Fall 2014

Arrive in San Diego by: August 17, 2014
Orientation start date: August 18, 2014

We are excited to welcome you to San Diego State University and the New International Student Orientation! We highly recommend you read through all the information found on our International Student Center Web Site before arriving to campus:


Our Fall New International Student Orientation Program is scheduled from August 18-23, 2014 and it is MANDATORY for all new Fall 2014 international students to attend.

All international students should plan to arrive in San Diego by August 17, 2014.

San Diego State University Map is available here.

International Student Center location can be found here.

At Orientation you will gain the necessary resources and information to prepare you for your SDSU academic experience. Orientation is also an invaluable opportunity for you to make lifelong friendships and memories as you discover San Diego through a city tour and San Diego Zoo. You will also have other social opportunities to meet others and navigate your way around San Diego and San Diego State University.

Orientation Program

A detailed schedule and handbook will be posted in the coming months. Please check back frequently, as this will be updated frequently.

During orientation we are offering a tour of San Diego and a trip to San Diego Zoo. We recommend you sign-up for these activities prior to orientation as space is limited. Event registration will open soon.

Preparing for Orientation

Please note that all new international students must check-in at San Diego State University. Your check- in time will be emailed to you separately.

You will need to bring with you the following documents:
  • Passport
  • Copy of I-94 Card
  • I-20 or DS-2019 form
  • If you are a government sponsored student please also bring financial documentation from your government sponsor

If possible, please also bring a copy of the following items. Copies need to be made once you have arrived in the United States to ensure your entry documents have been stamped.

Bring copies of the following documents:
  • Picture page (bio) of your Passport
  • Visa stamp
  • Arrival stamp - stamp placed in your passport at the airport; usually on the page across from your visa
  • I-94 - Go to to find your I-94 and print a copy.

Arriving in San Diego

All international students should plan to arrive in San Diego by August 17, 2014.

Students interested in taking a shuttle from the San Diego Airport to the San Diego State University area have the option of using the Super Shuttle. To make a reservation you can call 1-800-258-3826 and use the promotional code UFD59 to get a student discount. The flat rate of the Super Shuttle using the discount is $14.00. You can also make a reservation online at: The online web site will ask you to enter specific information. As address choose: hotel/popular landmark. When hotel name pops up enter SDSU. You may then choose any of the four options in the drop down.

Taxis are also available from the airport. Price from the airport to SDSU is on average $45.

If you are planning on driving to orientation we recommend that you park in Parking Structure 4 as it is the closest parking structure to the International Student Center. In Parking Structure 4, students may park between levels 3 & 8 with a Student Parking Permit. For those who do not have a parking permit, you will need to go to parking level 8 and purchase a parking pass there. The Parking fee is $1.00 per hour, or $5.00 for all day permit.


Hotel Stay During Orientation:
Students living in off-campus housing should go directly to their apartment or short term housing/hotel upon arrival. On-Campus housing does not provide pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels. If you plan to arrive in San Diego at night we recommend staying in a hotel so that you do not have to bother with purchasing room items after your long flight. For more information on obtaining short term housing/hotel click here.

Living On-Campus:
Students living on-campus officially move in to their dormitories on Tuesday, January 14, 2014; however, because you are an international student attending the New International Student Orientation Program, you will be able to move in early but you MUST complete an EARLY ARRIVAL FORM two weeks prior to your arrival to be allowed to move in early. The early arrival form is available in July. For more information and to complete the early arrival form please follow this link: Early Arrival Form

Living Off-Campus:
Apartment complexes near campus are available to provide you with leasing information. You can find information about apartment complexes through our off-campus resources: Off Campus Housing.

There is a group on facebook set up to help incoming international students and outgoing study abroad students communicate about finding housing: Student Housing Facebook Group.

Choosing Courses

For freshman or transfer students, we recommend using The MyMAP Guide to map out your educational career.

The Course Catalogs include brief descriptions for all SDSU courses, but not every course in the catalog is offered every semester so you will need to look at the Class Schedule for courses offered in your desired exchange semester once classes are posted.

Undergraduate Catalog:
Graduate Catalog:
Class Schedule:

Undergraduate students may only take courses numbered 100-599 and are not eligible to take graduate level courses numbered 600 and above.

Graduate students can only pre-register for courses numbered 500 and above. Graduate students cannot preregister for undergraduate courses but will be able to add those courses during the first week of classes.

Course Registration

You are responsible for registering yourself for courses in the Web Portal system. Log into Web Portal and click on "My Registration" to see your registration time in the top right of the screen. It is extremely important that you try to register exactly at your registration time (Pacific Standard Time), even if that means waking up in the middle of the night in your country to do so. Classes at SDSU fill very quickly so be prepared and act as soon as the system will allow.

You should register for classes BEFORE coming to orientation. At Orientation Freshman and Transfer students will be able to speak with a an academic advisor, but you will not register for courses- this should be done BEFORE you come to orientation. There is no academic advising available for exchange students on a J1 visa or graduate students during the orientation program.

In order to make the registration process quicker, we encourage you to create a "Wish List" in Web Portal of the courses in which you want to register. To do this, simply select "Wish" on the right side of the specific course you are interested in. This list should include alternate choices of courses in case any of your first choices are full. When your registration time begins, you need to add each course from your Wish List using the verification code that will be provided by the system. It will immediately verify if you were successful in adding the course. All courses that you were able to add will appear in your "Class Schedule".

Undergraduate students must register for a minimum of 12 units and a maximum of 17 units. A normal workload for undergraduate students is 12-15 units. Graduate students must register for a minimum of 9 units and a maximum of 12 units.

Health Insurance

SDSU requires all international students to maintain adequate health insurance throughout the duration of their academic program. The ISC offers a pre-approved insurance policy that meets all of the health insurance requirements.

Each semester, SDSU automatically places an insurance hold on your class registration until you show proof of approved insurance coverage. Since you are a new student your health insurance hold will automatically be cleared for registration for the Fall 2014 semester, however you must purchase an approved health insurance policy before the Fall semester begins.

To purchase the approved insurance policy and to learn more about health insurance requirements go to the ISC's health insurance page at: Health Insurance Page.