Get Ready


You will get lots of emails from various people at GVSU! We want to make sure you are prepared and that you know we are here to help guide you. Please make sure to read these carefully as they contain important information for your success!

In case you think you've missed any from Libby sent from, below you will find emails #1 - #5 that you should have received.

  1. Housing
  2. Course Registration
  3. Arrival & Orientation
  4. Getting Involved
  5. Required Forms

Email #1 | Housing

GVSU On-campus Housing

Living on-campus is proven to help you do better academically and socially and provides added security. You will transition into the community better and make the most of your time here!

You need to organize your housing BEFORE you arrive to GVSU. We don't have any temporary accommodation, unfortunately.  

You will have to pay a housing deposit of $150.00.   

The deadline to APPLY is July 1. Make sure you apply as a transfer student! If you apply as a freshman you will be forced to live in dorm style, freshman housing. 

Off-Campus Housing

Although we do not recommend this, living off campus can be much more affordable. This requires much more work on your part and we are not able to assist in organizing off-campus housing.

Here are some options to look into:

  • The GVSU website has some nearby housing options.
  • Bayberry and Apple Ridge which are located halfway between downtown and Allendale. This is a convenient location as it takes about 15 minutes to get to either campus and the route 50 bus (GVSU campus connector running every 6 minutes) has stops near both apartment complexes
  • Craigslist is a website where you can list things for sale, apartments for rent, etc. Be careful as this is not a vetted site, which means anyone can list here. You should at least Skype with them before making any decisions! I have had several friends find rooms in a house this way but it does put more responsibility on you since there isn’t a company overseeing the site or individual listings. It's practically the wild west!
  • Show me the

If you want to look into this option, you should consider the following questions:

  • What is the monthly cost?
  • Are utilities included? (additional costs for gas, electricity, garbage, internet)
  • Is it furnished? (most places you must bring your own bed, tables, chairs, even refrigerator sometimes!)
  • Is there a required security deposit? How much is it?
  • Do you need to pay rent in advance?
  • Do you need a US Social Security number?
  • Does the property manager require a background check?
  • Will you have to sign a lease? What are the dates on the lease? 
  • Where is it located? How long will it take me to get to classes?

F19 Pre-Arrival Email #1 Housing

Sent June 24, 2019

Email #2 | Course Registration

Undergraduate Students

Please check your emails regularly for information from your academic advisor.  If you do not hear anything by June 30, please email Kate: 

Make sure to please check all inboxes you have (personal, GVSU) and the Spam folders as well!

Registration tips:

  • Your advisor knows best--follow their advice! We know you're smart, but they're pros at this!!
  • Register as soon as you can! Since courses can reach capacity, you might have to take a class in a different semester or at a time of day that isn't best for you.
  • You can change your schedule up until the first Friday of classes (August 30, 5pm).
  • If the class you really want is full, register for a back-up course as recommended by your advisor while they try to get you into the course you LOVE!

Graduate Students

Don't worry if you have not yet heard from your academic advisor! Most Graduate Students do not register until the week of International Student Orientation (August 19-23).

Get Ready Emails 2

Sent July 1, 2019

Email #3 | Arrival & Orientation

Arrival Info

All new international students are highly recommended to arrive on the designated arrival dates to the Grand Rapids Airport. Students who arrive on the designated dates will be collected by our Orientation Leaders who will help you move into your housing.


Arrival dates: August 16, 17, and 18
Airport: Gerald R Ford International in Grand Rapids, Michigan [GRR]

Please note:

  • We cannot pick up students who arrive before or after these dates NOR students who fly into other airports (Detroit, Chicago, etc).
  • We do not recommend students try to use public transportation to get to Grand Rapids since the US public transport system is not easy to use.
  • Students who arrive earlier than August 16 MUST organize their own temporary accommodation. GVSU does not have any temporary accommodation. 
  • Students who arrive later than these dates will miss part or all of international student orientation (details below). This will mean missing immigration check-in, social security administration, and much other valuable information. Students who miss orientation will still be charged the fee.  
  • You cannot enter the US more than 30 days prior to your program start date (listed on your I-20/DS-2019).
  • If you submit your flight arrival info via the online form, you will receive an email confirmation with more details about your pick-up.


International Student Orientation Facts:

  • Dates: Sunday, August 18 - Wednesday, August 21
  • iStudent Orientation is AMAZING
  • iStudent Orientation is MANDATORY
  • There is a compulsory fee of $150 USD
  • This is NOT the same as the domestic student orientation; we cover important information about immigration regulations, social security applications, cultural differences, and much more that will not be discussed at domestic student orientation! 
  • The schedule is online and will be updated as we finalize plans!

Get Ready Emails #3

Sent July 10, 2019

Email #4 | Getting Involved

Fit the Mitt

If you're wanting to make the most of your time at GVSU, we highly recommend signing up for the Fit the Mitt program!

Fit the Mitt pairs Faculty and Staff who volunteer to help welcome and guide new international students. You will be matched with a GVSU Faculty or Staff person based on commonalities you share with me in the application. Pairs usually meet once a week to chat, grab a coffee, or even go on adventures.

Check out the Fit The Mitt website for more information.

This is a one semester commitment that is optional and highly beneficial!

If you're interested, please APPLY by Friday, August 9!

Global Café

The Padnos International Center (PIC) along with BTW hosts the Global Café every week day from 12-1pm. Come hang out, meet people from all over the world, bring your lunch if you'd like, and have a free cup of tea or coffee!

Fall 2019 Grand Opening 
Wednesday, August 28, 12pm-1pm
163 Lake Ontario Hall, Brooks Interdisciplinary Salon
You're invited!

Get Ready #4

Sent July 15, 2019

Social Media

Join our Slack team, follow our Instagram, and stay up to date with all our events on our Facebook page!
More info about how to get connected


Bringing Together the World (commonly known as BTW) is a GVSU Student Organization that creates fun avenues for internationally-minded

Email #5 | Required Forms

Immigration Regulations

REQUIRED for all students

Please note, you need only complete ONE of the following two forms

           - OR- 

GDPR Consent Form

REQUIRED for all students. Form can be found here

Get Ready #5

Sent July 22, 2019

Student Information

REQUIRED for all students

Tips for completing the form:

  • If you are living on campus, you can look up your address here. If you do not yet have an address or do not know it, please use the Padnos International Center address:
         Street: 1 Campus Drive
         City: Allendale
         Post Code: 49401
  • As you most likely do not have an American home or cell/mobile number, please use the office number for both: (616)331-3898
  • Port of Entry is the first city through which you enter the US. For example, if you are flying Beirut to Paris, Paris to Chicago, Chicago to Grand Rapids, Chicago would be your Port of Entry because it is the first city you came to when entering the US.
  • Please note, if you use the office address or phone number, you will be required to resubmit your current address and phone number once you have them