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The Bechtel International Center will be closed on Fridays from June 14th to September 3rd.

Photo of students during 2022 grad orientation

2023 Orientation Schedule

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Updated on: August 17, 2023

Maintaining Your Legal Status: This workshop is MANDATORY for all F and J student visa holders and provides necessary information about your status in the United States. Workshops will be offered several times from Aug. 29 through Sept. 26. You only need to attend one of these workshops -- as they are identical -- for your enrollment hold to be released. See the Orientation schedule below for days and times. Slides for the presentation can be found here.

Community Advisors: Community Committee for International Students (CCIS) volunteers are available after most Maintaining Your Legal Status workshops. Hear about programs like English in Action, sign up to borrow household items (pots, pans, dishes, etc.) from the Loan Closet, ask general questions about orientation, or learn about local points of interest.

Release of Enrollment Holds: All F and J students are required to bring their passport, I-20 or DS-2019, and a recent print out/screen shot on a digital device of the I-94 electronic arrival record to one of the Maintaining Your Legal Status workshops in order to have your enrollment hold removed. The hold will be removed during the workshop. Prior to attending this workshop, you must update your SEVIS (U.S.) address and U.S. phone number in Axess. Instructions on how to update your address can be found on the Bechtel website: http://stanford.io/2aC97Gi

Change of Visa Status: All students should obtain the appropriate entry visa from the U.S. consulate located in their home country. If you are already present in the U.S. on a different visa type and need to change to F-1 or J-1, we strongly recommend that you do this through travel and re-entry as it is the fastest way to get the required visa status. For more information visit: http://stanford.io/2ajQaFE

F-1 Students Who Attended Other U.S. Schools: All F-1 transfer students must complete the check-in process within 15 days of the program start date. This can only be done after you have updated your SEVIS (U.S.) address field and U.S. phone number on Axess and have attended one of the Maintaining Your Legal Status workshops at Bechtel. After these two requirements have been met you will receive an e-mail that the Transfer Completed I-20 is ready to be self-printed from Bechtel Connect.

Social Security Number (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Information: Sessions will be offered during the Orientation to discuss applying for an SSN or ITIN. You’ll most likely need one of these.

Health Requirements: Please review all of the Vaden Health Center requirements at: http://stanford.io/2amsSPZ. You can contact the student clinic at: https://vaden.stanford.edu/ or call (650) 498-2336 if you have any questions.

Bus Trips and Tours: There is a bus trip to Henry Cowell Redwoods on Saturday, Sept. 16, and a bus tour of the Berkeley-Bay Area on Saturday, Sept. 23. Tickets will be sold at the Bechtel International Center starting on Monday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be paid for with cash. Students who want to use a credit card to pay for tickets can do so from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bechtel International Center. Tickets are limited and sell quickly! More details can be found in this schedule.

Dinners at the Bechtel International Center: Please join us on 4 different nights for dinner. See the Orientation schedule below for details. Tickets are $15 and include food & non-alcoholic beverage. Tickets will be sold at the Bechtel International Center starting on Monday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be paid for with cash. Students who want to use a credit card to pay for tickets can do so from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bechtel International Center. Space is limited! Wine, beer, and other alcoholic drinks will be for sale during the dinners.

Special Information and Events for Couples and Families: The Bechtel International Center offers a variety of special programs, classes, and assistance for spouses and partners. For more information attend the International Spouse Coffees (Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Bechtel International Center), and check our website: https://tinyurl.com/z9mzmkks

Social Events and Programs: Studying hard or playing hard? Why not both? The Bechtel International Center offers a variety of social programs throughout the year like trips to Wine Country, holiday celebrations, international karaoke nights, puppy therapeutic parties, and much more. Subscribe to the newsletter or follow @bechtelprograms on Instagram.

Graduate Student Information Center (GSIC): The GSIC assists new and continuing graduate students with questions about administrative, academic, and student life. The GSIC is open 7 days a week from 9am-5pm during the week of Sept. 17. GSIC contact number: (650) 736-7078. For location, schedule of events and services: https://glo.stanford.edu/ngso

NOTE: This Orientation schedule is tentative. This webpage will be updated so revisit this page for the most up to date information.

All events are held at the Bechtel International Center, unless otherwise noted. Spouses and families of students are cordially invited to all activities.

