Next Steps for Admitted International Students

Effective for students applying to spring 2023 and future semesters

After you have been admitted to Minnesota State University as an Intensive English, Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral student, please follow these steps to begin preparations for your arrival:

International students are responsible for all educational and personal expenses for the duration of their F-1 status at Minnesota State University, Mankato. To issue an I-20, which is needed to obtain an F-1 student visa, Minnesota State Mankato is required by the United States government to maintain records that demonstrate that you have the funds necessary to cover your tuition, fees, and living expenses for your first year of study (9 months). If you attend summer session and/or bring your spouse or other dependents with you to the United States, you must also demonstrate that you have the funds necessary to cover those costs. To view acceptable financial documentation, please refer to our Requirements for Proof of Funding page.

You will only receive your I-20 AFTER your financial documentation has been vetted and approved.

Request Your I-20 Requirements for Proof of Funding

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

Apply for Your F-1 Visa

You should plan to report to Minnesota State Mankato by the date listed on your I-20 and no later than the date listed on your I-20. You may arrive up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20.

Welcome Home to Mankato, MN 

Mankato, Minnesota is approximately 85 miles, or 1.5 hours, southwest of the Twins Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The closest airport to Mankato is St. Paul/Minneapolis International Airport (MSP). Be sure to arrange your flight reservations so you may arrive by the beginning of orientation.


Entering the U.S.

Please note that U.S. Immigration says you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date this is noted on your I-20 or DS-20 form.  

The Kearney Center recommends that you read through the following resources before traveling to Mankato: 

  1. What to Expect from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer
  2. What is Secondary Inspection?
  3. Please also be aware that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strict guidelines about what items, including toiletries, may be packed in carry-on luggage. 
  4. You must declare any currency over $10,000 brought into the U.S. Read about U.S. Customs when bringing money, gifts, food and other items  

Shuttle Service From the Airport to Mankato

Land to Air Express provides daily shuttle service from the Minneapolis/St.Paul airport to the MNSU campus for a fee. For more information, contact Land to Air directly. 

Finding a comfortable place to live in Mankato will be an important part of feeling at home here. Students have options to live in a residence hall on-campus or in an apartment or house off-campus.


Learning CommunitiesMinnesota State Mankato's Learning Communities provide students with academic and social support that leads to success in college and beyond. Participants gain access to faculty, peer mentoring, and advising designed to help them stay on track and finish in four years. 




Weather is worth a big mention here! You will find that weather is often a part of the conversation here as one never knows what to expect!  

If you like warm weather, the average summer temperature is 36°C and high humidity makes it feel hotter than that. Since Mankato sits in a picturesque river valley, those warm temperatures make it lush with green trees and there are plenty of nearby lakes and rivers to enjoy! You will be most comfortable by wearing layers of clothing (a t-shirt and a light sweater, for example). This way you can wear more inside the air-conditioned buildings or remove a layer when you are outside walking in the sun.  

If you have heard rumors that Minnesota is very cold in the winter... they are true!  When arriving for Orientation in January, students can expect temperatures of about 0°C, and temperatures even below -10°C to -20°C. You will need warm winter clothes: insulated coat(s) or jacket(s), scarves, gloves, hats, warm boots, sweaters and more. Minnesotans make the best of winter by skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, playing hockey, sledding and snowmobiling. If you have never seen snow before, it is pure magic, and Mankato receives a lot! 


Hotdish. You betcha! Minnesota Nice. You'll learn all about these phrases when you come to Minnesota!

Read up on what makes Minnesota unique and enjoyable - all year round! Here are some Minnesota Facts, reasons Why You'll Enjoy Living in Minnesota and a Mankato City Guide.

Money And Banking

Once you are in Mankato, you will find it helpful to open a bank account. There are a number of banks in Mankato. You can ride a community bus to reach them.

If you are planning to send money from home by wire transfer, it can take at least 1 week for money from your home country to be available in your bank account herePlan ahead so you have ready access to enough funds when you arrive.  

You will need to pay your health insurance premium immediately when you arrive on campus. Students are unable to register for courses until they have first purchased their health insurance. 

The Kearney International Center holds an orientation program for new students one week before classes start. Attending international orientation is mandatory for everyone. It is not necessary to sign up in advance.

During orientation, students receive assistance from peer leaders, meet staff, attend presentations, register for classes, and check-in for immigration purposes. 

International Student Orientation Information