Orientation Dates

All new international students are REQUIRED to attend New International Student Orientation held in the Fall and Spring semesters. 

Dates and events are currently being planned. Please check back later for more information.

New Summer Students

If you are a new graduate student arriving for summer, please come to our office upon your arrival to complete arrival paperwork.

You will be expected to attend the required Fall orientation. Schedule to be announced at a later date.

What happens at new international student orientation? Why am I required to attend?

Students will be provided with breakfast and lunch during the orientation days as well as the opportunity to learn about valuable NDSU resources and offices, go on a shopping trip in Fargo, take a campus tour, meet new and current NDSU students and much more. Students will also complete required immigration processes during orientation. Orientation is held on the 2nd floor of NDSU's Memorial Union.

The information we provide to you during this orientation will help you have an easy transition to NDSU, and will help you succeed as a student of NDSU academically, and more specifically as an international student as you learn about the immigration rules you are required to follow during your stay in the United States. For example, employment in the U.S. is a frequent question posed by international students - and the rules for authorization on-campus and off-campus when allowed are quite complicated. We have designed this orientation to include information that new students need. Over the years, we continuously make improvements to provide the most helpful information possible. Also, we have an "I-CORE" team of volunteers at orientation, many of whom are international students, who have experience at NDSU and can help you with any question you may have after you arrive. We all look forward to seeing you at orientation!

When do classes begin?

Classes for the Spring 2020 Semester begin on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Click here for important academic dates and deadlines for the upcoming semester/academic years: Dates & Deadlines

Planning your Travel

Fargo Airport

Students can arrive at Hector International Airport in Fargo: https://www.fargoairport.com (Airport code: FAR)

You will NOT go through Customs at the Fargo airport upon leaving the plane. You will go through Customs at your first port of entry to the United States. The Fargo airport is not large, so once you depart your plane, the baggage claim is only a minute or two away.


As you prepare for arrival into Fargo Hector International Airport, ensure that your luggage is properly labeled. Have your luggage labeled on a durable luggage tag in clear handwriting and in English. If your luggage is lost, this will ensure it can be easily returned to you.

If you arrive on NDSU's campus directly from the airport, luggage can be stored for you until 4:00pm during the week of orientation. Please find the International Student & Study Abroad Services office located in the Memorial Union, office 116, for assistance. Do NOT leave your luggage unattended in the Memorial Union.

What will the weather be like when I arrive?

Before you depart for Fargo, please watch the weather forecast to see what the temperature and weather is forecasted to be upon your arrival, and dress appropriately. If you are arriving in the summer or early Fall, the weather can be warm and pleasant, and very hot at times especially during the middle of the summer. Early Fall can also be cool and a light jacket is recommended. But if you are arriving in January, be prepared with a coat/jacket, and hat and gloves if needed, as the weather can be cold and there will likely be snow. A shopping trip is offered each semester during orientation and you can purchase heavier winter clothing during that trip if you would like.

Weather Channel: Current 4-day forecast for Fargo, ND (zip code 58102 for North Fargo)

Transportation from the Airport to NDSU

The following link provides information on how to get the from Hector International Airport to NDSU’s campus. There will be NDSU student volunteers to greet arrivals and answer questions about available transportation options. If an NDSU volunteer is not available, please see the airport information kiosk for ground transportation and hotel options.


PLEASE NOTE: The airport and NDSU are very close to one another (less than 5 miles), however the weather and street conditions do not allow for walking. Please use one of the transportation options available on the website above.

Hotels Near the Airport and the NDSU Campus

If you are arriving before the official airport welcome days of August 20th and August 21st, you may need to stay temporarily in a hotel. Some hotels in Fargo offer complimentary shuttles and/or meals. Shuttle services may include drop-off at NDSU, please ask about this service when booking your hotel. View the following websites for information on hotels options:


Hotels listed below are close to NDSU campus and/or with free shuttle services:

    Expressway Suites
    Candlewood Suites
    Airport/Dome Days Inn and Suites

Your Arrival on Campus

Housing at NDSU

Visit the Residence Life website to find out about housing options offered at NDSU.


Spring 2020 arrivals - If you have made arrangements to live on NDSU's campus in one of the residence halls, you'll be able to check in at the following times:

  • Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - West Bison Court 8:00am-4:00pm 
  • Thursday, January 9, 2020 - One Stop in Memorial Union 12:00pm-4:00pm

If you need to check into NDSU on-campus apartments, please check-in at NDSU's West Bison Court.

Reporting to NDSU and the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services

All students should check in at the International Student and Study Abroad Services Office (Memorial Union 116). You will complete an arrival form, and we will make copies of your immigration documents for your file. If you arrive the day before orientation, opportunities to fill out the arrival form and make copies of your documents will be available during orientation as well.

If you are a graduate student who will begin an assistantship on campus upon arrival, please click here for information regarding applying for a Social Security Card. Your must first check in at the International Student and Study Abroad Services Office (Memorial Union 116) before visiting the Social Security Office. You must wait at least 10 days after checking in at the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services before submitting your application for a Social Security Number (SSN). Applying too early can cause delays in your SSN application.

Places to Eat on the NDSU Campus
NDSU Dining
  • This link provides a list of all NDSU dining options on campus, including regular retail locations and official dining centers (Union Dining Center, Residence Dining Center, West Dining Center).
  • We recommend you download the app for iPhone or Android for up-to-date information on the hours of the campus dining centers. On the app store, search for "NDSU Dining."
  • For January arrivals, if you have a meal plan, it will begin for the evening meal on Saturday, January 5th at the Residence Dining Center. The Union Dining Center and West Dining Center will open Monday for the breakfast meal.
Eating near campus
  • There are many restaurants located on the South and North side of 19th Avenue North near N University Drive, including fast-food and sit-down restaurants.
  • The two nearest grocery stores are Family Fare (724 N University Drive) and Hornbacher's (2510 N Broadway).

