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Adjusting to Pepperdine


  Registration and Orientation

New Student Orientation (NSO) is your introduction to Pepperdine. This event, which is mandatory for all new students, happens at the beginning of each semester and helps students become acquainted with their new home on campus.

Seaver College (undergraduate)
For more information, or if you are an incoming student and need to register for NSO, check out the NSO homepage.

First-year students will be assigned an initial class schedule by academic advisors. Each student's first semester class schedule is developed and reviewed by a team of advisors in consultation with related faculty members and academic and administrative offices. (Subsequent semester schedules are determined by the student in collaboration with an academic advisor). Transfer students will register during NSO following academic counseling with their major division. On the final day of NSO you will have the opportunity to change your schedule to include elective coursework or to reflect a change of major should the need arise.

Graduate Students
Please contact your specific program or campus for information about registration and orientation:

  Passport to Pepperdine

The Passport to Pepperdine is a guide to aid in your arrival to the US and Pepperdine. It was created by various members from across the greater Pepperdine community to help point new, incoming international students in the right direction to find answers to important questions. 


All undergraduate students are required to live on campus for the first two years. First-year students live in suite-style houses, offering community living with stunning ocean views, a laundry room, volleyball courts, outdoor common areas, wireless internet, streaming internet TV, community barbecue grills, and a furnished lobby with fireplace. Each house is comprised of six suites, with each suite consisting of four double-occupancy bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a furnished common living room.

Pepperdine's Housing and Residence Life serves all students who live on campus. Registration for housing is done through the Housing Portal. Students may select their roommate through the portal, or answer questions about lifestyle preferences and be paired up with a roommate based on compatibility.

The Drescher Campus Apartments are organized in 13 blocks of apartments that house graduate students from the Graziadio Business School, the School of Public Policy, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, and Seaver College. Across the street from the Drescher Graduate Campus, the complex offers quiet living spaces, stunning ocean views, outdoor common areas, a fitness center, wireless internet, mailboxes, streaming internet television, and community barbecues.

For more information or to apply for on-campus graduate student housing, click the link specific to your school:

  Academic Life

Pepperdine offers many resources to provide academic support to students. The OISS encourages our international students to take advantage of these helpful resources as often as needed. Click the links below to learn more:

  Campus Resources

Pepperdine App - Download the App for live campus shuttle updates, campus maps, cafeteria information, and other tips.

Upon arrival, you will receive a Student ID card with Campus Wide ID (CWID) number. With this card, you will be able to access all of the services and facilities listed below:

  • Department of Public Safety
  • The OneStop Office will provide your payment status, enrollment verification, and even discounted movie tickets!
  • Mail Services and Shipping can receive packages up to 30 days ahead of your arrival; shipments can be picked up at Mail Services during regular office hours.
  • Free Shuttle Service is available on-campus (see live schedule on the Pepperdine App or click here to view the full shuttle schedule including the "Shopping Shuttle" for off-campus grocery shopping).
  • Campus Recreation offers sign-ups for casual sports teams, information on the sports and swimming pool facilities, fitness classes, and outdoor trips.
  • Museum and Theater Facilities offer free admission to the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art and discounted tickets to many theater shows and performances throughout the year.
  • Pepperdine Libraries have locations adjacent to each school and each campus for your research, study, copying and printing needs.
  • Events Calendar includes lecture series, service/volunteering opportunities, athletic gatherings, and other ways to connect with your Pepperdine and Malibu community.
  • Malibu Campus Church welcomes all students to attend a Christian worship service every Sunday. There are also many other places of worship in the Malibu and Los Angeles area communities.
  • Title IX - Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention
  • Pepperdine Bookstores are located adjacent to each school and campus, and offer a wide variety of products and services including textbooks, gifts, clothing, snacks, and school supplies. You can purchase your textbooks after your arrival to campus from one of the following locations:
  • Seaver Bookstore
  • Drescher Bookstore
  • Law School Bookstore
  • West LA Bookstore
  Health Care

Each year, students must provide proof of a U.S.-based health insurance plan through the online waiver system OR enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). The OISS highly recommends that your plan includes care located close to Malibu or your campus. Also, please see Important Insurance Information and Deadlines.

The Student Health Center (SHC) functions like a family doctor's office and provides a wide variety of services including specialized clinics such as flu vaccination, travel medicine, allergy, and STI/HIV testing. This is also where students can fulfill their Immunization and Health Requirements if they have not done so previously.



If you have a life-threatening emergency:

  • Call 911
  • Follow up with a call to the campus Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 310.506.4441
  • Follow up with a call to the OISS at 310.506.7748
  • Make sure you provide up-to-date emergency contact information to the OISS and in your "personal information" in the University Wavenet Portal

If you must leave the U.S. due to an emergency

  • Call the OISS at 310.506.4441
  • Submit the Travel Permission or I-20 Update Request form through the OISS Portal in order to obtain the proper document(s) to re-enter the U.S.
  • Notify the staff and faculty of your program, as well as housing personnel if you live on campus.

For information on disaster awareness click on Emergency Preparedness in the University Wavenet Portal.


Adjusting to the United States


  American Culture

The USA has famously been described as a "melting pot" in which various cultural identities combine and blend together. Another, perhaps more accurate gastronomical analogy is that of a tossed salad in which differing cultural "ingredients" mix, but retain their distinctive identities.

One of the benefits of being a Pepperdine student is living in the Greater Los Angeles area, a thriving metropolis and one of the most diverse cultural centers in the world. Less than 200 years ago, this area was part of Mexico. The continued influence of our southern neighbors here is impossible to miss. Today, LA is home to large communities of various cultures, from the sprawling neighborhoods of Chinatown and Koreatown, to smaller enclaves like Little Ethiopia, Little Armenia, and Little Bangladesh.

For information on specific cultural activities, you can check out Discover Los Angeles.

In addition to the numerous cultural experiences on hand, Southern California is also blessed with a wealth of natural resources. Beaches and mountains abound, and some of the country's best National Parks are nearby. For a list and descriptions of these parks, visit https://www.nps.gov/state/ca/index.htm.

  Meeting People

For many international students it can be quite intimidating to step foot on campus in the United States for the first time. It is a completely normal response to seek out those from your own country, culture, or religious affiliation. While the OISS certainly encourages our international students to find community in such groups, and supports our wonderful international student clubs to this end, we also strongly encourage you venture outside of your comfort zone and get to know others who are different from you. Your experience as an international student in the US in general, and at Pepperdine specifically, would no doubt be incomplete without the rewarding and challenging experience of engaging with different ideas, perspectives, beliefs, and cultures that we are fortunate to have represented here on campus. There are many ways to get involved socially, including intramural sports, student clubs and organizations, and extended excursions and trips. For more information, you can contact the following departments:

  State Issued ID/Driver's License

If you plan to drive a car, for a limited time you may be able to drive with a valid driver's license issued in your own country or a valid international driver's license. For more information, please visit this U.S. Government website.

To obtain your California Driver's License, you must go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For details, check the California DMV website and applicable Driver License Handbook.

DMV office locations closest to Malibu are in Thousand Oaks, Winnetka, Santa Monica, and Culver City. Appointments are available online, or you may choose to walk in without an appointment and wait in line.

Additionally, the California DMV offers a free permit practice test designed to help people pass the California permit test.

  Spouses, Partners, Children

Spouses and children of international students are eligible to receive dependent visas. You can find the Dependent Information form on the OISS Forms page.

For information on local public schools, check out the links for the following school districts: