International Admitted Students
CONGRATULATIONS on being accepted to MSUM and welcome to the DRAGON family!
For an international student to study at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), there are a variety of special requirements to fulfill that need careful attention prior to arriving on campus. Please read the information below that includes the necessary steps to follow to become a MSUM student.
- Due to immigration reasons you can only arrive 30-days prior to your start date listed on your I-20 or DS2019. Please do not enter the US under F-1 visa before 30-days of your start date. If you have questions regarding your arrival, please contact us.
- Plan for your arrival by August 15 so that you can attend Orientation August 16-19, 2022.
Our office number is 218.477.2956
Public Safety is 218.477.2449
- We look forward to meeting you this semester. Good Luck and Bon Voyage!
You may have already claimed your StarID username and password if you applied online for housing at MSUM and/or have applied or attended any other institution within the Minnesota State system.
Your StarID enables you to access eServices, which is where you'll register for courses, pay tuition, check grades, view transcripts and perform other vital tasks. It also provides access to many on-campus technology resources, such as Wi-Fi.
Improve your English and academic skills at MSUM. We have many English language courses for college credit. You may take classes to support or further improve your English skills in academic writing, academic vocabulary, oral presentations, academic reading, grammar, and more! You can take just one class or as many as you'd like.
MSUM also offers a Certificate of Academic English Proficiency for non-native English speakers. This is a 7-class certificate that you can get in addition to your major. It can be helpful if you want to show employers that you have excellent English skills.
Please contact Aimee Hilgers for questions about any of the English language classes or certificate.
- Visa is an entry permit that allows you to enter the U.S. and you may receive a U.S. visa valid for 1-5 years.
- Your visa can expire as long as your immigration document (i.e. I-20/DS-2019) is valid.
- Visa application times may vary from country to country. Check out how long you have to receive your visa.
- Make sure you come prepared to your visa appointment:
- If you are in the process of obtaining your F-1 or J-1 visa, the following information may help you to prepare for your visit to the U.S.Embassy/Consulate:
- After receiving your acceptance materials (along with the your I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for exchange visitors), you will need to pay the appropriate SEVIS fee. This is done before applying for the visa at the U.S. Consulate. Current fees (as of June 24, 2019) are as follows:
- F-1 $350
- J-1 $220
- Up-to-date fee information
- Please visit the SEVIS website for more information. To learn more about the SEVIS fee or to submit your payment of the SEVIS fee, please visit the SEVIS I-901 fee processing website.
- Spouses and dependents of F-1/J-1 (F-2/J-2) do not pay this fee. Please refer to the I-901 SEVIS Fee Frequently Asked Questions for more information about who needs to pay the fee.
The visa issued by the consulate does not guarantee entry to the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has authority to deny admissions at the port of entry. Please have all your documents in order when you arrive to the U.S. Keep all of these documents in a safe place!
- Canadian students do not need visa stamps to enter the U.S., but they must present the Form I-20 or DS-2019 at the port of entry to be properly classified as a non-immigrant student status.
- Students who are eligible to enter the U.S. under the visa waiver program should not choose this travel option. Please apply for the appropriate student visa.
- Students are not allowed to enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the start date of their I-20 or DS-2019.
Visit the following website for information on traveling to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website .
- F-1 Students:
- Once you are admitted to MSUM, contact your current institution's international student office and request them to release your SEVIS information to MSUM. We will hold your I-20 until you arrive at MSUM. If you are planning to leave the U.S. before arriving at MSUM, you need to arrive to the U.S. with MSUM's I-20. In this case, please plan your travel and admissions accordingly. For more information, contact International Student Services.
- J-1 Students:
- If you are a J-1 student and you want to transfer or change to F-1, please contact International Student Services at MSUM and your current institution international student adviser.
Minnesota State University Moorhead is easily accessible from Hector International Airport (Airport Code: FAR) located in Fargo, North Dakota. This airport is five miles away from MSUM.
Our on call after-hours phone number January 3-6, 2022 is 218.443.1654
Our office number is 218.477.2956
Public Safety is 218.477.2449
If you are planning to arrive a few days before mandatory orientation starts International Student Services offers free rides from the airport to MSUM. You MUST complete the arrival form. Even if you don't need a ride, please fill in the form and put "no ride needed."
If you fly into Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (Airport Code: MSP), please note that you have another 4-6 hour bus or car drive, or a 45 minute airplane ride to reach Moorhead. We do not offer rides from MSP.
On Campus Housing
If you are living on campus and if you are checking into your dorm room early, please contact the Housing and Residential Life Department. You will be charged a $15 per night from the day you check-in to your dorm until the move-in day of the semester. The early move-in charge will be added to your semester bill. Remember, you have to sign the Housing and Residential Life contract
Off Campus Housing
Can I live off campus? If you are not a Freshman and you are 21 or over you can live off campus. What are my options and what might it cost? Here are some additional resources to help you make that decision. Moorhead MN zip code is 56560:
- Doyle's Yellow Checker Cab Inc | 701.235.5535
- Lucky 7 Taxi | 701.235.1717
- F M Taxi | 701.353.2222
- Go Cab Taxi |701.630.9383
- Fargo Metro Taxi & Limousine Service | www.fargotaxicabs.com | 701.799.8645
Be sure to inform the driver that you want to go to Moorhead via town (this is much cheaper than taking the freeway).
- If you have not made housing arrangements prior to your departure, there are hotels and motels close to MSUM.
- You can inquire if the hotels and motels have special discounts for international students and their families.
