This is your time
…to meet new people, see new places, try new foods, and enjoy local customs. Be open to new possibilities! Learn from your adventures. Participate in student activities and connect with your classmates – this is the best way to improve your English skills.
International students who choose to drive must know and follow all driving laws and regulations, have a valid license and car insurance, and drive responsibly. Always take driving seriously! “Nobody told me!” is NEVER an excuse. All passengers MUST wear a seatbelt!
If you have an F-1 student visa and a valid driver’s license (which means it is not expired) from your home country and you are at least 15 years old, you do not need a MN Driver’s License to drive. However, you may need a MN license to buy insurance or purchase a car.
You must pass a knowledge (written) test, vision test, and road (driving) test at a Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office. To pass the road test, you must study the Minnesota Drivers Manual.
DVS Winona is located at 202 W 3rd St. Winona, MN 55987. Telephone: 507-457-6325. Open Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.
All drivers MUST buy car insurance. You can search for car insurance companies on the internet; popular companies include All State, Farmers Progressive, and State Farm.
To park your car at Saint Mary’s Winona campus, you must have a parking permit. Register your vehicle online with Campus Safety. You will need to enter your residence hall, make of the car, license plate number, and license plate state. The fee ($60 per year if you live on campus) will be added to your tuition bill. In your campus mailbox you will receive a sticker that indicates your assigned parking lot. This sticker must be placed on your car’s rear windshield. Please contact Campus Safety with questions. Students with cars must also understand and follow the Parking Policy.
Know the law!
- Seatbelts must be worn by the driver and all passengers at all times.
- It is illegal to drink alcohol and text message while driving.
- Drivers must always carry proof of car insurance, identification, and driver’s license.
- Follow posted speed limits at all times.
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
Watch the weather
- Keep an ice scraper and emergency kit in your car including jumper cables, water, food, blanket, and flashlight.
- Watch for black ice and hazardous conditions, especially in winter
I got a ticket – what should I do?
On Campus: You must pay at the Business Office within 10 days of your parking ticket.
Off Campus: See your ticket for how to pay. You may be able to pay online or in person. Your ticket might also require a court appearance. One or multiple tickets may result in suspension of license and increased car insurance rates.
Most students who pay for room and board will have a meal plan that allows for 19 meals per week at the Toner Dining Hall. This includes 3 meals/day Monday-Friday and 2 meals/day Saturday and Sunday. Learn more about dining options and hours (below):
Toner Cafe (Cafeteria)
Toner Student Center, Upstairs
– Use Student ID card to pay for meal
– Buffet-style – eat as much as you want
Monday – Friday
Saturday – Sunday
Toner Student Center, 1st Floor
Pay for a meal with cash or credit card
Monday-Friday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Toner Student Center, 1st Floor
Pay for coffee or treats with cash or credit card
Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
All international students are required to have health insurance.
All international students need health insurance.
Why? Health care in the United States is EXTREMELY expensive. For example, one ambulance trip can cost you $1000. You are responsible for all medical costs incurred.
I already have insurance from my home country. You need health insurance that will cover you for care in the USA. If you are not sure, check your policy.
What is the cost? Remember, the more you pay generally means better coverage. The lowest level of coverage can cost as little as $35 USD per month. We recommend purchasing 12 months of coverage at a time.
Where can I buy health insurance?
You can search online. Here are some recommendations:
PRINT A RECEIPT THAT SHOWS:
- Start and end dates of your health insurance coverage.
- The categories of coverage (catastrophic, emergency, repatriation, etc.)
- The maximum $ amounts of coverage.
I bought health insurance, now what?
- Submit a copy of proof of health insurance (receipt or insurance card) to International Center and Wellness Center.
- Carry your insurance card with you.
- Before you go to a hospital or clinic, call your insurance provider to see that the doctor is in your insurance’s “network.”
Learn More: Watch the video below to learn more about health insurance in the USA. Click CC to see subtitles in your language.
You are required by the University and the State of Minnesota to show proof that you have had certain immunizations including measles (rubella), mumps, German measles (rubella), and Diphtheria-tetanus (DT). Tuberculosis (TB) is a painless screening also required for all international students coming from endemic areas established by the US Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. You will be notified by a nurse to make an appointment for a TB test.
