After arrival in Knoxville, all new international students must participate in an International Student Orientation. In addition, there will be other educational and cultural programs offered during the Passport to UT programs to help make your transition to UT and Knoxville easier.

Below you will find more information about the Passport to UT events, as well as links to the schedule and the orientation registration form. Attending International Student Orientation is a mandatory program that is required of all new F-1 or J-1 students.

Mandatory International Student Orientation

The program provides essential information about immigration regulations, taxes, health insurance, transportation, registering for classes and more. Students only need to participate in one mandatory international orientation session and must sign up before they arrive at UT.

Graduate students with graduate assistantships (GA-ships) should attend International Student Orientation on December 19. You will not have work authorization until after you have attended international student orientation.

Please bring your original I-20/DS-2019, visa and passport to orientation!

Spring 2018 Orientation Sessions!
Tuesday, December 19
Thursday, January 4

*If you need to reschedule your orientation, please email istudents@utk.edu


During Passport to UT and before classes begin, students may also choose to stay in a hotel or in off-campus housing. In the Fall semester, temporary housing may be available in the UT Knoxville residence halls. This is subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis. The CIE does not arrange housing for individual students. Visit housing‘s website for more information.


If you plan on driving to your orientation session, please keep in mind that parking in unauthorized areas could result in a fine or getting towed. Also, you should allow extra time to find a parking space and to walk from your parking space to the International House. Please check UT’s Parking and Transit Services for information (e.g. parking permits, etc.) about parking: http://parking.utk.edu/.

University and Departmental Orientations

Please note that International Student Orientation is different from other orientation programs offered by the university or by departments within the university.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students, both First-Year and Transfer, must also attend the university’s academic orientation, called the New Vols Experience.

Transfer Students – Friday, January 5 or Monday, January 8
First Year Students – Monday, January 8

For more information about the New Vols Experience, please email newvols@utk.edu or visit http://newvols.utk.edu/orientation/

Graduate Students

Graduate students should check with their academic department for any additional programs they must attend.

Passport to UT

Passport to UT is a series of programs designed to help new international students settle into their new home in Knoxville, TN. Students are encouraged to participate in these educational and cultural programs that take place over a period of days, prior to the beginning of classes. Events include tours of the campus and library, shopping/grocery trips, and information sessions about driver’s license and such.

Passport to UT events will take place at the beginning of each semester and held at the International House unless otherwise noted. The schedule for Passport to UT can be found on the International House website: https://ihouse.utk.edu/passport-to-ut/

English Testing and Course Placement for International Students

Four courses—English 121, 122, 131, and 132—focus on teaching advanced English academic literacy to UT students whose first or strongest language is not English. Students admitted to UT are placed in these classes based on TOEFL (or equivalent) scores used for admissions. The English Department will send information regarding individual placement to incoming international undergraduate and graduate students.

Undergraduate Students

All undergraduate students must eventually complete both English 131 and 132; some undergraduate students may also be required to first take English 121.

Graduate Student

Graduate students may either be required to take English 122, or may be exempt from English. Please visit the English Department’s website for more information. In addition, graduate students with Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) must participate in the ITA Testing Program. This will be administered through the Graduate School and you can find more information about the test on their website: http://gradschool.utk.edu/graduate-student-life/ita-testing-program/

Exchange Students

Exchange students are not required to take English courses. However, if you would like to take an English course, please refer to the link below for course placement guidelines.

For a detailed explanation about English Course Placement, please refer to the link provided here: http://english.utk.edu/english-as-a-second-language/learning-english-as-a-second-language/ or contact the English department directly at esl@utk.edu