Coming to UND
Now that you are admitted to the University of North Dakota, we want to provide you useful information to help you navigate the U.S. immigration system, obtain a U.S. visa, travel to the U.S. and feel comfortable once you arrive at UND.
We look forward to meeting you! For a quick guide to immigration terms and questions, check out our International Student FAQ.
Preparing for your Departure to UND
Admitted students must provide a scan of the passport and completed Certificate of Finances in order to be eligible for a SEVIS Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for Academic and Language Students.
By signing this form, you accept the terms and conditions specified on page 3 of the I-20.
- Students are responsible for requestng shipping of the form I-20. Once the form has been dispatched, the International Center retains no responsibility for delivery.
J-1 students will receive your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. Sign the bottom of page to accept the terms and conditions specified on page 2 of the DS-2019.
- Pay the SEVIS Fee
The SEVIS fee must be paid before your visa interview. You may pay the SEVIS fee by credit card, check or bank draft from a U.S. bank, by international money order, or through Western Union
- Get your U.S. Visa
In order to ensure that you have your visa in time to travel to the U.S. and begin school, you should apply for your visa at the earliest possible time. The U.S. Department of State website has valuable information about applying for your student visa. To find the embassy nearest to you, go to the U.S. Embassy website.
- Arrange Housing
- Please make your housing arrangements before you arrive. The Office of International Programs (International Center) does not have the resources to help you in finding off-campus housing. If you would like on-campus housing, contact UND Housing directly.
- If you plan on living in residence halls, you need to register for early arrival housing in order to attend Orientation. Registration for early arrival housing is available on the Housing Office website prior to each term. Instructions on how to apply for early arrival housing will be sent to you about a month before the term starts, but you still need to apply for housing before this time.
- Brannon Hall is the only residence hall that is open year round. If you think you
will need housing during the winter break, it is recommend you request Brannon Hall
for your housing assignment.
- Get in Touch with Your Mentor
As part of our International Peer Mentor Program, we will pair you with a current UND student who will contact you shortly before your arrival.
- Prepare for Living in the United States
Education USA (a division of the U.S. Department of State) offers a pre-departure guide for students planning to study in the U.S.
- Make arrangements to Arrive in Grand Forks
In order to ensure that you can participate fully in the orientation, we recommend that you arrive on campus no later than the day before it begins. Please communicate with your mentor about your arrival plans.
When to Arrive
You may enter the United States a maximum of 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.
If you are beginning in the fall or spring semester, you will be expected to attend the International Student Orientation. Check the date and time for the next international student orientation here.
We recommend that you arrive at least 1-2 days before the beginning of orientation so that you have a little time to get settled and begin to recover from jet lag.
How to Arrive
The University of North Dakota is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. You can reach Grand Forks by airplane, by train or by bus
Arriving by Airplane
Grand Forks is served by Delta Airlines and Allegiant. Delta flies several flights each day from Minneapolis/ St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to Grand Forks International Airport (GFK). Allegiant has flights from Mesa, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, and Orlando, FL (seasonal)
Arriving by Train
Grand Forks is served by Amtrak. We recommend that you make reservations in advance. There are two trains that arrive in Grand Forks daily-around 1:00 a.m. from the West Coast and around 5:00 a.m. from Chicago.
Arriving by Bus
Grand Forks is served by Jefferson Lines and Greyhound Bus (in cooperation with Jefferson Lines). There are only one or two buses that arrive in Grand Forks each day. You will need to plan your schedule accordingly.
In order to ensure that you can participate fully in the orientation, we recommend that you arrive on campus no later than the day before orientation begins.
There are ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft as well as taxis at Grand Forks Airport, Grand Forks Train Depot, or Grand Forks Bus Depot. Please communicate with your mentor about your arrival plans.
You should make advance arrangements for a place to stay on at least your first night in Grand Forks.
