Students Starting Winter 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, Pre-Arrival Online Orientation, UCLA IEO Arrival Orientation (J-1 Students only) and Visa Check-In. These components must be completed by the end of Week 2 of your program or a HOLD will be placed on your UCLA student account and your visa status could be in jeopardy.

DCISS Programs and LA City Bus Tour 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 Fall, the $59 charge will not actually be charged to your Bruin Bill until the Winter 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, Dashew Center water bottle, and reusable tote bag. You can pick up your iSTART Welcome Pack at the mandatory 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 size sweatshirt.

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 is the Academic Integrity Quiz (please see note below).

Please Note: For the Academic Integrity module you will only have ONE opportunity to score 100% on the quiz. If you fail to score 100% on your FIRST attempt you will be required to attend an in-person Academic Integrity Workshop during the Winter Quarter. The workshop will be available for signup via the Dashew Center website. If you do not score 100% on your first attempt and fail to attend the Academic Integrity workshop during the Winter Quarter / Spring Semester, there will be a hold placed on your account restricting you from registering for Spring Quarter / Fall Semester courses and utilizing UCLA services (ie. library, recreation facilities, ordering transcripts, etc.).

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.

What happens if I don’t complete the mandatory iSTART components on time?
If you do not complete the iSTART components on time, a HOLD will be placed on your account that will restrict you from using certain UCLA services (class registration, library, recreation center, etc) and ordering transcripts. Also, failure to timely complete your check-in requirements will result in severe consequences for your visa status within the U.S.

I’m an 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 Visa Check-In dates and times?
For Visa Check-in dates please see the Visa Check-in Webpage. At the Visa Check-In you will receive your iSTART "Welcome Pack". The iSTART Welcome Pack includes a UCLA sweatshirt, Dashew Center water bottle, and reusable tote bag!

How do I register for the LA City Bus Tour?
The bus tour will take place on Saturday, January 20th from 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM. A registration link for the tour will be sent to you directly. Make sure that you check your email regularly. Space for the tour is limited, so be sure to register as soon as possible so that you don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get to know your new home city!

How do I know that I completed iSTART and a HOLD won’t be placed on my UCLA account?
You will have completed all required components if you:

  • Completed and passed ALL of the Pre-Arrival Online Orientation modules. You can verify this by logging into your DCISS account.
  • Attended a mandatory Visa Check-In session at DCISS.
  • Received your iSTART Welcome Pack at the Check-In session.
  • Attended the UCLA IEO Arrival Orientation (J-1 Students only).

If you have completed these components of iSTART you will not have a hold on your 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. As long as you complete the mandatory iSTART components by the end of Week 2 of your program then the hold will be removed and you will not lose access to any UCLA services.



UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars
106 Bradley International Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: (310) 825-1681
Email: intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu




Create a DCISS Account to begin iSTART
Click Here




Questions about iSTART?
intlprograms@saonet.ucla.edu