International Orientation Day at National University
Every international student at National University has to attend the mandatory orientation day. Depending on your program, you usually have a single day of “orientation” and it roughly goes from 9 a.m. to around 5 p.m. Definitely check your papers from National University well in advance and make sure you arrive on time on that day.
Welcome International Students
When my German colleagues and I arrived at the “Spectrum Campus”, there was already a big sign that said “Welcome International Students”. After we signed in, we all sat down in a classroom and Melissa, the very friendly director of the international student service, welcomed us at National University. She led us through the whole day and introduced us to all the different departments of National University’s international student office.
Everybody is there to help you
The staff of the international student office introduced themselves to us, too. They all seemed very friendly and nice. And no matter how many questions you have everyone (student services, the admissions or the immigration department) will all try their best to help you during your time at National University.
Another important topic for the orientation day is handing in different papers such as your Learning Agreement or a copy of your proof of insurance (you need to have one on that day, if you don’t, you will have to buy one right there). Also, it is very important that you bring your passport and your I-20 and if the National University hasn’t received your Transcript of Records or your Language Certificate yet, you need to bring it to the orientation day, too.
Studying at National University
After the official part and after signing lots of different papers belonging to your studies at National University, some of the international student ambassadors will lead you around the campus. They show you where the library is, where you can find the student career service and also where you can use computers or print out copies.
They will explain to you how you can access the student online portal, how to register for your courses and they will give you tips for your academic success. During your lunch break (National University will provide food and drinks for you!) you have the chance to talk to vendors from different companies. There will be a car rental company and a person from KAMO housing, if you’re still looking for a room. You can also use the opportunity to inform yourself about possible trips to Las Vegas, National Parks or other organized tours.
A good first impression
Because National University has four different campuses around San Diego, you probably won’t have all of your courses at “Spectrum Campus” later on, but still: it is good to get an idea of Spectrum on your first day of orientation. It is good to find out how studying at National University will look like and in addition to get to know the staff of the international student service. During that day, they will provide a lot of information for you and you will appreciate knowing whom you can contact later, no matter which problem you could have.
During all that official stuff going on, don’t forget that the orientation day is also a good opportunity to get to know other international students. They might become your new friends soon, so enjoy the day and have fun!