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Orientation Information

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 Intern Orientation

J-1 Exchange Visitor Orientation takes place every Thursday morning at ISSS in the Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100. This orientation is for newly arrived J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Research Scholar, Professor, Short-term Scholar, and Student Intern categories.

Newly arrived J-1 scholars will be asked to sign up for an orientation slot during check-in with ISSS. You can sign up for an orientation session here. Orientation takes place each Thursday from 10am to 11:30am.

Scholar Arrival Checklist

  1. Check-in with the hosting academic department.
  2. Come to ISSS for mandatory Welcome Check-In. Bring your passport and DS-2019. Also, be ready to provide a local address and phone number. ISSS needs copies of stamped travel documents for the scholar’s file.
  3. Get your Vanderbilt Identification Card. The University Card Office is located in Sarratt Student Center, Room 184. You will need your passport, DS-2019, and official invitation letter or offer letter from Vanderbilt.  (Dependents can get a Vanderbilt Identification Card too for $10)
  4. Get VUNetID and Vanderbilt Email Account.
  5. Attend J-1 Exchange Visitor Orientation at ISSS. Orientation is every Thursday at 10am.
  6. Complete the J-1 Insurance Requirement Acknowledgement and Pledge form and return it to ISSS within two weeks of check in.

Additional Steps if Being Paid by Vanderbilt

  1. 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.
  2. Have your hiring department or supervisor Request access to the GLACIER Tax Database from the International Tax Office (ITO).
  3. Attend New Staff Orientation to learn about health insurance plans and benefits. You can learn more about this orientation at