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International Students

Office of Academic Advising welcomes all international students and serves as a guide to a new academic culture.

Entering a new academic culture is enriching but can also be challenging. Academic cultures may be similar but differences have been observed by people from most cultures outside of the U.S.

When preparing for departure, think about what is typical of the teaching and learning styles that are familiar in your home culture and how these styles may differ from the U.S.  The Three Big Challenges for Most International Students are:

  • Expressing yourself masterfully in English
  • Expressing your viewpoint in papers, discussion, and research (Originality of Thought)
  • Learning the rules of academic honesty as they are understood in the U.S.

International students must Check-In with the International Programs Office (IPO) when they arrive on campus. They should then meet with an advisor in IPO or Central Academic Advising for in-person assistance to review their course selection and to become aware of campus resources that will help them to adjust to a new academic culture.

International students who have SAT or ACT scores should submit an official score report to Idaho State University as soon as possible to ensure placement into appropriate English and Mathematics courses.

Advising is the cornerstone of a successful university experience. All students should make an appointment and meet with an advisor for an in-person advising session at least once each semester. Be prepared to discuss personal goals and educational plans. Be open and willing to consider advice from faculty, advisors, and other professional mentors. Bring a list of questions to advising appointments.

Register for ISU courses as early as possible after being admitted to the university and completing advising requirements.

Most international students come to ISU as new freshmen and thus have to cope with the double challenge of transitioning from secondary school to an academic institution of higher education while also adjusting to the academic culture of a foreign country.

Students can register for courses on their own while still in their home country. International students can also receive advising assistance by emailing the Central Academic Advising office at and request assistance. For a good selection of course options, students should register for classes as early as possible even before they arrive at ISU.

International students who come to ISU with credits earned at other institutions of higher education are considered transfer students. Transfer students need syllabi and course descriptions of relevant transfer courses to be assessed in the respective departments at ISU even if their courses were evaluated by a transfer evaluation service like WES.

All transfer students must complete the online Transfer Fundamentals of Advising and Registration (TFAR) Moodle lesson before registering for courses. Once the TFAR is completed, students must connect with a department or faculty advisor or an advisor in Office of Academic Advising to review and receive additional guidance about their transfer courses.

Transfer students should connect with a department or faculty advisor as early as possible to begin the process of the evaluation of transfer courses, which can take some time. Often there are courses students want to register for that have pre-requisites which may be satisfied by a transfer course that is in the process of being evaluated.



Number of Credits to Take in the First Semester

English Placement

Mathematics Placement

Students in the U.S. for the First Time

Understanding Grading Differences

GPA Requirements and the Weighted GPA Credit System

Academic Dishonesty

Scholarship Considerations for International Students