International Student Ambassador group photo

International Student Info

Welcome International Students

As the most diverse WSU campus, WSU Tri-Cities is proud to welcome international students from around the world into our Cougar family. Whether you are a current, new, or prospective international student, we are here to support you while you study and live in the United States.

All students are encouraged to participate in the Cultural Learning Partners program, where students are partnered with a local American family, and engage with the International Student Ambassadors, who are a peer resource for international students on campus.

Welcome to WSU Tri-Cities and Go Cougs!

International Student Ambassador group photo

Established in Fall 2018, the International Student Ambassadors team at is made up of current international graduate and undergraduate students. Through an application process, students are selected to serve as ambassadors for WSU Tri-Cities prospective, new, and current international students. In their role, ambassadors will develop professionally by responding to student inquiries, assisting at orientations and events, and serving as peer mentors for new students.

Contact

Connect with an International Student Ambassador by emailing tricities.international@wsu.edu with your questions about living in the Tri-Cities, getting involved on campus, and more.

Cultural Learning Partners logo

Applications now open for the spring!

The Cultural Learning Partners (CLP) program at WSU Tri-Cities pairs international students with local community members in a mutually beneficial partnership that promotes cross-cultural awareness and relationship building.

In this program, partners will regularly communicate and meet in person roughly once per month. This is not a homestay program. Suggested activities include meeting for coffee, sharing a meal together, celebrating holidays, and attending local community events. This is a great opportunity for students to befriend a local family, learn more about American culture, share about their own, and build connections in the community.

For more information, interested students and community members can contact Erika Kraus at 509-372-7444 or email erika.kraus@wsu.edu.

International Student Resources

Review this important information for international students at WSU Tri-Cities.

Orientation

Orientation

Before new students arrive to campus, they will be contacted by the International Student Coordinator with information about the new international student orientation. Orientation will be held at WSU Tri-Cities the week before the semester begins. Please plan to arrive around one week before the start of the semester.

All new international students are required to attend orientation. If you cannot attend orientation, please notify the International Student Coordinator to plan a make-up orientation session.

At orientation students will:

  • Complete an immigration check-in process
  • Meet with an advisor and enroll in courses
  • Tour campus
  • Get a Cougar Card student ID
  • Attend sessions to learn about campus and community resources
  • Meet other WSU Tri-Cities students
  • Arrange shopping trips
  • Plus other fun and educational activities to help you prepare for studying in the U.S.

Undergraduate international students are also strongly encouraged to attend SOAR: the Student Orientation Advising Registration, which is the new student orientation for all WSU Tri-Cities students. SOAR is separate from the new international student orientation.

Airport Information

Students who are flying into the United States should fly into the Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) located in Pasco, WA. This is the closest airport to campus. Please share your flight information with the International Student Coordinator, who will arrange for your free airport pick-up.

Applying for a visa

Once admitted to WSU Tri-Cities, students will need to accept their offer of admission and pay the $200 USD advance tuition deposit.  Instructions on how to complete this step are available on this Admissions page.

Once you have accepted your admission offer, WSU will mail you an acceptance letter and either an I-20 or DS-2019 immigration document. This depends on which visa you be applying for.

Once you have received your I-20, you will need to schedule a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Students who are receiving an I-20 or DS-2019 for the first time will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online.

If you are coming to WSU from another school or language program in the United States, please complete the following steps.

  1. Request your SEVIS record be transferred to WSU Tri-Cities.
  2. Complete the Transfer-In Form and mail or fax it to the WSU Office of International Programs.
    F-1-Transfer-Form (pdf)
    J-1-Request-to-Transfer (pdf)
  3. If you plan to travel outside the United States before beginning study at WSU, request a temporary I-20 for your reentry to the United States.
  4. Attend a new student orientation at WSU Tri-Cities. After the immigration check-in, the WSU Tri-Cities International Student Coordinator will issue you a permanent I-20.

Get complete information on U.S. visa regulations and process.

Academics

Each undergraduate student will be assigned an academic advisor who will support and assist students throughout their academic career.

