Orientation & Testing
On the first and second day of the program we will provide orientation to help you understand the program and the university and administer an English placement exam. We will help you with housing, banking, identification cards (USC ID, driver's license), health insurance, safety issues, registration, understanding your schedule, and getting to know the campus. There will be advisors to help you with your individual questions and needs as well.
Please bring the following items with you on the start day:
• Copies of your passport, USC I-20, & I-94 (arrival card) or other immigration documents
• Your checkbook, travelers checks, credit card or guarantee letter from your sponsor (if you need to pay the program fees)
• Any identification you have (Drivers' License, USCard, Social Security card, etc.)
• Pen and pencil
*See the Fall 2013 Orientation Map and Schedule
Passport Verification (PPV)
All students are required to complete Passport Verification (PPV) with Language Academy to ensure that the student is eligible to start an academic program at USC for the semester.
In order to complete this procedure, please make copies of the following items after entering the U.S., and turn them in to Gilbert Cho, Immigration and Admissions Advisor, by the end of the first day of Orientation:
• The data page of your passport
• U.S. Visa
• Front page of your USC I-20
• Front and back of I-94 (arrival card)
Copies can be made at the FedEx Office located on the third floor of the USC Bookstore. If you live off-campus, there are FedEx Offices conveniently located throughout Los Angeles. You can search for the FedEx Office nearest you by clicking here.
English Placement Exam
On the program start date, you will be given an English Placement Examination to determine your academic level in the program. TOEFL scores are not used for placement purposes. The exam will consist of a timed written essay and a multiple choice test of listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary. You may also have an oral interview for placement purposes.
Students will learn their level and class schedule at the completion of orientation.
A USCard (USC identification card) is essential for all USC students. This is your official campus identification card and should be carried with you at all times on campus. You will go to the USCard office on the first day of orientation to take a picture and receive your student identification card.
Identification: By identifying you as a currently enrolled student, your USCard entitles you to many campus privileges. It allows you to cash checks at the Cashier’s Office and use the university libraries, campus computer centers, enter your apartment (if in University Housing), the Lyon Recreational Center and other recreational facilities. You should carry your USCard with you at all times while you're on campus.
Purchases: You may also arrange to use your USCard as a debit card by designating a specified amount of money in your account for campus purchases. These are called "discretionary funds" and can be used to buy a variety of goods and services at USC, including books and merchandise from the university bookstore; entertainment, amusement park and sporting event tickets from the ticket office; and items from convenience stores on campus. The card also may be used in many vending and copy machines on campus.
All USC students must have major medical health insurance. The Academy provides a high quality medical insurance policy and access to the USC Student Health Center as part of the required university service fee. This policy covers students while they are participating in the program.
NOTE: As with all medical insurance policies, some restrictions apply. Contact the Academy Admissions Coordinator for policy details.
• Visiting the Health Center Each student will receive a health insurance card at the health orientation. If you have questions about the insurance policy please contact the Student Health Center. Remember to tell the staff that you are a USC Language Academy student.
• TB Test/MMR Vaccination All students are required to attend the Health Screening workshop. Students will receive Tuberculosis screening test at the Health workshop. Students must also show proof of the MMR Vaccination or they must receive this vaccination during orientation. You should not get the measles vaccination if you will have a baby or you think you will have a baby in the next year. You should not get the measles vaccination if you are sick. Students will be required to pay an additional fee directly to the Health Center during orientation if they require the MMR Vaccination. For more information about university screening and immunity requirements, please visit the University Park Health Center website and read about New Student Health Requirements.
The weather in Los Angeles is relatively warm year-round. Daytime temperatures remain in the 70s F and 80s F (21-30 C) from around May through the middle of October. November through March is the closest Los Angeles will get to winter. Daytime temperatures average in the 60sF (15-20 C) with evening temperatures dropping into the 40sF (5-9 C). It only rains about 13 inches per year in Los Angeles, but bring an umbrella for the occasional downpour. Ski slopes are within 1 1/2 hours of the campus, so bring your ski gear if you plan to ski. Don't forget your swimsuit--unless you want to look like a tourist at the beach.