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International Student Orientation

Wednesday, September 13 - Friday, September 15, 2017

International Student Orientation is designed to help you feel comfortable in your new surroundings and to adjust to life in the United States and at Caltech.  Orientation is for degree-seeking students only.  Students' family members are welcome to join us for meals.

All programs will take place in Avery (building 99 on the campus map), unless otherwise indicated on the schedule.  Some programs are marked as optional, but all programs are oh so fun!

Wednesday, September 13
4:00 - 5:30 PM iBegin@Caltech - a resource fair for new international students
4:00 - 5:30 PM Dinner served concurrently

Thursday, September 14
9:15 AM Breakfast
10:00 AM Welcome
10:15 AM Meet the Faculty: Dr. Domniki Asimaki, Professor of Mechanical & Civil Engineering
10:35 AM Cultural Adjustment
11:00 AM Student Skit
11:25 AM Coffee Break
11:30 AM Peer Panels
12:15 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Mission Impossible* (a game of chase on the L.A. Metro, optional)
7:30 PM International Dessert Night (required for Mission Impossible participants)

Friday, September 15
9:00 AM Breakfast
10:00 AM Welcome + Announcements
10:10 AM Meet the Faculty: Dr. Nai-Chang Yeh, Professor of Physics
10:45 AM Immigration 101
11:30 AM Peer Panels
12:15 PM Lunch
3:30 PM Caltech Scavenger Hunt, starts in the Center for Student Services Lobby (optional)
5:30 PM Dinner and Games Night at Tournament Park, located behind the Caltech Athletic Center (optional)

Saturday, September 16 | Meet Ups (optional day of student-led activities)
Orientation Leaders will take you to some of their favorite locations within walking distance from campus.  Sign-up sheets available throughout International Student Orientation.  These events are optional.  Bring your own money for Meet Ups, as needed.

Saturday Meet Ups:

  • Science Walk Caltech 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM
    Take a walking tour of Caltech to visit some remarkable spots, including the Nobel Laureate Honor Room, LIGO Lab, and Cahill's Cosmology & Space Science Center. Third-year grad student, Ahmed from Egypt, takes you on a tour to some of Caltech's most remarkable places. Ahmed has met FIVE Nobel Naureates at Caltech. He'll share those stories and his passion for science.
  • Huntington Gardens Visit 12:15 - 5:00 PM
    Enjoy a 20 minute walk to the Botanical Gardens, featuring Desert, Japanese, Rose, and Chinese gardens.   Art collections, a library, and museums complete your tour.  Lunch is NOT included.
  • Annapurna Grill (Indian restaurant) 12:30 PM
    Located a short walk from Caltech. Annapurna Grill serves traditional Indian dishes from Tandoori Chicken to Kebabs to Tikka.  A variety of vegetarian and Non-vegetarian meals, including curries, also available.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond Shopping Shuttles 1:30 - 3:30 PM
    Every hour on the half hour until 3:30 PM, a free shuttle will transport students to the BB& B Pasadena store where they can shop and receive 20% of purchases.
  • Old Town Pasadena Visit 2:30 PM
    Joins us for a walk to historic "Old Town Pasadena." Over 200 small specialty shops, over 100 small restaurants, sidewalk cafes, coffee and ice cream shops. Along the way we'll visit the famous City Hall dome and other Pasadena landmarks.
  • Music Jam on the Caltech campus 4:00 PM
    The usual Music Room is under construction. We may have access to the Avery Music Room, which has a piano and drum set for acustic music. If we get other access, we will have amps & mics. Be sure to bring your instruments! We will keep you updated as to the location and if we can use only accustic or if electric instruments will be included.
  • Kabuki (Japanese restaurant) 5:30 PM
    Visit "Old Town" Pasadena for dinner at Kabuki - a Japanese restaurant that offers a variety of favorites from sushi and sashimi to ramen to small plates of vegetables, gyoza, and cooked fish dishes.
  • Yogurtland (frozen yogurt) 6:30 PM
    Located on Lake Avenue just a short walk from Caltech, join us for a visit to Yougurtland where you can create and enjoy your own custom made refreshing mix of frozen yougurt on a warm California evening while making new friends!

All Saturday Meet Ups begin from Avery Courtyard at the time indicated above. Paper Sign Up Sheets will be posted during International Orientation.

Monday, Sept 18 | 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM | ISP

  • Grad Student Check-In
    • Throughout the day, ISP and the Office of Graduate Studies will greet new graduate students.  If you have not yet provided your immigration documents to ISP, you must bring your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 on this day.
      ISP, Center for Student Services (building 86)
  • Undergrad Student Check-In