Bienvenido, bienvenue, أهلاً وسهلاً بكم, Willkommen and Welcome to the Hilltop!

International Check-in and Orientation are the start to your St. Edward's experience!

International students are one of the first groups of students to arrive on campus in January. You'll settle into your residence hall room, find your way around campus, learn practical information that will help you adjust to life in the U.S. (and Austin), and meet other international students before the rest of the incoming students arrive. 

One of the most important things about International Check-in and Orientation is the opportunity for new students to build relationships with other international and U.S. students through social events and activities. 

We can't wait to meet you! 

Online sign-up for Spring Orientation begins November 15. To sign-up, log in to myHilltop and access the form through CollegiateLink.

Sign up in myHilltop Hillstart task

Arrival Information

  • International Freshmen

  • International Transfer and Exchange

International Freshmen

International students may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the Program Start Date listed on the Form I-20.

International Freshman Student Arrival Date: Wednesday, January 11

Residence hall move-in: Wednesday, January 11 (You will not be able to move-in to the residence hall before this date.)

  • Check in is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Check in at your assigned residence hall or Community Building 2 for on-campus apartments.
  • Note: Bedding is not provided.

Attend Spring Orientation on Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Complete placement testing, if applicable.
  • Meet with your academic counselor, register for classes and receive schedule.

Participate in International Check-in on Friday, January 13

  • Bring your passport/visa with you for immigration check-in.
  • Attend new student welcome ceremony and immigration presentation.
  • Meet with representatives from local banks and cell phone providers.
  • Catch a shuttle to Walmart for shopping trips.
  • Attend the International Welcome Dinner with your family!

Join us for Welcome Days events - meet new people and participate in university traditions!

International Transfer and Exchange

International students may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the Program Start Date listed on the Form I-20 or DS-2019.

International Freshman Student Arrival Date: Wednesday, January 11

Residence hall move-in: Wednesday, January 11 (You will not be able to move-in to the residence hall before this date.)

  • Check in is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Check in at your assigned residence hall or Community Building 2 for on-campus apartments.
  • Note: Bedding is not provided.

Attend Spring Orientation on Thursday, January 12

  • Confirm testing/advising needs and finalize schedule.
  • Take care of any last minute action items.
  • Receive university medallion and participate in the Legacy Walk tradition

Participate in International Check-in on Friday, January 13

  • Bring your passport/visa with you for immigration check-in.
  • Attend new student welcome ceremony and immigration presentation.
  • Meet with representatives from local banks and cell phone providers.
  • Catch a shuttle to Walmart for shopping trips.
  • Attend the International Welcome Dinner with your family!

Join us for Welcome Days events - meet new people and participate in university traditions!

More information about Orientation & International Check-In

International Check-in and Orientation

Spring Orientation: Thursday, January 12

Orientation is required for all new students, including international freshmen, transfer and exchange students. Events planned during Orientation provide opportunities to learn more about the services available at St. Edward's, as well as meet other new students, faculty, staff, student leaders and administrators.

Schedules will be available through the mobile app closer to the Orientation session.

International Check-in: Friday, January 13

International Check-in is required for all incoming international students. At International Check-in, the Global Engagement Office (GEO) will provide helpful information related to your adjustment to both the U.S. and St. Edward's University's culture – academic success, bank accounts, cell phone providers, campus and social life, and more. International Check-in will also cover practical immigration information regarding your F-1/J-1 student visa status, including how to maintain your status, employment opportunities and issues, social security numbers, travel, and more.

The full schedule for International Student Check-In will be available here closer to the event.

Advising and Course Registration

International Freshman will be advised and registered at International Check-in or Orientation. You will be assigned an advising time at International Check-in.

Exchange students will be registered by the Global Engagement Office.

International Transfer students already in the U.S. who wish to enroll in classes prior to Orientation may do so by contacting Academic Counseling and Exploration (ACE) at ace [at] stedwards.edu or 512-448-8660. To take advantage of this earlier registration opportunity, transfer students must first complete the steps for enrollment outlined in their acceptance packet. Most of these steps can also be completed on myHilltop. Upon completion, students can call to schedule their advising and registration appointment.

