Get Ready for Winter 2022!

So Many Emails!

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

New International Students will be receiving emails from November through January to help students get ready for their GVSU adventure. Below you will find the information from these emails. The Zoom links to the relevant meetings are not available here but ONLY in the emails. If you cannot find an email, please contact the ISS Team by emailing

  1. Visa Applications
  2. Course Registration
  3. Housing
  4. Arrival & Orientation


Using your GVSU username and network password, you can log into Blackboard. Once logged in, you can click on "GVSU International Students" under the My Organizations section. Here, you will find all the Fall 2021 International Student Orientation Information, including the forms to request food and supplies for your quarantine period which are found within the "Pre-Arrival" folder. 

iStudents Blackboard Organization

GVSU International Students Blackboard Organization

Visa Application | Meeting on Nov 5

Visa Application Process & Blackboard

The very first email from the International Student Services (ISS) Team provides the link to the first Zoom meeting on Friday, Nov 5.

In the Zoom call, you will meet the ISS Team, discuss the visa application process, how to access Blackboard, and what information can be found there. 

Powerpoint Information

If you weren't able to attend the call, please review the PPT information we covered on Nov 5. 


If you need to request an expedited visa and would like GVSU to send a support letter to the embassy, please complete the form found here. We will issue the letters on December 13 and send them directly to the embassy!  

Course Registration | Meeting will be Nov 19

Graduate Students

Graduate students should email their Faculty Advisor to register for courses. Use this online list from the graduate school to determine who you should email within your program: 

Don't worry if they don't respond right away! 


If you weren't able to attend the call, please review the PPT information we covered on Nov 19. 

Undergraduate Students

Please check your emails regularly for information from your academic advisor.  If you do not hear anything by November 15, 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 (January 14, 2022, 5 p.m.).
  • 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!

Housing | Meeting will be Dec 3

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.  

  • Check out on-campus options  (international student should look at transfer & graduate options)
  • Review housing rates
  • Consider location: Pew Campus is downtown Grand Rapids (graduate courses) while Allendale Campus is the main campus and has the rec center & most social activities
  • PLEASE NOTE: all freshman (first semester at any college in the world) are required to live on-campus
  • You will have to pay a housing deposit of $150.00 when you apply. 
  • The earliest you can move into GVSU Housing is January 4. See arrival information. 

The deadline to APPLY is Nov 15. 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. 

LIVE! Zoom Call

Friday Dec 3

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?

Orientation & Arrival | Meeting will be Dec 17


International Student Orientation Facts:

  • Dates: January 6 and 7.
  • 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! 
  • The schedule will be posted online and will be updated as we finalize plans!
LIVE! Zoom Call

Friday Dec 17

Arrival Information

All new international students are highly recommended to arrive on the designated arrival dates to the Grand Rapids Airport. Students who request airport pick-up will be met by a taxi. There is a $70 fee for this service. This fee will be charged to students' GVSU accounts in September along with the Orientation Fee.

Whether students would like to be collected from the airport using this service or will find your own transportation, we advise you to submit your flight information in case there are any issues.


Arrival dates: January 5
Airport: Gerald R Ford International in Grand Rapids, Michigan [GRR]
Deadline: December 23, 2021

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 January 5 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.

Final Preparations

It's time to tie up loose ends! We'll talk about the items due December 23 and remind you about some other bigger tasks:

  1. December 23 deadline for Transportation Request
  2. Course Registration
  3. Housing
  4. Arrival
    1. Dates:  January 5
    2. Quarantine: 10 days for unvaccinated students
  5. International Student Orientation
    1. Mandatory!
    2. January 6 and 7
    3. $150 fee
  6. Jobs & GAs
  7. Payment Deadline: January 7, 5pm
  8. First Day of Classes: Monday, January 10