Helpful things for you to know before you arrive.

The Office of International Relations & Global Engagement answers frequently asked questions by international students.


When will my classes start?
The Academic Calander generally runs from early September through mid-December (fall semester), then mid-January through early May (spring semester). Summer programs may vary in length.

Is it easy to make friends at Northwest?

Residence life provides the opportunity to meet both American and other International students. There are many campus-wide activities and each department sponsors social and academic activities. You can also join the International Student Organization and participate in their activities. Most departments have student organizations organized around the academic interests of the students.


How do I get to Spearfish?
Students are responsible for their own transportation to the United States.  If you need assistance arranging transportation from Overseas country to Usa, please contact the Office of International Studies.

Is it possible to get an American driver’s license?

Yes. If you wish to learn to drive, instruction is available at a nominal cost.  Some State driver’s license is valid for four years.  If you want a license, you will be required to take both a written and a driving test.

What type of people live in USA? USA is an agricultural country. USA is primarily tourism-based. People are conservative and mostly middle class. Many students come from different City in USA and have little experience or contact with international students, however they are friendly to newcomers.


How much luggage should I pack?
You should bring one large suitcase and one small one. Remember that you have to carry what you bring. You are less likely to lose luggage if you follow the baggage limitations of the airlines. On international flights, the maximum weight per bag must not exceed 20 Kg (US 44 lbs.). If you need to purchase additional items once you arrive, there are many shops and stores in the State area that offer a large assortment of various items.

What should I bring with me?

  • Warm clothing for winter
  • Personal items (you can purchase toiletries and other necessities once you arrive)
  • Alarm clock
  • Your favorite music, pictures of your family and friends. You may find that bringing certain items from home will help you to feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.
  • Enough money for your immediate journey to USA  Do not travel with a large amount of cash! Traveler’s checks and credit cards are a safer way to carry money. However, plan for emergencies, such as an extra night’s lodging and meals.

How much money will I need for my monthly personal expenses?

This depends on your lifestyle. Most students are able to get by on about $25-$50 per week. Once on campus, your expenses will likely include:

  • Tuition and fees for the first term
  • Books and supplies
  • Housing deposits and rent
  • Health-insurance premiums
  • Clothing appropriate for the South Dakota climate
  • Household and personal care items
  • Entertainment and/or dining out
  • Bicycle (Spearfish has limited public transportation. You may want to consider purchasing a bicycle for local transportation around campus and the community.)

What kind of documentation should I carry with me? 
Obtain English translations of all personal documents that you will need during your stay in the U.S. Have the translations certified by a U.S. educational advising center or a U.S. consulate or embassy. Retain photocopies of all original documents for your records. If possible, bring one document of identification that is at least one year old.

Do NOT check the following documents in your baggage!

If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter the United States.

  • Evidence of financial resources;
  • Evidence of student status, such as recent tuition receipts and transcripts;
  • Bring with you to the United States any important documents that relate to your academic, medical, or legal history.
  • ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO BRING HEALTH AND IMMUNIZATION RECORDS, INCLUDING:  Medical & dental records, including certificates of immunizations / vaccinations, information on any medical conditions or treatments, prescriptions for medication, eyeglasses, and a copy of your health Insurance policy if you already have one.   
  • Official transcripts from secondary schools, colleges or universities if they have not already been sent to the BHSU Office of International Studies.  “Official” means that they must have a stamp, seal, and/or signature. 

10.  Marriage certificate (if applicable)

11.  Birth certificates for children traveling with you (if applicable)


Arrange for your flight as soon as you know your report date. 

You can expect to experience fatigue and other physical symptoms due to long-distance travel and time changes.

Be well rested at the start of your trip and take care of details in advance. East lightly and drink plenty of water the day before you travel. Prepare for changes in temperature by wearing several layers of clothing that can be removed or added as needed. Keep your passport, travel documents, and money with you at all times. Keep important papers in your carry-on luggage, with photocopies in your other luggage. Label your baggage inside and out with your name and both your home and U.S. addresses and telephone numbers.

About Us

Award winning work-based learning from University of Northwest. At University of Northwest, we realise ambitions together. Through Degrees at Work, we take a demand-led and practical approach to staff training and development.

The educational mission of University of Northwest is to prepare students, personally and professionally, for future leadership roles in an international setting. In its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, UNW provides students with the competencies they need for professional careers as well as for further academic study. The educational process puts particular emphasis on developing international and cross-cultural competencies through foreign language training, intercampus transfer, or other international academic opportunities, and intense interaction among people with diverse backgrounds.

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