Congratulations on your acceptance to Northern Michigan University! Please follow the steps below to prepare for your arrival:

Step 1: How to apply for your Visa

1. SEVIS I-901 Fee

  • Pay your SEVIS I-901 fee. This can be done online with a credit card. Please be sure to print your receipt out at the end.
    • Your will need your SEVIS number which is in the upper left of your I-20 or DS 2019 (starts with N).

2. Apply for your Student Visa

  • F-1 Student Visa - apply for this visa if you are attending our ESL program or have been admitted as an undergraduate or graduate degree seeking student. 
  • J-1 Exchange Visa - Exchange students from an approved partner university. 
  • Here is a helpful video with visa interview tips

ATTENTION CANADIAN STUDENTS: You do not apply for an F1 visa. You will need to bring the following documentation with you for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) review:

  • NMU Admissions Letter
  • Form I-20
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt
  • Passport
  • Recommended to bring proof of finances (how will you pay for your education at NMU)

**Be sure to print out these forms for your visa interview and for entrance to the U.S.

U.S. Customs will review your documentation and they will date stamp your I-20 and write "F-1 D/S". Please check your date stamp to make sure you were admitted as an F-1 student and not a visitor on a "B" visa. 

Step 2: Pre-Arrival Information

1. Orientation
Sign up for the August (fall semester) or January (winter semester) orientation and pay the orientation fee.


  • New Freshman Orientation 
    • This is for students who are attending NMU and have not attended any other college/university. 
  • Transfer Student Orientation
    • This is for exchange students and students who have attended another college/university

2. Create your NMU Email Account
Please follow the instructions on how to create your NMU email account. Once your create your username and password you will go to and enter your username and password to complete your NMU email account set up. You will use the same username and password to log into your MyNMU account to complete your housing application below. 

3. Housing
Apply for housing through your mynmu account. You will need your NMUIN, this is found on your admissions letter, and need to pay a $200 housing deposit along with a $50 application fee. Your housing contract will start the Thursday before the first day of classes. If you are 21 years of age or older, you can apply to stay in an apartment. To do this you will need to submit a paper application and fax it to our Housing office at 1-906-227-1423 or email it to

4. Flight Information
You will need to make your flight to K.I. Sawyer International Airport in Marquette, Michigan (airport code MQT). Once you arrive at the airport it is a short 20 minute drive to Northern Michigan University's campus. Please plan to arrive on the Sunday before school starts as you will go through an international student orientation (no charge) starting on the Monday before classes start. 

  • Fall 2020 semester: Arrive between Sunday and Wednesday (August 9-12)  Orientation will begin on Thursday, August 13.
  • Winter 2021 semester: Arrive on Tuesday, January 5. Orientation will begin on Wednesday, January 6.

NOTE: You will be charged approximately $30.00 per day until your housing contract starts on the Thursday of your orientation week. 

5. Welcome Package $80.00 (Optional)
NMU can provide you with a blanket, twin sheets for your bed, pillow, pillow case, towel, wash cloth and a snack bag. Please fill out our Welcome Package/Airport Pickup form and email it to We will charge your NMU student account for the $80.00 for this service.  

6. Airport Pick-up $35.00 (Optional)
Would you like a staff member from the International Education Services office to pick you up from K.I. Sawyer International Airport and bring you to your assigned housing. If so, please fill out the Welcome Package/Airport Pick up form and and email it to We will charge your NMU student account for the $35.00 for this service. Please know that our airport is very small. If you would like to take a taxi, you will need to make a reservation with Checker Transport.


Step 3: What to expect your first week

1. International Student Orientation 

You will receive a detail international student orientation schedule at least one week before arrival. During this orientation we will cover immigration check it, have presentations from different student services departments, cover basic immigration rules and regulations (this is the fun stuff :) along with getting to know campus and preparing you for your NMU orientation. 

ATTN: Fall 2020 English and Math Testing will be administered online. Information will be sent to all new students soon.

2. English Composition Testing
All new degree seeking and exchange international students are required to take an English Composition test. This test is a placement test to let us know what level of English Composition you should start with. Most students place into our EN 109/EN109W Intensive College Composition course. This test will be scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday before classes start. You do not need to bring anything to this test as we will have it set up for you. 

3. Math Placement Test 
You will now take a Math Placement test during your NMU orientation and it will be on your orientation schedule that you receive at your orientation check in on Wednesday afternoon. 

4. Insurance

All F1 and J1 visa students are required to have health insurance that meet immigration and NMU requirements. Please review the NMU International Health Insurance website for information about the current health insurance policy, coverage dates,costs, and the waiver process. 

Insurance Waiver/Adjustment DEADLINES:

  • Fall 2020 Semester: August 9, 2020
  • Winter 2021 Semester: December 13, 2020

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the International Programs Office.

5. Vaccination Information
NMU requires all students to provide proof of receiving 2 doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccination. Please bring your vaccination records with you to provide to our NMU Health Center. If you do not have proof of your MMR vaccinations, then you will need to receive them at NMU.

Some students will also be required to have a Tuberculosis Test (TB) please see for the list of countries that will need to be tested for TB. If you test positive, then you will be sent to have an x-ray done. You will be responsible for the costs of any vaccinations/tests that need to be done.

For cost information, please see our Health Center website and the different services they provide.

6. Payment Plans
During your NMU orientation, you will need to either pay your NMU student account (for tuition and room/board) in full or sign up for one of the NMU payment plans. Please review the information about available payment plans and let us know if you have any questions. 

Step 4: Other Important Information

1. Foreign Student Documentation Fee $125.00
This is a onetime charge for all international students for their first semester. This charge covers the cost of recertification of our SEVIS F1/J1 programs as well as other administrative immigration duties performed during your stay at NMU.

2. Credit Card
If you are planning to travel during your stay in the US you may want to get a credit card from your home country. A credit card is needed to rent a car and many times to reserve a hotel room. 

3. Weather

The weather in Marquette can be wonderful but it can change a lot in just one day. You will want to bring clothes for warm and cold weather. 

4. 12 month/24 month rule (exchange students/scholars)
Please review the bottom of your DS 2019 and if you have a check mark regarding 2 year residency requirement see the link for more information.

5. Facebook

Like us on Facebook "Northern Michigan University International"

6 Marquette Community

Visit the City of Marquette website to get information about our beautiful area.

7. Programs and Events

Check our Programs and Events website as this is the one place where we will advertise many different activities that you may be interested in participating in. 

8. Culture Presentation

Are you interested in presenting to the NMU and Marquette community about your culture. The IES office would like to host two culture presentations each semester and it consists of a presentation about 20-30 minutes long and have a time to answer questions from our audience. 

9. Immigration Terms

This will provide you with the definitions of immigration terms you will hear during your time at NMU.


Orientation Week Overview: Fall 2020  

To Be Determined: The NMU International Programs Office is currently planning new orientation programs and processes due to the current global health crisis (COVID-19). We will be posting more updates on the Fall 2020 Orientation in the future!