International StudentsJoin the Northwestern College community

Once you've paid your $5,000 housing and enrollment deposit, you can begin making preparations to arrive on campus and start your studies at Northwestern.


  • After you have been accepted, filled out your International Student Housing Application and paid your deposit, we'll assign you a room and a roommate.
  • Residence life and room dimensions and tours
  • What to bring (Note that you can buy most of what you need here, including bedding and towels.)

Pre-arrival forms

  • Payment of your deposit will also enable us to register you for classes. If you plan to enroll in the fall, we will send you a  Course Preference Survey in late April or early May to help us create your course schedule.
  • Once you have been registered for classes, you will be able to log into your own "My Northwestern" account. (More detailed instructions for accessing your MyNWC account will come with your I-20 Form.) Once logged in, you will need to complete several other pre-arrival forms, including:
    • Immunization & Health History Record
    • Release & Consent for Emergency Care
    • Housing Contract

Health insurance

International students are required to subscribe to an acceptable health insurance plan.

Travel arrangements

Make your travel arrangements so you arrive before the start date indicated on your I-20 Form. Once you have booked your flight, return the International Student Arrival Form we will send you with your I-20. You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to that date, but Northwestern housing and food service will not be available more than one day before your start date (or report date for student-athletes). You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you arrive sooner. If your schedule requires earlier arrival, please consult with us before purchasing your airline ticket.

We will provide transportation from one of the following two local airports, but please share your itinerary so we can track ALL of your flights:

  • Sioux City, Iowa, (SUX) is served by American Airlines and is 60 minutes from Northwestern.
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota, (FSD) is served by American, Delta, Frontier, and United Airlines and is a 90-minute drive from Northwestern.

Do NOT book travel to the Omaha Airport (OMA). Because of distance, no shuttle service is provided to and from that airport.

What to bring

Before departure for the U.S., you should carefully review immigration information available on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website for instructions about non-immigrant inspection at your U.S. Port of Entry. You should hand carry all the documents that you used to apply for your visa, especially your I-20 Form and passport. Do not pack them in your luggage. (You won't have a Form I-94, Social Security Card, or Form I-766 prior to your first entry into the U.S.)

  • Bring original copies of your high school diploma and any college transcripts in order to verify your academic credentials.
  • Be aware that all tuition, room & board, and fees for the first semester (projected on the Financial Certification Form you signed to confirm your admission) are due upon arrival at Northwestern College and at the beginning of each semester. (An application for a monthly payment plan is available on MyNWC and is due by July 15 for fall semester and mid November for spring semester.) Failure to have agreed-upon funds could result in cancellation of your registration and a return home too soon.
  • Bring warm clothes! It gets very cold during the winter months of the school year, so bring warm jackets, thick socks, and sweaters. If that clothing isn't available in your country, you can buy them here.
  • Also bring some of your traditional clothing, if you have some, since there will be occasions to wear it for Northwestern events, such as the college's Cultural Fair.
  • Avoid carrying a lot of cash. It may be best to bring a credit card, traveler's checks or a money order in U.S. dollars to open a bank account in the U.S.
  • Finally, bring things that remind you of home so you can share about your life with American students!


International students are encouraged to arrive one to two days before orientation.

  • Fall orientation begins in mid-August, the week before classes begin.
  • Orientation for the spring semester is in early January, the day before classes begin.