International Student and Scholar Services


Studying in the US is a once in a lifetime experience that can come with many unique challenges and opportunities. Living in St. Cloud and the United States is much like life anywhere and includes items like going to class, going to work, meeting friends for events and relaxing at home. There will be times where you will find yourself struggling with items that may not be something you would have thought would be a struggle but there are many ways to help you process those to gain an understanding of the world and become a well-rounded global citizen.

Here are a few ways to keep engaged and informed:

Cultural and Community Engagement

Cultural Sharing Programming: If you are looking to engage in the community and share your culture with others, then St. Cloud State and the city of St. Cloud has several different ways to help you. 

Ssocial/community living: Exploring the city and the state will also keep you extremely busy! There is so much to do in St. Cloud that often people who grew up here are not aware of the different events and things to do. We have collected some of those places here:  If you have a place you love to go to and it is not on our list, make sure to let us know your favorite places to go so we can help other students too!

Government and Other Legal Matters

Government regulations: There are so many different ways to explore and navigate Minnesota and the United States but make sure you are also understanding the rules and regulations of the state. Here is more information on driver's licence and other legal documents. 

Health insurance is something you will hear about many times while in the United States. Make sure you are up-to-date on your insurance and that you are aware of what it covers. You will not want something medically to happen and need to pay large amounts of money out of pocket. 

Income taxF-status and J-status students/scholars, and their dependents living with them, are required to file U.S. tax forms each year, regardless of whether they earned income. 

You will need a Social Security Number if you are planning to work. You can also find more information here for on-campus jobs. 

Cultural Shock and Missing Home

There will come a day where you will miss home and you may want to go back to the familiar. The best thing to remember when you feel this is to know is that you are not alone. Many international students are either feeling the same way you are or they have felt that way at one point. This emotion is normal. Know that there are different ways to process these emotions. Here is a few ways from Study USA:

  • Remind yourself that everything you're feeling is perfectly normal
  • Keep in touch with your friends and family back home via email, text, or telephone
  • Surround yourself with familiar items, such as photos or ornaments
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet; try to find familiar food
    • If you need to find familiar foods, there a locations in St. Cloud that sell international items but there are also many stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area as well. 
  • Connect with other students that are from your home country as well as with local students
  • Look for activities that will put you in contact with other students who share your interests
  • Maintain your confidence in yourself; follow your ambitions and continue your plans for the future
  • Connect with the services on campus. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is one excellent resource but you can also reach out to the Center for International Studies for help. 


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