Welcome to Indian Student Association

The Indian Student Association at Western Michigan University is a Registered Student Organization. ISA was started with a vision to promote and encourage a better cultural awareness among students about India. We have continued to uphold the tradition of excellence ever since it was started. WMU has seen consistent enrollment of students from Indian origin. Today the association is made up of more than thousand members, that includes both currently enrolled and alumni. ISA obides by its constitution and is known to be one among the largest International organization at Western Michigan University.


ISA has tradition of hosting a diverse set of events. Legally Desi, and participation at International Food Festival is considered to be prominent ones among other events. With the encouragement of the community and dedication of its members, organization continues to increase in the universities context. ISA has always been an outstanding organization, and continues with positive contributions to community.

Legally Desi

Legally Desi is the most anticipated event for ISA. It features Indian and diversity through a multimedia presentation, fashion show, and other cultural shows. Cultural shows include skits, Indian dances, a cappella, and band performances. Apart from student performances, events highlight includes Indian snacks and performances by accomplished artists from Indian background. We also take pride of the fact that these festivities also attract large presence from local Indian resident community.

Tickets for "Legally Desi" are free for WMU students, $7 for others and $25 for a family of four. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at local business sponsors Saffron Indian Cuisine and World of Spices.

Legally Desi is sponsored by the WMU Indian Student Association and is part of International Education Week.

International Festival

The festival comes together through collaboration between international students celebrating their homelands and domestic students representing their specific interests. It's a splendid opportunity for the campus and local community to experience the music, dance, food and fashions of 13 cultures representing five continents under one roof without leaving Kalamazoo. Western Michigan University's International Festival is held on campus in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

The event features display tables, cultural performances and a fashion show. Admission is free, and for a nominal fee, attendees may sample traditional foods prepared by international students in campus kitchens under the supervision of employees of WMU Dining Services.

International Festival annually attracts more than 2,000 students and community members. Attendees are able to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of student cultures prevalent at WMU.

The University enrolls more than 1,260 international students from 94 countries and hosts more than 15 international students’ organizations. Participating this year are the Saudi Arabian Students Association, Asian Pacific Islander Network, Association of Chinese Scholars and Students, Dominican Student Organization, Indian Student Association, Japan Club, Latino Student Alliance, Malaysian Student Association, Muslim Student Association, Society for Central Eurasian Studies, Taiwanese Student Association and the West Michigan Iranian Community.

The festival is organized by the International Programs Council and Campus Activities Board and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Western Student Association, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, and University Cultural Events and Graduate Student Advisory Committees.

New Students

1. What is ISA?
Indian Students Association is a registered student’s organization at WMU. You can read more on ISA in the about section.

2. What is the Application Procedure to attend WMU?
To apply for admission at WMU as an international student you will need to include following thing in the application packet
Application to university, For online application click here or use paper application
Application fee, DD, check or online payment
Department application fee (optional, check department website)
TA/RA/GA application (optional, check department website)
Statement of Purpose (SOP)
GRE score (optional, check department website)
TOEFL score

3. How to find concerned department?
Please visit http://www.wmich.edu/directories/departments/ to access individual department website.

4. Why and when should I take Pre requisite Courses?
Most department assess your academic career thoroughly before offering admission and in case they find you need help to come up to speed with certain subject they will be listed as pre requisite. It can be either because courses you took did not cover certain aspects of the subject and needs more study or they do not understand content of similar course that you might have taken as part of undergraduate studies. Please contact your concerned department’s advisor for more questions.

5. Can I get a TA/RA/GA and how to apply?
Most departments at Western employ students as TA/RA/GA. Application to these posts can be done at the time of admission; which is usually separate application that needs to be included in application packet. Application can be accessed at departmental website.
To apply for RA, please contact concerned professor that you wish to work for, through email. Employment to RA is at his/her discretion.

6. How do I Change my Department?
You can change department at the time of admission or you can talk to concerned department and OISS for detailed instructions.

7. How can I get an On-campus Job?
WMU employs student in various positions, most prominent on-campus jobs are working as teaching assistant (TA), research assistant (RA) and graduate assistant (GA). Other than these there are other full time/part time jobs with various departments. International students can work at most 20 hours/week, most split their time at various places that pay hourly compensation or in one of the three forms mentioned earlier.

8. Do I need to purchase health Insurance Coverage?
While your stay in USA it is mandatory to have health insurance. WMU provides health insurance; it is automatically purchased for you and is billed to your account. You can also get waiver from purchasing university insurance by substituting with private provider that matches following coverage requirement
Annual deductible can be no higher than $500
Minimum of 80% coverage after the deductible is met
Minimum of $100,000 prescription coverage
Minimum of 20 visits of outpatient physical therapy coverage
Minimum of $500 outpatient mental health coverage
Must be translated into English
Must cover a pre-existing condition, six month waiting period is allowed
Must have at least $10,000 medical evacuation and $7,500 repatriation benefits

9. How to find a contact in WMU people Directory?
You can access WMU people search through https://www.wmich.edu/peoplesearch/

10. Coming to Kalamazoo?
Kalamazoo is around 2 hour drive from both Chicago and Detroit. You can fly directly to Kalamazoo/Battle creek airport, take Amtrak or Greyhound. In case you are driving you can come through 1-94, take exit 74B for US 131 and exit 36A towards Kalamazoo.

11. Do we provide Airport Pickup?
Yes, please contact seniors to check if they are available to help with it, otherwise Kalamazoo’s taxi association provide free one time service to drop you at your proffered destination while coming from India. However you will have to show your I20 and qualify as new admission.

12. How to contact seniors?
Please send your concerns through email or leave a message on facebook.

13. How do I find temporary Accommodation?
Please contact ISA well ahead of time, and we will try to accommodate you.

14. How do I find Permanent Accommodation?
You can find permanent accommodation either on-campus or in off campus apartments. Check http://www.wmich.edu/housing/apartments/ for on-campus options. To live off-campus please can talk to seniors/ISA to check if they can accommodate you and they will try to help. Instead you can also find a place on your own, most Indian students live in
Tree house apartments
White hall apartments
Kendall Manor
The Pointe
Campus court

15. How many Dollars to carry initially?
Its left up to your discretion, however we suggest to bring at least $1000 in cash, so that it will help you during initial period till you setup back account. Its strongly discouraged to carry large sums of money in cash, please bring a travelers check or DD for other purposes.

16. How do I open a Bank Account?
The International Admissions and Services (IAS) will help you with opening bank account at on campus PNC bank during international student orientation.

17. How do I Transfer Money from India to my account?
Please talk to PNC bank staff for wire transfer information that you can use to get money transferred.

18. How do I get a mobile phone?
You can get a cell phone with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or other careers either on a prepaid or pay as you go plan. In case you don’t have SSN they will require you to pay security deposit before they can issue a phone.

19. How can I get a Social Security Number (SSN)?
You can apply for SSN after you get a on-campus job at social security office at Drake Road.

20. Do I have to bring my International Driving License (IDP) / India License?
You can use your IDP for six months after you come to USA, and later you will have to get a Michigan state license to continue driving.




Contact ISA

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