International Student Orientation


Welcome to George Mason University
! The International Student Orientation process is designed to help transition new international students to the institution and expose them to the broad educational opportunities at George Mason University.   

For students entering in the Fall 2022 semester, the International Student Orientation process will have both mandatory virtual and in-person programming spread throughout the summer. All specific information surrounding the Orientation experience, gaining access to systems, and instructions on how to navigate those systems will be sent to students directly via e-mail upon registering.

If you are a part of the China 1-2-1, Global Exchange, Mason Korea, or INTO Mason program, you will receive Orientation information directly from your respective program as it will be different from the process highlighted below. 

Below is an overview of the International Student Orientation experience with general information about each component.

Step 1: Complete Virtual Pre-Orientation Presentations

Blackboard Access Information:

  • Students will access Virtual Pre-Orientation content via Blackboard, the university’s learning management tool. Orientation will appear as a Course just like a class will.
  • Instructions on navigating Blackboard will be sent to students in their Orientation registration confirmation email.
  • Access will be granted to the Blackboard Virtual Pre-Orientation course on May 2 to start reviewing content.
  • Students’ Virtual Pre-Orientation course stays in Blackboard for the remainder of their collegiate experience and can be referred back to at any time.

Required Virtual Pre-Orientation Course Components:

  • Once in Blackboard, students should complete the following sections as soon as they received access.
    • Welcome to Virtual Pre-Orientation – an overview of Orientation and how to use Blackboard
    • REQUIRED Orientation Presentations – a series of pre-recorded, mandatory presentations on the most important transition information for new students
      • Each presentation will have a small quiz at the end to test a students’ knowledge of the content shared in the video and signify completion.
    • Learning More About Your Academic College – important overview of college-specific information

Students should set aside approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete this task. Each presentation will have a small quiz at the end to test a students’ knowledge of the content shared in the video and signify completion.

Additional Virtual Pre-Orientation Content in Blackboard: (optional – view if & when desired)

  • Important Campus Resource Videos section – Six categories of videos sharing information about relevant campus resources for new students. This takes the place of in-person components such as Info Sessions and Tabling Fairs.
  • Helpful COVID-19 Info & Protocol section – Serve as a hub for information and resources to help students navigate Mason while living through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Most Visited New Student Websites section – One-stop-shop of all Mason webpages frequently visited by new students, curated by current students
  • Blackboard Troubleshooting section – An easy troubleshooting guide for the most common Blackboard user issues
Step 2: Schedule Academic Advising and Course Registration

After registering for International Student Orientation, academic advising and course registration is available to freshman and transfer international students through the academic College/School they are majoring in at Mason.

IT IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO COMPLETE THIS BEFORE AUGUST 15 IN-PERSON PROGRAM TO GET A MORE IDEAL CLASS SCHEDULE.

To gain access to advising information and request an appointment, students must:

  1. Register for a International Student Orientation (starting April 1st)
  2. Complete all videos in the REQUIRED Orientation Presentation section mentioned above. Completing the REQUIRED Orientation presentations in Blackboard will unlock access to Advising instructions. To learn more about these videos, see the above section.
  3. Request a pre-orientation advising appointment. Academic colleges and schools will begin fielding pre-orientation advising requests on May 1st. 

Additionally, students should watch the College 101 presentation of the college they intend to major in before their academic advising appointment.

Step 3: Attend Mandatory Immigration & Compliance Meeting
  • Just before the beginning of the semester, students will receive another e-mail from the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) with information about a MANDATORY Immigration and Compliance Meeting that they will provide to incoming F-1 international students. 
  • This is a live, virtual Zoom meeting and will take place on Monday, August 8, 2022 from 9:30-11:00am ET. Please hold this day and time.
Step 4: Attend In-Person International Student Orientation Program
  • As part of your registration, you are also expected to attend in-person on-campus Orientation at George Mason University on Monday, August 15, 2022. 
  • The program will consist of key informational sessions, a campus tour, receiving your Mason ID, and more! The morning will be mandatory programming for all in attendance and the afternoon will consist of options that students can pick from. There is no family orientation program connected to this event. 
  • Specific information will be provided in your event e-mail communication as the program approaches.
Other Important Opportunities & Resources
  • The Preamble is a series of events leading up to the first day of classes that help students prepare for the semester. Some sessions are mandatory and others are optional. The Fall 2022 schedule will become available as the semester approaches, but until then, you can see an example schedule at welcome2mason.gmu.edu/thepreamble.
  • Welcome2Mason are the weeks following the start of the semester and consists of optional programs and events for all students that they can pick based on their personal interests. These university and student organization-led events give students the opportunity to learn how to get more involved on-campus and build connections with other Mason students. More information about event can be found at welcome2mason.gmu.edu.
  • Check out the 2022–2023 New Student Guide for comprehensive information about the university and new student resources!
  • Download Mason360 – a must-have app to know what’s happening around campus, where students can find other Patriots with similar interests, and have quick access to important resources that help students navigate their time at Mason.
  • Connect with us on social media using #Welcome2Mason and follow our Instagram (@MasonNSFP) and Facebook (New Student and Family Programs)! We will be sharing useful tips about Mason and a student’s first year!
  • For families, New Student and Family Programs has curated a Family Orientation website that provides mirrored information of student content, but from a family lens. To learn more, visit the “Family Members” menu at the top of this page.
Orientation Checklists

For a full list of items to complete before Orientation, click here. 

For a full list of items to complete before the semester begins, click here.

Need Assistance?

To troubleshoot an issue in Blackboard, click here.

For questions about international student tasks and servicescontact the Office of International Programs and Services by e-mailing oips@gmu.edu or calling 703-993-2970. 

For orientation-specific questions, contact New Student and Family Programs by e-mailing orientu@gmu.edu or calling 703-993-2475.