Watch this video to learn more about mental health awareness for international students.
At Saint Mary's
Who can I see at Saint Mary’s about medical or personal problems?
Saint Mary’s has its own nurses and counselors on the Winona campus, and are available by appointment free of charge at the Wellness Center. Nurses can see you for most minor illnesses and injuries, and counselors are available to discuss personal problems such as difficulty sleeping, homesickness, stress, etc. You must bring proof of health insurance to these appointments, and have a copy of the student health form in their files. If you are referred to see a doctor, dentist, eye doctor, or other specialist at the Winona Clinic or hospital, there will be a charge for these visits.
I need to see a doctor in Winona. Where is the clinic?
You can make an appointment at the Winona clinic for any condition that is not urgent. You do not need to see the Saint Mary’s nurse first. Check with your health insurance provider to see if they cover this clinic (if not, you may need to go to another city). Remember to bring your passport and health insurance card to the appointment. Bring a friend if you need a translator. The clinic is located off campus at the hospital. Take the Winona bus, taxi, or ask a friend to drive you.
I have an emergency, should I go to Urgent Care or Emergency Room?
These are for serious problems only!
Go to Urgent Care if you have:
– Broken bones (unless broken through skin or causes loss of consciousness)
– Sinus infections
– Strep throat
– Deep cuts
– Allergic reactions
– Abdominal or back pain
Urgent Care is off-campus. Take the Winona Bus or ask a friend to drive you.
Address: 420 East Sarnia Street, Winona, MN 55987
EMERGENCY ROOM (ER)
ER visits are extremely expensive ($500+).
Go to the ER if you have:
– Chest pain
– Uncontrolled bleeding
– Head injury
– Loss of consciousness
The Emergency Room is off-campus at the hospital. Take the Winona Bus, ask a friend to drive you, or call 911 for an ambulance (only if you cannot move!).
Winona Health Address: 855 Mankato Avenue, Winona, MN 55987
When should I call 911?
You should only call 911 for true emergencies (not headaches!). An ambulance can cost you $1000+!
To receive mail, have your mail addressed to:
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights # (Your mail box number)
Winona, MN 55987
*Your assigned campus mailbox will stay the same each year (it will not change).
You can buy a book of stamps at the Business Office or buy stamps from USPS online. You can also pay to send a letter/package at Central Services, Heffron Hall, HE044.
Receive a package: An email will be sent from Diane Rinn, mail room supervisor, letting you know a package has arrived for you.
Send a package: At Saint Mary’s, you can pay to send a package via USPS (US. Postal Service) at Central Services, Heffron Hall, HE044. If you pay for postage online, you can bring your package to the mail room, which is located in the Toner Student Center.
Winona does have a Post Office off campus.
67 W 5th St.
Winona, MN 55987
You can buy mailing supplies or ship via FedEx at Pac’n’Mail Express, 278 Mankato Ave, Winona.
How can I pay my Saint Mary’s tuition?
You will receive a statement of your account via email from the Saint Mary’s Business Office. You can also view your student account on Webtools. Tuition must be paid in full by the beginning of the semester. Please contact the Business Office with questions.
How much do I need to pay?
Please contact the Business Office for a student account statement. Once you are registered for classes, your student account will be available online: Webtools > List Student (Tuition) Account > Submit.
Banks offer many services, including checking and savings accounts. It is advisable to open an account at a commercial bank. This will give you access to your money easily and safely for paying any bills by check. Also, all banks can accept wire transfers from your family overseas and automatically post the money to your account. There is usually a charge for this service. You can withdraw money from your account by using an ATM; Saint Mary’s has an ATM located on campus.
Wells Fargo (Goodview Branch) is a popular bank that is close to Saint Mary’s.
To open a bank account, you will need to show at least two forms of identification with your photograph. You should take your passport and I-94 with you to open your account.
To get cash, you can go to the bank or to an ATM machine. Saint Mary’s has an ATM in Toner Center by Campus Safety. Kwik Trip gas station near Saint Mary’s also has an ATM.
