International Student Orientation

Information for students starting Spring 2024 and beyond:

Congratulations on your admission to Western Michigan University!  

Western Michigan University's International Student Orientation (ISO) is an online series of topics designed to help you make a smooth academic, social, geographic, and professional transition to WMU. It concludes with an in-person event that is open to all new international students! Participation in International Student Orientation is mandatory for all incoming students.

You will receive instructions on accessing International Student Orientation via email. 

International Student Orientation will provide you with: 

Information and resources: International Student Orientation (ISO) is standard practice at American Universities. ISO will provide a wealth of information and resources to help international students navigate their new environment, including information about the school's policies and procedures, academic programs, and local resources.  

Networking opportunities: Orientation provides a great opportunity for international students to meet their peers and make new friends from different countries and cultures.

Cultural adjustment: Moving to a new country can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, but international student orientation can help ease this transition by providing opportunities to learn about the local culture, customs, and expectations.

Support system: International student orientation also serves as an introduction to the support systems available to students, such as student services, counseling, and advising.

 Stay up to date on Immigration compliance by visiting wmich.edu/immigration

 

Dates & Structure  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)   GUIDE FOR GOWMU, ELEARNING AND W-EXCHANGE   

DATES & STRUCTURE

International Student Orientation is a 6-week series of online topics (via WMU Elearning, Webex & social media) to help you make a smooth academic, social, geographic and professional transition to WMU. In each topic, you will learn about the University and accomplish important tasks before you begin classes. You will receive instructions via email.

Entry SemesterOrientation DatesMove-In Residence HallsClasses Begin

Spring 2024

You receive instructions on accessing International Student Orientation via email on November 15th.

 

 

November 15th (asynchronous virtual orientation begins):

January 4th

Students have the option to move-in early but will incur a daily fee until your contract begins.

(WMU Housing website)

 January 8th

December 7th "Meet your Advisor Event" 

  • This is a virtual meeting where you can ask your immigration advisors questions

January 5: Fall Orientation (in-person, on-campus event)

  • Mandatory Legal and Immigration Documentation check
  • In-Person Orientation Event

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You will receive instructions on accessing International Student Orientation via email. 

Is International Student Orientation mandatory? 

Yes! Your success at Western Michigan University (WMU) is our top priority. Orientation starts with virtual online topics and ends with an in-person orientation event. International Student Orientation is a crucial academic, professional, and social introduction to the University. Plus, you will accomplish many important things during International Student Orientation, including registering for classes, learning about math placement, registering for housing, and making friends. 

Registration for the in-person orientation event coming soon.

When does International Student Orientation begin? 

International Student Orientation begins virtually 8 weeks prior to the first day of classes. To access online learning modules, you will need to activate your GoWMU account. . 

What do I need to do for International Student Orientation? 

Successfully completing International Student Orientation is easy! You will be expected to: 

  1. Complete Golden Pathway online
  2. Complete I3S modules and upload Immigration Documents (in Elearning)
  3. Pass New Student Orientation Topics and gain a certificate of completion, attesting that you have completed important tasks each week 

What can I expect during the in-person orientation?

In person orientation will be held at the WMU student center on campus on Friday, January 5th. This will be a chance to connect with incoming students and talk with faculty who are here to support your academic journey at Western.

Orientation will schedule coming soon.

WHATSAPP GUIDELINES

Is there an official orientation WhatsApp group? 

Yes, please see the link to join in your orientation welcome emails.

I received an email to join a WhatsApp group. Where can I find the group?

The WhatsApp Group link will be available in the email communications you receive about orientation.

Guidelines for Using the WhatsApp International Student Orientation Group

  • Purpose of the Group: This group has been created specifically for international students to facilitate communication regarding orientation and on campus activities.
  • Be Respectful: Everyone comes from different cultural, educational, and personal backgrounds. Respect differences and avoid making inappropriate or offensive remarks.
  • Privacy: Do not share your personal details or of any member of this group within this chat.
  • No Spam: Refrain from sending irrelevant or harmful messages, advertisements, or any content that is not related to the orientation.

This group's primary objective is to ensure a smooth orientation for international students. Let's collaborate and make this process enjoyable and informative for everyone.

Note: Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in removal from the group. Let's maintain a positive and helpful environment for all!

ELEARNING AND W-EXCHANGE (WMU EMAIL)

You will receive instructions on accessing International Student Orientation and Elearning via email. 

How do I log in to Elearning and W-Exchange (WMU email)?

Follow the instructions or video below.

