Students Starting Fall 2018

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) ABOUT iSTART@UCLA

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about iSTART@UCLA. If you have any other questions please contact the Dashew Center at intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu.

What are the mandatory components of iSTART?
The mandatory components of iSTART are: Creating a DCISS Account in order to register for iSTART@UCLA, Pre-Arrival Online Orientation, and the Resource Fair and Visa Check-In. These components MUST be completed by the end of Week 2 of your program start date or a HOLD will be placed on your UCLA student account and your visa status could be in jeopardy.

The other components of iSTART -- UCLA Orientation, LA Bus Tour and the Welcome Event -- are not mandatory, but they are highly recommended based on past international student experiences. These components are incredibly valuable to you having a successful start as an international student at UCLA.

How much does iSTART@UCLA cost?
The fee for iSTART is $59 and it can only be paid using your UCLA Bruin Bill account. Although you may be registering to iSTART in the summer, the $59 charge will not actually be charged to your Bruin Bill until fall quarter. Please make sure you are always aware of charges on your BruinBill so you do not incur late fees for non-payment of charges. There are no refunds of iSTART payments.

What is the iSTART Welcome Pack and when can I get it?
The iSTART Welcome Pack is included in the $59 iSTART fee and it includes a UCLA sweatshirt, DCISS water bottle, and UCLA reusable tote bag. You can pick up your iSTART Welcome Pack at the mandatory Resource Fair and Visa Check-In that you attend. We will try our best to give you the size sweatshirt that you want, however, due to the amount of students who are a part of iSTART, we cannot guarantee that each student will get their desired sweatshirt size.

There are multiple modules in the Pre-Arrival Online Orientation; do I have to do all of them?
Yes, you will need to COMPLETE and PASS all of the modules that are listed. In order to pass each module, you must score 100% on the corresponding quiz. All of the scores will be recorded in real-time so you will see if you passed the quiz or not. If you did not receive 100% on the quiz the first time, you will be able to watch the video again and re-take the quiz as many times as you need to pass(the only exception to this rule, is the Academic Integrity module).

Please Note: For the Academic Integrity module you will only have ONE opportunity to score at least 80% on the quiz. If you fail to score 80% on your FIRST attempt you will be REQUIRED  to attend an in-person Academic Integrity Workshop during the fall quarter. Workshops will be available for signup via the Dashew Center website. If you do not score 80% on your first attempt and fail to attend an Academic Integrity workshop during the Fall Quarter, there will be a hold placed on your account restricting you from registering for Winter Quarter courses.

It is highly recommended that you complete the Pre-Arrival Online Orientation BEFORE you arrive to the United States because there is a lot of useful information that you should know before you land in the US. You can watch the modules and take the quizzes in any order that you want but you MUST COMPLETE and PASS all the modules and quizzes by the end of Week 2 of your program start date.

What happens if I don’t complete the mandatory iSTART components on time?
If you do not complete the iSTART components on time then a HOLD will be placed on your student account. Also, failure to timely complete your check-in requirements will also result in severe consequences for your visa status within the U.S.

I’m a F-1 Student, what documents do I need to bring to Visa Check-In?
For more information and to see examples of the documents you need, please see the F-1 Visa New Students Webpage.

I’m a J-1 Student, what documents do I need to bring to Visa Check-In?
For more information please see the J-1 Visa New Students webpage.

When are the F-1 and J-1 Visa Check-In times?
You can drop-in to ONE of the following Check-In Sessions in Bradley International Hall:

  • Friday, August 3
  • Friday, August 24
  • Friday, September 14
  • Friday, September 21
  • Wednesday, September 26

You do not need to register for a session; you can drop-in to any session that works with your schedule. To avoid long lines; however, it is recommended that you attend a session as soon as you arrive in the U.S. since sessions closer to the start of classes will be very crowded.

Are exchange students required to attend the orientation through the UCLA International Education Office?
Yes, if you are an EAP or IEO Reciprocal Exchange student you are REQUIRED to attend the orientation provided by the UCLA International Education Office (IEO).

The IEO office will send out additional information regarding the orientation during the summer. Please contact the IEO Office for further questions.

How do I register for the LA Bus Tour and/or the Welcome Event?
Starting August 1st, when you login to your DCISS account and click on “My Account” and then “iSTART”, you will see links for the LA Bus Tour. You can register for ONE bus tour. You cannot register for multiple seats. Closer to the beginning of the school year you will receive an email invitation for the Welcome Event with information on how to register.

How do I know that I completed iSTART@UCLA and a HOLD won’t be placed on my UCLA account?
To make sure that you have completed all required components you can login to your DCISS account, confirm that you have completed and passed all of the Pre-Arrival Online Orientation modules and that you attended a mandatory drop-in Visa Check-In session at the Dashew Center. You will have received your iSTART Welcome Pack at the Check-In session. Once those two components are completed then you will not have a hold on your UCLA student account.

MyUCLA account says there is a HOLD, but I’ve completed the mandatory iSTART components, why is there still a hold?
All incoming international students will have an AF3 HOLD placed on their account automatically when they enroll at UCLA, however, this hold does not become effective until the end of Week 2 of your program start date. As long as you complete the mandatory iSTART components by the end of Week 2 of your program start date then the hold will be removed you and will not lose access to any UCLA services.

How can I arrange early move-in?
If you are an undergraduate student that is planning to live in the residence halls and you are also planning to attend a UCLA Orientation session, then you are eligible for early move-in. You will need to arrange Early Move-In when you register for UCLA Orientation at www.newstudents.ucla.edu. The Dashew Center is not able to help arrange early move-in, please contact UCLA Orientation and ask them how you can move-in early. You can also contact UCLA Housing for assistance.

If you are graduate student who is planning to live in university-owned apartments, you are able to change the start date of your lease contract so that you can move in early. Please contact Graduate Student Housing for more information on how to do this.

Fall Grad and Undergrad Students


Anderson MBA Students


Architecture and Urban
Design Students


CSI (College Summer Institute) & Summer
Early Start:


Law School Students





Create a DCISS Account to begin iSTART
Click Here




Questions about iSTART?
intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu