Student Life Resources

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 that 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

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.

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.