Initial Transition Information

International Student Orientation:  At the beginning of each term, the International Student Orientation Team holds a mandatory orientation program for new international students. This program is designed to provide you with valuable information and facilitate your transition to OSU. By participating in the International Student Orientation, you will gain essential information about:

  • immigration rules and regulations that affect your visa status
  • student health services and health insurance requirements at OSU
  • academic life at OSU 
  • campus and community resources
  • opportunities to meet other new international and domestic students at OSU
  • advising and registration (if you have not done this prior to orientation) 

To cover the cost of orientation, all degree and exchange students will be charged an orientation fee of $30 (winter and spring terms) or $50 (fall term). This fee will be automatically charged to your OSU student account. Orientation fees for INTO OSU students are included in the fees for these programs.

What is Convocation? This festive, symbolic ceremony officially welcomes the entire class incoming class of new students to the OSU community. Parents and family members are also welcome to attend. Convocation begins with the New Student Walk which winds students from the Memorial Union (MU) Quad to Gill Coliseum, a similar walk to the one they will take at Commencement. Convocation occurs one to a few days before fall term classes begin.

What is a term/quarter system? Oregon State University defines a term (also referred to as a "quarter") as one-third of the academic year, not counting summer. Terms at OSU are divided into fall, winter and spring terms and consist of 11 weeks each, with finals occurring during the last week. OSU Summer Session has several different options for length of courses, varying from one week to 11 weeks.

Why school spirit is important?  In the United State having pride in your school is an important piece in a student feeling a sense of belonging.  A sense of belonging strongly correlates to a positive experience.  School spirit most often appears in wearing Oregon State clothing or dressing in our school colors which are Orange and Black.  It can also be cheering at sporting events and singing our school fight song to encourage the team.

What is Beaver Nation? Who We Are: GRITTY.  DETERMINED.  CONFIDENT.

Hardworking, always taking action.  Every problem is a challenge. Every challenge is an opportunity.  Steadfast, with the perseverance to accomplish great things.  It’s never too cold, too remote, too windy, too steep, when knowledge is on the line.  Positive and unshakable, open to every possibility.  There are no setbacks, only resets. And every obstacle is an excuse to try a different path. Want to see a Beaver work twice as hard? Tell them it can’t be done.

Where can my student get help with immigration documents/issues?  For concerns or questions with immigration and documentation your student can contact International Programs at (541) 737-3006 or find their office located in University Plaza.

When will students be available to come home? There are multiple breaks throughout the academic year. As Oregon State runs on a term/quarter system, we have designated breaks throughout the year in between terms. The first break occurs after fall term and is 5 weeks long. The second break is for one week in between winter and spring term. Students have the option to take summer courses (link here) if not this is also considered a break. Summer break starts at the end of the spring term and ends in September. If your student is planning to stay in Corvallis during the break, University Housing and Dining does offer winter and spring break housing. Students must be currently living on campus. 

First-Year Families Information: A student's first year at college is a time of tremendous growth and development.  The success of this first year are the building blocks of a student's time at Oregon State University.  Family support is critical to the transition.  Follow the link below to access helpful tips and information for guiding you through that transition.

Continuing Student Information

My student is talking about changing their major? A student’s academic program encompasses the degree, major, minor, and any options they are pursuing in their studies at OSU. They can utilize the general catalog (link here), advising resources (link here), and MyDegrees to track their program requirements and making decisions regarding changes to their program.

  • Undergraduate students complete the Change of Undergraduate Academic Program form, obtain approval from the head advisor of the college in which the program being declared resides, and return the completed form to the Office of the Registrar. If you decide to change your major after the add/drop deadline, the change will normally take effect for the next academic term.
  • Graduate students who wish to change their academic program should consult the Graduate School Office’s change of degree/major procedures.

Where can my students work while in the US? International students seeking employment, either on-campus or off-campus, must follow both University and Federal regulations governing international student employment. 

What is Commencement? OSU's graduation ceremony grants and congratulates over 3,000 new graduates with bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees each spring. Approximately 25,000 parents and loved ones visit the Corvallis campus every year for this event. Visitors are encouraged to make travel plans well in advance of Commencement and check the site several times for timely updates about the event.

Second-Year Families and Beyond: Even though a student has completed their first year at Oregon State, there are still a variety of transitions and things that arise for students. Our hope is that as students continue their time here at Oregon State they begin to establish their own network of support within the university.  There are many ways that this can evolve and transform over time. They may start getting more involved with a club or organization within their major, research, or their job (especially if they are working on campus).