SEVIS & Visa Information

Step 1 - Complete the Certificate of Eligibility and Check for Accuracy

F-1 students will receive a SEVIS I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status. J-1 students will receive your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. Please take special care in examining the following:

  • Spelling of your Family (surname) name and First Name (Given Name). Must match the name on the passport
  • Date of Birth (Month/Day/Year) must match your passport.
  • Gender
  • Academic Major
  • City of Birth
  • Country of Birth
  • Country of Citizenship

Step 2 - Pay the SEVIS Fee

The SEVIS fee must be paid before your visa interview. You may pay the SEVIS fee by credit card, check or bank draft from a U.S. bank, by international money order, or through Western Union.

View a SEVIS Fee payment tutorial here

Step 3 - Apply for a Visa

New security requirements have increased the processing time for non-immigrant visas. In order to ensure that you have your visa in time to travel to the U.S. and begin school, you should apply for your visa at the earliest possible time.

Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S. as a student.

The U.S. Department of State website has valuable information about applying for your student visa. To find the embassy nearest to you, go to the U.S. Embassy website.

Pre-Departure Information

Applying for Housing

Through on-campus living, you’ll learn how to contribute to a community of fellow students and professionals from different locations around the world.

Visit our housing webpage to learn more and for instructions on applying

Make Financial Arrangements to Pay Fees

You are expected to pay fees when you arrive on campus. Fees are charged on a semester basis. The fall semester fees are due in August and the spring semester fees are due in January. Fees can be paid by bank wire, travelers’ checks, international money order, or by credit card. You must pay your fees in order to remain enrolled at DSU. Dickinson State University Scholarships and discounts may only be applied to the cost of tuition. Items not covered include: school fees, room and board, textbooks, health insurance, and incidental expenses. Please refer to your I-20 or appointment letter for the estimated costs of program participation.

Calculate Spending Money

Other costs to consider include long distance and international telephone calls home, school supplies, and personal expenses, shopping, and entertainment. Students will receive assistance with opening a US bank account upon arrival.  IMPORTANT: Banks in Dickinson do not do instant exchange of foreign currency. Students are encouraged to depart for the US with American currency or bring a debit card to withdraw cash.


You will experience four distinct seasons during your studies at Dickinson State University. Fall (August-November) temperatures range from 40 F to 70 F. Winter (December- March) temperatures range from -30 F to 40 F. Spring (April- June) temperatures range from 50 F to 70 F. Summer (July- August) temperatures range from 70 F to 100 F. You will experience rain and snow.  Fortunately, winter clothing can be purchased inexpensively in the US.

Freedom from Tuberculosis

On arrival to campus all students from high risk countries will be tested for tuberculosis. The required test if free and performed by DSU’s Student Health Services. Any student found to have tuberculosis will be required to seek immediate treatment and meet our requirements to continue their studies at Dickinson State University.

Students from certain countries (click here for the list of countries) MUST test for TB in US.

Medical Insurance

All international students are required to pay for mandatory student health insurance upon arrival to the university. The student is automatically billed for this health insurance.

Prepare for Living in the U.S.

Education USA (a division of the U.S. Department of State) offers a pre-departure guide for students planning to study in the U.S.

NOTE: The Office of International Programs will be hosting year-round events which celebrate global and cultural diversity. If you have any traditional clothing, souvenirs, photographs, or items from your country which you would like to share with others, please bring them.

Arrival and Flight Information

Important Dates

To view class start dates and other important deadlines visit the Academic Calendar page. 

Airport Pickup

We look forward to your arrival at Dickinson State University! 

In order to ensure your arrival goes smoothly, you should begin making your travel plans well in advance.

Direct flights are available to the Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport – airport code DIK

DSU will provide transportation for students arriving to Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport the week prior to the start of the semester.

Click here to complete the airport pickup form.

If you plan to arrive to the Bismarck Municipal Airport we cannot guarantee pickup.  Please email to check for availability. 

Travel outside the U.S.

  • F-1 students and all dependents who plan to travel outside of the United States and return to Dickinson State University must bring your I-20 or DS-2019 to the Office of International Programs and get a signature for re- entry into the U.S. Remember to allow a 48 hour processing time.
  • F-1 and J-1 students and visiting scholars who leave the United States must have the following documents with them to ensure their re-entry:
  • Valid passport
    • Valid U.S. visa stamp (except for Canadian citizens)
    • Valid I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel
    • Verification of Enrollment (suggested, but not required – you may request one from the Registrar’s Office)
  • If you travel abroad while your OPT is pending, be sure to carry your OPT application receipt and proof of employment in the US in order to return.
  • If the visa stamp in your passport has expired you will need to have your J document/I-20 endorsed for travel and obtain a “good standing letter” from the Office of International Programs in order to apply for a re-entry visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.


(If you are not a citizen of one of these countries then follow the procedures below)

If you plan to visit Canada you might need a visitor visa. Check the Canadian Consulate's website to see if you need a visitor visa and if so, how to apply. Plan ahead, as processing can take approximately one month or longer.

Travel inside the U.S.

If you are traveling within the U.S., you do not need to have your documents signed for travel but you are required to carry your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 with you at all times.

Clubs and Organizations

Dickinson State University offers a variety of clubs and organizations to energize students' interest, offer them leadership experience, and bring opportunities for interaction with their peers and the community in general. These include many cultural opportunities including Global Table, Multicultural Committee, and the International Club. Find out more information about DSU's clubs and organizations