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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 6-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 University 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. For more information visit
  • 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 2 miles (3.2 km) of the University’s campus
      • The Club at North Hills (700 Duncan Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15237)
      • Villa Riviera (9410 Babcock Boulevard, Allison Park, PA 15101)
      • Royal Manor (8900 Royal Manor Drive, Allison Park, PA 15101)
      • Northway Tower (451 Browns Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15237)
      • Presidential Arms (9815 Presidential Drive, Allison Park, PA 15101) 
  • 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.
  • The Nest: Located in the Kerr Sports and Fitness Center, the Nest offers smoothies, protein bars, wraps, fruit, snacks, and more. Hours vary depending on the time of year.

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 provide assistance.

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. Contact Laird Cole at or stop by his office.

The Kerr Fitness 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.

The Office of Mission and 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.


Mandatory Student Health Insurance Policy

La Roche requires all full-time students to have health insurance. To comply with this mandate, you must either enroll in the La Roche University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or waive it with proof of comparable health insurance every year that you attend La Roche.   

You can enroll in the La Roche-sponsored health insurance plan or provide information about your private health insurance. Currently a charge has been placed on your student account for the La Roche-sponsored plan. In order to have this charge removed from your student account, you must respond even if you have private health insurance.

Waiver/Enrollment Instructions

  1.  Go to
  2. REGISTER: New students must register by putting in their LaRoche University Student ID and their date of birth, from there they will be prompted to set up their own personal username and password.
  3. LOGIN: Returning students should use their persona username and password from last year. If you forgot the credentials and need assistance, please contact QM Services by phone or email.
  4. Choose enroll to sign up for the school-sponsored plan, or waive with your private health insurance information. If you enroll, the charge will remain on your student account. If you complete a waiver, credit will be transmitted to the school within 14 business days.
  5. International students should not attempt to waive out of the School’s health insurance unless they have the policy pre-approved by QM Services. They need to send a English copy of the policy with effective dates and all exclusions to

To expedite receiving your medical ID cards, enroll now. Do not wait for the auto enrollment.

Print or screen shot your confirmation at the end of the web process and retain for your records. This is proof of your transaction.  

What Happens If You Don't Respond:

You will be auto-enrolled in the school's health insurance, and the insurance cost will remain on your student account. For detailed information, please visit: 

La Roche contracts with healthcare insurance advocates at QM Services. If you have questions regarding details of the insurance program, using the website or the college requirement, please call QM Services at 800-273-1715.

Medical Care:

All La Roche students can receive medical care for non-urgent issues at the following location:

  • UPMC Urgent Care McCandless:  9401 McKnight Road (Arcadia Center), Pittsburgh, PA 15237
  • (412) 366-1528
  • OPEN: every day from 9am to 9pm
  • Make sure to bring your valid student ID with you, a form of identification (State ID, Driver’s license or passport) and your medical insurance card.

If you need transportation to UPMC Urgent Care, please call Public Safety at (412)536-1111.

For a real, life-threatening emergency, please visit: Passavant Hospital Emergency, 9100 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 - Open 24 hours.

The Neighborhood

Local Food Stores:

  • Trader Joes (Walkable from La Roche University – directly across the street)
  • 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 Crossings – 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. It is also home to many different venues for eating, including traditional American cuisines as well as a variety of establishments serving specific ethnic meals. For more information about our neighborhood visit

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:

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 can also 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 any questions or need additional information, please contact Sister Veronica Kim at or Dr. Natasha Garrett at