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Online Orientation for F-1 & J-1 Students

The online orientation course is specifically designed for new and transfer international students. The easy-to-use online platform provides essential information to help you feel more prepared and confident in your travels and arrival to Northwestern University. The course covers various key topics including immigration requirements and maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status, travel preparation, what to expect upon arrival, life on campus, information about Evanston and Chicago, student employment and much more. We have tailored this online course to address common questions received from international students who are within 2 months of starting their studies at Northwestern University.

Who should participate in the F-1/J-1 Required Orientation Course?

This is a required course for all F-1 and J-1 students (all academic levels) EXCEPT FOR:

  • Master's level and exchange students in the Kellogg School of Management
  • J-1 Global Learning Office (GLO) exchange students

If you fall into one of these exceptions, you will receive orientation information directly from the Kellogg International team or GLO.

When should I complete the online orientation?

We strongly advise you complete all sections PRIOR to your arrival in the United States. We'll be monitoring completion rates and the time spent on the course by each student.

Upon successful completion (100%) of your term specific F-1/J-1 Orientation course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. This certificate will be required to complete your Immigration check-in with OISS after your arrival to campus. Read more about Check-in on the New Student Arrival Checklist.

How can I access the F-1/J-1 online orientation course?

The F-1/J-1 Required Orientation for Winter/ Spring/ Summer 2024 is now available!

Accessing the F-1/J-1 online orientation is easy. The course is delivered via the Homebase platform which OISS will use to deliver additional information throughout your time at Northwestern. Be sure to make note of your Homebase login  and password so that you can return to Homebase in the future.

Students beginning study at Northwestern in Winter, Spring or Summer term 2024 - Please follow the instructions below:

To create a Homebase account & access the orientation course: 

  • Go to:
  • Select Institution:    Northwestern University
  • Enter the Access Code:   Wildcats2024  (this access code is for Winter, Spring & Summer 2024 only)
  • Enter the rest of your information and set a password. Make note of the email used and the password you set so that you can return to Homebase as needed.
  • Click on the "My Courses" tab on the top right
  • Begin the F-1/J-1 Required Orientation for Winter/Spring/Summer 2024.

 If you have any issues accessing the course, please email: