Dear Future Ohio State Student,

Greetings from the Office of International Affairs at The Ohio State University! We are looking forward to meeting you this spring, and our International Student team has put together some resources to help you prepare for your arrival in Columbus, Ohio. Over the next few weeks, you will receive additional information that will cover 11 important steps to take before and upon your arrival at Ohio State.
Orientation is a multi-step process consisting of an immigration check-in session, as well as an orientation session, placement tests (if applicable), course registration and a mandatory health screening, etc. We recommend you arrive at least one to two weeks before classes begin in order to take care of all of the necessary requirements. Please make your plans accordingly.

Please note that the DS2019 for summer semester has been issued with a start date of May 10, 2017. However, international students can enter the United States on a F-1 or J-1 visa as early as 30 days before May 10It is important to note that while the summer semester at Ohio State includes multiple sessions with various start dates, only the official start date of the semester (May 10) appears on the immigration documents in order to comply with our immigration reporting deadlines.

Orientation and the mandatory immigration check-in will be held by the Office of International Affairs on Monday, May 8. Even if your summer session courses start later than May 10, you must  arrive and be checked-in on May 8 so you can meet our immigration reporting requirements.  


Orientation will introduce you to Ohio State and Columbus, allow you to meet other new students, and provide information on topics such as campus activities, health insurance and cultural adjustment. Staff members from offices around campus have made special arrangements to participate in this event so that they can introduce themselves and discuss the services they provide. Orientation will be held on Monday, May 8 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Wilce Student Health Center. You are required to attend both orientation and  immigration check-in to complete requirements. Please visit for more information.


Following orientation all students will be directed to the mandatory immigration check-in, which will be held in 100 Enarson Classroom Building on May 8, 2017 from 1 - 4 p.m. You do not need to pre-register for your check-in.

You  must  bring the following documents with you to immigration check-in:
  • Admission letter to Ohio State
  • Current passport
  • Current U.S. Visa
  • Printed I-94 card, print card here:
  • Ohio State Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (Note: if you have an active immigration record that is being transferred from another college or university in the United States to Ohio State, please also bring your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from your previous school). 
  • Form I-20(s) or Form DS-2019(s) of your dependents (spouse and children), if applicable
  • Student Record Form - Be sure to download and complete the form before arriving at check-in and bring the printed out, completed form with you. Failure to complete the form before your arrival could result in a longer wait at check-in!
At check-in, you will be greeted by international peer advisors who are current Ohio State students. Peer advisors play an integral role in welcoming new international students to Ohio State by introducing them to important university resources and policies, as well as sharing their experiences as successful students. An immigration coordinator will also be available to answer any questions you may have.

At check-in, you will also receive information regarding:
  • How to maintain your immigration status
  • English and/or Math Placement tests (if necessary)
  • Required health screening
  • BuckID (university identification card)
  • International Student Handbook - contains more information about Ohio State and Columbus
  • New student orientation
  • Course registration

It will take multiple days to complete all new student requirements, please schedule your travel plans accordingly so that you arrive in a timely manner.


Students returning to Ohio State after a leave of absence are still required to attend the mandatory
check-in. It is highly recommended that returning students attend the orientation program as well.


If you need assistance with the following matters:

- To correct a Form I-20 due to an error;
- To arrange to begin at a later semester; and
- To ask questions about transfer of courses from a previous college or university

Please contact one of the Ohio State Admissions Offices:

For graduate/professional students:
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Phone: 614-292-9444
For undergraduate students:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Phone: 614-292-3980
Please note: If you are a returning student or a student with a current immigration record that is being transferred to Ohio State, please contact the immigration coordinator who signed your
Ohio State Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 if the form contains any errors.
It is very important that you activate your Ohio State email account as soon as possible and
prior to your arrival. There are currently two possible paths to activating your Ohio State Internet username and password.

If you know your Ohio State ID Number and Password you can activate your Ohio State account
(lastname.#) and Ohio State email address ( at The password should already have been emailed to you by the admissions office. Your Ohio State ID number can be found in the top portion of your official acceptance letter. Please read the Policy on Responsible
Use of University Computing Resources then click on "activate account."

Once activated, you may check your email account by visiting and
signing in to Buckeye Mail using your (Windows Live ID) and password.

If you continue to have trouble activating your account, please contact the Office of Information Technology by emailing or by telephone at 614-688-4357.
If you have not already applied for your U.S. visa, now is the time to begin your application
process. Please be aware that demand for U.S. visas at certain consulates have experienced a dramatic increase, which has delayed wait times. To check the wait time in your city visit,

For general information on applying for a U.S. visa, please visit
- Visa information

For more information on the SEVIS fee, please visit
- SEVIS fee information

For more information specific to applying for an F-1 student visa, please visit
- U.S. Department of State F-1 Visa

For more information specific to applying for a J-1 visa, please visit:
- U.S. Department of State - J-1 Visa
- Global Engagement Facebook
- Academic Culture at Ohio State
- Office of International Affairs Facebook
- Ohio State International Affairs Twitter
- OSUGlobal Instagram

We encourage you to spend time navigating our website. The website contains important information designed to help you maintain your immigration status and adjust to your new home in Columbus. Now is a good time for you to become familiar with our website - before you arrive on campus.

We are looking forward to seeing you here in Columbus! Please allow us to join the other offices on campus in congratulating you on your acceptance to The Ohio State University.

Kind regards,

The Office of International Affairs
Quick Links
Global Engagement Calendar of Events
Global Engagement Night International Students
Global Engagement Facebook Group Ohio Union Events
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