International Student Orientation

The Kearney Center provides a comprehensive Orientation Week to help new students have their best start at Minnesota State, Mankato. Students are strongly encouraged to arrive on time. Attending orientation is mandatory for everyone, even transfer students who have already studied in the U.S.  Students will be charged a $90 orientation fee. Students transferring from another U.S. school who sign up for the orientation session (with New Student and Family Programs) are ALSO required to attend International Student Orientation (with the Kearney Center). You will be assessed fees for both. 

All students coming to campus for Spring are required to purchase University health insurance. The fee for Spring/Summer 2021 is $1090. You will need to pay the health insurance fee before you can register for courses. Students who will study online from outside the U.S. do not need to buy health insurance.

There will be a shuttle bus free of charge for students to use during orientation. Please click here for a map of the route.

Find more information in the Know Before You Go! guide.

View Orientation Schedule

Pre-Arrival Newsletters

December 18, 2020 Newsletter

December 11, 2020 Newsletter

November 20, 2020 Newsletter

November 13, 2020 Newsletter

October 30, 2020 Newsletter

October 23, 2020 Newsletter

October 19, 2020 Newsletter


During the week, you will: 

  • Report for immigration purposes 

  • Pay your Spring/Summer health insurance right away ($1,090) so you can register for classes 

  • Pay a $300 tuition deposit 

  • Apply for a bank account 

  • Apply for your MavCard (ID card) 

  • Set up your MSU technology accounts 

  • Find a place to live, if you haven’t already 

  • Take math or English placement testing if required 

  • Tour the campus 

  • Meet with the Registrar’s Office if you are transferring credits from another university 

  • Meet with an academic advisor to learn about your study program 

  • Register for courses 

You will also hear presentations on the following topics: 

  • Immigration 

  • Billing 

  • Banking 

  • Culture shock and adjustment 

  • The U.S. education system 

  • Safety 

  • Employment 

  • Healthcare 

  • Health insurance 

  • The International Maverick Scholarship 

  • Academic integrity 

  • Getting involved in student organizations 

  • Student success 

If you are living on-campus, you can find options for bedding in this guide.

Two orientation options are available to students who will pursue graduate degrees (Masters or Doctorate). A $90 orientation fee will be added to your University bill after you arrive.

Option 1

Attend orientation on Friday, January 2.

  1. During this time, Kearney Center and Graduate Studies staff will present information on immigration, safety, and cultural adjustment, paying University bills, immunizations, academic integrity, and success.
  2. Students will also receive assistance with:
    • Completing immigration check-in
    • Having insurance and orientation holds removed so they may register for classes. This may only be done after students have paid for their University health insurance.

New students who will be employed as graduate assistants, will also receive help right away with:

  • SEVIS registration (after being enrolled in classes full time)
  • Completing work permit paperwork 
  • Guidance on applying for a Social Security Number

Option 2

If students are unable to arrive for one of the orientation dates noted in Option 1, they will be included in the undergraduate student orientation. They will also be strongly encouraged to attend three presentations on Wednesday morning of undergraduate orientation.

Presentations and Activities

New graduate students are welcomed and enthusiastically invited to attend undergraduate orientation activities starting January 5 (even if you attended the January 2 session). Doing so will allow you to receive even more-depth information and participate in social activities.

Pre-Payment of Health Insurance and Course Registration

Students are always welcome to pay their health insurance fee before arriving. Updated instructions about paying online will be posted here soon and will be available in upcoming emails.


Immigration Documents 

Please bring originals and photocopies of your: 

  • Passport/visa  

  • I-20 form (if you have the F-1 Visa) 

  • DS-2019 (if you have the J-1 Visa)

Immunization Form 

It is also a good idea to show proof of vaccinations that you have had. This will help the Student Health Center know if you need additional vaccinations here. For your convenience, you may provide your information online. Or, you may print the form and bring it with you to Orientation check OUT, which will happen on Thursday and Friday of Orientation Week.  

If you are 18 years of age or younger, be sure to also bring a completed Minor Consent form signed by your parent or legal guardian before you come to MSU.


You will need to pay for your health insurance ($1,090) before you may register for classes during the week. This fee must be paid in full. You will also be asked to pay a $300 tuition deposit when you check-in.  

Students who wish to open bank accounts or transfer money by wire may be surprised to find that it can take at least one week for funds to be available or transferred from a home bank to here. Since you will need to pay these fees right away, you may wish to consider options that will allow you to have access to your funds right away. 

If you are an international student without alternative course placement measures that include satisfactory SAT test scores, ACT test scores, or previous college level math course work, you will likely need to take the Accuplacer. The Accuplacer is Minnesota State Mankato’s placement exam for math.

This year, international students have the option to take the course placement exam virtually/online through a system called, “Examity.” Testing vouchers will be sent to your university email ( if applicable (check junk mail). If you believe you need a math exam voucher and have not received one, please email ALL math course placement testing must be completed by January 1. The deadline to obtain a voucher is December 15.

NOTE: If you attended the webinar on Wednesday, November 4, you will need to complete the post-event survey before being issued a testing voucher. You will receive an email from the testing center when vouchers are sent.