International Transfer Students who are unable to participate in the early registration period must come to Spring Orientation in order to meet with an advisor and register for classes. Note: there are other topics covered at Orientation, so transfer students should still sign up and attend. International Transfer Students who need placement testing will complete testing first, and then be assigned an advising time.

IMPORTANT: Advising and evaluation of credit will be based on the official transcripts received. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm the arrival of transcripts prior to advising and registration.

Placement Testing

Placement testing gives the university the information needed to place you into the appropriate writing and math courses. Determine if you need placement testing by contacting Academic Counseling and Exploration (ACE) at ace [at] stedwards.edu or 512-448-8660.

Math Placement

The ALEKS math placement test is a part of Hillstart, the online pre-orientation, and should be completed by Jan. 5, or one week prior to orientation, whichever date comes first.

The ALEKS math placement test is an opportunity to ensure that you are placed into an appropriate first math course and to brush up on skills, if necessary, to achieve the best placement. Along with your initial placement, this assessment will create an individualized study plan, provide targeted tutorials, and allow you to retest to place into a higher-level course, if desired.

Learn more about the ALEKS, including how to prepare.

Writing Placement

If applicable, the writing placement test will be offered through Hillstart.

Your English proficiency score may allow you to waive writing placement testing, directing your registration into the appropriate writing class. If further information is needed, testing will be offered during Orientation.

The exam is an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills, including your understanding of thesis statements (or controlling ideas), paragraphing, sentence structure, use of personal experience as evidence, and revision and proofreading techniques. Preparing for the writing placement exam may lead to a better performance and more class options.  Your score will determine placement in a college credit writing course or in a literacy model to further support academic English for college success (see PLUS information below).

To improve writing skills and prepare for the writing placement test:

  • Visit the Resources for Students and Teachers site developed by the St. Edward’s University Writing Center.
  • Practice timed writing: The Purdue OWL also has specific tips and strategies for writing a timed essay.
  • Immerse yourself in English, by reading, writing, and listening to a variety of resources—online magazines and newspapers, social media sites, books, music—to strengthen your English skills before testing.

Academic English Support Model (PLUS)

Students who place into the academic English support model will register for PLUS Writing, college level reading linked to a lecture course, freshman seminar, and math (dependent on ALEKS score). Students will register for the PLUS model for their first two semesters, allowing them to complete Rhetoric and Composition II, as well as develop vital reading skills for college level reading competency. Students have the opportunity to earn at least 26 hours of college credit coursework in two semesters. Students may round out their schedule as advised by their ACE counselor.

For more information regarding the PLUS model, students may contact their advisor.

Students who place into the literacy support model will follow the curriculum noted below:

Semester One
  • Composition I Plus Basic Writing
  • Freshman Studies Course
  • Critical and Efficient Reading I
  • Mathematics course based on ALEKS
  • First-Year Seminar for International Students

Total credits: 13 hrs. of college credit

Semester Two
  • Composition II Plus Writing Practicum
  • Cultural Foundations Course
  • Critical and Efficient Reading II
  • Math approved by advisor

Total credits: 13 hrs. of college credits

*Math placement may impact # of earned college credit  

Things to Do Before You Arrive

Apply for your visa as soon as you have your I-20

Join the St. Edward's University International Students Facebook group

Sign up for housing on myHilltop

Sign up for Orientation on myHilltop beginning November 15

  • Once your Orientation sign-up is confirmed, you will receive an invitation to Hillstart, the online pre-orientation, to your St. Edward's email account.

Send in your Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine documentation

Book your travel so that you arrive by January 11, 2017 (but not before December 18, 2016)

Get ready for placement testing:

  • Review the instructions above in "Placement Testing" on how to take the ALEKS math test and prepare for the writing test.
  • Be sure your travel schedule allows for jet lag recovery before testing.

Start checking your St. Edward's University emailMore information about move-in, International Check-in and Orientation, including times and locations, will be sent to this email.