Welcome New International Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of California, San Diego!  The International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) would like to extend a warm welcome to you for the upcoming term.

Please refer to the following pre-arrival checklist as you prepare for your arrival in San Diego.

Meet All Admissions Requirements

Undergraduate students

Complete the online admission checklist (MyApplication). This includes submitting your:

  • Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
  • Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) (if required)
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended

Graduate students

Refer to the Online Application via Grad Apply.  This includes submitting your:

  • Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
  • Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) (if required)
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended

EAP Reciprocity Students / Short-term Exchange

Note: Above requirements for degree-seeking students do not apply to EAP reciprocity students.

Refer to the application status and notification information at the Education Abroad Program (EAP) website.

Make Housing Arrangements Before your Arrival

Receive your I-20 or DS-2019

International students requiring a non-immigrant F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the USA must request and receive a form I-20 (F-1 Student) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitor).  The I-20 or DS-2019 is required to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa

Transfer Students: International students who are currently in valid F-1 or J-1 status and plan to transfer their SEVIS record from another U.S. institution to UC San Diego are also required to submit the I-20 or DS-2019 request.  Refer to the International Transfer Student page for more information on the SEVIS transfer process.

How to request the I-20 or DS-2019: 

  • Submit the I-20 or DS-2019 request through the iPortal. You will not be able to access the iPortal until at least 24 hours after you submit your 'Statement of Intent to Register.' Please wait 24 hours after submitting your SIR to login to the iPortal. The iPortal will help you determine what is the appropriate status and visa for you. You will need your UC San Diego Personal ID (PID)and password to access the iPortal.
  • F-1 or J-1: Selection of Visa Classification


International students admitted for the Fall 2017 term may submit requests via iPortal beginning March 15, 2017. However, advisors will only begin reviewing requests from April 4, 2017.

Pay the $200 or $180 SEVIS Fee

After receiving your I-20 (F-1 Students) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitors),you must pay the $200 (F-1) or $180 (J-1) SEVIS fee.

Transfer students and non F-1/J-1 students are not required to pay an additional SEVIS fee.

  • Pay via Internet, via Western Union, or by mail.
  • Keep the Form I-797 receipt in a safe place.
  • Review SEVIS Fee Information for details.

Pay your Tuition and Fees

Take Pre-Arrival Webinars

Pre-Arrival Webinars will be presented by the UC San Diego International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) and will cover the following topics for newly admitted international students: International Center programs and services, review of immigration documentation,arriving in the U.S., housing and health insurance, campus resources, and frequently asked questions.

Please see our Webinars page for information on our Fall 2017 pre-arrival webinars.

Complete the Tuberculosis Screening

Tuberculosis screening is a mandatory University admission requirement for ALL newly admitted students. Screening must be performed PRIOR to arrival to University of California, San Diego. You will need to have testing done and submit the TB Assessment by mid-Summer. Exact date to be announced on the Student Health Services website. You will not be able to register for classes until you have fulfilled this requirement.

  • Complete the TB Questionnaire
  • If your TB Screening Questionnaire shows you are positive for TB risk, you will need to have testing done and submit the TB Assessment form.
  • Carefully read and follow the instructions attached to the TB assessment form, including having your medical provider perform proper TB testing. Once testing and the form has been completed, submit the form to the address listed at the bottom of the form.
  • Confirmation of receipt of your document is not possible. Clearance can take 7-10 days after receipt of your form. If a registration hold has been placed or if there has been no change in your registration status, check your UCSD email for a secure message from Student Health as there may be a problem with your form.

For further information: http://studenthealth.ucsd.edu/tb.shtml

Immunization Recommendations

The University of California is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students. Therefore, all of the UC campuses are implementing procedures to ensure that students are educated about and receive vaccinations to prevent potentially serious and contagious diseases. All incoming students are required to review the UC Immunization Recommendations:https://act.ucsd.edu/studentApplicants2/immunization

For more information see the Student Health Services website.

Undergraduates: "We Are Tritons" Online Program

"We Are Tritons" Mandatory Requirement FAQ

Answers to some frequently asked questions about the "We Are Tritons" Online Program.

“We Are Tritons” is an online program that introduces incoming you to our student community and your role in maintaining a welcoming campus environment. You will not be able to complete registration for courses until this requirement is met.

Who has to take the “We Are Tritons” online program? 
All incoming freshmen, transfer, and EAP reciprocity students are required to complete the “We Are Tritons” online course prior to enrolling in classes.

How long does it take to complete the online program?
The course takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

What is the deadline for completing the online program? 
You must complete the program by mid-Summer. Check the OPHD website for the exact deadline.

What happens if I don’t take the online program? 
If you do not complete this requirement a hold will be placed on your account, and you will not be able to complete your enrollment for your classes.

