Orientation Information

New student orientation—Summer 2014

This webpage provides arrival and orientation information that should be reviewed before departing for the United States. We recommend you print a copy of this page and carry it with you while traveling. 

  • May 1 and 2 — New student orientation 

  • May 5 — First day of classes

  • August 8 — Last day of classes

Print orientation information

CELCIS orientation helps new students adjust to life at WMU and studying in the CELCIS program. Faculty, staff, and current international students will be there to help you during orientation. We look forward to meeting you at orientation. 

Students must attend the entire orientation program and the first day of class (calendar).

Important attendance policy information

All students are expected to be in class on the first day of the semester.  New students are expected to attend the required orientation before the start of the semester.  If you have an emergency and will not arrive in Kalamazoo on time, please contact CELCIS or call (269) 387-4800. Students who arrive late may not be able to study.
All students (new and returning) who are unable to arrive on time should understand the following:
a. They must notify the CELCIS director and receive permission to arrive late. 
b. Late arrival for ANY reason may have a negative effect on the student’s progress during that semester.  
c. ALL students who begin classes after the start of the semester, for any reason, will be counted absent for the classes they have missed.  
d. ALL students who arrive AFTER the third (3rd) day of class will NOT be allowed to attend classes that semester.  As a result, they will be in violation of status and MAY have to return home.

Arrival and transportation

CELCIS suggests that students arrive 1-2 days before orientation to rest and adjust to the time change. Plan to fly directly to the Kalamazoo Airport (AZO)—Chicago and Detroit are about three hours away by car. 

WMU offers free airport pickup service for all CELCIS students who arrive at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in the days before orientation. Look for the WMU sign at the transportation desk, near the car rental service desk.


Orientation check-in will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 1 in the East Ballroom of WMU's Bernhard Center (map)

Bernhard Center (map)

Bring immigration documents:

  • Visa, passport, I-20 or DS-2019 form, copy of electronic I-94 (print from this website)
  • Paperwork from Western Michigan University
  • Paperwork from your sponsor, if this applies
  • Health insurance policy (not the card)
  • Copy of scholarship letter, if this applies

Orientation will include:

  • Testing and placement information
  • Course registration information
  • Grading information
  • Information about U.S. immigration rules and regulations
  • Medical insurance and health care information
  • Campus tours
  • Shopping trips
  • Recreational activities

New students will receive a schedule of orientation and registration activities at check-in.


Note: WMU dining halls and cafeterias will not be open until May 5.

Students with a residence hall contract: Students arriving early may move into their residence hall beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at a cost of $21.33 per day, which will be charged through May 4. Students planning to check into the residence hall early must bring bedding (twin-size) and bath towels. WMU residence hall information.  Note: WMU dining halls and cafeterias will not be open until May 5. Students arriving early should plan to eat at local restaurants from April 30 through May 4. Students arriving before April 30 will need to stay at a hotel until the residence halls open for early arrivals on April 30; it is recommended that you make a hotel reservation before you travel to Kalamazoo. WMU's Residence Life staff may be reached during regular business hours at (269) 387-4735 or via email. Residence halls officially open on May 4.

Students with a WMU apartment contract: Please check in with the WMU apartment office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday—Friday, or call (269) 387-2175 during business hours. WMU apartments online information

Students without housing: You will need to stay in a hotel. During orientation, WMU provides shuttle service for students from the Holiday Inn West hotel. The shuttle picks up students at the hotel door between 8 to 8:30 a.m. Holiday Inn West (reserve online) or call (269) 375-6000. The hotel is located at 2747 S 11th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.  

Other hotel options:
Staybridge Suites (269) 372-8000
Comfort Inn (269) 384-2800
Red Roof Inn (269) 375-7400
Best Western Plus (269) 350-5522

Summer 2014 costs

Tuition and fees—see summer semester table on this page

Tuition refund dates—see summer refund schedule on this page

 Complete payment of tuition is expected from all students by the first week of class.  If you need to withdraw from CELCIS classes, your tuition may be refunded according to the deadlines.

Residence hall and dining plan—see room and board rates on this page

Medical insurance

WMU requires all international students to have medical insurance. Insurance will be purchased for you and charged to your university account. Your WMU tuition bill will show the insurance fee.

If you have private health insurance that meets WMU’s minimum requirements, you may apply for a waiver. You must provide a copy of your policy to Cindy Clegg (cindy.clegg@wmich.edu), WMU Insurance Manager before May 16, 2014.

Start preparing now

  • Obtain passport and U.S. visa as soon as possible
  • Make travel arrangements to Kalamazoo
  • Arrange for funds to be sent in advance or to be brought with you
  • Arrange for a place to stay during orientation
  • Advise friends and family of your short-term mailing address

Students with disabilities

Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for academic adjustments or accommodations. New students should send documentation and request accommodations before they arrive. Visit the Disability Services for Students website for more information.

Things to bring

  • Some cash (around $250) and/or credit card to get you through your first few days in Kalamazoo.  WMU advises students to avoid carrying large amounts of cash when traveling.
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Toiletries: shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
  • Personal electronics (mp3 player, cell phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Food: snacks to hold you over until dining halls open

Items you can buy in Kalamazoo

  • Bedding (pillow, blanket, sheets, etc.)
  • Towels
  • Laundry basket, detergent
  • Fan
  • Extension cords
  • Outlet adapter
  • Iron and ironing board, clothes hangers
  • School supplies: pens, paper, folders, etc.

Please contact us if you have an emergency while traveling to Kalamazoo:

CELCIS office—Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  (269) 387-4800 celcis-info@wmich.edu

WMU Police—Available 24 hours a day.  (269) 387-5555

After-hours emergencies only: (269) 203-5482

CELCIS Director-thomas.marks@wmich.edu