Newly Admitted International Students Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for a visa?

For information about obtaining a visa, visit visa information.


When is international student orientation?

The link to complete on orientation can be found here.  You will not be able to register for classes until your orientation is complete.

What do we do in orientation?

  • Check-in with International Student Services. Bring passport, I-20 and any important documents issued to you at the port of entry.
  • Campus tour.
  • Facilitate ID cards.
  • Discuss banking, student employment, campus organizations, insurance and student health services, practical tips on living in the USA, residential living and meal plans.
  • Registration procedures.
  • Maintaining visa status.
  • Appointments with academic advisers.
  • Testing and registration.
  • Off-campus social event and recreational activities.

You will still need to check-in with the International Office as soon as you arrive on campus with your documents.  


How do I apply for a visa?

For information about obtaining a visa, visit visa information.

When do classes start?

The first day of classes depends on the Semester:

  • Fall Semester (August to December) : Last week of August
  • Spring Semester (January to April) : Second week of January
  • Summer I Semester (June to July) : First week of June
  • Summer II Semester (July to August) : First week of July

For detail information about key dates for upcoming semesters, visit WTAMU Events Calendar or Buff Advisor

How do I register for classes?

Before new students can register for classes, they must attend the new student orientation. International Student Services will remove holds from students' account. Students then meet their advisers and register for classes.

How and when do I pay for classes?

For information on accepted payment methods and payment deadlines, visit the Business Office


What are the estimated yearly expenses to attend WTAMU?

Yearly cost estimate

How do I pay for my daily expenses without having to carry cash?

There are two ways to pay for your daily expenses.

  • Buff Card: Your student ID or buff card, allows you to put money into your account and then use it to make purchases at various on-campus and off-campus locations. For more information on the buff cash locations, visit the Buffalo Gold Card Office
  • Debit Card:  A debit card provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. Its functionality is similar to writing a cheque/check, as the funds are withdrawn directly from either the savings/ checking bank account (often referred to as a cheque card), or from the remaining balance on the card. The debit card is multipurpose, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash and also as a cheque guarantee card. For more information on debit cards, contact your local banking center.


How do I secure housing?

For information, visit housing.

Social Security

What is a social security number?

In the United States, social security numbers are generally assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. Social security numbers are used to report your wages to the government.

How do I apply for a social security card?

In general, only noncitizens who have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can apply for a social security number. For information on procedures to apply for a social security card, visit Social Security.


How do I find an on-campus job?

Foreign students with valid F-1 status are eligible for on-campus employment. No special authorization from the Department of Homeland Security is needed to obtain this type of employment. However, a social security card is required. The University has a Student Employment Office for students seeking on-campus employment. New students must contact student employment services at to be given access to the database.

What are the restrictions on employment for international students?

On-campus employment is limited to 20-hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Employment in excess of 20 hours per week during the fall or spring semester is unlawful. During vacation periods and holidays, students may work 21-40 hours per week.

I have been offered a graduate assistantship position. When do I get my first paycheck?

  • Incoming fall graduate assistants get their first paycheck on Oct. 1.
  • Incoming spring graduate assistants get their first paycheck on Feb. 1.
  • For incoming summer graduate assistants, it varies as per their department.


What are the mandatory vaccines for International students attending WTAMU?

West Texas A&M University does not require students to show proof of immunizations to attend the University. However, students who reside in residence halls are required to show proof of the meningitis vaccination.  


Can I carry my laptop to the US?

Yes. Apart from Internet access at the open-access computer lab, WTAMU also has wireless Internet services available at designated areas on campus enabling you to use your laptop. For information, visit wireless networking. Also, most of the residence halls on campus provide Internet access. For information, visit residential network.

Are there campus organizations and clubs at WTAMU?

WTAMU is home to multiple campus organizations.

What recreational facilities does WTAMU offer?

The Virgil Henson Activities Center at WTAMU offers many recreational programs.