Next Steps for Admitted Students
Now that you've been admitted to WSU, here are the next steps you'll need to take to prepare for your arrival on campus.
Please get started early because some steps like getting your F1 visa and making travel arrangements can take some time to process.
Apply for F1 Visa
An F-1 visa is a temporary visa that allows you to pursue a higher education degree in the United States.
If you are not currently studying in the U.S., you will need to apply for an F-1 visa to attend WSU.
Apply for Housing
You can move into residence halls two days before New International Student Orientation.
Living on campus also means you will have meal plan to eat in the dining hall.
Review some of the frequently asked questions about on-campus housing.
Residence Hall Amenities
All residence halls are furnished with a bed, dresser, desk and other amenities.
However, your residence hall room does not include bed sheets (size XL Twin), pillows, blankets or towels.
You can order these items online from stores such as Walmart, Target, Shopko and Amazon. You can also order bedding through Residence Hall Linens Program and request for the items to be delivered to:
Housing & Residence Life Office
Kryzsko Commons 235
175 West Mark Street
Winona, MN 55987 USA
Want to live off campus?
Temporary housing is available at local hotels and motels.
Plan for Health Insurance
International students are required by Minnesota state law to enroll in university-approved health insurance through United Healthcare.
The health insurance premium for the 2019-2020 academic year is $1,688. The fee is subject to change. The premium is prorated for students who are at WSU for short-term study.
Please keep in mind that this health insurance policy does not cover dental care. Vision care is covered for students under 19 years of age.
How Health Insurance Works at WSU
At the beginning of the semester, the health insurance charge will be placed on your WSU student account. You must pay the Health Insurance Premium in full by the last day of the first week of classes each semester.
Once your premium has been received by the university, you must set up an account with United Healthcare before you can use your insurance benefits. Set up your account.
After you have an account, you can log in and print or download your insurance card. Keep this card on you at all times.
Make Travel Arrangements
Plan to arrive to Winona 1-2 days before the New International Student Orientation on January 7-8 for the Spring 2020 semester or August 13-14 for the Fall 2020 September.
Book Your Flight & Head to Winona
The closest major international airports are Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP) and Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD).
If you take the Groome Transportation shuttle, please keep in mind that you will need to change shuttles in Rochester, MN. Ask your driver if you have any more questions.
You should book your reservation from MSP to Winona - Winona State University Kryzsko Commons Huff St. Bus Stop in front of Chartwells.
If you fly into Chicago ORD, take an Amtrak train to Winona. Learn more about traveling from ORD to Union Station (a train station in Chicago).
Use the WSU Welcoming Service
WSU faculty and staff can meet you at the shuttle bus stop or train station in Winona and help you move into your new place.
If you would like to request this welcome service, you must submit the Arrival Form (PDF) at least a month before New International Student Orientation. You must also arrive in Winona 1-2 days prior to the orientation session.
Be Prepared for Entering the U.S.
Before leaving your country, review steps 4-6 in the Student Process Steps for Navigating the U.S Immigration System.
ISSS also recommends that you take the following steps:
- Before you leave your home country, it is a good idea to see a family doctor, dentist, and an eye doctor.
- Make 2 sets of copies of your passport, visa, and form I-20. Leave one set at home with your family or friends and take the other with you.
- Carry your original documents in your carry-on luggage. Do not put them in your checked baggage.
When you arrive to the first U.S. city airport (port of entry), you will speak to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The inspector will first attempt to verify your status by using the Student and Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
If that the CBP officer needs to verify information with your school or program, you can provide the International Student and Scholar Services contact information to reach the designated school officials (DSO) at Winona State University:
Should you arrive during non-business hours (evening, weekends, holidays), you can call our emergency number 1.507.312.3984 during arrival days on the two days before New International Student Orientation begins.
Attend New International Student Orientation (NISO)
The New International Student Orientation (NISO) is a special program designed to help international students succeed at WSU.
All new international students must attend NISO.
During this orientation, you'll get all the information you need to start your semester. You will be able to:
- Meet your academic advisor and register for classes
- Receive your brand new laptop computer from the eWarrior Program
- Learn about mandatory health insurance
- Get help with setting up your life as a student at WSU and a resident of Winona
- Meet new people
- Participate in many other fun activities.
Get to Know Winona
Take some time to get to know your new home before you arrive!
Check the weather in Winona, MN and pack appropriate clothes. Winters tend to be very cold so be prepared to bring warm clothes.
Watch your email for information about nearby restaurants and transportation options to and around Winona.
Get Involved at Winona State University
In addition to academic programs, WSU offers so many ways for you to make friends, have fun and experience American culture. Here are a few ways you can get involved on campus.
Student Associations and Clubs
With over 180 student clubs to choose from, you're sure to find one you like. Student clubs are a great way to meet people who share your hobbies, career interests, cultural and religious backgrounds and more!
Inclusion & Diversity
The Inclusion and Diversity Office has events throughout the year that celebrate the variety of cultures and perspectives present on WSU campus. Consider attending one of these events or taking advantage of the other resources available, such as the KEAP Center.
Arts & Culture
Whether you're looking to be entertained by a play, awed by artwork, or educated in a lecture, WSU has many options on campus. Explore the arts and cultural opportunities throughout the year.
Volunteering your time and talents is an important part of the culture at WSU because we are "a community of learners improving our world". Learn more about community engagement at WSU.