Port of entry and arrival

Your entry into the U.S. will include an inspection from a Customs and Border Protection officer. Make sure you have all required documents. 

The IPD office does not arrange transportation to Northwestern, but there are a variety of ways to get to campus. The easiest and quickest way to campus is by taxi, but other public transit options are also available. For directions, maps, and more, check out Northwestern's Visiting Campus webpage.

Check-in and orientation

After arriving on campus, international students are required to attend orientation and "check in" at the International Office. If you have any questions, contact the IPD Office.

International Student Orientation

The International Office hosts two international student orientations at the start of the academic year. One is specifically for undergraduate students; the other is specifically for graduate students.

At your mandatory orientation session, you will meet other international students, learn how to maintain your international student status, complete your required immigration check-in and have fun before your studies start.

Visit the Undergraduate International Student Orientation webpage on the International Office website.

Immigration check-in

U.S. immigration regulation states all J-1 students attending Northwestern are REQUIRED to "check-in" at the Evanston International Office or our Chicago Office within five days of arrival on campus or at a predetermined check-in session (such as an international student orientation session).

All incoming international students will have a registration hold (adding or dropping classes) until he/she has checked in the International Office. 

Check-in requirements:

1. Please bring the following original documents with you for check-in: 

  • DS-2019;

  • Biographical page of passport;

  • J-1 visa stamp

2. Download and complete the International Student Check-In Form.

3. Be ready to provide a U.S. address.

Attend Wildcat Welcome

Exchange students are consider Transfer students; they should attend all sessions recommended for Transfers. Visit the Wildcat Welcome webpages for more information.

Visit the IPD Office

This is not a required step, but we have been in contact with you for a few months and we would love to meet you in person!

The IPD office is located at: 1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 4-700, Evanston, IL 60201-3777