International Student Orientation
During International Student Orientation you will learn more about Reed and the U.S. and get to know other international students, mentors, and staff and faculty. Participants also have a chance to rest, settle in, and start exploring their new home away from home.
Please confirm your participation in International Student Orientation by completing the International Student Orientation registration form.
Contact: Dana Lawson, assistant dean of students for international student services, 503/517-5538, Skype: iss.reed.
More information for new international students can be found on the international student services website.
The International Student Orientation (ISO) is for international students and participation is required for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders. International Student Orientation is an essential and fun part of the international student experience and is carefully designed to help launch you into a successful semester at Reed College. The International Student Orientation program orients international students to the U.S. and Reed and also connects each student with an InterConnect peer mentor who will guide students through their first semester. ISO includes a tour of Portland, shopping trip, welcome meal with faculty and staff, an event with host families, and important sessions focused on international student needs and identities. There is no registration fee for the International Student Orientation; all activities and meals are completely free for participants.
An integral part of International Student Orientation is the InterConnect peer-mentoring program. Each new student participating in International Student Orientation will be placed in an InterConnect group (4–6 new students) and paired with a returning student mentor. Your InterConnect mentor will be in touch with you over the summer and will serve as a mentor and guide throughout Orientation and your first semester at Reed. Throughout the fall, new students are supported through individual meetings and a series of fun InterConnect events with your mentor group.
A Tour of Portland
Excited to explore Portland? Your mentor will spend an afternoon and evening helping you to start exploring some of Portland’s neighborhoods and famous sights while learning to use the city’s public transportation.
Our welcome breakfast is a highlight of International Student Orientation. You’ll have the chance to meet fellow international students as well as staff and faculty. Families are welcome to join us!
Transportation will be provided so you can visit local stores to pick up items you might not have been able to fit in your suitcases and to purchase some items that will help your residence hall feel like a home away from home.
Most international students are matched with a local host family prior to their arrival in the U.S. (this is nonresidential, so you won’t be living with your host families). The host family program allows for international students to connect with a family living near the college. These families volunteer to be a friend to an international student at Reed and help introduce students to life beyond campus. Host families will correspond with their student during the summer and often arrange to provide transportation from the airport to campus. They are also a resource during the year in a number of ways: by showing you interesting sites in Portland as well as Oregon; by inviting you to their homes for an American meal or celebration; or simply by being an off-campus friend with whom you can talk. You will receive more information about the host family program over the summer.
Cost & Registration
There is no cost for International Student Orientation. All meals, workshops, and trips associated with International Student Orientation are covered by Reed. It is a good idea, however, to arrive with some U.S. currency in order to purchase supplies and personal items.
We ask that all international students register online for the International Orientation Odyssey by June 15. Registration is important since it also includes information requests for the host family program. The online registration is through IRIS. If you have not received your IRIS login information, please email the Orientation office or phone 503/777-7530.
Packing for International Student Orientation
You will not need any items for International Student Orientation that you would not already be bringing to campus. We understand that due to travel and financial restrictions, you may be traveling light. During the first couple of days of International Student Orientation, you will have an opportunity to visit some local stores to purchase items needed to outfit your room and prepare for the beginning of classes. More shopping trips will be offered during New Reedie Orientation. We will also 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 international student services.
Arriving for International Student Orientation
As an international student, you will be able to check in and move into your residence hall beginning Tuesday, August 20, at 9 a.m. We strongly encourage you to arrive on Tuesday, August 20. Because international flights are long and airport delays are unpredictable, ISO staff members have arranged for 24-hour check-in and registration. You are encouraged to be in touch with staff members if your itinerary changes, so that staff can be prepared for your arrival.
When you arrive on campus, check in at the ISS office in Gray Campus Center 104. Please see the map.
If you 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 Theresa Lowrie in the Disability Support Services office to discuss your needs and other possible accommodations for your time at Reed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I move into the residence halls earlier than August 20? If I arrive earlier, where should I stay?
Unfortunately, Residence Life staff will not be ready to welcome you earlier than August 20 at 9 a.m. Some international students choose to book flights arriving into Portland earlier than the 20th due to more convenient travel times, wanting additional time in Portland, or other reasons. If you choose to arrive earlier, you will need to arrange your own accommodations until August 20. If you are matched with a host family, host families are often happy to host students in their homes for a night or two, but that is not guaranteed. We can also suggest looking into hotels or Air BnB options in the area. If finding alternate accommodations will be difficult for you, we recommend that you arrive on August 20 and move into your residence hall on that day.
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 U.S., we want to let you know that we do not have any formal activities that include parents and family members of international students except for our welcome breakfast on Wednesday, August 21. The activities outlined in the schedule are for international students only. If you are a parent or family member bringing your student to International Student Orientation, we encourage you to schedule your trip to overlap with the general New Reedie Orientation, which offers Parent & Family Orientation. Please let ISS know if you have any questions.
I’m not sure if I’m technically an international student. I am a U.S. citizen, but have been living abroad. Am I able to participate in International Student Orientation?
Absolutely! We have a thriving Third Culture Kid 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 U.S. and meet other global nomads, you are more than welcome to attend International Student Orientation. Each year, we have several TCKs attend our orientation and many 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 us know and we are happy to get you in contact with a current TCK Reedie.
How will I get from the airport to campus?
Often host families offer to provide transportation for students from the airport to campus and help them to get settled in. International student services staff will also provide transportation for students from the airport to campus. We will contact you later on in the summer to collect arrival information and make arrangements for your transportation needs.