Welcome to Penn State Berks! Our orientation programs aim to provide you and those who support you with programs and services that assist your successful academic, social, and personal transition to, and through, the University. NSO is for new international students and is a three-step orientation program.
Step 1 of International NSO is a virtual orientation introduction. This includes a university welcome, immigration information, and other important information from Global Engagement Coordinators, Orientation Leaders, and support staff from the Berks campus. Once you attend step one of NSO, you will be able to schedule an advising meeting with an academic advisor.
Step 2 of International NSO is academic advising and course scheduling. You must attend step 1 in order to meet with an academic advisor and enroll in your first semester courses. The earlier you attend NSO the more course options will be available to you when you enroll in courses. This meeting will be an hour-long, individual appointment via zoom and should occur within a week after your NSO date. Prior to your advising meeting, please make sure to have completed the Educational Planning Survey (EPS) and the ALEKS math assessment (found on your NSO Tasklist). Register for NSO
Step 3 of International NSO is International Student Welcome Days with immigration check-in. This will occur at the Berks campus about a week prior to the start of the semester and will focus on the social, cultural, and academic transitions to Penn State Berks and the US.
It is mandatory that you participate in step 3 of the International NSO at the Berks campus to have a smooth transition to the US and the campus. During this program you will learn about the education system, pertinent laws, culture of the US, take a tour of the campus, and learn about resources available to you on campus and in the surrounding community. You will learn about the medical system, insurance and vaccinations you need. You can get vaccinated during this time if you do not have access to a required vaccine in your country.
You will meet the staff member who will be your contact before arriving in the US and during your time at Berks, Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez. You will meet your mentor, an upper-class student, who will guide you throughout the orientation and your first year at Berks. You and your family will get to meet the Berks Chancellor (like a president), faculty and staff, other international students studying abroad and American students. You will move into your residence hall (if you are living on campus).
Other important activities that you will participate in during the Berks International NSO:
- You will get your PSU identification card
- Open a US bank account
- Purchase a phone SIM card and service plan
- Go shopping for the items you need in your new room (mentors assist you)
- Get required vaccinations that are not available in your country (Mrs. Pitterson-Ogaldez assists)
- Have social activities to get to know the other new international students and some American students
- Go out to have dinner together at a local restaurant
- Go on a bus trip to a local attraction in Pennsylvania
- Learn how to pay your tuition bill
- Complete your immigration registration documents
Please contact Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez with any questions pertaining to Berks International NSO ([email protected]).