International Student Orientation and Registration Program

WMU students at orientationWelcome to Western Michigan University!

Western Michigan University understands that going to college can be challenging as well as exciting. The International Student Orientation and Registration Program (ISORP) is an exhilarating time filled with opportunities to grow, explore and be more independent.

At the International Student Orientation and Registration Program (ISORP) we are here to help you make a smooth transition to WMU. You will meet new friends, faculty, staff and current international students who will help you transition to life at WMU.

We are excited you chose WMU and look forward to meeting you!

Summer 2017 Orientation

Thursday, May 4, Friday, May 5
WMU's Bernhard Center East Ballroom

Attendance at orientation is mandatory for all new students; plan to attend all sessions. Students who miss orientation sessions, or who are granted any exemption, will still be considered responsible for the information provided during orientation. Please read all of the following information very carefully.

Register for Orientation

  • A free breakfast and lunch is provided Thursday and Friday.
  • Housing and other meals are not included.

Orientation check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 5

Orientation is held in WMU's Bernhard Center—map in the East Ballroom on the second floor—floor plan map.

Important dates to remember

Residence halls open  Wednesday, May 3 at 9 a.m.
New Student Orientation Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5
First Day of Classes Monday, May 8
Last Day of Classes Friday, August 18
Fall ISORP Monday, August 28 Through Thursday August 31

Contact information for International Admissions and Services

  • Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Phone: (269) 387-5865
Fax: (269) 387-5899 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After-hours emergencies only: (269) 203-5482
For police or medical emergencies in the U.S. call 911

Start preparing now

  • Obtain your passport and U.S. visa as soon as possible.
  • Make travel arrangements to Kalamazoo.
  • Make plans for a place to stay during orientation--see below for information about temporary housing
  • Tell you friends and family about your temporary mailing address.
  • To assist in the registration process, please print and fill out the WMU ISORP Registration form and bring it with you to orientation: WMU ISORP Registration Form
  • Visit the International Admissions Campus Life webpage to learn more about campus life:

What to bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Personal electronics (mp3 player, cell phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
  • Prescription medications
  • Food: snacks to eat until dining halls open

Documents to bring to orientation:

  • Passport, visa
  • I-20 or DS-2019 form
  • Admission letter from Western Michigan University

What is covered during orientation

Orientation registration will open at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, May 4, in the Bernhard Center East Ballroom; the opening session will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Incoming students will receive a complete schedule of orientation activities at check in.

Orientation sessions will include:

  • Academic advising
  • Course registration
  • Grading information
  • Advising on transfer credits
  • U.S. immigration information
  • Medical insurance and health care information
  • Campus tours
  • Shopping trips
  • Social activities with other students
  • Housing and meal plan

Travel to Kalamazoo

By air- We recommend that new students arrive 1-2 days prior to orientation to rest and adjust to the time change. We recommend students fly directly to the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (airport code: AZO). Even though Chicago and Detroit appear to be nearby, both are at least three hours away by car. 

Free Airport Pickup- Transportation from the Kalamazoo Airport will be provided free for four days before the start of orientation and for two days after the state date. Look for the WMU sign near the Leisure Limousine transportation desk in the baggage claim area of the Kalamazoo Airport to request transportation. You may also call them at 269-343-0848.

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 options:

Company Phone number Estimated fare
Bronco Express (269) 343-3000       $7*
Godspeed Transportation (269) 547-5477       $10*

*A tip of 10 percent of fare plus $1 per bag is customary in the United States.

Housing During Orientation

  • Students with a WMU apartment contract: Students need to visit the WMU Residence Life office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to receive move-in information. Note: Students will not be able to move in earlier than the official move-in date for WMU apartments. Students planning on arriving before the move-in date will need to find a place to stay until the WMU-specified move-in date. Website:
  • Students with a residence hall contract: Students arriving early may move into their residence hall beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 3 at an additional cost. If you are moving into the residence hall called "Smith-Burnham" the fee will be $25.00 per day. Students planning to check into the residence hall early must bring bedding (twin extra-long size) and bath towels.
  • Students arriving prior to May 3 will have to make their own arrangements to stay in a hotel until then.
  • WMU's Residence Life staff may be reached during regular business hours at (269) 387-4735 or via email at Website:

