International Student Orientation: Fall 2019

All events are mandatory. All absences must be approved by Lisa vonReichbauer PRIOR to the event. Schedule is may be subject to change.

For any questions or concerns contact: 

Jacob van Laar: [email protected] | office: 231-591-5444

Travel Arrangement Notification:
Please complete the travel form to notify us of your arrival plans.

  • Shuttles Student Shuttle Services Departure Location


    August 17

    10am, 5pm, 11pm

    August 18

    10am, 5pm, 11pm

    August 19

    10am, 5pm, 11pm

    Please visit our orientation webpage to submit your travel arrangements and visa confirmation here.

    Students will be picked up by Office of International Education Student Assistants at the Information Desk at the Grand Rapids Airport, bus station or train station and be taken to a hotel in Big Rapids.

    • Please remember that you must let our office know your arrival information as soon as possible.
    • Shuttles will only be offered during these designated times. Please wait until the next shuttle arrives if possible.
    • If your flight comes in on a day other than listed above contact Jacob van Laar ([email protected]) to see if we can arrange a shuttle for you. If a shuttle is not available, or you choose alternate transportation, you are responsible for your own transportation to Big Rapids, as well as any cost (approximately $150 for a taxi).
    • A block of rooms have been reserved at Quality Inn & Suites, just a few minutes walking distance from campus. Call (231) 592-5150 to reserve a room. The cost is $59 + tax per night. If you share a room, the cost will be $29.50/night per person. This cost includes breakfast in the morning. If you want a roommate, Quality Inn can assign you a roommate if one is available when you check-in.

    Information Desk, Gerald R. Ford International Airport Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Time Event Location

    8:30 – 9:00 am

    Shuttle Pick Up from The Quality Inn & Suites

    We will pick you up at Quality Inn and drive you to Campus for orientation.

    Quality Inn & Suites - meet in the hotel lobby

    9:00 am

    Student Check-In (mandatory)

    Please arrive on time with all of your immigration documents. The following items will be addressed throughout the day:

    • Submission of immigration documents.
    • Computer sign-in information.
    • Ferris ID.
    • Housing on campus. When signing a contract, a $200 deposit must be made for residence halls or a $400 deposit for apartments or suites.
    • Tuition deposit of at least $3500 - Ferris accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express (transaction subject to 2.85% service fee) in addition to cash, money orders, cashier’s checks, and traveler’s checks, which have no fees.
    • Wire transfers are also available through PeerTransfer. Log in to MyFSU to pay your bill through PeerTransfer:

    Interdisciplinary Resource Center (IRC)

    10:00 am

    Welcome to Ferris State University Presentation (mandatory)

    • Introduction to Office of International Education Staff.
    • Overview of orientation schedule.
    • Breakout into groups with student leaders.

    IRC 104

    11:00 - 12:00 pm

    Housing, Dining and Tuition Overview (mandatory)

    Introduction to housing, dining, and tuition costs. This session will prepare students to choose an on-campus housing and dining option, calculate their semester tuition bill and understand the total amount due today (25%) and total amount due for the entire semester. Students are not required to live on-campus but it is strongly recommended by the Office of International Education. On-campus housing and dining contracts are legally binding for two semesters (Fall + Spring).

    IRC 104

    12:00 - 1:00 pm

    Lunch Provided

    Stay with your group and student leaders

    IRC 122

    1:00 – 5:00 pm

    Group Break-out Sessions (mandatory)

    • MyFSU Login
    • Immigration document submission (IRC 109)
    • Admissions, Student Resources, Health Information
    • Ferris ID, tuition and housing deposits (TIMME)
    • Housing (Cramer Building)

    Interdisciplinary Resource Center (IRC)

    Times and locations  will be assigned at check-in.

  • Time Event Location
    8:00 – 9:00 am

    Late Check-In

    For students who missed activities on Tuesday, August 20th due to delayed flights or other unavoidable issues. Must be approved ahead of time for late check-in by contacting Lisa vonReichbauer ([email protected]). This session will only cover immigration document check-in. Students will be responsible for obtaining Ferris IDs, housing, and paying tuition on their own.

