Frequently Asked Questions (IPO)

What happens during International Pre-Orientation?
During International Pre-Orientation, you will be introduced to life in the city of Chicago, as well as, life in our neighborhood of Hyde Park. Current international students and administration from throughout the College will answer your questions regarding academics here at the University. Tours of Hyde Park will be provided and trips into the downtown area will be made as well. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to meet some of your fellow international peers and other current students.

Should I attend International Pre-Orientation?
International Pre-Orientation was designed in consultation with current international students to address the specific needs of entering international students. The program focuses specifically on cultural and academic issues and will help students prepare for their first year in the College. Additionally, there will be time to recover from travel and relax in preparation for Orientation.

What day should I arrive?
International Pre-Orientation begins on Sunday, September 16th. You must arrive by this day in order to fully participate in the program. If you choose to arrive earlier than Sunday, September 16th, please let us know so that we can arrange transportation from the airport and housing if necessary.

What time should I arrive?
You should plan to arrive after 9:00 am on Sunday, September 16th – this is when you will have access to your room. If you need to arrive earlier, and wish to stay on campus please be sure to contact the College Programming Office in order to make the proper arrangements.  We will be offering campus tours, trips to cellular phone stores and Citibank, movies, and informal Q&A sessions with your International Orientation Leaders throughout the day. Check in will end at 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 16th, followed by a welcome dinner at 6:00 pm.

What if I need to arrive earlier, prior to the start of Pre-Orientation?
For International Students arriving in the days prior to the start of Pre-Orientation, accommodation arrangements will need to be made in advance. Please indicate the need for early arrival accommodations on the registration form. All housing costs outside of Pre-Orientation dates will be charged in addition to the International Pre-Orientation fee. If you request additional housing and change your mind about your travel plans, you must notify us prior to your stated date of arrival or you will be charged for the additional nights of housing.

How can I apply for IPO without my CNet ID?
You can still apply without your CNetID. However, you should ensure that you claim your CNet ID submit your UChicago Card ID photo before you come to campus for IPO. You will receive information on both of these processes over the summer.

What is included in the cost for International Pre-Orientation?
The fee includes transportation from the airports, housing accommodations on campus for the duration of the program, the provision of all meals, the costs of transportation for trips throughout the city, and the cost of transportation from your pre-orientation housing location to your Residence Hall. Financial assistance may be available to qualifying students.  

Where will I be living during Pre-Orientation?
All Pre-Orientation participants are housed in pre-orientation housing for the duration of IPO.  This location may be different than your term-time housing assignment. Permanent housing assignments will be announced via your student portal in early August. You will recieve an email in late August with detailed instructions on the moving process for the beginning and end of the IPO program, as well as what and how to pack for the program. 

Where can I put my belongings during the week of IPO?
Students may bring all of their belongings for the academic year with them when they move in for International Pre-Orientation. Locked storage will be provided for the duration of the program, and all bags stored during the program will be moved for you into your permanent room over the course of the week. For this reason, it is highly recommended that students pack a seperate bag for the week and store everything else. You will find out more about move-in and luggage storage on the Orientation website.

When can I move into Housing?
If you participate in International Pre-Orientation, you will move in one day earlier than the general student population (September 21st) with assistance from Orientation staff. However, international students may only move in on the 21st if they are involved with International Pre-Orientation. If you are an international student who chooses to NOT participate in IPO, you will move in on the same day as all other students, September 22nd.

Will I be provided transportation from the airport to campus?
Yes. The University will provide transportation from both O’Hare and Midway Airports to students participating in the program. If your parents or family members are joining you, they will have to make separate transportation arrangements.

Is food provided during International Pre-Orientation?
Yes. If you have specific dietary requirements or any food allergies, but did not include that information in your registration form, please contact the College Programming Office by emailing or by phone at 773.702.8616 so that we can make the proper arrangements for you.

Can my parents stay with me for IPO?
International students are the only ones who can participate in the International Pre-Orientation program and live in pre-orientation housing during the program. Parents can make arrangements at any of the area hotels. Please find hotel information under the O-Week tab on the Orientation website for your reference.

My parents will be coming to Chicago with me during Pre-Orientation. Where can they stay?
Parents and other family members are not provided housing by the University during Pre-Orientation. They will have to make separate arrangements with local hotels in Chicago. Please find hotel information under the O-Week tab on the Orientation website for your reference. They will also need to arrange their own transportation from the airport to campus.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions about International Pre-Orientation?
Students with questions regarding the International Pre-Orientation should contact the College Programming Office at 773.702.8616 or via email at