Health-Related Information

Immunization Screening Appointment

All new international students are required to complete an immunization screening appointment through the NDSU Student Health Service. Click here for more information: https://www.ndsu.edu/studenthealthservice/international_students/. 

Required Health Insurance

Every year, the health insurance through UnitedHealthcare StudentResources begins August 16th for Fall entry, January 1st for Spring entry, and mid-May for Summer entry. Payment is due in full by the end of the sixth week of classes.

All students are required to purchase university approved health insurance. Full payment of insurance is due upon registration. If you arrive earlier than the date the mandated health insurance policy is effective, you will be responsible for finding insurance coverage during the gap period before coverage begins. If you have no insurance during that gap and you require medical treatment here in the United States at that time, you will be responsible for any medical charges before the policy begins.

Click here to read more detailed information on the health insurance policy, including costs and deadlines.

You are Welcome Here!

A Welcome from NDSU President Dean Bresciani

Welcome International Students! There has never been a more exciting time to be at North Dakota State University!  NDSU continues to rank as a top research university, including being in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 institution rankings.  NDSU’s access and affordability are exceptional among our peer institutions, attracting outstanding students from around the nation and internationally. We take pride in our internationally diverse student body which boasts representation from 46 states and more than 70 countries.  The contributions from students from various backgrounds yield incredible results in learning and research. 

As the world continues to become more integrated and interconnected, we need students like you, from a wide variety of disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives, to join us as we seek to better understand our world.

From the performing arts to cutting-edge STEM and agricultural research, NDSU students are engaged in research and discovering life-changing outcomes that will benefit not only North Dakota, but also the world.  

We look forward to welcoming you to NDSU!  From the first day of classes until I shake your hand as you walk across the stage at commencement, we strive to continuously improve upon the high level of student-focused quality for which this institution is well-known.  We are excited to see what part you play in NDSU’s success story as you make this place home.  

Dean L. Bresciani

A Welcome from the Director

Greetings from the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services! As one of the first offices you will encounter when you come to campus, the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services’ staff and international student advisors are here to answer your questions and provide you with resources and assistance that help you be a successful student at North Dakota State University (NDSU).    

We are excited that nearly 750 international students from more than 70 countries call NDSU home, pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree or for a study abroad experience in the United States. As you prepare for your study here, we want you to know that you are welcome and that your presence on our campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community is important and valued. As someone who studied abroad in Germany myself, I know the value and joy of being part of a new culture and meeting people of various backgrounds.   

During your time here, you will naturally be focused on your academic program and research related to your major area of study, but I encourage you to seek out ways to get involved in other ways during your student career.  With more than 300 student organizations available, you will surely find some that are of interest to you.  Many students reference their involvement in a student organization as something that provided them with confidence and encouragement to explore other areas of interest during their time here.  

I also recommend that you look beyond the campus and engage with the greater Fargo community. By doing so, you will not only learn about local culture, but you will also be teaching others about your background and culture as well.  You’ll find that the connections you make, both inside the classroom at NDSU and in the Fargo community, will not only play a role in your personal and academic growth, but will also increase the vitality of our campus, city and state.    

Again, we are excited to welcome you to North Dakota State University!  

Alicia Kauffman, Director
International Student and Study Abroad Services 

Other Important Information to Know

Tuition, Fees & Payments

Tuition and fees will be applied to your student account once you have registered for classes. In order to register for classes, students must read and review the Financial Obligation Agreement, a copy of it can be found here: https://www.ndsu.edu/onestop/accounts/foa.

Students can pay account charges in-person via check or cash at NDSU OneStop. Students can also make international wire transfer payments via FlyWire. More information about making payments can be found here: https://www.ndsu.edu/onestop/accounts. It is also extremely important to familiarize yourself with critical university dates and deadlines. You can view the most current dates and deadlines here: https://www.ndsu.edu/registrar/dates.

Fun things to do in Fargo

Want to know about fun things to do in Fargo in the winter? Check out this page which will give you some ideas of fun things to do even when it's cold out.

Here is a link to the visitor's bureau for Fargo-Moorhead for a full listing of events and things to do in the community year-round: https://www.fargomoorhead.org/things-to-do

NDSU Bookstore & Course Materials

The NDSU Bookstore offers a large selection of new, used, rental and digital textbooks. Shop in-store or save time by ordering at www.ndsubookstore.com. Compare prices on each title and have your order shipped directly to your home or pick it up right on campus.

Students can also charge up to $1000 for course materials during fall and spring semesters and at the end of the semester bring us your current editions in good re-sellable condition, and we'll buy them back. We also have an online Course Materials Student Exchange so you can get the best price for your book and you'll help another student save money at the same time. The NDSU Bookstore is your one-stop-shop for course materials. For more information visit http://www.ndsubookstore.com/coursematerials.

Meeting New People

Getting involved on-campus is a GREAT way to meet new people. If you want to reach out to different student organizations at NDSU, you can learn about the student organizations and associations on campus here: https://myndsu.ndsu.edu

NDSU Student Card

You can choose the photo that you use for your NDSU Student Card. Prior to your arrival for orientation, submit a photo of yourself using the guidelines below. Your ID card will be printed when you visit the NDSU Card Center after arrival on campus. Instructions and guidelines are listed here: https://www.ndsu.edu/cardcenter/onlinephotos.

If you have questions, please contact us at 701-231-6252 or ndsu.cardcenter@ndsu.edu.


Contact our main office at NDSU.International@ndsu.edu or email your assigned international student advisor.

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