- Office of International Services
We exist to ensure that international students and scholars have everything they need to be successful at IU. We are the only campus source of information and assistance on student-related immigration issues, but we also will provide guidance and assistance to students who need any type of assistance navigating and utilizing university and community resources. It is important to encourage your student to ask questions, and let us know when they need help.
We also help international students make IU feel more like home. We organize cultural events, provide support to student leaders, and establish connections via activities and events within the broader campus community.
If a parent is concerned about their student’s well-being, we will assist with reaching out to them. U.S. regulations prevent staff from providing personal information about a student to anyone without the student’s permission, but we will check on a student, and urge them to be in touch with family, or, if they are experiencing a problem, connect them to relevant resources. If a student is in need of emergency assistance or is unable to communicate with parents, the university will notify parents directly.
Residential Programs and Services (RPS) has a wealth of information on their website about housing available on campus.
Dormitory rooms are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, and closet for each student, and there are numerous set-up configurations available. Each dorm is key-card accessed, and Resident Assistants (RA) are assigned to groups of rooms.
While there is no direct monitoring of students, RA’s are generally aware of any conflicts and will do their best to make sure that students do not over-isolate. They are trained to assist with student engagement, and to deal with a variety of emergencies.
Students sign a roommate agreement at the beginning of the year, and can request a room change after six weeks if necessary. More information can be found in our Parent Resource Guide.
- Illness & medical services available on campus
Should your student become ill while on campus, IU has a full-service health center on campus, and the city of Bloomington has two hospitals, several urgent care centers and many private physicians. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, family members are notified unless the student forbids it.
The Student Health Center also has a pharmacy. It is very important that students disclose any medication or herbal treatments they are using from home, to guard against adverse reactions.
Please note also that IU has robust counseling and mental health care to help students manage stress or more serious concerns.
All international students are required to purchase medical insurance through the university. This is comprehensive coverage. By working with one insurance provider, we are able to negotiate a better rate, and assist with any claim or coverage questions.
Students should review their orientation Canvas session for instructions on arriving in Bloomington.
Once they are in town, there are many transportation options, including a campus/city bus system, Zip Cars, bicycles, scooters, and private taxi services.
Some students purchase cars, although please note that freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus—they have to park at the football stadium, and take a bus to get to their car.
- Campus safety
IU prides itself on creating and maintaining a safe environment for our students. We have our own police force who assist students as needed, buildings have security systems, there’s a bystander intervention program, an escort service and a safety app. We encourage students to be vigilant (just as they would in any small city), and to look out for each other.
- Academic support services
IU is dedicated to the success of every student. From individualized academic counseling, to academic help sessions, writing improvement, and professor’s office hours, there are many forms of assistance available to students.
The biggest key to success is for a student to ask for help when they need it. Academic advisers and faculty monitor performance, but a student will know they are struggling in a more timely fashion.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a U.S. federal law designed to allow students over the age of 18 to shield information about their studies. The general principle is that student education records are considered confidential and may not be released to third parties (including parents) without the written consent of the student.
Protected elements of the student’s education record include, but are not limited to, financial data, progress in courses, class scheduling, grade information, and academic disciplinary information.
Unlike many educational systems, the U.S. places a high value on original thought and giving credit to those whose work you reference. Using someone else’s thoughts or work is called plagiarism, and is against IU’s Code of Conduct. Students are educated about this in the orientation process, but it may be helpful for you to be aware of it as well.
- Transitioning to a major
Most students start their studies in the University Division with 1-2 years of general education classes that serve as a rich foundation for the study of their major. They then transition into one of IU's 16 schools, allowing them to specialize in their major field of study. They work closely with an academic adviser to navigate that process.
- Grading scale
The U.S. education system typically uses an A through F grading scale.
|A-, A, A+
|B-, B, B+
|C-, C, C+
|D-, D, D+
- Bursar payment
IU provides several mechanisms, including installment plans, to assist students with paying their bills. Student Central consolidates all that information in one place.
Many international families prefer to use one of IU’s wire transfer services: Flywire or GlobalPay. It will be most convenient to establish a U.S. bank account for your student while they are in Bloomington. A list of local banks is provided to students in their online Orientation Handbook, located in the OIS Orientation Canvas Session.
- Career services
IU places a high value on practical experience to supplement classroom learning. Consequently, career counselors partner with schools and academic advisers from the beginning of each student’s journey at IU.
International students are coached to find work in the U.S., as well as in their home country.
- Parent involvement opportunities