

Important Dates

June 1 - Registration Opens for International Student Orientation
July 15 - Registration Closes for International Student Orientation
August 22 - On-Campus Housing Opens for New International Students 
August 22-26 - International Student Orientation sessions and activities


InterConnect Mentor Program

An integral part of ISO, the InterConnect peer-mentoring program pairs each new student with an InterConnect group (4 to 6 new students) and a returning student mentor. InterConnect mentors contact their students over the summer and serve as a mentor and guide throughout Orientation and the first semester at Reed. During the fall semester, new students are supported through individual meetings and a series of fun InterConnect events with your mentor group.

International Friendship Program

When registering for ISO, new students will have the option to sign-up for our International Friendship Program (IFP). This cooperative effort between ISS and volunteers in the local community connects new international students with local hosts in Portland who provide a sense of home away from home for students. The relationship begins when local hosts and students communicate over the summer and welcome their student to Portland. Many hosts offer to pick up their student from the airport, bring them to campus, and/or help them settle into their residence halls. During the school year, local hosts and students establish and define a relationship that works for both sides. Most get together at least once per month. ISS also organizes on-campus events to bring students and their local hosts together as a group.

Pre-Arrival Communication

Registrants for ISO will receive pre-arrival communication from International Student Services and their InterConnect mentor. Students attending Reed on F-1 and J-1 visas will receive access to an orientation module that will introduce essential information related to your visa status in the U.S. Students will be expected to complete the module at their convenience prior to arriving on campus in August.


We are still finalizing the fall 2024 ISO schedule. In the meantime, find the tentative overview of International Student Orientation (ISO) below, follow the link for a full schedule: 

  • Thursday (8/22) - Arrival Day: Check-in to campus rooms and settle in. ISS will be open for drop-in questions. Dinner and dessert together.
  • Friday (8/23) - ISO Welcome with information sessions and connections with mentors.
  • Saturday (8/24) - Explore Campus: mentor-led tours and walking trips to campus-adjacent resources.
  • Sunday (8/25) - See the City: mentors take new students to their favorite Portland spots!
  • Monday (8/26) - Get Ready for Classes: Reed faculty share tips and resources for a successful academic experience. Then students join general orientation activities in the evening!

Cost & Registration

There is no cost for ISO. All meals, workshops, and activities associated with ISO are covered by Reed. It is a good idea, however, to arrive with some US currency in order to purchase supplies and personal items. If possible, please bring a bank card that will work in the US, check with your local bank before departure.
We ask that all international students register online for ISO by July 15 (registration opens June 1). Registration is important to help us pair students with mentors. You can register online through IRIS. If you have not received your IRIS login information, please email or call 503-777-7530.


You will not need any items for ISO that you would not already be bringing to campus. We understand that due to travel and financial restrictions, you may be traveling light. We will have linens (sheets, blanket, pillows, and towels) available for you upon arrival to use until you are able to purchase your own. For guidance on what to pack, please email You may also wish to order some items for delivery ahead of your arrival. Target, Amazon, and other US retailers offer competitive shipping rates. Contact contact mail services and bookstore directly for more information regarding your campus mail address and pick-up process.


Students will be brought back to Reed in stages beginning in mid-August. International students arriving to campus for the first time will be invited to move into campus housing on August 22nd. It will not be possible to access your campus room before this date, so please plan travel accordingly.

International Student Services will arrange some opportunities for students to access transportation from Portland International Airport and select airport area hotels on August 22nd and 23rd. More information regarding transportation details will be shared after ISO registration closes on July 15th. Please register for International Student Orientation (above) to ensure that you receive updates regarding Reed transportation options. 


If you have special dietary needs or are a student in need of accommodations due to disability, physical or otherwise, please let us know in advance so we can be as accommodating and inclusive as possible in our programming. You may also contact Disability & Accessibility Resources to discuss your needs and other possible accommodations for your time at Reed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my parents or family members are coming with me to Reed?

As many international students do not have family travel with them to the United States, we want to let you know that we do not have any formal activities that include parents and family members of international students. The activities outlined in the schedule are for international students only. Some in programming for parents and family will be offered as part of general Orientation. 

I’m not sure if I’m technically an international student. I am a United States citizen, but I have been living abroad. Am I able to participate in International Student Orientation?

Absolutely! We have a thriving Third Culture Kid (TCK)/Global Nomad community at Reed and welcome TCKs to engage with our office. If you identify as a Third Culture Kid or have just been living abroad and would like to transition slowly back to the United States and meet other global nomads, you are more than welcome to attend International Student Orientation. Please complete the registration form to let us know you plan to attend. Each year, we have several TCKs attend our orientation, and many TCKs continue to participate in our programs and services throughout their time at Reed. If you would like to speak with a TCK at Reed, let International Student Services know.