If you have arranged a residence hall room or campus apartment:
- Find out from the Housing Office when you will be able to move in
- Request Early Arrival Housing from the residence halls if you will be arriving before the regular move in date
If you are unable to stay in campus housing the first night make a reservation in one of the local hotels. There are several hotels located near campus:
Best Value Inn
1000 North 42nd Street
Grand Forks, ND 58203
1205 North 43rd Street
Grand Forks, ND 58203
900 N. 43rd St.
Grand Forks, ND, 58203
4001 Gateway Drive
Grand Forks, ND 58203
Hilton Garden Inn
4301 Dartmouth Drive
Grand Forks, ND 58203
Super 8 Motel
1122 N 43rd Street
Grand Forks, ND 58203
1210 N. 43rd St.
Grand Forks, ND 58203
Upon arrival, you will have many things that you will need to take care of before the semester begins.
Finalize Housing Arrangements
It is best if you can make your housing arrangements before you come to campus. If you were not able to do this, you should make your arrangements as soon as possible after you arrive.
- Arranging On-Campus Housing: We recommend that students try to live on campus, especially during the first year here. For information on applying for housing on campus, visit UND Housing.
- Arranging Off-Campus Housing by checking the following resources:
- Check bulletin boards around campus
- Facebook groups
- Grand Forks Herald
- Check with friends or classmates
Complete Required SEVIS Regstration
Complete the SEVIS Registration Process outlined here.
Meet with An Academic Advisor
Check with your academic department if you do not know who your advisor is.
It is important to meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss your class registration and your program of study.
You may also be in contact with your Academic Advisor before you come to campus.
Activate Your UND Email Account
You will need your UND email account for all official university communication. To claim you account activate your email, go to UIT for instructions.
Register for Classes
Register online using Campus Connection or in person at the Registrar’s Office (Twamley Hall, Room 201).
Remember that you must be a full time student:
- Undergraduate students: Minimum 12 credits
- Graduate students without assistantship: Minimum 9 credits
- Graduate students with an assistantship: Minimum 6 credits
If you have been able to contact your academic advisor, you may register for your classes before you come to campus.
Get a Student ID Card (UCard)
You can receive your UCard in person at the Memorial Union (Lower Level, Room 3)
The UCard is a multiple purpose identification card that you will need for many activities on campus including eating in the Dining Centers and checking out books from the library.
Textbooks for your classes may be purchased at the following stores:
Pay Tuition and Health Insurance
For information on how to pay your UND bills, contact One-Stop Student Services (Memorial Union first floor)
Apply for a Social Security Card
Students with campus jobs only. See information on Social Security Numbers.
Open a Bank Account (optional)
Speak with an advisor at the Office of International Programs for more information on opening bank accounts.
Students who will arrive after orientation should defer their admission to the following semester. Undergraduate students can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduate students can contact their department to complete the Move Admission Request Form.
Orientation is mandatory because attending orientation benefits students by educating them on the many restrictions and obligations they face in maintaining F-1 status. Loss of F-1 status can incur many consequences, from additional fees and applications up to being removed from the United States. For this reason we must require it of all students. Receiving late arrival permission ONLY reflects a determination that a student may still be able to be successfully academically. It does NOT mean a student does not need International Orientation as students are still responsible for knowing all the regulations to which they are subject.
The University of North Dakota determines program dates by the North Dakota University System's Academic Calendar. The initial session start date will be the first day of classes as listed on the Academic Calendar. The program start date will be the date of orientation, typically 1-5 days before classes begin.
Once program dates pass, they cannot be changed except to defer to the next semester. A student may not enter the United States more than 30 days after the program start date.
Late Arrival Permission
Only faculty and academic advisors can determine if it is possible for a student to arrive late and still enroll full-time and succeed academically. Faculty are not obligated to assist students in catching up with coursework or to allow them take incomplete grades.
If factulty/advisors can guarantee a student will be able to enroll full-time as required by federal law, and agree to provide additional support for a late arriving student, which may include ammending deadlines, allowing incompletes, scheduling additional one-on-one meetings, assisting the student with tutoring, etc, the student should get written documentation of the agreement and carry it with them through the port of entry.
This permission does NOT mean students do not need orientation. During orientation students are provided with important information they need regarding the regulations and restrictions of F-1 status. Students who arrive late are still subject to all the same regulations and responsible for knowing them and following them.