    Interdisciplinary Resource Center

    (IRC 134)

    9:00 - 11:30

    Campus Tour

    Student Ambassadors will take students on a tour around campus to learn about the important offices, resources, and fun places on campus to help you enjoy the fullest college experience. Ambassadors will explain the buildings, navigate you around campus, and answer any questions you might have.

    IRC 122

    11:30am – 1:00 pm

    Pizza at the IRC

    IRC 122

    1:00 – 3:00 pm

    Immigration and Cultural Adjustment (mandatory)

    Bring your immigration documents. This session is very important. We will teach you about U.S. immigration laws and talk about how to get a driver’s license and social security number. We teach you how to understand and cope with adjusting to life in a new country, including academic (teaching and learning) culture.

    IRC 120

    3:00 – 4:00 pm

    Department of Public Safety (mandatory)

    Meet our campus police officers and learn about staying safe, obeying U.S. laws, and driving in Michigan. You will also learn about what activities to avoid, how to report crimes, and your rights as an individual in the United States.

     IRC 120
  • Time Event Location
    10:00 am

    English Language Proficiency Testing (IEP students only)

    This testing is for IEP students who have not provided official proof of English language proficiency. Please report early to this test as no make-up is offered and testing is required for course placement.

    IRC 120

    10:00 am – 3:30 pm

    FSU New Student Orientation (Non-IEP Students)

    Non-IEP students will attend the general FSU Orientation for new students.

    Schedule Includes:

    • Ferris student services
    • Meeting other students in your program
    • Meetings with your academic advisors
    • Registering for classes
    IRC 134

    Come to the OIE to pick up your name tag and join your college group.

    Lunch is provided at the Quad Café

    12:00 – 6:00 pm

    Move-In Begins (all day shuttles, students may join when finished with activities)

    Move into your on campus residence hall or off campus apartment. You may start moving into your on campus residence hall after you pay the $200 deposit at the TIMME Center for Student Services and receive your room assignment from Housing. Shuttles will be available to assist you with moving luggage from Quality Inn to your residence hall or apartment (Big Rapids area only).

    Ferris ID and Housing Deposit – You must have a Ferris ID, sign the housing contract, and pay the $200 deposit (residence halls) or $400 deposit (apartments or East Campus Suites) before you can receive a housing assignment.

    Shopping Shuttles

    Take our free shuttles to stores in Big Rapids to purchase food, clothing, or household items you may need. The shuttles will run a circuit between the hotel, dormitories, and shops.


    Meet at IRC for shuttle service

  • Time Event Location

    10:00 - 11:00 pm

    Exchange Student Immigration Orientation (J1s only)

    This is a required orientation for students joining from our Partner Universities as exchange students

    IRC 104

    11:00 - 12:00 pm

    Lunch Provided

    IRC 122
    10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Move-in and Shopping Continues

    As the activities today are not mandatory for all student, shuttles will be available to take students to dormitories, shopping, bank, phone store, and more.

    Meet at IRC Lounge

    7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

    Bulldog Welcome

    Gather with new students and returning students to start the new academic year.

    Top Taggart Field


  • Time Event Location

    3:00 – 6:00 pm

    Big Rapids Beginnings

    Join a fun time in downtown Big Rapids. Big Rapids Beginnings is an opportunity for Ferris students to explore the many venues of the city's downtown area. Shuttle transportation will be provided to local businesses in the downtown area.

    The event includes prizes, sidewalk sales, carnival food, an open mic and, hope you're ready for this, a Ferris Wheel.
    Downtown Big Rapids

    7:00 am – 10:00 pm

    Meijer Mania

    This event is hosted by the Big Rapids Meijer store and includes bargains, giveaways and more.

    University Center
  • Time Event Location

    2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    International Student Picnic at Northend Park

    Shuttles will be available from the IRC. Join new and current international students for food and fun by the river. Bring your footballs (soccer), cricket equipment, volleyballs, or other outdoor sporting equipment. The park has a wonderful children’s play area and a peaceful paved walkway along the river. Do not miss this event!

    Meet at the Interdisciplinary Resource Center (IRC) parking lot at 1:45pm to ride the shuttle to the park. 

  • Classes Begin - Good Luck bulldogs!