Monday, September 11

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Student Services Center and Student Financial Services (also on Sept. 18): Student Services Center and Student Financial Services representatives explain important enrollment deadlines, full-time student enrollment requirements, enrolling in correct class sections, and how to withdraw/drop courses. Other topics discussed are: Understanding and paying University bills; who to ask questions about your bills; and third-party contract billing.
1:30-2:30 p.m.Banking in the U.S.A-Options for Managing Your Money (also on Sept. 19): Information about different kinds of bank accounts, credit and debit cards, identity theft prevention, U.S. banking services, and money transfers. Presented by a representative from the Stanford Federal Credit Union (SFCU).
3:15-4:15 p.m.Transplants Taking Root: Skills and Resources for Mental Health and Well-Being at Stanford (also on Sept. 19): A presentation by Well-Being at Stanford and CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services). This session is designed to bring awareness to the kinds of issues you are most likely to face as a new student. This interactive session will include exercises and discussions and will focus on typical adjustment phases and self-care.
5:00-6:00 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status

Tuesday, September 12

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Medical Care-Insurance, Entrance Medical Records, Required Inoculations: In this session, representatives from Vaden Health Center (the on-campus student clinic) will discuss health services and how Cardinal Care health insurance works.
1:30-2:30 p.m.F-1/J-1 Employment in the U.S. (also on Sept. 21): On/Off-campus employment information.
3:00-3:30 p.m.Social Security Number (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Information
(also on Sept. 21)
4:00-5:00 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status

Wednesday, September 13

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.Living Safely at Stanford (also on Sept. 21): A presentation by Stanford’s Department of Public Safety about laws and customs, contacting police, keeping property safe, personal safety, alcohol rules (DUI), safe hiking, phishing scams, telephone scams, bicycle safety, and a brief talk about earthquake awareness and preparedness.
1:00-2:00 p.m.Boba Making social event (or until supplies last!)
3:00-4:00 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
6:00-7:00 p.m.Dinner: Indian food. Tickets are limited. Purchase tickets using cash starting September 11 at the Bechtel International Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by credit card from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This dinner is sponsored by Hamid Ezzatyar, AAA insurance agent  (Menlo Park branch) 

Thursday, September 14

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.Culture of the U.S. Classroom (also on Sept. 18): A session about the cultural aspects surrounding student life: What is Stanford’s academic system? What are Stanford’s academic regulations? What is the Honor Code? How can you be successful? A panel of Stanford students and staff will address these and other questions.
2:00-3:00 p.m.Stanford As We See It Student panel featuring Stanford University international students both past and present.
4:00-5:00 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
6:00-7:00 p.m.Dinner: Mediterranean food. Tickets are limited. Tickets are limited. Purchase tickets using cash starting September 11 at the Bechtel International Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by credit card from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday, September 15

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Automobiles (also on Sept. 20): A presentation on how to buy a used car, licensing, and insurance.
1:00-2:00 p.m.Ice Cream Social – Meet and Greet with International Student Advisors
2:30-3:30 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
6:00-7:00 p.m.Dinner: Italian food. Tickets are limited. Tickets are limited. Purchase tickets using cash starting September 11 at the Bechtel International Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by credit card from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This dinner is sponsored by Flywire - the global payments and software experts.
7:00-9:00 p.m.International Karaoke Night! Sing and share songs from your home country solo, in pairs, or groups. Or sing popular American songs. It’s your turn to star at this fun event!

Saturday, September 16

9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: Join us for a guided trip of this beautiful 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The bus will leave exactly at 9:30 a.m. Please make sure to arrive at the Faculty Club 439 Lagunita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305 (across the street from the Bechtel International Center) by 9:15 a.m. The whole-day trip will cost $50 per person and includes snacks/drinks on the bus and a box lunch. THERE IS LIMITED SPACE, BUY YOUR TICKET EARLY! Tickets can be purchased beginning Sept. 11 at the Bechtel International Center.
NOTE: No children will be allowed on this trip. Tickets are limited to new Stanford students or scholars only.

Sunday, September 17

4:00-6:00 p.m.“Dish Walk”: Meet new friends and enjoy a Stanford tradition of “Walking the Dish” in the foothills above Stanford. Meet at the Bechtel International Center rear courtyard. Bring a hat, a bottle of water, and wear good walking shoes. This event is free!

