International Student Orientation


International Student Orientation Information for Summer 2023

Congratulations on your admission to Western Michigan University!  


Western Michigan University's International Student Orientation (ISO) is an online series of modules 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!

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

If arriving from an international location, you must read and comply with WMU's "Vaccination and Traveling from International Locations" protocol. 


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 modules (via WMU Elearning, Webex & social media) to help you make a smooth academic, social, geographic and professional transition to WMU. In each module, 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

Summer 2023

You receive instructions on accessing International Student Orientation via email.



March 15:

Complete Gold Gateway

Log-in to your GoWMU account

Complete I3S Courses in Elearning

May 5

Students have the option to move-in on May 3rd but will incur a daily fee until your contract begins May 7th.

 May 8
March 22: Meet your international (I3S) Advisor (via Webex)
March 29 1: Break week: Login to GoWMU and complete I3S immigration course.

April 5: Register for in-person orientation & contact your academic advisors. Undergraduate students click here and select their college. Graduate students should contact their department advisors directly.

April 12: New Student Orientation modules in Elearning

April 19: Event Registration for in-person orientation + New Student Orientation modules in Elearning

May 4: Summer Orientation 

Don't forget to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on all that is happening at WMU!


FRequently Asked QUestions

Orientation 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 modules 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. 

Register for the in-person orientation event here.

When does International Student Orientation begin? 

International Student Orientation begins virtually 6 weeks prior to the first day of classes. To access online learning modules, you will need to activate your GoWMU account. You will also be assigned a small cohort for the duration of the 6 weeks, facilitated by a current WMU student on WhatsApp. 

*If WhatsApp is not accessible, e-mail communication is recommended instead. 

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 Modules and gain a certificate of completion, attesting that you have completed important tasks each week (in Elearning)

What can I expect during orientation?

You can view the schedule for orientation below.

WhatsApp Questions

Is there an official Spring 2023 Orientation WhatsApp group? 


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

The WhatsApp group link is TBD.

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

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

You can view the video below to see the following steps in action.

Elearning and W-Exchange (WMU email Access)

  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


What if I missed the "Meet your I3S Advisor" meeting on 3/22/23?

You can watch a recording of the meeting here (the link will be active on 3/23). It includes important information regarding immigration status, classes, and logging into Elearning. 

The recording is also available in Elearning

Immigration Documents to Upload to I3S Elearning Modules:

  • 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.

Immigration Document and Arrival Questions

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. Please note that in Elearning you need to first complete the previous modules until you get to module 4 "Health Insurance and Legal Status requirements."

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?


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 Questions and Information

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:

WMU immunizations:

CDC vaccination requirements: 

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:

  • 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, Academic Advising, Tuition, and Transportation Questions and Information

Housing Information

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

Information about housing and move-in dates are TBD.

How to sign up for a dorm room?  Please sign up before the deadline: TBD  

What should I do about early transportation and housing?

WMU will not be providing ground transportation from the airport or train station. Please reach out in the WhatsApp group about your arrival and we can provide guidance on transportation and housing. You can also consult the airport's transportation page for regional taxi and bus information.

Academic Advising 

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

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 Questions

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:

More Frequently Asked Questions:

Review frequently asked questions by admitted students. Please send additional questions to


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