Do not give important information (credit card, bank, passport, social security number) to anyone over the phone, even if they say it is an emergency or that you must do it. If a receive a call from the “US government” or “Immigration” hang up the phone immediately. If they need to contact you, they will come in person. The US government, FBI, IRS will never call you to ask for money.
Check your Saint Mary’s email (gmail) account each day for announcements, activities, and important information from the International Center and the University.
Watch out for scams!
- If you are unsure if it is a scam or spam, ask someone! For example, if you get a suspicious email or link from a friend, ask your friend before opening it.
- Do not give important information (credit card, bank, passport, social security number) to anyone over email, even if they say it is an emergency or that you must do it.
- If a receive an email from the “US government” or “Immigration” do not open the email. If they need to contact you, they will come in person. The US government, FBI, and IRS will never email you to ask for money.
- If you receive spam email, report it as spam.
Wireless internet (WiFi) is available in residence halls, classrooms, and most other buildings on campus. You will need to enter your Saint Mary’s username and password. If you need help connecting to a network, please contact the HelpDesk, located in the basement of Saint Mary’s Hall.
Desktop computers are available to use in residence halls, the library, and in the basement of Saint Mary’s Hall (known as Hendrickson Computer Labs). The International Center also has a computer lab that is available when classes are not in session.
Please research cell phones before coming to the U.S. Options include:
- Buying a pay-as-you-go phone or use calling cards (purchase at stores and gas stations)
- Bringing a phone from your country and buying a U.S. SIM cards + phone plan.
- Popular phone companies in the U.S. are Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.
La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE)
2850 Airport Drive, La Crosse, WI 54603
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
4300 Glumack Drive, Saint Paul, MN 55111
Rochester International Airport (RST)
7600 Helgerson Drive Southwest, Rochester, MN 55902
GO Carefree Shuttle
Shuttle runs between La Crosse airport, Winona (picks up at Saint Mary’s), Rochester airport, and MSP airport. $45 one way Winona to MSP airport. See website for additional rates and schedule. Reserve in advance online or by phone.
Winona Transit Services
Winona’s city bus running Monday – Saturday. See website for schedule, map, and rates. Stops at Saint Mary’s University in front of the Admission Office. Bus tokens (10 tokens for $8) can be purchased at the Business Office in the basement of St. Mary’s Hall. If you prefer to pay on the bus, you will pay $1 (cash only) per ride (direct transfers are free).
Free after-hours bus runs 7 pm – 1:30 am when Winona universities are in session. Runs to downtown Winona and Winona State. Stops at Saint Mary’s University in front of the Admission Office.
Scheduled bus routes in 13 states.
Winona State Pickup: Huff Street at Transit Stop
For tickets and info: Severson Oil, 952 Mankato Avenue, Winona, MN 55987, 507-454-7490
Book online: jeffersonlines.com
Yellow Cab of Winona: 507-452-3331
Economy Cab: 507-454-7433
Amtrak (Empire Builder route) stops in Winona and connects to Minneapolis and Chicago. Due to heavy railway traffic, trains may be delayed 4-6 hours. Winona station has enclosed waiting room; open 8:45 – 11:45 am and 5:45-8:45 pm.
65 East Mark Street, Winona, MN 55987
During school breaks, there are no classes. You are on vacation!
Christmas Break is the longest school break. It begins after the fall semester final exams are finished in mid-December. Classes will restart in the middle of January. During the break, International students go back to their home country, travel, or stay on campus. The other breaks are shorter. These include the fall break, Thanksgiving break, spring break, and Easter break.
Stay at Saint Mary's
Students CAN stay on campus during the breaks. If they stay for ANY day during the break, they must switch their room keys at the Residence Life Office. An email will be sent to all students when it is time to get a new key. There will be another email announcement when the keys are to be returned. The cafeteria will NOT be open during breaks. Students who stay will need to buy food and cook in the dorm kitchens, go out, or order in.
The International Center does provide some activities and field trips during school breaks. Email announcements will be sent out ahead of time.
