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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars

iSTART @UCLA Orientation

iSTART @UCLA is a two step on-boarding process that helps international students transition to their new life at UCLA and in the U.S. Required components of iSTART@UCLA are the Online Post-Arrival Status Check-In and the iSTART Online Orientation. The Online Orientation includes the following video modules: J-1 Visa Workshop, Academic Integrity, Getting Started at UCLA, Getting Started in LA, and Dimensions of Culture. There is a mandatory orientation fee of $59 that will be charged to your Bruin Account.

J-1 students are required by the U.S. Department of State to complete an orientation (iSTART Orientation)and a visa check-in (Post-Arrival Status Check-In) to validate their J-1 status in the U.S.

If you do not complete the mandatory components of iSTART@UCLA, a Hold will be placed on your student record which will affect your course enrollment, eligibility to receive services from DCISS and University resources.

See iSTART Registration Instructions.

Mandatory Online Post-Arrival Status Check-In

All newly admitted J-1 degree and exchange students are required to complete the online Post-Arrival Status check-in by the end of week 2 of their first quarter. Students will receive an automatic email with the link to the online visa check-in within 1 month prior to their program start date. Please email the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Unit if you have not received this email by the time your first quarter begins.

Failure to complete your check-in requirement in a timely manner will result in severe consequences for your visa status.

Mandatory Address, Phone Number, and E-Mail Reporting

All J-1 degree and exchange students are required to maintain a valid local U.S. address, overseas address, U.S. telephone number, overseas telephone number, and e-mail at all times during their studies at UCLA Upon arrival to UCLA, please log on to www.my.ucla.edu and click on “Settings”, then click on “Official Email/Address/Phone” at the top right hand corner to update your contact information in the UCLA system. Update your contact information as follows:

  • E-Mail : Must reflect a verifiable email address that you check on a daily basis.
  • Mailing Address : Must reflect your local U.S. address within the Los Angeles area.
  • Permanent Address : Must reflect your overseas address outside the U.S. country.
  • Primary Phone Number : Must reflect a valid 10-digit U.S. phone number. Input numbers only. No special characters, spacing, or parentheses (Example: 3109876543).

Please Note: Updating your contact information in MyUCLA is very important. DCISS cannot validate your arrival and J-1 status with DHS until your information has been updated.

Mandatory Health Insurance Requirement

All J-1 degree and exchange students are required to have health, accident, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains insurance during the duration of their program as indicated on the DS-2019. The UCLA UCSHIP plan offered for degree and exchange students meets this requirement. UCSHIP coverage begins on the first day of Fall Quarter start date (the DS-2019 start date). Visit the Ashe Student Health Center for more information.

It is recommended that students arriving before their program start date enroll in a short-term health insurance plan to ensure insurance coverage before UCSHIP coverage begins. The following provider may provide a one-month insurance policy plan for J-1 students:

DCISS HOLD

If you do not complete the mandatory iSTART orientation and the Online Post-Arrival Status Check-In by the end of Week 2 of your first Quarter at UCLA, an all-services hold from DCISS will become active on your Student Record.

This will affect your eligibility to receive services from DCISS and UCLA departments, restrict your course enrollment, and restrict your access to UCLA campus resources.

Failure to comply with visa check-in requirements in a timely manner will result in termination of your J-1 status.