  1. Find your Bronco NetID and temporary password on your admission letter. It is useful to memorize this as it is your username for Elearning and W-Exchange (your WMU email).
  2. You may need to install the 2-Factor Authentication app Duo Mobile on your smartphone (Android, iPhone). More information can be found here.
  3. Navigate to GoWMU. This is your portal for all WMU student services, including Elearning, W-Exchange, course registration, campus events, and more.
  4. Enter your Bronco NetID and password. Upon your first login, you will be required to change your password.
  5. Once logged in, you will see the GoWMU homepage. Navigate to the Quick Links drop-down list to find the link to Elearning and W-Exchange (your WMU email).
  6. For Elearning, you will be asked to log in again. You can also bookmark this login page for quick access later.
  7. For W-Exchange, you will be taken to the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) homepage. To access your email, simply click "Outlook" on the bar on the left side of your screen.

Video Guide to Logging in to Elearning:

 

Video of Log into E learning

Video Guide to Logging in to W-Exchange (WMU Email):

 

Video of Log into W-Exchange

IMMIGRATION ADVISING - PROVIDED BY I3S 

What if I missed the "Meet your International Student & Scholar Services (I3S) Advisor" meeting?

Look for a presentation link on your I3S eLearning homepage. It includes important information regarding immigration status, classes, and logging into Elearning. 

Immigration Documents to Upload to I3S Elearning dropbox:

  • Immigration Registration Forms
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 (after arrival)

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Update your local mailing address in GOWMU upon arrival. We cannot register your SEVIS record without it.

Do we need to upload our documents now or after arrival?

Your Passport, Visa, and I-20 or DS-2019 must be uploaded before arrival. 

Can We Upload Our VISA Copy In Elearning after arrival in the USA?

You should start uploading now and then can finish it with your I-94 when you arrive

My country has trouble accessing Elearning, can I upload the documents on the Elearning page after arriving?

Yes, if you cannot upload prior to arrival then upload your documents as soon as you arrive. Do not forget.

I have not received my visa yet, so can I upload all my other required documents now until I get my visa?

Yes.

What are the documents we need to carry with us to the border?

  • I-20
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Admissions letter

How many days prior can we arrive in the USA?

Thirty days.

What if I am going to arrive late?

Late arrival concerns need to be discussed with the immigration office as well as with academic departments.

INSURANCE

Do we need to have an insurance plan from* now or can we decide that once we arrive? 

Health insurance can be purchased once you arrive before class starts.

TB information: https://wmich.edu/healthcenter/clinic/services/tb

WMU immunizations: https://wmich.edu/healthcenter/clinic/services/immunizations

CDC vaccination requirements: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html#covid-vaccines 

Immigration Advising Team

If you have specific questions for your advisor, please go to our advising list for all our admissions and immigration counselors to see who you should reach out to: https://wmich.edu/immigration/advising

  • Immigration Advisor: J-1/CELCIS - Tara Severino
  • Immigration Advisor F-1 Last name A-M - Brian Hills
  • Immigration Advisor F-1 Last name N-Z - Svetlana Stone  

HOUSING

Where can I find housing information and move-in dates?

If you have questions before you arrive, please contact Residence Life at (269) 387-4735 or WMU-housing@wmich.edu

General Information: https://wmich.edu/housing/new-students/movein 

How to sign up for housing?

See https://wmich.edu/housing/signup  

Housing Information

Where can I find housing information and move-in dates?

If you have questions before you arrive, please contact Housing at (269) 387-4735 or WMU-housing@wmich.edu. 

How to sign up for housing?

https://wmich.edu/housing/signup  

TRANSPORTATION

What should I do about early transportation and housing?

WMU will be providing ground transportation from the Kalamazoo airport and the Kalamazoo train station on January 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2024. Please see the transportation schedule below.

You will need to arrange your own transportation if you are arriving outside of the pickup windows. You can consult the airport's transportation page for regional taxi and bus information. If you have any other questions about transportation, please reach out in the Spring WhatsApp Group: The WhatsApp Group link will be available in the email communications you receive about orientation.

ACADEMIC ADVISING

The academic advising process for undergraduate students is outlined in the Student Orientation Topics .

Academic Advising Website

Graduate students need to contact their advisors individually based on the college and department they have been admitted to.

Graduate College Website

TUITION, FEES, & BANKING

When can we pay our tuition fees? 

You should pay tuition by the end of the 1st week of classes to avoid any late fees. The university does have a payment plan option that may be right for some students. 

How can we pay our tuition fees?

Payment Options: https://wmich.edu/accounting-services/cashiering/payment-options

Is there banking available on campus? 

Yes. There is a PNC Bank located in the Student Center, as well as PNC ATMs located around campus. Please visit the link below for more information: 

FURTHER SUPPORT

For questions related to orientation, please first ask them in the WhatsApp group (The WhatsApp Group link will be available in the email communications you receive about orientation.) If you do not find an answer, you can email us at hige-orientation@wmich.edu.

For questions regarding immigration, enrollment, advising, housing, healthcare, or anything outside of orientation, start by reviewing frequently asked questions for admitted students page.

Please send additional questions to oiss-info@wmich.edu

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