Where is the link to the online program? 
Students can find the link to the online program on the MyApplication page. Students can also access the program by going to the We Are Tritons FAQ page: http://ophd.ucsd.edu/we-are-tritons/index.html When you reach the login screen, please click the “Student Sign On” tab and log in. Once you have logged in, click the “We Are Tritons” link in the center of the screen. On the next screen, select "Enter" to launch the program.

Once I take the course, how long will it take to remove the hold on my account? 
Once you have completed the course, it will only take a few minutes for the hold to be removed on your account.

I have completed the course and have questions about the content.  Who should I ask? 
If you have any questions about the course content, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@ucsd.edu

Sign-up for International Student Orientation

All new international students (including transfer students from other U.S. schools) are strongly encouraged to attend the international student orientation session.

Important note, all undergraduate degree-seeking students must attend their mandatory College Orientation, in addition to the International Student Orientation. Graduate students are encouraged to attend the Graduate Division and department orientations. Parents and family members of newly admitted international students are also encouraged and welcome to attend International Parent & Family Orientation

Sign-up for the Mandatory Undergraduate College or Graduate Division Orientations


All UCSD degree-seeking students must attend their undergraduate college’s mandatory orientation program.  Register for the orientation program online at http://newstudent.ucsd.edu.  As an International Student you must attend BOTH your College’s Orientation and the International Orientation.  For questions about orientation programs and registration deadlines, visit your college’s orientation website.

Please note that EAP-Reciprocity students DO NOT need to attend their college orientation.


All UCSD graduate students must attend their Graduate Division Orientation Program as well as any required departmental orientations.  Your department will contact you about their respective schedules – please be sure to be checking your email closely.  As an International Graduate Student you must attend the Graduate Division Orientation, the International Orientation, and any required Departmental Orientation. Please check with your department for details. 

Graduate Division Orientation

Complete the iTriton Online Orientation for Internationals

iTriton Online Orientation

To access the training program, please click on the banner image above.You will be taken to a Single-Sign On (SSO) page where you will enter your PID credentials.

Since this is not a live webcast/webinar, you may proceed through the Online Training at your own pace. You will be taken to the page where you last left off should you exit the module. 

Completion of the 55-minute digital orientation will be required by September 15, 2017 for Fall 2017 admits.

If you have any questions of concerns regarding this training program, please contact itritons@ucsd.edu.

Explore Programs Offered by UC San Diego Student Organizations

UC San Diego student organizations provide a wonderful opportunity to meet and engage with current students. They also provide a wide variety of programs and services for incoming international students. Please contact the student organizations directly.

Request your Student I.D.

Campus Identification Card

Sample student ID card

All students enrolled for the school quarter are entitled to a Triton Card. This is your official university ID card, and you are issued just one active card.
Most undergraduate and graduate students may submit their photo electronically to the Campus Card office.

For more information visit the Campus Card information page here.

Gather Your Documents for Entry into the U.S.

Review your passport and visa page. Your first name and family/last name should be the same on both documents. If there are any errors, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consular Post immediately.

Place your original passport, financial statement or support letter, and form I-20 or DS-2019 in your purse or carry-on baggage. Present all these documents when entering the USA.

Note: F-1 and J-1 students can enter the USA no earlier than 30 days prior to program start date listed on the I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students).

Arriving to the U.S.A. and Clearing Customs

To clear U.S. Customs Port of Entry you must present: original passport, financial statement or support letter, and form I-20 or DS-2019

After clearing customs  and arriving in the U.S. print your electronic I-94 Record.

These I-94 printouts may be needed for the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, or for 3rd parties, such as the Social Security Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles, which require a Form I-94 for granting benefits.

We recommend students schedule 2-3 hours between connecting flights, or when crossing a land border, for SEVIS status verification processing at U.S. Ports of Entry. 

Set-up Transportation Upon Arrival

Arrival in the USA: Learn how to get to UC San Diego after your arrival at Los Angeles or San Diego airport.

Transportation Upon Arriving in the USA: U.S. Airline and Airport Guidelines (U.S. Transportation Security Administration)

We recommend students schedule 2-3 hours between connecting flights, or when crossing a land border, for SEVIS status verification processing at U.S. Ports of Entry.

  • $2 OFF Discount for Super Shuttle van service from San Diego Airport to UC San Diego. NOTE: You must enter the special Triton Bus code when making your online reservation.

Complete the International Student Document Check

After arrival into the U.S., complete the International Student Document Check within 15 days of your program start date at UC San Diego. You are strongly encouraged to attend the International Student Orientation where we will review the immigration documents together or you can bring your documents to the International Students & Programs Office where a staff person will check your documents. Failure to complete the document check process may result in the loss of your F-1 or J-1 status.

Finished with everything above? Now find a list of everything you need to know about getting started at UC San Diego. Find detailed information on email set-up, course registration, campus ID cards, housing, cell phones, health insurance, and more.