Macalester is happy to have welcomed all new students to campus! We will continue to follow government and public health guidance as we make decisions about programs for the fall semester, including orientation activities. You can find out more about Macalester’s COVID-19 response on Macalester’s dedicated COVID-19 site.


New International Students,

Welcome to Mac!


See our Pre-Departure Checklist for everything you need to do before you leave home, as well as other important information/resources (visa applications, phones, winter clothes, etc).



Please read the International Student Handbook! This is updated yearly and has important information to help you transition to Macalester and the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security Study Guide to the States is also a great resource for general knowledge about studying in the US.

If you have questions relating to admissions, please refer to International Student Admissions

The information below is based on the schedule for a typical year (all dates are subject to change):

Other useful links:
  • Pre-Orientation For International Students (PO4IS) is designed to meet the specific needs of international students. If you require a visa to study in the US, you are required to attend PO4IS if you have not been on-campus physically. If you are a US citizen or resident that completed high school outside of the US, you are encouraged to attend PO4IS. Contact us at with any questions.
  • All Student Orientation takes places after PO4IS and is open to all incoming students.
  • Mentor Program matches all incoming international students and domestic Ametrica participants to a returning student mentor, who will help them transition to life at Mac and in the US. All incoming international students will automatically enroll in this program.
  • Ametrica Program brings incoming international and domestic students together to discuss different topics through a cross-cultural lens. It begins during PO4IS and lasts for 10 weeks.
  • Friends Of Macalester International Students (FOMIS) Host Family Program is an optional program that matches international students with local families for a cross-cultural exchange and friendship (non residential). Applications are required. *PROGRAM IS SUSPENDED UNTIL SPRING 2022*
  • Immigration Authorization Transfer Recommendation/Release (SEVIS Transfer Form) – Fill out if you have attended school in the US prior to coming to Macalester.
  • International Exchange, Visiting, or Transfer Students study at Macalester under different circumstances than incoming first-year students.
  • Student Employment is available to international students who have received a work study through financial aid. Consult the link to learn more about government regulations, work study forms, and ways to receive authorization for working on campus if you have not already been assigned a job. Information about on-campus employment will be sent out in late May/June.