International House (IHouse)

Int'l Graduate and Professional Students

Dear incoming graduate and professional students,

Welcome to Duke! The staff at the International House are eager to meet you! Our goal is to assist you during this transition in your life and be your home away from home. We hope your experience at Duke is a memorable time for you to connect with others, learn, and grow. 

Here you will find important information about the International Graduate and Professional Students Orientation we have created for you, as well as pre-departure information. Feel free to reach out to us at if you have any questions! 

2021 International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation

The International House hosted an orientation in August to welcome graduate and professional students joining Duke for the 2021-2022 academic year. You can review the recordings through the links below. 

Live Webinar Sessions

 Monday, August 9 | Recording Link | Slides

IHouse Welcome & Introduction

You will learn about the resources, services, and programs that the International House (IHouse) provides.

Speakers: IHouse Staff and Dr. Li-Chen Chin, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs

I Wish I Knew this from Day 1: IHOPs Advice and Q&A

The International House Orientation Peers (or, IHOPs) will share their experiences and tips on living and learning at Duke.

Speakers: IHOPs


 Tuesday, August 10 | Recording Link

Duke Visa Services (DVS)

Join the DVS staff for visa updates, how to main your status, how to find your advisor, travel to-dos, and tips for navigating the DVS website.

Speaker: Dylan Sugiyama, Associate Director, Duke Visa Services

Tips for Writing in U.S. Academic Contexts

ESL specialists and writing experts from the Thompson Writing Program will talk about key strategies for successful writing in a U.S. graduate program.

Speakers: Eliana Schonberg and Rene Caputo, Thompson Writing Program


Wednesday, August 11 | Recording Link

Forever Duke: Alumni Network

This session will provide an overview of Duke Alumni Association, how students can get involved, and opportunities for student-alumni connections.

Speaker: Sara Stevens, Duke Alumni Affairs

Duke Alumni Panel

Duke international alums will share their experience and tips as graduate/professional students at Duke.


Thursday, August 12 | Recording Link

Ways to Maintain your Mental and Physical Well-being at Duke

This session will provide an overview of the programs, services, and opportunities offered by Duke Recreation, DuWell, and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).

Speakers: Lindsay Helm, Director of Marketing, Recreation & Physical Education; Tom Szigethy, Associate Dean & Director, DuWell

Stress Management Tips

Dr. Qin Hu from Duke Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) will share tips specifically for international students on how to better manage stress and maintain mental health at Duke.

Speaker: Dr. Qin Hu, Staff Psychologist, CAPS


Friday, August 13 | Recording Link

What is Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) and How to Get Involved

This session will give an overview of GPSG, the umbrella student government organization for Duke’s nine graduate and professional schools, and provide information on the services and programs offered by GPSG, and how international students can get involved.

Speaker: Aliesha O'Raw, President of GPSG

Closing and Q&As with IHouse staff and IHOPs

We will answer any lingering questions you still have about life at Duke and in Durham!

Speaker: IHouse Staff and IHOPs

Recorded Sessions

Designing Your Graduate School Experience for a Successful Career & Student Conduct

  • Presenter: Bridget Fletcher, Interim Managing Director, Graduate Student Programs and Services Director, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
  • Video Link

Challenges and Opportunities of Graduate School

  • Presenter: Mohamed Noor, Professor, Biology Department
  • Video Link

Career Everywhere for Everyone

Top Tech Tips from Duke OIT

Parking and Transportation at Duke

  • Presenter: Tyler Dewey, Parking and Transportation
  • Video Link

Safety and Security Online

On and Off-Campus Resources

There will be no in-person resource fair this year. However, you can access this resource guide on the various on and off-campus resources, including: 

  • Physical and mental well-being
  • Academic and professional development support
  • Religious life
  • Culture and identity centers
  • Student groups
  • Bank, cell, phone, finance, etc.

Summer Activities with the Grad IHOPs

June: Meet Your Duke Grad IHOPs

  • Event Details: Come to find out what it's like to be a Duke graduate student for a day! We’ll have IHOPs from different master's and PhD programs in the Graduate School to talk about their experiences and answer any questions you may have!
  • This event has passed, but you can watch the recording through this link. 

July: Duke Resources 

  • Event Details: Enjoy this time to come and learn more about the Duke experience! During this session, your IHOPs will have the pleasure to present you with some important resources before your arrival. The topics will range from some Duke Resources (Student Health, Library, OIT, GYM, …) to the websites and apps you should know beforehand.
  • This event has passed, but you can watch the recording through this link and access the slides here (VPN needed if you are in China). 

Coordinated by International House, the Graduate IHOP (International House Orientation Peers) is a volunteer program to help new graduate and professional international students get adjusted to life at Duke. ). All the IHOPs are current graduate students at Duke University. They will be reaching out to you over the summer and supporting you during the graduate international orientation in August.

Meet your Graduate IHOPs!

Pre-Departure Information

Please take a look at this video from 2020 that introduces IHouse programs and other services. 

Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to view it on Warpwire

Video Resources

To learn about the resources at Duke for international graduate and professional students, including International House, Duke Visa Services, The Graduate School, Student Health, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), Office of Information Technology, Parking and Transportation, Housing, and Duke Police, you visit the 2021 Graduate & Professional Student Orientation Videos Warpwire Page


  • Make travel plans to arrive at Duke early enough to attend the International Graduate and Professional Orientation
  • By airplane: Reserve your flight to the Raleigh/Durham (RDU) International airport. Car rentals, Uber, Lyft and taxis are available at the airport.
  • Taxi/Uber/Lyft: The fare is about $30.00 - $40.00 to Durham and Duke. A tip of 10% plus $1.00 per suitcase is normal.
  • International House does not coordinate graduate student airport pickups from RDU. Some student organizations have volunteers that will pick students up from the airport. Contact your department or school for more information. 
  • Chinese graduate and professional students may contact DCSSA (WeChat ID: DCSSA2019) for assistance with airport pickup and other information. 
  • If possible, we recommend arriving Monday through Thursday. Most offices in the USA are closed on Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Visa information: If you have visa questions while still in your home country, you may contact the Duke Visa Services by e-mail at or phone at (919) 681-8472.

Immunization & Health Insurance

  • North Carolina law requires all students enrolled in colleges or universities in this state to present proof of certain required immunizations on or before the first day of matriculation. Immunization requirements are available on the Student Health website.
  • All international Duke graduate and professional students are required to purchase the Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan (SMIP) that is designed for Duke students and complements the services of the Student Health Center. Duke students on F-1 and J-1 visas will be automatically enrolled in this health insurance. For more details on this and other important health related information visit the Student Health Center website.


  • On-campus housing: Housing and Residence Life (HRL) offers a limited number of on-campus housing for graduate and professional students at 301 Swift. Visit their website for more information and application.
  • Off-campus apartments: you will need approximately $1,200 for deposits, first month's rent, and to activate utilities (electricity, gas, etc). Check the Near Duke site for vacancies. Also sign up for the Intlhouse listserv and check out Duke List to look for roommates and available apartments. You can also download a list of Apartment Complexes near campus from the Housing section of our website.


  • Food Services: Duke campus has a variety of places to eat, ranging from cafeterias and fast food to full-service restaurants. For more information please visit the Duke Dining website.
  • Banking: You should open a bank account once you arrive in Durham. Bring your funds either in traveler's checks, or in an official bank check. Do not carry large amounts of cash during your travel. We recommend you get American Express traveler's checks as they are the easiest to cash in the U.S.
  • Shipping: If you do not have a local address yet, you may want to leave your packages with a friend or family member with instructions to mail them to you once you have a home address. Or you can ask your department about shipping packages to their office. International House does not accept packages for students/scholars.


Remember: You may have many questions about coming here and even more after arriving. Please contact the International House staff at We are here to assist you in any way possible.


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