After the completion of spring semester final exams in May, Saint Mary’s residence halls close for the summer months (May-August). Your room will need to be cleaned and emptied, and you will give your keys back to the Residence Life Office. You will choose a new room for your second year. There are no summer classes, so international students must either go home or travel during this time. You will NOT be allowed to stay in your room. As for your things, there may be some inexpensive storage options available to you for the summer vacation.
Activities and Clubs
The International Center hosts many activities for international students, both on and off campus. Activities include game nights, dinners, sports, and visiting sites and events around Winona. Students are notified of activities via email. Students are also highly encouraged to take advantage of the many activities offered by Saint Mary’s. Please contact the International Center if you have ideas for international student activities.
Another great way to get involved is by joining one of Saint Mary’s many clubs or sports teams or by volunteering. The International Students Club aims to promote better involvement of international students in Saint Mary’s student community and the local cultural life.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Click to learn more. To change your FERPA information:
- Log into your student portal
- Click Change Personal Information
- Click Change FERPA (Privacy) Information and add billing party email address
International Center staff does not control anything to do with housing (dorms, roommates, etc). For assistance, you must contact the Office of Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their office in Vlazny, room #105.
Most students live on the Winona campus in residence halls (dorms). International Students who have been awarded the International Student Cultural Diversity Scholarship are required to live on campus.
All residence halls feature a lounge with television and desktop computer, kitchen, and laundry room that are available for student use. Residence halls also have Wi-Fi (wireless) internet. Bathrooms are either private, semi-private, or single-sex community depending on the residence hall. Do not worry about bringing furniture – all dorm rooms have a bed and mattress, wardrobe, desk and chair. However, you may want to bring a desk lamp and clothes hangers.
There are a variety of housing options on the Winona Campus, including single rooms, shared rooms, and apartments. If you are a new student, the Office of Residence will assign housing and roommates based on the housing preferences you submitted when you confirmed as a student.
For questions about housing, please contact the Office of Residence Life.
It is the responsibility of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota students to be aware of all university policies that may affect their status or progress as students. Please review the Student Handbook.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota adheres to the principle that all persons have equal opportunity and access to admissions, employment, facilities, and all programs and activities of the University regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.
Where? Saint Mary’s Hall Basement
- Pay your bills
- Cash checks up to $100
- Buy bus tokens
- Bring your student ID
Hours: Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Where? Toner Center Basement
- Buy (new and used) or rent textbooks for classes
- Buy Saint Mary’s clothing, snacks, and more
Hours: Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where? Vlazny, Room 126
- Sign up for volunteer opportunities
- Ask about faith and worship
Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Where? Toner Center, 1st Floor
- Will help you get into your room if you lock yourself out
- Can accompany you if you don’t want to walk across campus by yourself at night
- Issues parking permits if you have a car on campus
Hours: Always open
Where? Near the plaza
- Check out materials with your Student ID
- Study by yourself or with a group
- Use the computer lab to do homework and print paper
Monday – Thursday 7:30 am – midnight
Friday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm – midnight
Where? Hendrickson Basement
- Provides computer assistance
- Can print color copies for your school projects
Monday – Thursday 7:15 am – 11:00 pm
Friday 7:15 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Recreation and Athletic Center (RAC)
Where? The RAC is connected to the Toner Student Center
- Bring your student ID
- Free use of the cardio machines, weight room, aerobics room, track, courts, etc.
Monday –Thursday 6:00 am – midnight
Friday 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 – midnight
Resident Assistants (RAs)
Do you know your RA? You can talk to your RA about any problem
- Your RA will plan fun activities for your hall to do together throughout the school year
- Your RA can help you get into your room if your lock yourself out; there is a fee
Contact the Office of Residence Life with questions.
Student Success Center
Where? Griffin Hall, Basement of Mary’s
- Meet with an academic advisor to discuss your classes
- Get help on written papers for class assignments
- Meet a free tutor for help on homework and studying for tests
- Learn more about internships, grad schools, and jobs
Where? Vlazny 131
- Make an appointment to see a nurse if you are sick
- Make an appointment to speak with a counselor
Hours: Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm