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! 

2020 International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation

The orientation was held from Monday, August 3 to Friday, August 7, 2020. Below you will find the recordings of the the orientation sessions. Contact Ling Jin at if you have any questions. 

Recordings of Live Webinars

If you cannot view the slides, you can try using the Duke VPN.

Monday, August 3 Webinar Recording

  1. IHouse Welcome & Introduction | Access the slides here
  2. Tips for Writing in U.S. Academic Contexts (Starting at 00:42:12)

Tuesday, August 4 Webinar Recording

  1. Smart Ways to Get Around On/Off Campus
  2. I Wish I Knew this from Day 1: IHOPs Advice and Q&A (Starting at 00:42:10)

Wednesday, August 5 Webinar Recording

  1. Forever Duke: Alumni Network
  2. Duke Alumni Panel (Starting at 00:40:50)

Thursday, August 6 Webinar Recording

  1. What is Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) and How to Get Involved
  2. Ways to Maintain your Mental and Physical Well-being at Duke (Starting at 00:42:10)| Access the slides here

Friday, August 7 Webinar Recording

  1. A Rapid Technique to Handle Stress | Access the slides here
  2. Closing and Q&As with IHouse (Starting at 00:43:52)

Pre-Recorded Sessions

Resource Fair

Although we are not able to offer a resource fair as we did when we had in-person orientations, you can review this guide to learn about 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.

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 below that introduces IHouse orientation programs and other services. 

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

Summer Transition Series

Over the summer, we will be uploading a series of videos introducing to you 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 can access the Summer Transition Series playlist on Duke Warpwire and IHouse YouTube Channel.  


  • 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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