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 pick up dates, please contact the Office of International Education to see if we can arrange a shuttle for you. If a shuttle is not available, 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

    9:00 – 9:30 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.
    • 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.

    BUS 111

    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 over 19 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).

    BUS 111

    12:00 - 1:00 pm

    Lunch Provided at The Rock Café

    Rock Café

    1:00 – 5:00 pm

    Group Break-out Sessions (mandatory)

    • Housing and MyFSU Login
    • Ferris ID, tuition and housing deposits (TIMME)
    • Immigration document submission
    • Admissions and health insurance
    • Student employment, driver’s license, banking

    Interdisciplinary Resource Center (IRC)

    Times and locations  will be assigned at check-in.

  • Time Event Location
    9:00 am – 11:00 am

    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.


    BUS 111
    11:00 am – 12:00 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.

    BUS 111

    12:00 – 1:00 pm

    Pizza at the IRC

    IRC 122

    1:00 – 6:00 pm

    Move-In begins

    Shuttles will take students and baggage from the Quality Inn and Suites to their housing.

    Move into your on campus residence hall or off campus apartment. In order to move into on-campus housing, you must have paid the $200 deposit (this is paid either online before you arrive, or at the TIMME Center during Orientation).

    Shopping Shuttles

    Take our free shuttles to stores in Big Rapids to purchase food, clothing, household items, cell phones, and to open bank accounts if necessary. The shuttles will run a circuit between the hotel, dormitories, and shops.

    IRC 122
  • Time Event Location
    9:00 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

    9:00 am

    ACCUPLACER Testing

    Students that are required to take ACCUPLACER placement testing will be informed at check-in on Tuesday, August 20th.

    CSS 313F
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Exchange Student Immigration Orientation (J-1 students only)

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

     IRC 104
    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

    2:00 – 6:00 pm

    Shopping Shuttles Continue

    Forgot something? We have a second shopping trip that will run a circuit between the IRC Lounge, Housing, and Big Rapids stores.


    IRC 122

  • Time Event Location

    10:00 am – 4:00 pm

    Letters and Document Assistance

    If needed, student Ambassadors will be available throughout the day to assist students in payment and official letters.

    IRC 134

    10:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Flywire and Payment Assistance

    If needed, Student Ambassadors will be available to assist in tuition and housing payments.

    IRC 122

    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


    International Office will provide lunch before the Campus Tour.

    IRC 122
    1:00 - 3:00 pm

    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.

    Meet at IRC 122

    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 (optional)

    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
  • 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. All new and current Ferris students and staff are invited.

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

  • Classes Begin - Good Luck bulldogs!