International New Student Orientation (INSO)

Welcome to Michigan State University! We are excited you are joining the Spartan family.

The International New Student Orientation (INSO) has been carefully planned to ease your transition into college life at MSU and provide you with a strong foundation for achieving your goals. Because MSU is committed to student success, attendance at INSO is mandatory for all new international undergraduate students. INSO occurs just prior to the start of each semester.

Additional information about INSO can be found at the Office for International Students and Scholars website.

Spartan Preview

Spartan Preview provides information on immigration regulations, laws and safety, health care and health insurance, what to pack, getting to campus and campus life, as well as online tools and important next steps. International students are required to complete all sections of the course and pass the quizzes prior to arriving on campus. Access Spartan Preview by logging in to your account.

Attendance requirement

All new international undergraduate students with an F-1 or J-1 visa must attend all required sessions of the mandatory INSO. International students with other visa types should contact or (517) 355-8490 to schedule an appropriate orientation appointment.

Students who do not attend the required sessions must complete make-up sessions before they can enroll for classes. Note: Students who are not enrolled for classes will lose their immigration status.

Attendance will be taken at all required INSO sessions.

Before arriving

In order to be prepared for your INSO and the start of the academic year, it is important that students log in to their account and complete a personalized “next steps” list. The most critical items include the following:

  • Activate MSU NetID and MSU email account
  • Complete the required online Spartan Preview
  • Take math and foreign language placement tests online
  • Complete online the Student Background and Experiences Assessment and the Spartan Persistence Survey
  • Fill out the Immunization Self-report
  • Become familiar with the MSU computer requirement
  • Submit a Spartan ID photo online by August 6
  • Create an INSO personal schedule
  • Send any Advanced Placement (AP) and college transcripts to the MSU admissions office (if applicable)
  • Contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to arrange for assistance needed during INSO or during the academic year
  • Prepare for travel

It is important for students to check their MSU email account at least once a day for information about orientation, classes, immigration status and other MSU-related topics.


Math placement
Each international student entering MSU as a freshman must take the online math placement exam before attending orientation so advisers can select mathematics courses that best match skill levels.

Freshman composition class placement
International students wishing to "write out" of the Preparation for College Writing course (WRA 1004/0102) will have the opportunity to write an essay during INSO.

MSUELT for provisionally admitted students
Provisionally admitted international undergraduate students will take the MSU English Language Test (MSUELT) upon arrival on campus. MSUELT results determine academic course eligibility.

Academic advising and course enrollment

Academic advisers provide guidance on course selection, graduation requirements and course enrollment. International undergraduate students who have met the English proficiency requirements will meet with an academic adviser during INSO. Students who attempt to enroll in classes without attending INSO will have all of their classes dropped.