New Students

Welcome to EMU! We, the Office for International Students & Scholars (OISS), are delighted that you have chosen to pursue your education here. We look forward to welcoming you and assisting you in your adjustment to Eastern Michigan University and life in Michigan. Coming to EMU to study provides you with a chance to experience the rich diversity of cultures, foods, languages and traditions of the international students from more than 80 countries and the domestic students that make up the EMU community.

Read the full welcome message from OISS Director, Esther Gunel.

students holding country flags

All new F and J international students are required to complete the SEVIS Check-in as well as attend the virtual UNITED International Student Orientation. The information below provides information about the next steps to prepare for your first semester at EMU.

Please email us if you have any questions!

After you are admitted to EMU

  • Visit the Study in the States website: The Study in the States website has great information about visas, traveling, forms and your arrival.

  • Review your I-20 or DS-2019: Make sure the following items are correct: your name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, major, degree level, English language proficiency (on the I-20 only) and finances.
  • Pay SEVIS I-901 fee: Make sure you have your receipt! You will need this receipt each time you travel into the United States.
  • Make your visa appointment: Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate near you to learn how to make an appointment and the required documents needed.

Before traveling to EMU

  • 1. Receive your Visa

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    You should have worked with the Office of International Admissions to receive an I-20 and work towards getting the visa. If you will not receive the visa before the start of your intended semester please email [email protected] so that they can update your admission status. You should not sign up for orientation until you have received a visa.
  • 2. Sign up for UNITED International Student Orientation

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    Fall 2024 United Orientation information coming soon!


    3. Register for classes

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    Classes fill up quickly! Make sure you communicate with an academic advisor before arriving to EMU.

    Maintain full-time enrollment, attend classes and make normal progress toward your degree.

    • Undergraduate (bachelor's) students = minimum of 12 credit hours per academic term
    • Graduate students = minimum of eight credit hours per academic term
    • IEP Students=minimum of 18 credit hours per academic term

    If you are an F-1 student you must maintain your F-1 status at all times.

    Undergraduate students must meet with their academic advisors in order to plan their course schedule for the semester. Please see the Student Guide for more information and to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor. 

    Graduate students can work directly with their graduate coordinators or program advisors for registration guidance.


    Per SEVP regulations, you can only take 1 online class per full-time courseload. 

      • Undergraduate: At least 9 credits of in-person classes per 12 credit total
      • Graduate: At least 5 credits of in-person classes per 8 credit total
  • 4. Apply for housing

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    On-Campus Housing

    • For on-campus housing please see Housing and Residence Life. Students must be registered for classes in order to apply for on-campus housing.
    • First-year students are eligible for double rooms only. No single rooms are available for first-year students.
    • Fill out the housing application: The first-year student application
    • EMU requires students who live in all University housing facilities, including apartments, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (including a booster shot).
    • Students with on-campus housing contracts should work with the Housing and Residence Life Office for move-in information and further requirements. 

    Off-Campus Housing

    • If you are not a freshman (first year) bachelor's degree student, you may live off-campus. There are many apartments available near EMU. You can find more information about renting in the Tenants and Landlords: A Practical Guide [PDF].
  • 5. Learn about health insurance

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    • All EMU International students are required to have health insurance. You will be enrolled for EMU Student health insurance when you register for classes. Find more information about health insurance and waivers.
    • While you're a student at EMU, you should consider the IHA Health Center to be your first source for health information. Find out more information about international student health care services.
    • Mandatory TB screening may be required for some international students arriving from specific countries. If required, you must take your test after arriving to United States (failure to complete your required TB test will result with a hold on your student record). A certificate of completion may be required to satisfy requirements.
    • To print your EMU health insurance ID card please see the instructions [PDF] *Cards will not be available to students until after the semester has started. The office will notify students by email once cards are available.
    • If you have questions, you can email [email protected].
  • 6. Pay tuition and fees

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    You will get your first eBill after you register for classes. 

    We suggest viewing eBill each month to ensure that all your fees are paid; otherwise, you will incur a late payment fee. 

    To view your eBill:

    • Login into your my.emich account.
    • Click "eBill" under EMU links (bottom left side).
    • Sign in using your EID (your student ID number) and PIN (To find out your PIN click on the Student tab in your my.emich account and it will be under Personal Information).
    • Click on the eBill tab to view your most recent bill.
    • Understanding your eBill
    • How to Pay

Traveling to EMU

  • All first time travel information can be found on the travel information page.
  • Have the proper immigration documents with you: EMU I-20 or DS-2019, passport, visa, I-901 SEVIS fee receipt and admission letter.
  • Transportation from the airport to campus: Have the name and address of the place you will be staying.

After traveling to EMU

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