Monday, September 18

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.Culture of the U.S. Classroom (also on Sept. 14)
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.Student Services Center and Student Financial Services (also on Sept. 11)
3:00-4:00 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status

Tuesday, September 19

1:00-2:00 p.m.Banking in the U.S.A-Options for Managing Your Money (also on Sept. 11)
2:30-3:30 p.m.Transplants Taking Root: Skills and Resources for Mental Health and Well-Being at Stanford (also on Sept. 11)
4:00-5:00 pmMaintaining Your Legal Status
6:00-7:00 p.m.Dinner: Chinese food. Tickets are limited. Tickets are limited. Purchase tickets using cash starting September 11 at the Bechtel International Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by credit card from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, September 20

9:00-10:00 a.m.CATAPULT: CA/TA Panel on University Learning and Teaching Teaching doesn’t have to be stressful. In this interactive workshop and panel presentation, you’ll learn tips from experienced international student peers and identify resources to support you in your teaching assistant (TA) or course assistant (CA) assignment, whether you start this year or in the future. For questions or accommodations, please contact Amanda Modell at amandamodell@stanford.edu. Catapult will take place in 408 Panama Mall Suite 149. Register here.
9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.Wednesday Coffee for Spouses, Partners, and Families of International Students and Scholars: Join us for our weekly informal gathering! It is an ideal way to meet other spouses and families, to get information about living at Stanford, and to learn about the many options for enriching your stay. Held every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Bechtel International Center’s rear courtyard.
2:30-3:30 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
4:00-5:00 p.m.Automobiles (also on Sept. 15)
5:30-7:30 p.m.Welcome Reception (co-sponsored by Stanford Federal Credit Union): Join the festivities! Enjoy great traditional American pizza and meet new friends! Win raffle prizes from the Campus Bike Store, Athletic Department, and more! We will also have information tables set up by student groups and programs for spouses and families. Featuring a special welcome address by Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs. Come meet the Bechtel International Center staff and CCIS Advisors. Live music by the Bobby Earle Band!

Thursday, September 21

9:30 am-10:30 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.Living Safely at Stanford (also on Sept. 13)
1:00-2:00 p.m.F-1/J-1 Employment in the U.S. (also on Sept. 12)
2:15-2:45 p.m.Social Security Number (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Information
(also on Sept. 12)
3:30-5:00 p.m.Graduate Life Office Reception: The Graduate Life Office is hosting their own reception for all new graduate students. For details on their reception, visit: https://glo.stanford.edu/ngso 

Friday, September 22

8:00 am-12:00 p.m.Teaching at Stanford-An Orientation for Teaching Assistants: Come learn about the process of becoming a Teaching Assistant (TA) and gain skills on how to be an effective TA. Continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 am. Location: Lathrop Library.
12:00-2:00 p.m.Graduate Orientation and Lunch Information Event (GOALIE): Check out the many student clubs, organizations, and resources available to you. This information fair is offered by the Graduate Life Office (GLO). Free lunch provided. Location: Canfield Courtyard, between the Law School and Meyer Green.
1:00-2:00 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status

Saturday, September 23

9:00 am-5:00 p.m.Berkeley-Bay Area Bus Tour: This all-day tour includes a walking tour of the University of California, Berkeley campus, lunch at Berkeley’s International House, followed by a drive across the Bay Bridge, and a visit to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point and Ocean Beach. The bus will leave exactly at 9:00 am. Please make sure to arrive at the Faculty Club 439 Lagunita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305 (across the street from the Bechtel International Center) by 8:45 am. The whole-day trip will cost $50 per person and includes lunch. THERE IS LIMITED SPACE, BUY YOUR TICKET EARLY! Tickets can be purchased beginning Sept. 11 at the Bechtel International Center. NOTE: No children will be allowed on this trip.

Monday, September 25

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status
2:30-3:30 p.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status

Tuesday, September 26 - Classes Begin! Have a great first day!

9:30-10:30 a.m.Maintaining Your Legal Status

Wednesday, October 4

10:00 am-12:00 p.m.Welcome Coffee for Spouses, Partners, and Families of International Students and Scholars: Join us for our weekly informal gathering! It is an ideal way to meet other spouses and families, to get information about living at Stanford, and to learn about the many options for enriching your stay. Returning spouses speaking many languages will host this event, so fluent English is not necessary to attend. Held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Bechtel International Center rear courtyard.

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