Orientation 2017

Orientation Odysseys: International

The International Orientation Odyssey will provide you with the opportunity to learn about Reed and the U.S., get to know other international students—your mentors—as well as campus staff and faculty members.

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During this four-day orientation, you will also have the opportunity to rest, settle in, and start exploring Reed and Portland.

To participate in the International Orientation Odyssey, please complete the International Odyssey form. If you register for the International Orientation Odyssey, you cannot attend another Odyssey.

Contact: Dana Lawson, assistant dean of students for international student services, 503/517-5538, Skype: iss.reed.

More information for new international students can be found on the international student services website.

Important Dates

Friday, August 18
Residence halls open; students can begin checking in at 11:00 a.m. in Kaul Auditorium. Doors will be open and snacks will be available beginning at 9 a.m.
Evening dessert social with new international students and InterConnect Mentors
Saturday, August 19
Campus tour 
City tour with Interconnect Mentors
Dinner social with InterConnect Mentors
Sunday, August 20
Welcome lunch with Reed staff, faculty, students and President Kroger
Shopping trip to local stores
Dinner out in Portland
Monday, August 21
Overview of ISS and Campus Resources
Academic Success for International Students Session with faculty
F-1 and J-1 Visa Information
Cultural Adjustments & “Things I wish I’d known” with InterConnect Mentors
International Orientation Party with Host Familiies


InterConnect Mentor Program

An integral part of the International Orientation Odyssey is the InterConnect peer-mentoring program. Each new student participating in the International Orientation Odyssey will be placed in an InterConnect group (4–6 new students) and paired with a returning student mentor. Your InterConnect mentor will be in touch with you over the summer and will serve as a mentor and guide you throughout Orientation and your first semester at Reed. Throughout the fall, new students are supported through individual meetings and a series of fun InterConnect events with your mentor group.

A Tour of Portland

Excited to explore Portland? Your mentor will spend an afternoon and evening helping you to start exploring some of Portland’s neighborhoods and famous sights while learning to use the city’s public transportation.

Welcome Lunch

Our welcome lunch is a highlight of the International Orientation Odyssey. You’ll have the chance to meet fellow international students, staff, faculty, and President Kroger. Families are welcome to join us!

Shopping Trips

Transportation will be provided so you can visit local stores to pick up items you might not have been able to fit in your suitcases and to purchase some items that will help your residence hall feel like a home away from home.

The Host Family Program

Most international students are matched with a local host family prior to their arrival in the U.S. (this is nonresidential, so you won’t be living with your host families). The host family program allows for international students to connect with a family living near the college. These families volunteer to be a friend to an international student at Reed and help introduce students to life beyond campus. Host families will correspond with their student during the summer and often arrange to provide transportation from the airport to campus. They are also a resource during the year in a number of ways: by showing you interesting sites in Portland as well as Oregon; by inviting you to their homes for an American meal or celebration; or simply by being an off-campus friend with whom you can talk. You will receive more information about the host family program over the summer.

Cost & Registration

There is no cost for the International Orientation Odyssey. All meals, workshops, and trips associated with the International Orientation Odyssey are covered by Reed. It is a good idea, however, to arrive with some U.S. currency in order to purchase supplies and personal items.

We ask that all international students register online for the International Orientation Odyssey by June 15, whether or not you plan to attend. Registration is important since it also includes information requests for the host family program. The online registration is through IRIS. If you have not received your IRIS login information, please email the Orientation office or phone 503/777-7530. We understand that your travel plans may not be finalized by the application deadline. Please simply provide as much information as possible by the June 15 application deadline. The ISS office will be in touch to request flight arrival times and other information later in the summer.

Though we encourage you to attend the International Orientation Odyssey, you are free to attend any of the Odysseys. The International Orientation Odyssey is concurrent with all other Odyssey programs; therefore, if you choose to participate in any other Odyssey offering, you will not be able to attend the International Orientation Odyssey program.

Packing for Your International Orientation Odyssey

You will not need any items for the Odyssey that you would not already be bringing to campus. We understand that due to travel and financial restrictions, you may be traveling light. During the first couple of days of International Orientation, you will have an opportunity to visit some local stores to purchase items needed to outfit your rooms and prepare for the beginning of classes. More shopping trips will also be offered during New Reedie Orientation. We will also have linens (sheets, blanket, pillows, and towels) available for you upon arrival to use until you are able to purchase your own. For guidance on what to pack, please email international student services.

Arriving for Your International Orientation Odyssey

As an international student, you will be able to check in and move into your residence hall beginning Friday, August 18, at 11 a.m. We strongly encourage you to arrive on Friday, August 18. Because international flights are long and airport delays are unpredictable, International Orientation staff members have arranged for 24-hour check-in and registration. You are encouraged to be in touch with staff members if your itinerary changes, so that staff can be prepared for your arrival.

When you arrive on campus, check in at Kaul Auditorium. Please see the map.


If you are a student in need of accommodations due to disability, physical or otherwise, please let us know in advance so we can be as accommodating and inclusive as possible in our programming.  You may also contact Theresa Lowrie in the Disability Support Services office to discuss your needs and other possible accommodations for your time at Reed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I move into the residence halls earlier than the 18th? If I arrive earlier, where should I stay?

Unfortunately, Residence Life staff will not be ready to welcome you earlier than the August 18 at 11am. Some international students choose to book flights arriving into Portland earlier than the 18th due to more convenient travel times, wanting additional time in Portland, or other reasons. If you choose to arrive earlier, you will need to arrange your own accommodations until August 18. If you are matched with a host family, often host families are happy to host students in their homes for a night or two, but that is not guaranteed. We can also suggest looking into hotels or Air BnB options in the area. If finding alternate accommodations will be difficult for you, we recommend that you arrive on August 18 and move into your residence hall on that day.

What if my parents or family members are coming with me to Reed?

As many international students do not have family travel with them to the U.S., we want to let you know that we do not have any formal activities that include parents and family members of international students except for our welcome lunch on Sunday, August 20. The activities outlined in the schedule are for international students only. If you are a parent or family member bringing your student to international orientation, if possible, we encourage you schedule your trip to overlap with the general New Reedie Orientation offering Parent Orientation. Please let ISS know if you have any questions.

I’m not sure if I’m technically an international student. I am a U.S. citizen, but have been living abroad. Am I able to participate in the International Orientation Odyssey?

Absolutely! We have a thriving Third Culture Kid community at Reed and welcome TCKs to engage with our office. If you identify as a Third Culture Kid or have just been living abroad and would like to transition slowly back to the U.S. and meet other global nomads, you are more than welcome to attend the International Orientation Odyssey. Each year, we have several TCKs attend our orientation and many continue to participate in our programs and services throughout their time at Reed. Visit our website to learn more about our philosophy and programming for TCKs. If you would like to speak with a TCK at Reed, let us know and we are happy to get you in contact with a current TCK Reedie.

I’m not sure if I’d like to attend the International Orientation Odyssey or one of the other Odysseys. How can I make this decision?

Unfortunately, the International Orientation Odyssey conflicts with the outdoor, SEEDS, and PMP odysseys. If you sign up for International Orientation, you cannot also sign up for another Odyssey. If you need help making this decision, we are happy to connect you with a current student who can provide you with their perspective on the pros and cons of attending one Odyssey over another. Just email us and we’ll help you to make that contact.

How will I get from the airport to campus?

Often host families offer to provide transportation for students from the airport to campus and help them to get settled in. International student services staff will also provide transportation for students from the airport to campus. We will contact you later on in the summer to collect arrival information and make arrangements for your transportation needs.

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