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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Social Security Letter - J1  
Insurance Appeal 2014-2015 Social Security Letter - F1  

International Student Policies and Procedures

Arriving at NMU:

You should plan to arrive at Northern Michigan University no later than the Tuesday before classes start. If you choose to arrive any earlier than that you will need to make arrangements at one of the local hotels in Marquette Michigan.


Undergraduate and Exchange International students are required to take a COMPASS test to help determine what level English class each student should be placed into. Students will take the COMPASS test the Wednesday (morning) before NMU classes begin.

A staff member in the International Programs office will record your COMPASS scores in Banner and inform you what level of English course you should register for.

If you do not arrive in time to take the COMPASS test, the International Programs Office will hold alternate times on the Friday before classes start.

Students who transfer in EN 111 or higher do not need to take the COMPASS test.

Exchange students who provide the International Programs Office with a passing English Proficiency score or a DAAD score of a B1 or higher.

English Language Proficiency Admission Policies


Northern Michigan University’s Housing Policy is as follows:

All single undergraduate students shall live in University residence halls while enrolled for classes at Northern Michigan University; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to those undergraduates who:

  1. have reached junior status (56 or more hours of college credit) prior to registration for classes for the fall semester or
  2. have resided four or more semesters in residence halls, or
  3. are (21) years of age or older on or before the last official day of registration for the fall semester, or
  4. are residing at home with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s)*,
  5. are veterans who qualify for veterans’ benefits by virtue of active service in the armed forces, or
  6. are taking 8 or fewer credits during the semester in question.

*With a typical class schedule of nine (9) credits or more, it is expected that the commuting distance from their home will be no greater than 60 miles.

Once you are admitted to NMU you can complete a residence hall (aka Dorm room) or apartment application and pay a $125 housing deposit. You can start checking into your room the Tuesday before classes start. You will be charged approximately $20 for each day before your actual housing contract starts.

Housing contracts start the Thursday before the first day of classes.


As an international student at Northern Michigan University you are required to enroll in our insurance policy. You will be charged for your insurance your first semester and then each fall semester thereafter. For complete information on the NMU insurance plan, please click here or view the insurance brochure, click here.

You do have the option to appeal the university insurance but you must prove that you have insurance that meets or exceeds the university coverage. To appeal using the university’s insurance, you must complete the online appeal form and the International Programs office will remove the insurance charge once your insurance appeal is approved.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT):

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined to be alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

CPT must be an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student's major area of study. You must be approved for CPT by the International Programs Office before your internship start date.

Please see our CPT website for detailed information on what is needed to be approved.

Optional Practical Training (OPT):

Optional Practical Training is a benefit that an international student can apply for to work in his/her field of study for up to 12 months. Approval is done through USCIS. For detailed information on conditions and limitations along with how to apply for OPT, please see the OPT website.

Do I have to file taxes even if I didn't work?

Yes, you must file US taxes whether you worked or not.

You will receive an e-mail from the International Programs Office in February letting you know how and when you can set up your tax appointment. To see what information you may need to bring, please see our tax website.


When traveling outside of the USA you will need to have your immigration document signed by a Designated School Official (DSO) in the International Programs Office. If you do not get the required signature and you are already home, you will need to send us your immigration document for signature and then we can send it back to you by regular US mail (can take up to 4-6 weeks) or If you would like them sent by express mail, please go to and create an account and pay for the shipping. Detailed instructions are at

Please be sure to check your visa status. If you have an expired visa, and you leave the US, you will be required to apply for a new visa before you can re-enter the US.

Shipping material to/from NMU:

Northern Michigan University offers you the opportunity to receive or ship your documents through a safe, quick and dependable delivery service. If you need your documents quicker, we use an express mailing service that will allow you to receive the documents through DHL or FedEx in three to five days. Requesting your documents through express mail is at your expense, and your credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards only) will be charged upon requesting the service. To request express mailing of your documents, go to the  University Express Mail Services website.

For detailed information, please see

How do I set up my NMU E-mail Account?

To set up your NMU E-Mail Account, please follow the step by step instructions. You will be creating your username and password that you will use to access your NMU E-mail and your account.

If you have any problems, please contact Angela Maki or Tony Tollefson for assistance.

How can I see what NMU courses are available?

You will need to have created your NMU E-mail account and know your username and password in order to view the current course offerings through your account. Please follow the step by step instructions for course selection.

How do I apply for a Social Security Number?

Before you can apply for a social security number you must have a job offer. Your supervisor will need to complete a Social Security letter (J1 or F1) for the Social Security Office. Please bring this letter to the International Programs Office (IPO) so the bottom portion can be completed. While at the IPO you will receive the social security application along with the following instructions:

What to bring to the Social Security Office (300 South Front Street)

  1. Social Security Application – obtain this form at the International Programs Office
  2. Letter from your supervisor and a DSO - J1 or F1
  3. Passport
  4. I-94 – you can print a copy of your I-94 from
  5. Immigration document (I-20 or DS 2019)
  6. Visa