Important Information for New International Students
BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME
APPLY FOR A STUDENT VISA
If you have not already read about the student visa via the U.S. Department of State Website, now is a good time to do so. You will not only learn many important details on the student visa, you will also learn what you must take to the Embassy after you pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, which should be the first thing that you do before scheduling and showing for an appointment at a U.S. Embassy. A good resourse to learn what the U.S. Consulates assess to determine if a student visa may be granted, visit the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Website.
If a visa is issued, it will be marked “University of Detroit Mercy.” If you enter the U.S. using the I-20 for the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), you are expected to report to the International Services Office no later than (and up to 30 days before) by the date as indicated at item #5 on page one of your I-20. You will also be expected to attend the Program for which your I-20 was issued for at least one semester.
ARRANGING FOR HOUSING
University-sponsored housing is only available on the McNichols Campus, and we can only house admitted students. If you plan to live on the UDM McNichols Campus, you are strongly advised to make arrangements for housing before you arrive. Applications for housing should be submitted online for the Fall (September) Term no later than July 14; for the Winter (January) Term, no later than December 1; and for the May Term, no later than April 7. All applications will be processed and students who submit a residence hall contract will be expected to live in the halls for the academic year. If you have questions about on-campus housing before your arrival to UDM, contact the International Admissions Counselor. If you plan to move into your dorm on campus prior to the date as indicated at item #5 on page one of your I-20, let your admissions counselor know in as much advanced time as possible so that your housing on campus may be ready for your arrival. For frequently asked questions about living on the McNichols Campus, visit here.
For frequently asked questions about what a Residence Hall dorm room is furnished with and what you must supply, visit here.
While UDM cannot and does not endorse off-campus housing, if you plan to or need to seek off-campus housing (perhaps because you have family coming to the U.S. with you), you may wish to search for local places to stay before searching for an appartment or house to rent.
If you plan to live on campus and to purchase food at the UDM dining facilities, plan to have some cash available to pay per diem for food and housing before your semester begins: September 6 for Fall, January 7 for Winter, and May 7 for spring/summer. Student athletes may contact your coach for additional details.
MAKE FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS
You need to bring enough money to cover at least your first semester’s expenses. Using the financial charts, locate the chart that refers to your Program of Choice and bring half the TOTAL amount. Use traveler’s checks for your living expense amount; either traveler’s checks or a bank check (preferably issued by a U.S. bank in your country) for your tuition amount. If you plan to live on campus and to purchase food at the UDM dining facilities, plan to have some cash available to pay per diem for food and housing before your semester begins: September 6 for Fall, January 7 for Winter, and May 7 for spring/summer. Student athletes may contact your coach for additional details.
When you attend the International Student Orientation (which is usually a day or so after the scheduled report date to the University; item #5 on page 1 of the I-20), you will be shown how to open a bank account while attending UDM. Finally, wiring money to the U.S. before you arrive is discouraged as it may cause difficulties or delays.
PLAN FOR YOUR TRAVEL TO UDM
You must arrive in the U.S. no later than the date on which you are expected to report to the school (item #5 on your I-20). You may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before your reporting date. Again, if you plan to move into your dorm on campus prior to the date as indicated at item #5 on page one of your I-20, let your admissions counselor know in as much advanced time as possible so that your housing on campus may be ready for your arrival.
Carry your I-20, your passport, and your airline ticket together when you travel. On the plane, you will be given an I-94 (Admission/Departure) card to fill out. When you enter the U.S., the customs officer will stamp the I-94 card with the date and place of entry and return the card to you. The card will be marked “D/S” (duration of status), which means that, as long as you do not violate the terms of your F-1 status, you may remain in the U.S. until your program is completed. The inspector will also stamp page 1 of your I-20 and return the document to you.
If you have not yet taken the time to review the EducationUSA Website, now is a good time to review it. Try to arrange for someone to meet you at the airport when you arrive. If no one is available, the most convenient way to get to campus is by taxi or shuttle service. Depending on which Port of Entry you use to enter the U.S., staff at the airport can provide you information on transportation services leaving the airport. If you will be arriving at the Detroit Metro Airport, here is information on their transportation services. Finally, never ride in any car not clearly marked with a company name or with the word Taxi or Cab.
ARRIVING ON CAMPUS
Now that you have been admitted to UDM as a transfer student on an F-1 visa, understand that a major purpose of the ISO is to assess your English proficiency level to ensure as best we can that you will have no unnecessary difficulty in your academic coursework due to poor English comprehension and conversational abilities. Therefore, we expect you to either show satisfactory English language proficiency according to the criteria established by our University as indicated on UDM's Website by presenting an official TOFEL or IELTS score report to ISO when you report to ISO or you will be asked to take an ESL placement test during ISO International Student Orientation.
If you submitted documentation to the admissions counselor prior to your admissions that indicated you met one of the criteria outlined on the UDM Website or, if you bring passing TOEFL or IELTS scores to the Campus with you when you report to ISO, you will be exempt from taking the ESL placement test. Otherwise, we will provide you the required English proficiency testing via the ACT Compass ESL test and register you to the American Language and Culture Program according to the test results.
ORIENTATION AND ACTIVITIES
Every semester, ISO sponsors an International Student Orientation that all international students are required to attend. Detailed ISO International Student Schedule will be posted once it is finalized.
MAINTAINING YOUR STATUS
While you may already be familiar with the immigration rules governing your F-1 student visa, as a refresher, before you come to UDM to commence your education, you should take some time to become familiar with what you will have to do to maintain your immigration status. In short, to maintain your F-1 status, you will be required to enroll in a full course of study throughout your program. A full course of study is defined as 12 credit hours for undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree and post-degree) students and 9 credit hours for graduate (Master’s or doctoral degree) students. You must be enrolled full-time in the Fall (September) and Winter (January) Terms each academic year. Summer is normally a vacation term. However, if you begin your studies in May, you must be full-time that summer only. You will receive detailed information on this and other immigration requirements at the orientation session.
Students who are informed are not likely to experience significant difficulties with immigration requirements. Please remember that the staff at the International Services Office will be available to provide information and assistance to you throughout your stay at UDM. In the meantime, if you should have any questions, please call, fax, or e-mail our staff below.
BUYING HEALTH INSURANCE AND TUBERCULOSIS (TB) SKIN TESTING
International students are required to purchase the University’s health insurance coverage unless they can present proof of current insurance coverage under one of the following: 1) government-sponsored insurance from one of the following countries: Botswana, Canada, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or UAE; 2) insurance through a spouse’s U.S. employer.
If you believe you have current eligible alternate coverage, please be prepared to present your insurance card or other document from the insurance company at check-in. The ISO will determine eligibility of alternate coverage. Students who purchase the University’s health insurance plan will be billed for the premium by the Student Accounting office at a later date. More detailed information is available at check-in.
Finally, the University requires international students (except those born and raised in Canada) to have a TB skin test performed at the UDM Health Center when they arrive on campus. You will receive further information on this when you report to ISO.
Disclaimer: Any and all non-UDM Websites on this Site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by UDM.
We are looking forward to seeing you at University of Detroit Mercy!
International Services Office
- Weihong Sun, Director, Principal Designated School Official for F-1 students
- Megan Featherstone, Assistant Director and Foreign Student Advisor
- Michael Morgan, Coordinator American Language and Culture Program
- Jaime Yung, Assistant Coordinator American Language and Culture Program
- Shamika D. Adams-Morgan, Office Assistant
See more information about ISO staff, please visit ISO Contact page.