After Arrival to the United States

Attend International Student Orientation (ISO)

International Student Orientation (ISO) is a pre-orientation program sponsored by the Department of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for incoming international students, including transfer international students, and U.S. citizens who have lived abroad.  ISO complements the New Student Orientation program for undergraduates and the Graduate School’s Orientation program by providing international students with information that will assist in their transition to living and studying in the U.S. In addition to providing important information regarding maintaining your F-1 or J-1 immigration status, ISO will cover U.S. classroom culture (for undergraduate students) and the UM Code of Conduct.

Click here for the ISO Schedule.

New to the U.S. and Miami?
Check out our informative web sessions for insider information! Please click “view slideshow” and make certain your audio is turned on.

  • Living in America: An informative orientation to U.S. cultural values, customs, and understanding culture shock.
  • Starting your Life in Miami: An orientation to Miami which covers local community resources including banking, public transportation, driver’s license, buying a car, off campus housing, medical centers, safety issues, and more.

To take a fun and informative virtual campus tour, go to

Mobile applications that will help you get started in the U.S.: 10 Apps Every Foreign Student Should Have on Their Phone

Who should not attend ISO?

1) Study-abroad students should attend the Study Abroad Office’s Exchange Student Orientation. For dates, time, and location, contact the Study Abroad Office at or visit their website at

2) Parents who plan to accompany their undergraduate student to the U.S. should attend the Family Orientation Program. For Family Orientation check-in dates, time, and location, contact the Department of Orientation at or visit their website at

A note from the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO)
Welcome to the University of Miami! As you prepare for a spectacular college experience here at the U, know that COISO is here to help. COISO strives to foster an environment rich with opportunities for growth and success for international students. We recommend that you read the International Student Welcome Guide before beginning your journey at the University of Miami; it also contains important contact information.

Complete Mandatory Online Immigration Session

Click here to complete the mandatory session: Online Immigration Session To successfully complete the Online Immigration Session, you must correctly answer all of the questions. (Video only viewable on Chrome, Explorer, and Firefox)

Check-in Housing (Undergraduate students)

Once you arrive at your residence hall, you will need to locate the front desk and let them know you are an international student. The front desk will need to see your passport. See the University Housing webpage for more information.

Get Your Cane Card
UM students need a Cane Card to get access to the library, athletic events, the Wellness Center, the dining halls and so much more! Cane Cards can also be shown when asking for student discounts in Miami. We recommend getting your Cane Card as soon as possible; look at the Orientation webpage for the schedule and distribution of Cane Cards. More information is available on the Cane Card webpage.

Complete the International Student Check-In Form

International students beginning a new program of study at UM or deferring  admission for a future semester are required to complete this form no later than two weeks after their program start date.

Information provided will be used by ISSS to report your arrival and enrollment at UM to SEVIS. For students who are not in the U.S., information entered will provide guidance on Form I-20 or DS-2019 issuance for your arrival to the U.S. for a future semester.

Please consider the following:

Florida driver’s license or Florida ID
If you plan to apply for a Florida Driver’s License or Florida ID, you must wait until your SEVIS registration is complete and you have been in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 calendar days prior to applying. Please visit Obtaining a Driver's License for application instructions.

Social Security number (SSN)
If you have on-campus employment, you must apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).  You must wait until your SEVIS registration is complete and you have been in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 calendar days prior to applying for an SSN.  Please visit Social Security Number for application instructions.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
If you have been hired to work on campus, you must complete Form I-9 in Workday, UM’s human resources system. You must wait until your SEVIS registration is complete and you have a SSN prior to completing Form I-9 in Workday.  Please visit for more employment information.

Review Student Life
There are about 300 student organizations on campus, and we highly encourage you to join at least one organization! This is a great way to meet domestic students and meet people as you begin your time in Miami. UM uses a website called OrgSync to manage the student organizations. You can search all student organizations and log in to OrgSync here:

All University of Miami international students are automatically members of COISO. By participating in COISO meetings and events, you will get to know international students from over 110 countries and ensure that COISO provides the types of services and activities that meet your needs and interests as an international student at UM. For additional information and for dates of upcoming COISO meetings/events, email

Visit us at the COISO Office!

University of Miami
Donna E. Shalala Student Center (SC)
1330 Miller Drive, Suite 210B
Coral Gables, FL 33124-6921
Phone: 305-284-3548
Facebook group: UMiami COISO

Review Campus Traditions

The Hurricanes
It began in controversy. Some reports say the 1927 football team (American football) held a team meeting to select Hurricanes, hoping they would sweep away opponents just as the devastating storm did on September 16, 1926. Another version holds that Miami News columnist Jack Bell asked end Porter Norris of the 1926 team what the team should be called. Told that the local dignitaries and University officials wanted to name the team for a local flora or fauna, Norris said the players wouldn’t stand for it and suggested "Hurricanes" since the opening game had been postponed by such a storm.

Sebastian the Ibis
Folklore maintains that the Ibis, a symbol of knowledge found in the Everglades and Egypt, is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane and the first to reappear after the storm. The local marsh bird was considered UM’s first unofficial mascot when the school yearbook adopted the name "Ibis" in 1926. Its popularity grew among the students during the 1950’s. In 1957 San Sebastian Hall, a residence hall on campus, sponsored an Ibis in the homecoming celebration. The next year, student John Stormont performed at games in an Ibis costume that was glued, sewn and pinned together and was the forerunner of today’s bird. Through the years, the Ibis has become one of the most recognizable college mascots in the US.

Orange, Green, and White
UM’s school colors were selected in 1926. The colors of the Florida orange tree represent UM. Orange symbolizes the fruit of the tree, green represents the leaves and white, the blossoms. Interestingly, there is only one orange tree on campus; see if you can spot it during your time here!

The U
In 1973, UM’s Athletic Federation, the fundraising arm of the athletic department at the time, commissioned a local public relations expert to develop a distinctive logo. The University had gone several years with a variety of helmet and uniform changes and the Federation noted that a number of major colleges have the initials UM. Miami designer Bill Bodenheimer suggested the "U" idea, which lent itself to slogans like "U gotta believe" and "U is great.” In 2009 the University adopted the split-U logo as the centerpiece of its visual identity system.