‘Canes Across Continents: Tips for First-Year International Students

Flags from around the world are displayed at the Miami Herbert Business School. Photo credit: Jenny Jacoby

As difficult as the transition from high school to college life can be, it may feel even more daunting as an international student.

What many may not know is that there is an abundance of academic and personal adjustment resources for both domestic and international students entering their first year of college.

Whether you grew up a few miles from campus or on the other side of the world, there will always be a place for you at the U. As a campus with no borders, the community serves to welcome students from all different backgrounds.

To help facilitate this transition, below is a comprehensive list of services, programs and organizations open to students from around the globe.

International Student Orientation (ISO) Fellows Program

This program is designed for continuing undergraduate international students who are equipped to help incoming international students during International Student Orientation. As orientation leaders, these students are the go-to mentors for the college transition.

This years’ International Student Orientation for undergraduate students will be held on Tuesday, August 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This is an excellent opportunity for international students to mingle, get to know their peers, and explore many of the resources and programs available to them.

For freshmen international students who are looking to get involved in the ISO program in the future, they can complete an application through International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS).

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)

For all incoming new and transfer international students seeking pre-arrival information, International Student & Scholar Services is your best friend. They provide information on important topics like housing, health care and insurance, tuition and fees, travel assistance and many more programs to help international students acclimate to college life.

If you are an incoming international student feeling overwhelmed about coming to the United States, do know that you have a welcoming community that is ready to assist you and alleviate any concerns that may arise.

For more information about services provided by ISSS, feel free to visit their website.

International Student Mentorship Program (ISM)

Similar to the CaneBuddy program here at the U, the International Student Mentorship Program is designed to pair international students in F-1 with current students to help facilitate the college transition. Sponsored by the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO), undergraduate students have the opportunity to help incoming international students adjust to campus life and answer any general questions that may arise.

For more information about this program, please visit COISO’s page on the ISSS website.

International Student Resource Fair

This event is offered by ISSS at the beginning of the fall semester, where international students can become more familiar with services that assist with tax preparation, language learning, financial assistance and personal adjustment.

Please check the ISSS website for dates for the 2023 International Student Resource Fair.

Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO)

Founded in 1967, COISO is one of the largest international student organizations on campus. From hosting dance competitions to putting on larger events such as International Week, this group of students is dedicated to creating a supportive environment where international students can thrive and share their culture with the rest of the community.

International Week, which takes place during the fall semester, is a fan-favorite of many students at the University of Miami. Here, students from all around the globe have the opportunity to share their culture with food, crafts and music. At the end of the week, participants come together for a banquet and awards ceremony.

To read more about international week, click here.

‘Canes Chat

A relatively new student organization, Canes’ Chat was conceived with the idea of helping international students practice their English speaking skills by providing social and language support.

From language circles to taste-testing snacks from around the world, this organization is a great way to meet other international students and practice language skills.

GLACIER Tax Prep Program

Amidst adjusting to a new lifestyle in the United States, it can be rather tricky to understand tax status and authorization procedures. Through the Glacier Tax Prep Program, ISSS assists international students holding a F-1 or J-1 visa with tax preparation through an online program.

For more information about IRS filing requirements and the Glacier Tax Prep Program, please visit the ISSS website.