The following are frequently asked questions by admitted students. Please send additional questions to email@example.com.
- How do I receive my I-20 or DS-2019?
- How do I apply for a visa after I receive my I-20 or DS-2019?
- What is my Bronco NetID and how do I access GoWMU?
- How do I log into my WMU email account?
- Where will I live?
- What are the health insurance and immunization requirements?
- What are the requirements for TB testing?
- What is International Student Orientation?
- What should I do about a bank account?
- How do I pay WMU tuition and fees?
- What is two-factor authentication? How do I activate it?
- What is the International Student Fee?
Western Michigan University currently issues I-20s and DS-2019s electronically. Once your I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, it will be electronically sent to your WMU email address and personal email address used for your online application. You will have to print the I-20 or DS-2019 for your visa appointment.
Visit the U.S. Department of State for a step-by-step guide on applying for an F-1 visa (I-20) or a J-1 visa (DS-2019). You may also contact the U.S. consulate office in your home country for information about applying for a U.S. visa. Note that a SEVIS fee is required when a new I-20 or DS-2019 is issued with a new SEVIS number.
Western Michigan University is certified by the United States Student and Exchange Visitor Program to enroll non-immigrant F-1 Students. WMU is also a designated participant of the United States Department of Exchange Visitor Program to sponsor J-1 Exchange Visitors. WMU Immigration Services is a unit within the Deither H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education that offers comprehensive immigration advising and services to international students, visiting scholars, foreign-national faculty and staff and their WMU hosting or sponsoring departments.
GoWMU is Western Michigan University's portal which allows the WMU community to access secure online resources such as course registration, on-campus housing sign-up and academic grades. Your Bronco NetID is the username (7 alphanumeric characters) that allows you to log in to the GoWMU portal. You will receive your Bronco NetID and temporary password information together with your official admission letter.
Before you log in to GoWMU for the first time, you will be required to change your temporary password according to the instructions on your ACCESS GOLD letter. You will not be able to log in using the temporary password.
If you are unable to activate your GoWMU account or have any concerns regarding your Bronco NetID, please visit the WMU Help Desk website, contact our technical support line at (269) 387-4357 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before you log in to WMU email account for the first time, you will be required to change your temporary password according to the instructions on your ACCESS GOLD letter. You will not be able to log in using the temporary password.
You will need to arrange for housing during your studies at Western Michigan University. Housing options are available on WMU's main campus as well as off-campus through private apartment communities.
All international students are required to have health insurance coverage in effect on the first day of classes. Health insurance must be purchased for the academic year or, at the minimum, the entire semester.
Vaccinations and additional health screenings are not a requirement for your admission and should be acquired only upon recommendation from your doctors or health professionals. You may also contact the WMU Sindecuse Health Center for their professional advice in this matter or call (269) 387-3287.
Beginning Jan. 2020, incoming students from countries identified by the CDC as high-risk for tuberculosis exposure will be required to have testing done at WMU’s health center. Sindecuse Health Center does not submit TB testing costs to health insurance. Sindecuse Health Center only offers the highly-reliable Quantiferon Gold test for M. tuberculosis exposure. A worksheet is used to determine risk level, and includes a list of affected countries:
International students will be asked to review this worksheet before they arrive at Orientation. Students from high-risk countries are assessed a $200 fee upon first-time arrival to campus. The fees pays for TB testing and if the test is positive, the costs of a physician visit and chest x-ray.
International Student Orientation is a mandatory program for newly admitted international students designed to facilitate a smooth academic, social, geographic and professional transition to Western Michigan University. International Student Orientation always takes place the week preceding the first day of classes. Students that previously attended the Center for English Language and Culture for International Students (CELCIS) orientation when entering the CELCIS program are required to attend orientation again for the semester in which they begin academic coursework at WMU.
There is a bank located in the Bernhard Student Center on the Western Michigan University campus called PNC. During International Student Orientation, you will have the option of opening a U.S. bank account at this bank. The city of Kalamazoo offers many other banking options.
A semester invoice is sent to all students who are registered for Western Michigan University classes four to five weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. The semester invoice will include the tuition, fees, room and board, pending financial aid, class schedule for the semester and the tuition due date.
If you are not registered when the invoices are sent, your monthly online statement will reflect your charges and payments. You will receive notification via email when your statement is available online. You can view your statement in the Payment and Account Information channel in GoWMU by logging in with your Bronco NetID and password.
Recommended payment methods for international students include:
- Wire transfer. WMU participates with Flywire to facilitate overseas payment into student accounts.
- Online banking. Once you have opened a U.S. bank account, you can set up electronic payment through the GoWMU Payment and Account Information channel.
- By check. Opening a checking account with a U.S. bank allows you to write checks for payment of tuition and fees. Checks can be dropped off at the Bronco Express office located on the lower level of the Bernhard Center. The Bronco Express office can be reached through email at email@example.com or by phone at (269) 387-6000.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is required as part of the WMU login process for admitted and currently enrolled students. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by sending a notification to your mobile device when you log in so that you may verify that it is you logging in and not a criminal. Students will not be able to log in to online services, such as GoWMU and Elearning until they complete the 2FA activation process.
The day after course registration you will be required to activate two-factor authentication (2FA) as part of the WMU Login process. Have your cell phone and Bronco NetID password ready. Learn more at wmich.edu/it/2FA.
The International Student Fee supports the Haenicke Institute for Global Education (HIGE) which provides a comprehensive set of services to all international students through the most appropriate delivery modes to ensure efficiency, safety and student success. These include admission processes and selection, immigration support and advising, credential and credit evaluation and transfer, all HIGE student advising, student insurance assistance, orientation and other student activities. The International Student Fee is $750 per semester (fall/spring) and $375 per summer session (summer I/II).
The International Student Fee applies to:
- International graduate students, as of Summer II 2021 and after; and
- International undergraduate students, as of Summer II 2017 and after.
In addition to supporting the Haenicke Institute operations necessary for international programming, the fee structure will also support the Strategic Fund for International Graduate Student Enrollment. This fund will contribute to:
- Increase graduate non-resident degree-seeking enrollment;
- Leverage the colleges’ GA budgets while allowing for more equitable financial decision-making when selecting graduate master’s students;
- Equalize the financial incentive for international undergraduate and graduate recruitment;
- Assessing the same fee level to all international students for the same set of comprehensive services.
International students with a graduate assistantship should contact their department to inquire about special funding to cover the International Student Fee. Academic colleges, not the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, disperses applicable funds to international students who hold a graduate assistantship.
Are WMU tuition and fees still competitive? Yes. The implementation of the International Student Fee followed tuition adjustments that lowered the total tuition and fees level applicable to international students: a reduction of undergraduate non-resident tuition of over 50% per credit in 2017 and a reduction of graduate non-resident tuition of nearly 20% per credit in 2020.