Before You Arrive

International Student Orientation

See the full International Student Orientation schedule on our First Year Experience website.

For information on the process of becoming an international student, including Immigration and Travel, What to Do Before Departure, and Arrival procedures, click on our International Student Handbook.

Quick Links

Health Insurance: Please contact the International Student Services Office or see the International Student Handbook for information on health insurance for international students.

Registering For Classes

New Students

New students will be registered for classes through the COMPASS Program. You will be assigned a Compass Advisor, who will be your contact person on campus for your first academic year. For more information, visit our Compass Advising web site.

Exchange and Rotary Students

If you are a student from one of our international exchange partners, or studying here on the Rotary program, you must register either prior to arrival on campus, or in person upon arrival with the help of your Advisor in the International Student Services Office. Your Advisor will email you prior to your arrival to begin the process of registration. You are strongly encouraged to register as early as possible to give you the widest selection of classes.

Returning Students

Traditional Undergraduate students register in OASIS. After you have received registration clearance from your advisor, you log on and select “register for sections,” here you will be able to search for classes and add courses to your schedule.

Placement Exams

Oglethorpe uses placement tests to ensure that new students register for the appropriate level of courses in language, math, science, business, accounting, economics, writing, and core. International students will take their applicable placement exams online.

Math Placement
Only students with the following intended major(s) are required to take the Math Placement test: Accounting, Business, Economics, Mathematics; any of the natural sciences such as Biology, Biopsychology, Chemistry or Physics; or students who are Undecided but who will potentially choose one of these majors. If you are interested in a pre-health advising track such as medicine or veterinary science, you must take the math placement test. All undecided students are strongly urged to take the test.

Writing Placement Exam
The writing placement exam determines whether or not students will be placed in COR 101 or WRI 101.

Petrel Pass

Your Petrel Pass is your official Oglethorpe University identification document. On campus it will allow you to borrow books from the library, enter campus in the evenings, is a key to your room if you live in Jobe-Hanson, Dempsey, or Bowden-Magbee, admittance into the cafeteria for students with a meal plan, and more.

Off campus your Petrel Pass allows you to get discounts at various restaurants, stores, and services in the area—called Petrel Partners.

To Get Your Petrel Pass:

  • If you are able to attend one of the campus MAP Days in the summer before you begin, you may have an ID photo taken during Making A Petrel Day (MAP), or you may submit your own photo in advance of attending a MAP Day in the summer. The photo must be a direct head shot of you (no other people in the photo), and you should not be wearing a hat, sunglasses, etc. You may submit your own photo to the helpdesk at helpdesk@oglethorpe.edu at least one week before your chosen MAP Day if you wish for your card to be prepared and available for pick-up at MAP Day.
  • If you are unable to attend a MAP Day, you will submit your photo to the Help Desk for your Petrel Pass. Follow the same directions for the photo, and send to helpdesk@oglethorpe.edu. Your Petrel Pass will be available for you when you check in. This will make your life easier in the first few days on campus.
  • If you wait until you arrive on campus for the semester to have your photo taken and your Petrel Pass made, there may be a waiting period until your Petrel Pass is available. You will be given instructions at check-in for what to do in this case.

What to Pack

Carry-on Bag:

  • Passport
  • Immigration documents (your VISA, I-20, etc.)
  • Birth certificate
  • Documentation of financial support
  • Money
  • Medications to last 2 months (in original prescription bottles)—your medical insurance will most likely not cover these items, so make sure you have these.
  • List of allergies for both food and medications.
  • Letter of admission from Oglethorpe and information regarding financial aid
  • Important contact info including an emergency contact, Oglethorpe’s International Student Services Office (404.364.8862), and Campus Safety (404.504.1998)
  • A few days worth of clothing—in case your luggage is delayed
  • Valuable items such as laptop, camera, phone, etc.

Checked Luggage:

  • Label your luggage with your name (as written on your passport), contact info, our office address and phone number
  • Casual Clothes: Students usually dress casually for class—so the majority of the clothes you should bring should be casual: jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, flip-flops, sneakers, etc. Bring clothes for warm AND cold weather.
  • Formal Clothes: men should have at least one shirt and tie and dress slacks, and women should have at least one nice dress or suit.
  • A warm coat and light jacket or sweater
  • If your country has traditional national dress, feel free to bring these items as well.
  • Toiletries—most toiletry brands are readily available in the United States, so you will be able to purchase those items here.
  • Personal Items
  • 2 pairs of glasses or extra contact lenses if you wear them
  • Since you will not be able to bring many items for furnishing your dorm room on the plane such as sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, etc., many students purchase these items shortly after they arrive at a nearby WalMart store. You may also purchase them through the OU Bookstore with a credit card prior to your arrival, and they will be waiting for you when you arrive.
  • NOTE: if you are bringing appliances or electronics with you, you should also bring an adapter plug—the U.S. electrical current is 110-115, 60-cycle AC.