Students who do not have a housing contract:

Students not living on campus will need to stay in their arranged off campus housing or in a hotel during orientation. WMU provides a daily shuttle service to campus from the Comfort Inn hotel during orientation. It  picks up students at the hotel door between 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Steps for making an online reservation for a room at the Comfort Inn hotel:

  • Reservations can be made through phone calls, the Comfort Inn website or send an email to the hotel
  • Please remember to notify the Comfort Inn staff that you are a new Western Michigan University International student to receive a discount
  • Reservations can be made at the website:
  • Comfort Inn Address: 739 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI, 49007, US
  • Phone Number: (269) 384-2800
  • Email Address:


During orientation you will be provided with a free breakfast and lunch on Thursday, May 4 and on Friday, May 6.

Student dining meal plans will not start in WMU dining halls and cafeterias until Monday, May 8. However, the Bernhard Center cafe will be open with meals to buy. Bernhard Center cafe hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Living arrangements

WMU Residence Halls provide safe on-campus housing and opportunities to meet other WMU students. All questions about residence hall reservations and contracts should be directed to the WMU Residence Life office:

Residence Life
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave.Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5312
Phone: (269) 387-4735
Fax: (269) 387-4786

WMU Apartments (on campus) are open to incoming transfer/graduate/sophomore-level and above students. Website:

WMU Apartments
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI  49008-5312
Phone: (269) 387-2175
Fax: (269) 387-4786

WMU tobacco free logoWestern Michigan University Tobacco-Free Campus Policy  

As of 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:


WMU's total cost of attendance per academic semester may be found here. Do not rely on working in the United States to meet your educational expenses. Like most U.S. schools, WMU has little financial aid to offer international students.

If you have a government scholarship, bring enough money for two months to pay for rent, food, book, deposits, and to buy warm clothing (arriving in fall or winter).

If privately sponsored, bring enough money to cover your first semester's tuition, fees, and living expenses. Payment of the full balance on your student account is due on the first day of classes each semester. You may pay with the wire transfer service Fly Wire or with a bank draft. More information on Fly Wire can be found at There are rules for bringing cash into the US. 

Tuition and fee rates are reviewed by the University in August each year and may change without notice.

Transfer credits

If you expect to receive advanced transfer credits, and you have note sent an official transcript directly to WMU from your current school, please bring a copy with you in a sealed envelope. 

English requirements

If your admission letter states that you are required to enroll in ENGL 3600 or 3610, your international admission counselor will register you for this class prior to the beginning of the semester. This course counts toward the bachelor's degree only and cannot be waived. You must receive a grade of "C" or higher to pass this course.

Math requirements

If you are in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) you will need to be placed into the proper math course. Math placement exams are given in the first afternoon of ISORP during August. For students arriving in winter or summer, math placement will be determined later.

If you have taken an ACT or SAT test in the past 3 years, you can use your math section score to place yourself into math classes.

If you have taken a math class at another college or university, please provide a course description or syllabus for that class as well as proof of completing the course with a C or better. This can also be used as a placement tool.

You can find more information at: https//

Health care and medical insurance

WMU requires all international students to have comprehensive medical insurance. Please visit the International Admissions and Services page to learn more:

Important notice to F-1 and J-1 students

An I-901 fee for F-1 students of $200 and J-1 students of $180 has been implemented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The fee must be paid and fully processed prior to your visa interview. Please read all immigration documents carefully. By signing your copy of the form I-20 or DS-2019 and accepting your U.S. visa, you agree to all terms and conditions set forth by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Website

Note: International students may experience delays at U.S. ports of entry
Due to more security, U.S. Customs and Border protection  officers are checking the status of F-1 and J-1 non-immigrants in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System before admission at port of entry. As a result, it has been reported that many students and exchange visitors are referred to secondary inspection, where their SEVIS record will be reviewed. Due to these new entry rules, F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors entering the United States should plan to spend 2-3 hours in the secondary inspection should allow more time for flight connections.

Life at WMU

For more information about studying at WMU, see the International Student Handbook:

WMU students at orientation with President Dunn