Welcome to Cal Poly

New Student Information

For information about San Luis Obispo, student life, and campus resources, please take a look at the International Student Welcome Guide below.

Arrival and Welcome Guide

Arrival Check-in

After you arrive in San Luis Obispo, you will be required to complete an Online Arrival Check-In via your International Student Hub.


We recommend that you secure housing soon after being admitted to Cal Poly due to limited housing on- and off-campus.

Welcome Guide

Download our International Student Welcome Guide for information about San Luis Obispo, student life, and campus resources

International Student Fee

Fee Amount and Assessment

$300 per quarter will be charged to F-1 degree-seeking students along with tuition fees for each quarter of enrollment.

What’s Covered?

  • Issuing I-20 documents
  • Advising students regarding visa regulations, work authorization, health insurance, and cross-cultural adjustment
  • Orientation, activities, and programs

Orientation Programs

students hike to the P and look back on campus and San Luis Obispo

Campus Orientation Programs

Visit Cal Poly New Student and Transition Programs for information on the three orientation programs they offer; Open House, SLO Days and Week of Welcome (WoW)

New Student & Transition Programs

Visit Cal Poly Graduate Education for information on New Graduate Student Orientation.

New Graduate Student Orientation

students gather in a circle for week of welcome

Online F-1 and J-1 Visa Student Orientation

The International Student Online Orientation is REQUIRED for all new incoming international students with an F-1 or J-1 visa. Even if you are not new to the USA, you still must still complete the online orientation course, which will be customized for your program and visa type. When the course is available, it will appear on your portal as a Canvas course, and instructions will be e-mailed to you. This course is designed to provide you with important information you will need during your time at Cal Poly. Completion all modules of the online orientation course is necessary in order to proceed with your arrival check-in at Cal Poly.

musty leads the poly royale at open house

International Student Orientation


International Student Orientation for fall takes place in two parts: first we will have a mandatory virtual orientation via Zoom during which we’ll go over important information such as health insurance, arrival check-in, and visa status requirements. The mandatory virtual orientation will take place in August and will be followed by an in-person Meet & Greet event in September. Details about both orientations will be emailed to you over the summer.


Be on the lookout for an email to your Cal Poly email address regarding details of this orientation about a month prior to the start of classes.

two female cal poly students exploring montana de oro coast line

Student Visas

Get step-by-step guides for applying for an F-1 visa, a J-1 visa, or transferring your F-1 SEVIS record to Cal Poly.

Health Insurance

All F-1 and J-1 visa students will be enrolled in the Cal Poly International Student Health Insurance Plan.

Health Center
atm machines along walkway near the uu plaza


Learn about banking institutions in and around San Luis Obispo as well as financial services, such as accounts, safe deposit boxes, foreign currency conversion, international money orders, and electronic wire transfers.

Campus Life

Immerse yourself in campus life and adapt to life at Cal Poly; participate in international student programs, join a club, or get involved in student government.

students walking on campus
scholars gather

Entering the U.S.

Be prepared for arrival. Learn when to arrive, the documents to carry with you and what to expect at the port of entry.