Winter Orientation (Orientation Part I)

When is new student orientation?
New international student orientation (part I) normally takes place the week before classes begin.  It is a three to four-day series of events that covers international student specific information (including Intake Process, information on US Immigration regulations, and student services) as well as class registration and advising. When you check-in on Day 1, you will receive a detailed schedule that outlines specific orientation information for freshmen and transfer international students.

In addition, students are required to attend Experience Stony Brook (part II).  You will attend a series of programs and activities designed to acclimate you to Stony Brook and introduce you to faculty, staff, and fellow students.

What happens at orientation?
Orientation Part I for international students is a four-day series of events.  You will meet with other international students and have your picture taken for your ID card.  You will complete your Intake Process, where you will check-in with Visa and Immigration Services office who make sure all of your documents are in order.  You will meet with an Academic Adviser who will help you put together your class schedule and direct you to take the math assessment or writing assessment if needed.  During orientation, you will also meet with International Student Ambassadors (ISAs) who will lead you through workshops and cultural exchange activities designed to acclimate you to the Stony Brook University community and resources. 

Where is orientation?
Orientation occurs mostly in the Student Activities Center (SAC).  Orientation Leaders (OLs) and International Student Ambassadors (ISAs) will be there to guide you through the entire process.  Students driving to orientation should be sure to park in the H Lot, also known as the Student Activities Center lot (Faculty/Staff Lot).  Parking cannot be validated for the parking garage or other areas of campus.  Click here for additional information for driving directions to campus.  For information on how to plan travel to the United States and transportation services to Stony Brook University click here.

How do I get an orientation date?
When students are admitted to Stony Brook University, they are assigned a unique Stony Brook ID number that allows them to access our online system, known as SOLAR.  On the SOLAR system, you can accept your admission by paying your tuition deposit online, as well as your housing deposit (if applicable) and orientation fee.  You should also complete the New Student Preferences form, and if you are a freshmen student the Advising Planning Form.  Both forms are available on SOLAR.  All international students are assigned a specific orientation date, which you will receive in the mail along with additional orientation information.

Can I bring a guest to winter orientation?
Family/guests may accompany students during some parts of orientation programs. More information regarding Family/Guest Program at Orientation during international orientation will be available in the coming months. Family/guests are not allowed to participate in the advising and registration process. 

Do I have to pay for orientation?
All new students are charged a one-time orientation fee of $300, which provides for the academic advising, ID photos, meals, and class registration during orientation part I.  It also provides for Experience Stony Brook (part II), which focuses on student responsibilities and expectations through workshops and theater performances, includes social and community building activities.
International students also pay a $50 international student orientation fee which provides for the additional meals and programs scheduled during orientation. 

I have a hold on my account. Is it related to orientation?
All new students have an Orientation Hold prior to attending orientation.  The Orientation Hold prevents students from registering for classes.  This hold will be removed after orientation.  Students who do not pay the orientation fee will also have this hold until their orientation fee is paid.  Student who do not attend Experience Stony Brook will have an orientation hold until they complete the ROME makeup program.

There are two (2) additional Visa and Immigration Services Indicators (VISI), or holds, for international students.  One is a non-impacting VISI and is usually placed on your account when you receive your SEVIS Form (I-20) or DS-2019.  This hold informs the university that you are an international student.  However, it does NOT affect your ability to register for classes, order transcripts, receive your diploma, etc.  The other VISI is impacting and is a "real" hold on your account.  Usually, this is also placed on your account when you are issued your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019, but is removed once all requirements are satisfied such as attending orientation. 

Other Service Indicators, or holds, will be removed once you have met those requirements, such as paying tuition and submitting immunization documents.

Who can I contact if I have questions or need accommodations?
Students who have questions about orientation or require an accommodation (including dietary needs) should contact the office of Student Orientation & Family Programs at 631-632-6710 or

Where can I get Pre-Arrival Information?
Please visit the International Student Pre-Arrival website for information regarding travel to the US, transportation to Stony Brook University, and additional details about living on campus, health, and financial issues.