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International Student Orientation

All new international students are required to attend the International Student Orientation prior to the start of classes.

Orientation sessions cover important information about academic policies, registration for classes, immigration responsibilities, health insurance, campus employment, personal banking, safety and security, student organizations, and American culture.

As a part of this orientation, students will complete English language and academic placement testing. After receiving your test results, make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss your program of study and register for your classes for the semester.

First Week Checklist

Take ESL Test 
All international students are required to take the ESL placement test or provide test scores (TOEFL, ILETS, etc.) to indicate their English language proficiency. 

Register for ESL Classes

Students who require ESL courses will register for them once they receive their ESL test results. 

Academic Placement Testing 
Students who do not need ESL and are ready to register for academic courses will take a placement test. 
Know your Student ID Number 
Your student ID number is a six-digit number that you will receive at orientation. 
Get Your Student ID Card 
We will help you obtain a student ID card during orientation. 
Set Up Your La Roche Email and Password 
Your La Roche email is an official way to communicate. You will receive your login and password information at orientation. Please activate your account and check your email daily! 
Know Your Local Address 
You are required to report your local address to the University and update it if you move. 


  • Bus: Please visit for detailed information on the bus routes around La Roche University, bus schedules and fares. We recommend getting the Port Authority app!
  • Uber or Lyft: On-demand taxi services that require a phone app.
  • zTrip: A taxi service you can call via an app, phone at 412-777-7777 or their website.

Housing Options

  • On-Campus Housing: For an added fee, La Roche provides you with a room to live on campus. All rooms come with a private bathroom and are equipped with internet, phone, and television cable services. More information.
  • Off-Campus Housing: There are many apartment buildings in the neighborhood surrounding La Roche. We suggest doing a simple Internet search for locations near campus, or contacting a member of the International Students Services team once you arrive.
Here are a few examples of apartment complexes within two miles (3.2 km) of campus
Hotels: There are two hotels in walking distance to La Roche. Please access the links below or contact hotels directly to get daily fees and rates as these change depending on the day. 

    Campus Resources

    Eating on Campus

    There are many places to purchase food and beverages on campus These include:

    • The Cantellops Dining Hall: The dining hall offers a variety of meal choices that suit your dietary needs and personal preferences. Hours for the dining hall vary depending on the time of year.
    • The Redhawk Cafe: Open during the fall and spring semesters only, the Redhawk is the place for quick eating on the go. A variety of pre-packaged and made-to-order food and drinks are available to purchase.

    Our dining services provider uses locally sourced ingredients and creates seasonal menus. Registered dietitians review and approve each menu to ensure it offers a wide variety of wholesome choices.

    Read more about our dining services and payment options.

    Academic Resources 

    The John J. Wright Library houses a variety of instructional services and functions as an information center at La Roche. Students performing research have access to reference materials, computers and Wi-Fi, the ability to print and many copies, as well as a quiet place to study. Library staff are friendly and are happy to assist you.

    The Writers’ Center helps provide guidance and support on any writing projects and papers you have been assigned. The Center helps you understand all pieces of the assignment and works with you to complete the project.

    Other Important Places on Campus  

    The Student Accounts Office helps with questions concerning your tuition bill and payments. If you are unable to pay your bill at the beginning of the semester, you can sign up for a payment plan. This option is an agreement with the University where you can pay the tuition owed in smaller amounts each month, rather than in one large sum. Visit the Student Accounts Office when you arrive for more information.

    The Student Help Desk is a great resource for help navigating La Roche’s online learning resources (including Canvas) and can answer various technology related questions. This office is located in the John J. Wright Library. 

    The Kerr Fitness & Sports Center is a full service athletic center open to all La Roche students. It includes a track, basketball court, exercise machines and more. Hours of operation vary depending on the time of year.

    Getting Involved On Campus 

    There are a variety of ways to get involved on campus. Many different activities (often free) are organized during the school year. There are also a variety of different student-run clubs and organizations that you can join to meet new people and become more actively engaged. Learn more about our clubs and organizations.

    Providence Campus Ministry works to serve students, staff, and faculty through spiritual programming, service learning projects, and a range of other programming that promotes peace and justice in our local global community.

    The Neighborhood

    Local Food Stores

    • Trader Joes - Walkable, directly across the street from campus
    • Aldi - 8000 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh PA 15237
    • Giant Eagle - 8080 McIntyre Square Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15237
    • Kuhn’s - 4801 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh PA 15237

    There are also a variety of ethnic grocery stores in the neighborhood depending on the types of food or ingredients you are looking to purchase.

    Shopping Options

    • McCandless Crossing – Directly across the street from La Roche, this shopping area includes a variety of clothing, food and other retail options.
    • Ross Park Mall – Multilevel indoor shopping center with nearly 170 retail stores and dining options. Just a short drive or bus ride from campus.
    • The Block at Northway – a short drive from campus, this outdoor shopping area many options for shopping, dining, and fun.

    In the North Hills of Pittsburgh, where La Roche is located, you can find many different opportunities for shopping whether you are looking for specific name brands or basic necessities. The North Hills is home to many different venues for eating, including traditional American cuisines as well as a variety of establishments serving specific ethnic meals. 

    Faith-Based Resources

    La Roche University is a Catholic institution, founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence. We remain closely connected and together provide a variety of spiritual experiences each week during the school year. These include liturgy, Eucharist and meditation, among others.

    The University also has an interfaith prayer room located in a central building on campus. This room is open daily to offer students of all faiths a private place to pray and reflect, using their own faith traditions.

    Religious Establishments in the Neighborhood:

    Roman Catholic Churches

    Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish 

    Saint Ursula Parish & St. Mary of the Assumption Parish 

    Saint Matthew Parish 

    Byzantine Catholic Churches
    Orthodox Churches
    Christian Churches
    Sri Venkateswara Temple 
    Hindu Jain Temple 

    Weather in Pittsburgh

    Weather in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is always changing. We experience all four seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. Please plan for mild or cool temperatures in the spring and fall, hot temperatures in the Summer and very cold temperatures in the winter.

    Pittsburgh also can be very wet with lots of rain, and even snow. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella and/or rain coat.

    Packing Suggestions

    We suggest packing the following, or plan on buying them when you arrive:


    • Pants
    • Shorts
    • Short sleeve shirts
    • Long sleeve shirts
    • Sweaters
    • Sweatshirts
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Sneakers
    • Dress shoes
    • Sandals
    • Boots
    • Sleeping clothes
    • Robe
    • Slippers
    • Jacket
    • Winter gloves.

     Linen and Necessities

    • Sheets (Twin XL size if living in residence halls)
    • Pillow
    • Blanket
    • Towels
    • Deodorant
    • Shampoo
    • Hand soap
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Hair brush
    • Hair dryer
    • Umbrella

    If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sister Veronica Kim at or Dr. Natasha Garrett at