- The map is just for reference and the hotels and motels close to MSUM are highlighted. Remember to mention that you are an MSUM student/family.
Please call ahead and make your reservations to reserve your room.
On Campus Housing
- All freshman (including international) students are REQUIRED to live on campus.
- Housing contracts are for the entire year; you are not able to cancel after one semester. Please read the contract carefully.
- Your housing & dining contract requires a signature by an adult; if you are under 18, your parent/legal guardian will have to sign your housing contract in order to reserve your room.
- Housing is competitive. If you wait to apply, you may not be able to reserve a room. Once you are admitted to MSU Moorhead, complete your Housing & Dining contract and prepayment.
- All international students with an on campus housing contract will be able to move-in early for $15 per night.
- Early move-in option is only available to students who have made housing arrangements prior to their arrival to MSUM.
- For questions or for more information contact the Housing and Residential Life Department
- If you are a U.S. transfer and wish to live off-campus MSUM is NOT responsible for finding off-campus accommodations.
- Renting an apartment can be difficult if you plan to do so while living abroad.
- You will be required to sign a contract and pay a deposit before you are able to move-in.
- You may be able to make special arrangements with the landlord if you contact them directly.
- You must make sure financial arrangements are met before departing your home country. MSUM cannot and does not assume financial responsibilities for international students and their families.
- While in the U.S., you are responsible for all financial obligations: tuition, health insurance, books, rent, telephone bills, credit card expenses, food, shelter etc., and for all the bills owed to MSUM.
- It is critically important you maintain your financial matters accordingly, as you will not be able to register or continue courses at MSUM until your MSUM bill is paid in full.
- It is recommended that you have immediate access to at least $5,000 in cashier's or traveler's checks, or a credit card to cover part of your first semester's immediate expenses at MSUM. If you wish to deposit your money at the MSUM Business Services, the check must be made payable to "Minnesota State University Moorhead." We do not encourage students to carry large sums of cash.
- You can also wire the funds directly to MSUM through Flywire. This option is available only if you have received your U.S. visa to MSUM. Prior to visiting your bank for funds, please check your I-20 and the actual total cost and payment deadlines for the semester.
- Have travelers checks to cover immediate expenses (books, rent, food, clothes, etc.)
- Bring U.S. currency in small denominations; approximately $100-500 in $10, $20 and $50 bills.
- Purchase a money belt or a neck pouch to carry your valuables like your passport, I-20/DS-2019, cash, checks and credit cards.
- Math placement test is mandatory for all international students. You will not be able to register for math courses without taking the math placement test.
- International Student Services has certain dates reserved for international students to take the math placement test during orientation.
- If you have scored 460 or above for the Math section for your SATs, the Math Placement Test will be waived for you.
- If you score 430 of better for SAT verbal, then English Placement Test will be waived for you.
- You must bring an official copy of your SAT score report if you did not submit to ISS.
- Until we have an official SAT report, we are unable to waive the MATH and/or ENGLISH placement test.
- All freshman international students will take the English placement test.
- All international students will take the English Placement Test.
- Students exempt from English Math Placement Test (U.S. transfer students who completed English composition).
This testing has varied options both remote and in person. You will be emailed more information.
It is important that you provide immunization records. Please visit the Registrar's Office to understand what vaccinations and forms are needed.
Mandatory Health Screening
- All international students must participate the mandatory health screening test.
- Following the health screening test, a TB test will be made required or optional for students depending on the the results of your health screening test.
- If you do not complete the entire Health Screening Test process, a hold will placed on your record preventing you from future course registrations.
- For more information on the Health Screening Test, please visit MN Health Department website.
Minnesota State University Moorhead is often named one of the coldest colleges in the country, but we just think that makes us cooler! Though we’re often recognized for our chilly winters, Fargo-Moorhead has four distinct seasons.
Temperatures range widely throughout the year. The temperature during winter months (December, January, February) averages -12° C, but can drop to -30° C occasionally. Around 0.5 meters of snowfall during these months is typical.
It might seem daunting to step into a freezer-like atmosphere when you go outdoors during winter months, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun. We embrace the cold by bundling up in jackets, hats, mittens and scarves and participating in some of our favorite activities, like hockey, ice skating, cross country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and more! Plus, it’s hard to pass up delicious hot chocolate after spending time outdoors.
If you do not have winter clothing, you should plan on spending about $200.00 USD to purchase those items.
Summer months (June, July, August) have an average temperature around 20° C, and it’s the sunniest time of year. Our students enjoy spending time at Minnesota’s lakes (there are more than 10,000), canoeing, kayaking, biking, hiking and more.
Spring (March, April, May) and fall (September, October, November) tend to have milder weather, with the average temperature hovering at 15° C.
We strongly recommend that you bring clothes for all four seasons here in Moorhead, MN or buy clothes once you arrive. In the United States, students dress casually for classes. It is not unusual to find every kind of apparel imaginable. Men wear slacks or jeans and shirts or sweaters. They also wear shorts or cut-off jeans in warm weather. The majority of women on campus wear slacks or jeans, and blouses or sweaters, but some wear dresses and skirts as well. Sweatshirts are also common for both men and women.
Check out the latest weather forecast for Moorhead.
- International students are required to arrive to MSUM on the date listed on your I-20/DS-2019.
- International students are required to attend the mandatory International Student Orientation.
- If you are arriving late (i.e. delay of visa, flight delays, airline busy schedules) please check with International Student Services and request a letter to arrive late (via email) for your records make sure you have the late arrival letter with you at all times.