New students will have an “Undergraduate Advising Hold” on their accounts, which prevents students from enrolling in courses until they have met with their academic advisor. During orientation you will have the chance to meet with Academic Advising and enroll in classes. Graduate students will also be assigned to an advisor for academic support and guidance.

Check out Academic Resources to find helpful information about our Writing Center, Tutoring Center, Math and Writing Placement, Academics Calendar and Courses and more. In addition, review the Academic Calendar to familiarize yourself with important dates and deadlines for the semester and search the Schedule of Classes to see current course offerings at WSU Tri-Cities.

Tuition

Tuition and fees are due on the first day of classes and are posted on student accounts the week before classes begin. Students can view their student accounts by logging into to mywsu. Simply go to the Student Center and click on Finances to see tuition bills. For more information about tuition, visit Student Accounts.

All WSU students can apply for scholarships to help pay for tuition. Please visit WSU Tri-Cities Student Financial Services to explore your options and learn more.

Housing

Students can choose to live in the new on-campus apartments at The Brelsford Vineyards. For more information on pricing and leases, students may contact the property director directly at vineyards@coastmgt.com or by calling 509-845-9221.

Living with other students and sharing an apartment can be very affordable, and help students save money. Are you looking for another student to live with? Check out our Roommate Finder to search for other WSU Tri-Cities students.

If you would like to live in an off-campus apartment, contact the International Student Coordinator for a list of apartments close to campus.

Employment

Under visa regulations, international students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week when courses are in session. During breaks, when courses are not in session, students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week.

Students are not allowed to work off campus without proper authorization first. Working off campus without authorization could result in a visa termination. International students who wish to work or intern off campus may apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

If you are interested in working while you are studying at WSU Tri-Cities, please meet with the International Student Coordinator to learn about your eligibility and the application processes for OPT and CPT.

Be sure to visit the Career Development office on campus, which provides helpful career-related services and resources for students.

Health

Health Insurance

All F-1 and J-1 international students at WSU will automatically be enrolled in health insurance through WSU’s health care provider. Some students may qualify for an exemption if they already have a U.S. based health insurance.

Each semester, a health insurance fee will be added to the student’s account. The fee in the spring will also insure students throughout the summer as well. Please review the insurance costs for students, spouses, and children.

For more information on benefits, language assistance, dependent enrollment, and the healthcare system in general, please contact Cougar Health Services by phone: 509-335-3575 (option 3) or email: student.insurance@wsu.edu.

Healthcare Facilities

Located in Richland, Washington, WSU Tri-Cities is near to the hospital, and several pharmacies, urgent and express care health clinics, doctor offices, and health specialists. WSU Tri-Cities offers free counseling services to students  at our campus. For more information on nearby healthcare facilities, please contact the International Student Coordinator.

Maintaining Status

Maintaining F-1 Student Status

Enrollment

Students should enroll in a full-time course of study each semester at WSU Tri-Cities.

  • Undergraduate students should enroll in at least 12 credits.
  • Graduate students should enroll in at least 10 credits.

Check the Academic Calendar to learn about the drop and withdraw deadlines for the semester. After the 10th day of classes, international students will have an drop hold placed on their accounts, which stops them from dropping a course by themselves. Students will need to request to drop or withdraw from a course by submitting a form through mypassport, and the request will be sent to an international student advisor to be reviewed.

Students must be enrolled in face-to-face courses, and are limited to enrolling in 1 online course (3 credits) per semester. Summer enrollment for full-time students is optional (except for graduate students defending in the summer and for new students starting in the summer).  Courses that students audit do not count towards full-time enrollment.

Change in Program

Your I-20 form must accurately reflect your current status as a student at WSU Tri-Cities. Students are responsible for keeping their I-20s up to date. If any information changes, please contact the International Student Coordinator, or Global Services to update your I-20. Forms for these changes and others are available in mypassport.

Change in Address

Students who move and change addresses should update Global Services about this change within 10 days of moving. This form can be submitted through mypassport. 

Additional information regarding maintaining status can be found on the back of your I-20 and online through Global Services.

Maintaining J-1 Student Status

J-1 scholars can contact Global Services at WSU Pullman for immigration advising and any questions related to J-1 visas. Information on maintaining status is available on their website.

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