New Students

Welcome to ODU! Whether you have just arrived in the United States or transferred from another US institution, we have some useful resources to help you start your ODU journey on the right foot.

International Student Essentials

All international students at ODU are enrolled in “International Student Essentials”, a course and resource destination in PantherLearn. You must use your ODU log in credentials to access this course page. Please review all the information in the International Student Essential course carefully and reference it regularly. Content includes:

  • Access to ODU’s F-1 Student Status Guide
  • Educational materials on US healthcare and your student health insurance plan
  • Resources for adjusting to college and US culture
  • Updates on travel requirements
  • Checklists and reminders

New Student Checklist

Attend New Student Orientation (undergraduates)
 Attend F-1 Student Orientation
 Complete Immigration Check In
 Schedule your first DSO meeting
 Report your US address & phone number to OIE
 Join World Student Club

Life in Columbus, Ohio

To open a bank account in the United States, you will need your passport, I-20, student ID, proof of address, and some money to deposit. The OIE can provide recommendations for local banks, as well as a letter attesting to your student status. A Social Security Number (SSN) is not required for opening a bank account.

While some students may choose to keep their foreign mobile number and rely on apps to communicate in the US, many find it useful to get a US mobile number. You may either visit a US cell phone plan provider to open an account or, you may opt to purchase a US sim card for your phone.

You may also set up your US phone plan before arriving in the United States through a service called campusSIMS

All F-1 students at ODU are enrolled in an international student health insurance plan. You can contact your insurance company to find a primary care provider. Healthcare in the United States functions a bit differently than in many other countries, so be sure to review the Health Insurance module on the International Student Essentials course on PantherLearn.