Below is some general information about orientation for students and scholars. Orientation is mandatory and will provide important information about status maintenance, health insurance, campus resources, and more.
F-1 and J-1 Student Orientation
New students who are studying on an F-1 or J-1 student visa must attend International Student Orientation. Please check your email for the most up-to-date information on Orientation.
J-1 Scholar and J-1 Student Intern Orientation
A J-1 Exchange Visitor Orientation takes place every Thursday morning for incoming J-1 scholars who will begin an exchange visitor program with a Vanderbilt department. This session is intended for newly arrived J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Research Scholar, Professor, Short-term Scholar, and Student Intern categories.
Incoming J-1 scholars will be asked to register in advance for an orientation slot during check-in with ISSS. Orientation takes place each Thursday from 10am to 12:00 noon.
Register here for an orientation session.
Scholar Arrival Checklist
- Confirm your departmental check-in process with the hosting academic department. Be sure you have the needed information about the following:
- Sign up for a J-1 Scholar Check-in appointment with ISSS to complete your mandatory SEVIS Check-In. Currently, scholar check-in sessions are being completed virtually via Zoom.
- Make sure to have an electronic copy of the following documents for you and your dependents in advance of your appointment: passport, DS-2019, J-1 visa stamp, I-94 admission record.
- You will also need your local U.S. address and phone number, and the contact information for your designated emergency contact person.
- You will be required to complete your J-1 Health Insurance Pledge during your scholar check-in session. Please be sure to have your proof of health insurance that meets the federal requirements for yourself and any dependents who have entered the U.S. with you.
- Sign up for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Orientation Session with ISSS. The sessions are held every Thursday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (CST).
Additional Steps if Being Paid by Vanderbilt
- If you will be paid by Vanderbilt, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. Bring your passport, DS-2019, and Vanderbilt offer letter to the Social Security Administration which is located at 120 Athens Way, Nashville, 37228. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: 9am to 3pm. Wednesdays: 9am to 12pm. Closed Saturdays and Sundays.
- Due to COVID-19 the Social Security Administration Office is not currently open to the public except by appointment. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on how to request an appointment.
- Confirm with your hiring department or supervisor that your access request for the GLACIER Tax Database has been initiated.
- Confirm the date and time of your scheduled New Hire Orientation to learn about health insurance plans and benefits.