Pre-Arrival Guide: Prepare for Arrival

Pre-Arrival Guide progress: Prepare for arrivalWe know that you have many questions about your arrival to Western Michigan University. Review the materials below and our Frequently Asked Questions page for admitted students.

Important Immigration Information

[caption caption="Learn important information regarding F-1 and J-1 study and internships at Western Michigan University."]
Video of Immigration Information | Western Michigan University IAS


Housing Options at WMU

Male student working on his computer at his residence hall desk.

Review on-campus housing information in the WMU Living Guide.

Housing options are available on WMU's main campus as well as off-campus through private apartment communities

Benefits of Living On-Campus

Close: Residential neighborhoods are within walking distance to main campus.

Convenient: Residence halls and apartments  provide furniture options to residents and the cost of most on-campus housing includes utilities.

Fun: Opportunities to study and socialize with other WMU students!

Secure: Staff and public safety are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to assist WMU on-campus residents. 

Living Learning Communities provide opportunities to live with other students who share a similar program of study or interest. The Global and Languages Community offers a community kitchen and remains open during the WMU winter break (other residence halls close).

Students who arrive early are expected to arrange alternative accommodations until their move-in dates.

Questions about on-campus housing should be directed to WMU Residence Life:

How to Sign Up for On-Campus Housing  


Health Care and Insurance

Health Insurance in the United States 

All international students must have health insurance. WMU cannot purchase health insurance for you or apply the cost to your student account. Browse a list of providers that meet the basic requirements for health insurance coverage. 

Health Care at Western Michigan University  

The WMU Sindecuse Health Center is an on-campus medical facility that provides a variety of services. Learn more about health care services available on-campus and in the community. 



Prepare for the following expenses:  

  1. Tuition and fees, paid through GoWMU
  2. Housing costs, specified in your housing contract or lease agreement
  3. Health insurance 
  4. Textbooks and school supplies
  5. Food, bedding, toiletries, clothing

Government Scholarship Students: bring enough money for two months to pay for rent, food, book, deposits, and to buy warm clothing.

Privately Sponsored Students: 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. Note that there are rules for bringing cash into the U.S


Packing for Western Michigan University

[caption caption="Packing for international travel and study at WMU can be overwhelming! In this video, current international student, Salim Ba Saiwar, takes time to offer advice on packing."]
Video of A Guide To Packing | Western Michigan University


Math Placement

Before you can enroll in a mathematics course at Western Michigan University, you need to prove the level of your mathematics skills. The level of your mathematics skills determines which math course you are placed in to. Read more about math placement from the Department of Mathematics. If you are a guest student who does not intend on taking a math class while attending WMU, you will not need to take a placement test. 

Math placement exams are offered during fall and spring sessions of International Student Orientation. If you need to take the math placement exam during International Student Orientation, we recommend that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the English math terminology that you will find on the exam so that you can do your best. The ALEKS online system offers mathematics practice and training modules for a nominal fee that you can complete before arriving to Western Michigan University.

You should work directly with your academic advisor to determine your math placement needs.

Class Instruction model

Check for updated class information for your current class instruction model. Program formats include in-person, hybrid, asynchronous distance education, fully synchronous distance education, and partially synchronous distance education.

  • In-person - Traditional classroom work that meets at certain times and locations.
  • Hybrid - A combination of classroom and virtual work and meeting times.
  • Asynchronous distance education - Distance education classes that do not require you to meet at scheduled times.
  • Fully synchronous distance education - Distance ed classes that meet at scheduled times like an in-person class.
  • Partially synchronous distance education - Distance ed classes that have some synchronous and some asynchronous instruction.

Learn more about each of the program formats.


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