Frequently Asked Questions
The University is required to guarantee medical insurance to all international students on the F-1 and J-1 Visas.
Students MUST purchase university insurance while enrolled at Missouri Western through LewerMark student insurance. All new students will receive information during the new student orientation, including an insurance and health workshop. The cost of insurance is added to the student account or bill during the first month of semester enrollment.
Personal integrity, civility, freedom of expression, and respect are the main values of Missouri Western State University. Our school is committed to providing an environment that promotes such values. Sex discrimination and sexual harassment are examples of violation of this policy. Sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, gender identity, and failure to conform to stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity. Sexual harassment, instead, is any verbal, physical, or visual contact that is based on sex. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination. Every individual attending Missouri Western State University, or anyone working at the institution has to complete the Title IX training. It is made to instruct people on how to handle specific situations, how to report, help, and act in cases of violation of this policy.
Students may choose to live on- or off-campus based on their preference.
Otherwise, Freshman and exchange students are REQUIRED to live in one of the student housing on-campus during the first year. Housing contracts or agreements are normally for one academic year. Students who complete housing applications beginning in the fall semester (August) are expected to live on campus until May the next year. Students who begin living on campus in January also will end the housing contract in May. Students may renew on-campus housing agreement during the specific renewal period.
The University provides various options for student housing choices. Normally, international students prefer to live in either Vaselakos, Leaverton or Griffon/Vartabedian Hall. Students living on campus are also required to choose one of the meal plans as part of the housing contract. For more information about residential life on campus, please review this website.
Graduate and transfer students normally live off-campus, though many choose to live on-campus. If a student chooses to live off-campus, he/she is responsible for searching and finding reasonable housing accommodations. Students are also expected to read and understand their apartment/house tenant leasing agreements. Generally, new students are highly recommended to live on campus until they are comfortable with the city and the surrounding area.
It is possible to apply credits obtained from other institutions to your study here at Missouri Western. You must send the university a copy of your transcript from all previous institutions, and they will apply the credits possible. Review general information on the website here.
Each International student at Missouri Western is warmly welcomed by our “International Family.” The Global Center office and International Student Council work together to host events for all students. These events are a great way to meet new people and make new friends!
There are many clubs to be involved in on campus! Missouri Western has nearly one hundred clubs and organizations. The clubs include academic societies, sports groups, social interest clubs, and faith-based communities along with many others. Many international students choose to join the International Student Council.
Classes at Missouri Western are designed to leave a ten-minute break between classes. For example, a class will end at 10:50 so that you have time to walk to your next class at 11:00. It is recommended that you are in the classroom between five and ten minutes before the class begins.
Professors in the United States are both friendly and professional. The professors at Missouri Western often invite students to come visit in their office hours when they need help. It is most appropriate to address your professors as Doctor, followed by their last name (Dr. Smith, for example).
As a student of Missouri Western, you will be given a Missouri Western email address. You will receive much of your important information from the university and from International Center on that account. It is recommended that you check your Missouri Western email at least once every day.
International Student Orientation (ISO) is a week-long event that helps incoming international students adjust to life in the United States and at Missouri Western. It is required for all first-time students. ISO will include seminars on insurance, banking, American culture, academic honesty, public transportation, and more.
You will register for classes online with the help of your academic advisor. The Global Center will help you to coordinate a meeting with your advisor during International Student Orientation.
Textbooks can be purchased either through the campus Barnes & Nobles bookstore (on campus or online) or through another online bookstore. The campus bookstore offers a price match for books sold by Amazon.
Missouri Western has a week-long break each semester, which makes a great chance to travel. There is also a month of holidays over Christmas break between the Fall and Spring semesters.
Major American holidays include Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. There are also many other holidays including Halloween, New Years, the 4th of July, and Valentine’s. Each holiday has unique traditions and celebrations. Most American holidays include spending time with the important people in your life and eating great meals together!
If you eat at an off-campus restaurant in the United States, it is typical to leave a tip for the servers. It is customary to leave a tip of 15-20% of your total bill.
St. Joseph has a city public transportation system that is free for all Missouri Western Students. The city bus comes to campus once every hour. There are also taxi services available in St. Joseph.
Yes! You are allowed to attend any events off of campus in and around the St. Joseph community, but remember to be safe and be smart!
Missouri Western offers a health clinic for all students. You can refer to the student health center website for all questions.
- Respiratory Irritation
- Cold and Flu
To legally drive in the state of Missouri, you need to have passed a written and practical drivers test. These can both be done at the Driver’s Examination Department right here in Saint Joseph.
The legal age to purchase and consume alcohol in the United States is 21. Possession or use of alcohol is prohibited at Missouri Western and will not be allowed on campus. To purchase alcohol at a store or bar off-campus, you will need proper identification.
The legal age to purchase and use tobacco products in the United States is 18. However, possession or use of tobacco is prohibited at Missouri Western and will not be allowed on campus.
International students will be assigned a Social Security Number if they are approved for a job on campus.
All on-campus and off-campus student employment positions are managed by the Handshake system. Both on-campus and off-campus employment opportunities are posted to the site. Many of the on-campus positions require that students have Federal Work Study as part of their financial aid package. You can access the Handshake system through your Goldlink student portal.
There are a variety of on-campus jobs. You can work in the library, fitness center, dining hall, food court, recreation services or one of the computer labs (just to name a few). If office work is more your style, almost every office on campus hires student workers, including some professors and even the President.
International students are not allowed to work off-campus under a J or F class visa. The university does offer opportunities for training and internships at off-campus organizations, but must first be approved by your academic advisor and the International Center office.
Most businesses and restaurants will accept credit or debit cards, but cash is sometimes necessary as well. It is recommended to only carry small amounts of cash at one time. You will also need quarters in order to do laundry in the dorms on campus.
If you feel in danger at any point, you should contact local authorities or any employees at the university. Missouri Western has university police department that can be reached 24 hour/7 day a week by calling (816) 271-4438 or you can contact St. Joseph local police by calling 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
All students are strongly urged to sign up to the campus wide Griffon Alert system to enhance and improve communication during crisis.
Because you are international, a phone on contract would probably not be the option for you due to high rates from not having credit.
If you own a phone that is already unlocked, you could purchase a sim card from a phone company of your choice and go on with a prepaid phone plan with them.
You could also purchase a cheap phone for the purpose of only making calls, texting and contacting your family overseas, and solely rely on wifi for your smartphone.
You will receive a check-in form via email when you arrive at Missouri Western. All students are required to fill out this form online to let International Center and the university know that you have officially arrived.