New student orientation
Welcome to Western Michigan University!
This webpage provides arrival and orientation information that should be reviewed before departing for the United States. We recommend you print a copy of this page and carry it with you while traveling.
New student orientation Monday, August 25 through Friday, August 29
First day of classes Tuesday, September 2
Last day of classes Friday, December 5
At the new student orientation, CELCIS students will register, take placement tests, and learn about the Kalamazoo community. Orientation helps students adjust to life at WMU and studying in the CELCIS program. Faculty, staff, and current international students will be there to help you during orientation. We look forward to meeting you!
Important attendance policy information
Attendance at orientation and on the first day of class is mandatory for all new students; plan to attend all sessions. See the academic calendar here.
All students are expected to be in class on the first day of the semester. New students are expected to attend the required orientation before the start of the semester. If you have an emergency and will not arrive in Kalamazoo on time, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (269) 387-4800. Students who arrive late may not be able to study.
All students (new and returning) who are unable to arrive on time should understand the following:
A. They must notify the CELCIS director and receive permission to arrive late.
B. Late arrival for any reason may have a negative effect on the student’s progress during that semester.
C. All students who begin classes after the start of the semester, for any reason, will be counted absent for the classes they have missed.
D. All students who arrive after the third (3rd) day of class will not be allowed to attend classes that semester. As a result, they will be in violation of status and MAY have to return home.
Orientation check-in will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 25 in the East Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the Bernhard Center.
Bernhard Center (map)
Getting to the Bernhard Center (map)
Orientation will include:
- Testing and placement information
- Course registration information
- Grading information
- Information about U.S. immigration rules and regulations
- Medical insurance and health care information
- Campus tours
- Shopping trips
- Recreational activities
Bring the following documents to orientation:
- Visa, passport, I-20 or DS-2019 form, copy of electronic I-94 (http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/i-94-instructions)
- Paperwork from Western Michigan University
- Paperwork from your sponsor, if this applies
- Health insurance policy (not the card)
- Copy of scholarship letter, if this applies
Arrival and transportation
CELCIS suggests that students arrive 1-2 days before orientation to rest and adjust to the time change.
Plan to fly directly to the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO)—Chicago and Detroit are about three hours away by car. Transportation from the Kalamazoo Airport will be provided free of charge for four days prior to the start date of orientation and for two days after the start date. Please look for the WMU sign near the transportation desk in the baggage claim area to request transportation.
By bus or train
If you arrive in Kalamazoo by bus or train you can arrange for transportation to WMU’s main campus by calling a taxi. Two recommendations:
Bronco Express (269) 343-3000 Estimated fare: $7
Godspeed Transportation (269) 547-5477 Estimated fare: $10
WMU Residence Halls provide safe on-campus housing and opportunities to meet other WMU students. Be sure to indicate your preference on your WMU housing request forms. All questions about residence hall reservations and contracts should be directed to the Residence Life office. Go here to apply
WMU Apartments (on campus) are open to incoming transfer/graduate/sophomore-level and above students. WMU apartments online information
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5312
Phone: (269) 387-4735
Fax: (269) 387-4786
Western Michigan Univeristy
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5312
Phone: (269) 387-2175
Fax: (269) 387-4786
Temporary housing during orientation
Students with a WMU apartment contract: Please check in with the WMU apartment office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday—Friday, or call (269) 387-2175 during business hours. WMU apartments online information
Students with a residence hall contract: Housing contracts begin August 29, 2014. Students arriving early may move into their residence hall beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, August 24 at an additional cost of $21.97 per day, which will be charged through August 28 when the regular contract begins. Students planning to check into the residence hall early must bring bedding (twin-size) and bath towels. Students arriving BEFORE August 24 will have to make their own arrangements to stay in a hotel. WMU's Residence Life staff may be reached during regular business hours at (269) 387-4735 or email@example.com. WMU residence hall online information
Students without housing: You will need to stay in a hotel. It is recommended that you make a hotel reservation before you travel to Kalamazoo. During orientation, WMU provides shuttle service for students from the Holiday Inn West hotel. The shuttle picks up students at the hotel door between 8 to 8:30 a.m. Holiday Inn West (reserve online) or call (269) 375-6000. The hotel is located at 2747 S 11th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.
Steps for making an online reservation for a room at the Holiday Inn West hotel:
- Visit the hotel website: Holiday Inn Reservation
- Enter 100375964 in the Corporate ID field.
- Enter appropriate information in all required fields (check-in dates, room preferences, etc.)
- Enter Western Michigan University in the destination field.
- Click on Find a Hotel.
- Select Holiday Inn: Kalamazoo-W(W Michigan University) to receive a discounted rate and free transportation to orientation.
- Click on the Availability button to view all room options and select the room type.
- Click on the Book this Room button to complete the reservation.
First name, family name, c/o orientation
International Admissions and Services
4255 Ellsworth Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008–5246 U.S.A.
Free breakfast will be provided Monday through Thursday and a free lunch will be provided Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Housing and other meals are not included.
Note: Student meal plans do not begin until August 29. Students may pay cash to eat meals in the dining halls between August 25 and August 28. WMU dining halls schedules vary, so students are advised to check the schedule of the dining halls before going. Students may also eat at local restaurants.
Western Michigan University Tobacco-Free Campus Policy
Effective September 1, 2014, the use of tobacco products is only permitted in enclosed personal vehicles. The use of tobacco products is not permitted indoors or outdoors on any University property. Tobacco products are defined to include the following: cigarettes, electronic-cigarettes, cigars, bidis, snuff, snus, water pipes, pipes, hookahs, chew and any other non-combustible tobacco products. Read more here.
Fall 2014 costs
Complete payment is expected from all students the first week of class. If you need to withdraw from CELCIS classes, your tuition may be refunded according to the deadlines.
Tuition and fees—see fall semester table on this page
Tuition refund dates—see fall refund schedule on this page
Residence hall and dining plan—see room and board rates on this page
WMU requires all international students to have medical insurance. Insurance will be purchased for you and charged to your university account. Your WMU tuition bill will show the insurance fee.
If you have private health insurance that meets WMU’s minimum requirements, you may apply for a waiver. You must provide a copy of your policy to Cindy Clegg (firstname.lastname@example.org), WMU Insurance Manager by the posted deadline. For more information, visit the Sindecuse Health Center web page.
Students with disabilities
Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for academic adjustments or accommodations. New students should send documentation and request accommodations before they arrive. Visit Disability Services for Students for more information.
Start preparing now
- Obtain passport and U.S. visa as soon as possible
- Make travel arrangements to Kalamazoo
- Arrange for funds to be sent in advance or to be brought with you
- Arrange for a place to stay during orientation
- Advise friends and family of your short-term mailing address
Things to bring
- Some cash (around $250) and/or credit card to get you through your first few days in Kalamazoo. WMU advises students to avoid carrying large amounts of cash when traveling.
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Toiletries: shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
- Personal electronics (mp3 player, cell phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
- Prescription medication
- Food: snacks to hold you over until dining halls open
Items you can buy in Kalamazoo
- Bedding (pillow, blanket, sheets, etc.)
- Laundry basket, detergent
- Extension cords
- Outlet adapter
- Iron and ironing board, clothes hangers
- School supplies: pens, paper, folders, etc.
Please contact us if you have an emergency while traveling to Kalamazoo:
CELCIS office— Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (269) 387-4800 email@example.com
WMU Police—Available 24 hours a day. (269) 387-5555
After-hours emergencies only: (269) 203-5482
Police or medical emergencies in the U.S. call 911