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 have the opportunity to be one of the first groups of students to arrive on campus in August. These additional days allow you to settle into your residence hall room, navigate 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 Orientation begins April 1. To sign-up, log in to myHilltop and access the form through CollegiateLink.

Sign up for Orientation

Arrival Information

  • International Freshmen

  • International Transfer and Exchange

International Freshmen

International Freshman Student Arrival Date: Monday, Aug. 22

Residence hall move-in on Monday, Aug. 22

  • Check in is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Check in at your residence hall or the apartment front desk.

Participate in International Check-in on Tuesday, Aug. 23

  • Bring your passport/visa with you for immigration check-in and to get your student ID card.
  • Receive schedule for placement testing, if applicable.
  • Shopping trips on Tuesday, Aug. 23
    • NOTE: bedding is not provided, you will need to bring or purchase this.

Attend the International Welcome Dinner with your family and connect with the Global Engagement Office (GEO), Student Life, Academic Counseling, International Admission, and student orientation leaders.

Attend Orientation Wednesday, Aug. 24–Friday, Aug. 26

  • Meet with your academic counselor and register for classes

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

International Transfer and Exchange

International Transfer and Exchange Student Arrival Date: Sunday, Aug. 21

Residence hall move-in on Sunday, Aug. 21

  • Check in is from 9 a.m. to noon
  • Check in at your residence hall or the apartment front desk.

Attend Transfer Orientation Monday, Aug. 22

  • Meet with your academic counselor and register for classes.

Participate in International Check-in on Tuesday, Aug. 23

  • Bring your passport/visa with you for immigration check-in and to get your student ID card.
  • Receive schedule for placement testing, if applicable.
  • Shopping trips on Tuesday, Aug. 23
    • NOTE: bedding is not provided, you will need to bring or purchase this.

Attend the International Welcome Dinner with your family and connect with the Global Engagement Office (GEO), Student Life, Academic Counseling, International Admission, and student orientation leaders.

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

More Information About International Check-in and Orientation

International Check-in and Orientation

International Check-in: Tuesday, Aug. 23

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.

View International Check-in Schedule

Orientation

International Freshman: Wednesday, Aug. 24–Friday, Aug. 26

International Transfer and Exchange: Monday, Aug. 22

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.

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 Office of International Education.

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 Transfer 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 referring to the International Check-in and Orientation postcard in your I-20 packet or contact your academic counselor.

Math Placement

The ALEKS math placement test is a part of Hillstart, the online pre-orientation, and should be completed by Friday, July 1, 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

The writing placement test will be offered at International Student Check-in, Tuesday, Aug. 23.

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 a course that does not count for college credit and is considered developmental.

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.

Optional Testing

If your English proficiency score has placed you into a specific curriculum, you may choose to challenge this placement. If you would like to challenge this placement, you must take the required tests. This curriculum model was sent with your acceptance letter.

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 beginning Feb. 1

Sign up for Orientation on myHilltop beginning April 1

  • 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:

  • International Transfer and Exchange Students: Sunday, Aug. 21
  • International Freshmen: Monday, Aug. 22

Get ready for placement testing:

  • Determine if you need placement testing by referring to the International Check-in and Orientation postcard in your I-20 packet or contact your academic counselor.
  • 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.