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The Center for Global Engagement has planned Transitions particularly with the specific issues, concerns and needs of international exchange students in mind to help with your smooth and successful transition to JMU.


Transitions, the international orientation program, takes place a few days prior to the first days of class (and prior to the 1787 August Orientation) for international students, during which we:

  • Provide airport pick-up, early move-in assistance to your assigned residence hall, set-up bank accounts, shopping trips.
  • Present material, information and resources which due to your cultural, linguistic, and national differences will help you better understand and navigate classroom expectations, transportation options, employment restrictions, residence hall closure during the breaks…
  • Offer campus tours, fun evening activities, personal connections and opportunities to make new friends, and learn what it means to be a JMU student before the rest of the new students arrive on-campus
  • Cover immigration policies and rules that are so intrinsic to your student status. As such Transitions is a mandatory (for all J-1 visa holders).

To make Transitions relevant and pertinent to you, we have hired very special, awesome JMU experts: the LINKers. The LINKers are returning international and globally-minded students who serve as orientation leaders and role models to help with your smooth transitions to JMU. They’ll put their own personal twist to the information and assistance we will provide to make it a very unique and memorable orientation.

What Should You Be Doing Now?

Transitions begins on Sunday, August 18. In the meantime, you need to complete several pre-arrival steps by:

  • Remaining in contact with Exchange student coordinator, Pernell Whitfield, at
  • Logging in to the Terra Dotta portal:
    1. Using your eID and password
    2. Clicking on Transitions
    3. Selecting “Apply Now”.
    4. Once in the application, follow the instructions and complete all of the steps (Learning Content and Questionnaires). This is important as you will need to:
      • Complete certain immigration requirements.
      • Obtain pre-arrival information (transportation info, early move in, orientation schedule...)
      • Complete the Transitions Registration form (found in the Questionnaire(s) section) to inform us if you will take advantage of the airport pick-up assistance and if we should expect your relatives...
Contact Info
  • Thomas Lavenir - for information related to Transitions and the arrival process.
  • Ed Muldoon - for information related to immigration and visas.

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