Fall 2016 Orientation - Essential Student Information

During the first week at SUNY Plattsburgh we know our international students have many services and accounts to set up, decisions to make, and things to do. We hope this page will provide the information you need to get started. If you have questions about any of this information after you read through it, please speak to your Group Leader or a member of the Global Education Office (GEO) staff.

Orientation Schedule of Activities

International Student Orientation sessions will begin Tuesday, August 23 and end on Friday, August 26. There will be a variety of events planned from about 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day. These events will range from a welcome session and lunch with the Assistant Vice President of Global Education, to sessions that will provide you with valuable information to make the most of your time at SUNY Plattsburgh. Attendance at many of the activities on the student orientation schedule is mandatory. Please be sure to attend all events.

In the evenings, your orientation group leaders will host fun activities where you can relax and get to know other fellow students. The Fall 2016 orientation schedule is now available for your preview. We will provide you with a paper copy of the schedule at check-in.

On-campus Services

  • Dining options and meal plans:  Here you can find out where to eat and explore which meal plan is right for you.  Review the Dining Services website for complete information and details before you select your meal plan.
  • Cardinal Cash is a service that allows you to use your student ID like a declining balance credit card at stores and restaurants on and off campus. Cardinal Cash can make your life as a student easier! Visit the Cardinal Cash website for more information.
  • Fitness Center:  The SUNY Plattsburgh Fitness Center is a pay-for-use facility requiring a membership each semester.  It gives you access to aerobic and strength training machines, climbing wall, group exercises classes, and more.  You can pay the fee online in your student account or accept the optional fee that is automatically placed on your student bill.  For more information please download the Fitness Center brochure.
  • Health Insurance:  International students must use the GeoBlue health insurance provided through SUNY Plattsburgh. Details and your insurance card will be provided at check in.
  • Tuition and Fee Payment:  We recommend that all international students use the FlyWire service to pay their tuition and fees to SUNY Plattsburgh.  For more information, download and carefully read these instructions for using FlyWire
  • Career Development Center (CDC): You can visit the CDC on campus to discuss career plans, get individualized career coaching, help with resumes and interviews, and much more. It’s never too early to take advantage of this great service!

Off-campus Services

  • Shopping:  We provide transportation to nearby stores where you can purchase the personal items you will need in your residence hall room.  Students who have never lived in student housing before or experienced four seasons of weather should carefully review our suggested list of essential items you should consider buying before classes begin.
  • Dining Out:  It is always fun to go off campus to eat.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the variety of international food options our local restaurants have to offer.  We have compiled a list of some local favorite food places that our students recommend.
  • Worship:  If you are interested in attending worship services near campus, please review our list of local worship services nearby and within driving distance.

Opening Week on Campus

Domestic students will arrive on campus beginning at 8:00 AM on the Saturday following international student orientation week.  The first day of classes is the very next Monday, August 29th. That first week is considered "Opening Week" on campus.  Please refer to the general campus Opening Week Information for details about the wide variety of campus events and services that will be offered to all students during opening week.

International Student Orientation Dates

Semester Residence Halls Open for
New International Students
International Student
Orientation Dates
First Day of Classes
Fall 2016 Sunday, August 21, 2016 August 23–26, 2016 Monday, August 29, 2016
Spring 2017 Sunday, January 15, 2017 January 17–20, 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017
Fall 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 August 22–25, 2017 Monday, August 28, 2017
Spring 2018 Sunday, January 21, 2018 January 23–26, 2018 Monday, January 29, 2018


If you have not done so already, please fill out the Student Arrival Information Form and email it to us at geo@plattsburgh.edu. You can find a general schedule of our activities below.

Student Orientation Events

International student orientation is mandatory for new students, but it is also a lot of fun! A finalized schedule of orientation will be available about 1 week prior to each orientation session, and included in your packet that we give you when you arrive on campus. Below is a list of some of the most important things you will do and learn during a typical orientation week.

  • Pay bill and get your student identification card
  • Medical/Immunization verification at the Student Health Center
  • Campus Tour
  • Opening session with information about immigration and the United States higher education system
  • Opening dinner with all of the new students and families
  • Technology training with information about Cardinal Cloud (the campus email system) and BannerWeb (online student information system)
  • English Reading Placement Exam
  • English Writing Placement Exam
  • English Speaking Placement Exam
  • English Listening Competency Exam
  • Math Competency Exam (if applicable)
  • Partners in Cross-Cultural Learning (PICL) information session
  • Banking Session
  • Transfer Session (for transfer students only)
  • English Bridge Program meeting (for EBP students only)
  • Meeting with academic advisor and course registration
  • Shopping trips
  • BINGO night
  • Movie night
  • Games Night
  • Lunches and dinners

Contact Information

If you have any questions about services for international applicants and students at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Global Education Office
State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Kehoe Administration Building, Room 210
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, New York 12901 USA

Phone: (518) 564-3287; (877) 877-5170 (in U.S. and Canada)
Fax: (518) 564-3292
Email: geo@plattsburgh.edu

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.