All students should fly to the Grand Rapids International Airport (GRR). Orientation leaders will be waiting at the baggage claim. There are only three baggage carrousels at this airport, so it will be easy to find. Please supply your flight information a minimum of four days before your flight. You will receive an emergency contact number that you can call if there are any emergencies throughout your travel time. We strongly suggest that you NOT attempt to take the train from the Chicago airport to Grand Rapids. Please book connecting flights that bring you to the Grand Rapids International Airport. Orientation leaders will take students to Meijer, a supermarket chain, where they will be able to purchase any food, clothing, bedding or household items they may need. They will then help students move in to their new dorms or apartments on campus. Orientation leaders will have students keys.
International students should plan to arrive in Grand Rapids on August 18, 19, or 20, 2017. We will arrange transportation for you from the airport in Grand Rapids (airport code: GRR). International Student Orientation will begin on Sunday, August 20 around 5:00 p.m. in Allendale. You should plan on attending the mandatory orientation sessions Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (August 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2017). Schedules will be posted below as soon as they are available. Note that there is a charge of $150.00 for the mandatory orientation, even if circumstances outside of your control require you to miss the orientation. The fee will be charged to your GVSU student account.
American Ambassador Program:
The focus of the student-led American Ambassador program is to create partnerships between domestic students and yourself, as an international student studying at Grand Valley. The ambassadors provide a support network for you, should you need assistance or want someone to talk to. It is a wonderful opportunity for students on both sides to come together and promote cross-cultural growth.
Mentor Position Description:
The only formal commitment Americans have to the American Ambassador Program is to be a tour guide for a few hours during the international student downtown orientation session. In addition, we encourage you to connect with your American Ambassadors during the tour in hopes of forming friendships that can continue beyond orientation. Ambassadors can help you become acclimated to the Grand Valley and local communities, as well as make you aware of various events throughout campus and beyond. By exchanging phone numbers or connecting via Facebook, you may find it easier to stay in touch with your American ambassadors. This is a great opportunity to befriend Americans during your time in the United States!
Immigration registration will be done during orientation. This will include passport, visa, I-94, I-20 and DS-2019 as well as verifying your SEVIS record.
Orientation Documents: After your arrival to the United States. please take a few moments to complete the following mandatory forms. Please also bring a copy of your passport, I94, visa, and I-20 or DS 2019 with you to orientation.
Hotels: If your flight arrives a day or so early, or later than midnight on the day of pick-up, there are a number of hotels near the Grand Rapids International Airport that you may find useful.
Cell Phones: We recommend you purchase a pay-as-you-go plan upon arrival to Grand Valley. After you have applied for and received your Social Security number, you will be able to purchase a service contract for your cell phone if you wish.