MSU International School survival guide

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By Kambui Moore
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

If someone asks you where the “OISS” office is this fall, you can probably bet they are one of the many new faces MSU will be receiving this school year.

With the admission’s office anticipating a growing undergraduate body this year, most of which will be international students, having the proper support available is urgent as ever.

This solution takes many different angles.

College students and their parent’s bank accounts all have an understanding. College isn’t cheap. But an international student’s bill outweighs them all.

According to, international students come to the United States because of “the quality and diversity of its education opportunities at the university level.” They are responsible for transportation, living expenses, tuition, books, and other supplies just like everyone else. While there are a select pool of scholarships and free money out there, most international students don’t qualify for financial aid.

As part of the new budget this year, tuition and fees will be increased by 6.9 percent for resident undergraduate students and 7 percent for everyone else. That means about $788 more-spent for an in-state undergraduate student carrying a “full load of classes”.

If this affects you, work ahead and use this financial planning sheet to budget with your parents and check out MSU budget news.

Even though some international students have parents that can afford their education, their parents can teach them about American culture. MSU offers international visitors counseling and networks to lean on just in case.

This while help with avoiding stereotypes, tipping at restaurants, understanding American holidays, etc.

MSU is also home to a diverse group of transition branches such as: The Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and the Community Volunteers for International Programs, that work on getting the most out the experience for international students and their families. Most of these unfortunately go under the radar.

For example: The MSU Global Festival. Every November, international students come out to show East Lansing/Lansing residents what its like in their home country. People get to enjoy performances, kid-friendly activities, and lots of art. Piggy-backing with that effort, the International Friendship Program allows for the same families to offer their homes and dinner tables to new students, allowing them to get to know the city. Doing things like going shopping and coming over once a week for dinner, can go along way and make the difference in ones experience.

“MSU is an international university and has a long tradition of welcoming international students and scholars from all parts of the world” says OISS Director Peter Briggs.

A helpful link is the admissions resource page.

August 17 marks the start of registration for Evening College courses at MSU, which is offered through the Michigan State University Alumni Association. What if your whole family has just moved here? This is the perfect opportunity to get adjusted to your new home.

For the last 60 years, MSU alumni association has offered the MSU community non-credit evening and weekend enrichment courses to East Lansing/Lansing adults and MSU alumni. The topics range from history down to professional development. Program members can also sign-up for tours of the campus and other places that touch on Michigan culture and history. Evening classes also offer the opportunity to go abroad and study.

“I believe the secret of our success and sustainability lies in the diversity of offerings and especially the expertise, creativity, and dedication of our faculty and instructors who are passionate about teaching adults…” shares Evening College Director Louise Cooley.

You can register here.

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