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Skidmore College
International Students and Scholars

International Student Pre-Orientation

International Student Orientation (ISO)

August 26 - August 29

International student advisors in the Office of Student Academic Services (SAS) warmly invite you to join us for Skidmore’s International Student Orientation (ISO). ISO is an academic and cultural introduction and will give you the information you need to have a successful and fun four years of college!

All non-U.S. citizens and any U.S. dual citizens living outside of the United States are invited to participate in this program.

You will be accompanied by ISO Global Mentors (upper class students), faculty and staff who share information about academic resources, the “American” classroom, academic expectations, and the rules and regulations regarding study in the U.S. as an F-1 visa holder. ISO also includes fun excursions that introduce you to Saratoga Springs, and you will have time to shop for basic necessities and open a bank account.

ISO 2019 will take place from August 26-29.

The campus check-in date for International Student Orientation (ISO) will be the opening day of ISO, Monday, August 26.  Please note that no arrivals are permitted before this date. Most participating students will be able to move into their full-year residence hall room on this day.

ISO will conclude on the morning of August 29 when ISO participants are required to join in an all-college Pre-Orientation offered by the Office of Campus Life.  Registration for Campus Life Pre-O programs begin on June 5 and spaces go fast!  We strongly recommend that you choose your Pre-O program carefully.  For example, if outdoor activities have never interested you before, the hiking and canoeing Pre-O programs might not be a good match for you.  Skidmore students find that their Pre-O programs provide some of their best experiences and memories...know yourself and choose accordingly!

Students traveling alone to Saratoga Springs who, due to financial hardship, are unable to get to campus from the airport can be greeted by ISO Global Mentors ONLY on the check-in/arrival day.

If you need information about accommodations or Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area, please visit the website of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

NOTE: Late August is the peak of the tourism season in Saratoga Springs, New York. You will enjoy your visit to our beautiful city but you may find that some hotels have no vacancies or charge higher rates. Please make reservations early and if you have a rental car then consider searching for hotels in the nearby but surrounding communities (i.e. Malta, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, Albany or Glens Falls). There is a good mix of small inns and independent hotels as well as franchise (Marriott, Hilton, etc.) hotels in the greater Saratoga Springs/Albany/Glens Falls area.


Registration opens on June 5, 2019 and closes on July 15, 2019.  Click here to either register or confirm that you will not attend ISO (we appreciate knowing that too).

Please do not hesitate to email questions to Chloe Jaleel, Coordinator of International Student and Scholar Services (

ISO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q:  If I cannot attend ISO, when should I arrive?

August 29 to attend your pre-orientation program (highly, highly recommended) or September 1 to attend the compulsory New Student Orientation (required).  Please make sure you always confirm information and dates on the FYE Orientation website.

If you cannot arrive in time for ISO, we HIGHLY suggest you participate in a Pre-Orientation or SCOOP.

Students arriving for Pre-Orientation/SCOOP may move into their campus residence hall on the morning of Thursday, August 29 and participate in one of the MANY pre-orientation programs.  The pre-orientation programs are numerous with varied themes and are held to small numbers so students can get to know each other well prior to the New Student Orientation which is for the entire class.

Registration for the different pre-orientation programs will open on June 5, but some preliminary information is here.

All of the international students participating in the International Student Orientation will participate in a Campus Life pre-orientation or SCOOP.  So, you will certainly meet other international students at that time.

September 1 is the arrival for the mandatory New Student Orientation and the absolute LAST day any new student should arrive at Skidmore.

Q: If I arrive one or two days into the ISO can I still attend?

No.  Campus arrival for ISO must be on the opening/check-in day. (See previous question for alternative arrival dates.)

Q: If I miss ISO, can I still get information from international student advisors?

Yes.  It is important that you meet personally with the international student advisors/coordinators in Student Academic Services (102 Starbuck building) during the first couple of days of classes to learn more about your responsibilities as an F-1 visa holding international student.

Q: I am traveling to ISO alone, can someone meet me at an airport or other station?

On the designated arrival day (August 26), ISO Global Mentors can meet students who are traveling alone and, due to financial hardship, are unable to get to campus by themselves. Please make every effort to travel directly at one of the following locations only: Albany International Airport (ALB); Saratoga Springs Bus/Train Station.

If you are attending ISO, you will be asked to provide arrival flight/bus/train information prior to arrival.

Q: Where should I fly into?

If you are traveling by air, and especially if you are traveling alone, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that your final destination is the Albany International Airport (ALB). You can take a taxi from there to Skidmore (30 minutes, approximately $60), or if a taxi presents a financial hardship, our staff can meet you (only if you arrive between the hours of 10:00am and 9:00pm on the designated arrival day of Monday, August 26).

Q: I need hotel recommendations for the Saratoga Springs area.  Where can I search for hotel recommendations?

The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce lists many accommodations in the area.  Or, you can use your favorite travel website-such as Expedia, Travelocity, TripAdvisor,, etc.- to find ideas.  If hotels/motels in the city Saratoga Springs are full or too expensive, look to the North or South of the city for alternatives.  Nearby cities include Malta, Ballston Spa, Wilton, or Clifton Park.  Some hotels have free shuttles or are only a short drive (rental car or taxi) from campus.  Some hotels even have free shuttle service from the Albany International Airport. Even if your preferred hotel is not listed as having shuttle service from the airport, check directly with the hotel to confirm. Please note: some of the hotels with free airport shuttle service are close to the airport, but not as close to Skidmore, so be sure to check the distance and plan accordingly.

Q: My family is coming with me, can they participate in ISO?

Only on move-in day and briefly the following morning. Family/friends can help you move into your room on check-in day (August 26) and there will be a short information session the following morning for any accompanying family/friends.

Students are otherwise expected to fully participate in ISO and should not plan to spend time with friends/family after drop-off.