International Student Orientation

You will need to pay for your health insurance ($1801 for Fall start*; $1,200 for Spring start) immediately when you arrive so that you may then register for classes during Orientation Week.

Go to Fall 2020 Orientation Schedule

Go to Fall 2020 Orientation NotificationsThe Kearney Center provides a comprehensive Orientation Week of sessions and activities 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. The fee makes it possible for the Kearney Center to purchase necessary materials, and provide various meals and programming during the week.  

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.

*The premium for (only) 2020-2021 academic year is $1,801, however, you may make your payments in two installments:

  • The deadline to pay for the Fall semester ($901) is August 20, 2020. This will provide insurance coverage for August 10, 2020 – December 31, 2020. Students must make this payment before being able to register for classes.
  • The payment deadline for Spring is December 18, 2020 ($900 due). The coverage period will be from January 1, 2021 – August 9, 2021 ($900).

Pre-Arrival Newsletters

November 20, 2020 Newsletter

November 13, 2020 Newsletter

October 30, 2020 Newsletter

October 23, 2020 Newsletter

October 19, 2020 Newsletter

Orientation dates are published in the Know Before You Go! guide above for undergraduate students who are: 

  • Starting a degree  

  • Visiting on an exchange program 

  • Beginning an Intensive English Program 

  • Gulf-Government Sponsored  

  • Transferring from a university or college within the U.S. or from abroad 

  • Returning students who previously studied at MSU 

During the week, you will: 

  • Report for immigration purposes 

  • Pay your health insurance right away ($1,700 - Fall start; $1,100 - Spring start) 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 Cultural Contribution 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 one orientation day listed in the Know Before You Go! guide.

  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 with our new office manager, Victoria Quader (who is assuming Pat Lueck’s position since she is retiring)
  • 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 check-in process to accomplish the steps above. 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 any of the undergraduate orientation activities which extend through the week of August 19. Doing so will allow you to receive even more-depth information, participate in social activities and meet new friends from around the world!

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 ($1,700) 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, youmay wish to consider options that will allow you to have access to your funds right away. 

During Orientation Week, most students will be required to complete a math and/or English placement test that allows you to register for the appropriate math and English classes.  

  • The scores for the placement tests are used for your academic class registration and will not impact your admission.  

  • You will find out during orientation whether you need to take English and Math placement testing or just one of them. 

  • A listening portion of the English test requires headphones. Please bring a pair of headphones/earbuds to Orientation.  

  • Placement test resources and study guides are available here:  

Some students are not required to take placement testing. These include: 

  • Exchange Students 

  • Intensive English Program Students 

  • Graduate Students