Center for International Studies
New International Student Orientation (NISO)
The Center for International Studies is committed to giving its new international students an informative, fun, thorough and valuable orientation experience.
New International Student Orientation (NISO) will provide you with the following services:
- Free pickup from the Quad City Airport (MLI) or Macomb train station
- Temporary housing, immigration and academic check-in
- Create your WIU computer account
- Experience and learn about the WIU campus and Macomb community
- Open a bank account, shopping, and restaurant trips
- Assistance finding and moving in to permanent housing
- Introduce you to many WIU students, faculty, staff, and community
WIU Ambassadors are current WIU international students who are willing to answer any questions you may have about living in Macomb. Feel free to ask our Ambassadors questions about housing, food, shopping, cell phones, etc.
The Ambassadors are listed by country, major, and gender, but feel free to ask any of the Ambassadors any of your questions. Please note, specific questions regarding admissions, registration, and coursework should be addressed to either the Center for International Studies staff or your academic advisor once you are on campus.
View the list of WIU International Ambassadors.
Planning your travel to Macomb
It is recommended that when you plan your travel to Macomb, you arrange to arrive during the NISO Free Pickup period. During the Free Pickup period, NISO staff will arrange to pick you up from either the Quad City International Airport (MLI) in Moline or the Macomb train station and bring you to campus. NISO staff WILL NOT be able to pick anyone up outside the Free Pickup period. If you are not able to arrive during the Free Pickup period, click here for information on coming to campus on your own.
Important: In order to utilize the Free Pickup service, you must submit a Free Pickup request form.
Please note that when classes are not in session, many of the WIU offices and services will be closed. NISO will give you all the time and assistance you need to begin your life here. If you arrive before the NISO period begins, there will be very few orientation services available to you - including airport pickup and temporary housing. It is strongly recommended that you arrive during NISO and not before.Temporary housing
For those who have not secured a place to live in Macomb yet, there may be temporary housing available. Prices vary depending on the facility, but generally will cost $25 - $65 per night.
If you wish to live in a university housing facility, it is highly recommended that you fill out your application on-line as soon as possible before you arrive on campus. Doing so can reduce the amount of time you need to stay in temporary housing and it may help you get a better selection of housing options. If you have not applied for university housing yet, apply now.
Please look at the NISO schedule. This schedule is subject to minor adjustments. Once you arrive on campus, you will receive a more detailed NISO schedule. While most of the NISO activities are optional, it is recommended that new students take part in them so they get accurate information on all the things they need to do before beginning their classes. But just as importantly, NISO is designed to introduce new international students to people on campus and the community. NISO activities are a great chance to meet new friends and begin networking with people with similar backgrounds and interests. The activities everyone must attend (such as Information Sessions, Check-In, and advising sessions) are denoted in the schedule as "Mandatory."
All new international students must go through the check-in procedures one time. There are many check-in periods scheduled to accommodate your schedule and needs. In order to check-in, you will need to bring your passport, I-20, completed health forms and any other necessary academic documents you have. Once you check-in, you will be given information on many things such as advising, registration, housing, and computer accounts.
WESL Placement Test
For any student who has not met the English proficiency requirements, we offer the WESL placement test. To see when the WESL Placement Test is scheduled, please refer to the NISO schedule. Anyone who takes the WESL Placement Test must pay a fee of $100.00 in cash. In order to take the WESL Placement Test, you must bring the following to the test site:
- A valid picture ID (i.e. your passport, WIU ID card, U.S. driver's license)
- Two pencils
Students who pass the WESL Placement test may be eligible to enroll in academic courses. Students who do not pass the WESL Placement Test will be placed in WESL Institute classes.
A mandatory (attendance is required) Information Session will be held to introduce you to many of the campus services available to you. At the Information Sessions, you will meet people and learn about services from the following departments:
- Billing and Receivable, Immigration, University Housing and Dining, Beu Health Center, University Counseling Center, Office of Public Safety, Go West Bus system, International Student Activities, and others.
Bank and Shopping trips
We will provide you with transportation to open a bank account and shop for things you will need in your new residence. Bank and shopping trips are scheduled regularly throughout the NISO period.
During NISO, there are a few meals provided for you, but the majority of the time we will be taking groups to local restaurants. On these trips, you are expected to pay for your own meal. Your orientation schedule will clearly state whether or not a scheduled meal is provided or self-pay. Any place where the schedule says "Self-pay" it means you will need to pay for your own meal.
Other NISO events
We offer many other many other fun activities during NISO that will help you meet people in the community and learn more about the campus and the town of Macomb. Activities like potluck dinners, American Culture Night, Welcome Picnic, and IFC ice cream social are offered on a regular basis. Please consult the NISO schedule to see a full list of NISO activities offered this semester.