MSU helps provide services to ease international student transition
Getting accepted to the university? Check. Signing up for class and getting housing? Check. Buying books? Check. Getting a driver’s license and Social Security number? In process.
In an effort to make an easy transition for international students, MSU’s International Studies and Programs is holding events throughout the fall to give international students an opportunity to obtain new Social Security numbers and Michigan driver’s licenses in different locations throughout campus.
Nicole Namy, international student adviser at MSU, said representatives from the Secretary of State and Social Security office come every year to make the transition for international students a little easier. To start the testing, students must have photocopies of a passport, 1-20 or DS-2019, two documents proving residency in the state of Michigan and a Social Security document.
International students go through the same process as Americans, Namy said.
“The only thing that we’re doing is administrating the written test here as opposed to going somewhere else,” Namy said. “They’ll do the written portion and if they’ve never driven before, they can sign up to take the driver’s test at their preferred location.
Electrical engineering freshman Shiyi Su took the written driver’s license test Tuesday in Anthony Hall and hopes to start driving in the U.S. once everything is processed.
“There’s not a big difference driving here and in Guangdong, China,” Su said. “The only major difference that I noticed is that Americans are conscious to know the road and going the right way. People are more courteous. The signs and streetlights and rules are pretty much the same.”
East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy said he doesn’t see much difference in violations for American and international students.
“In my experiences, it’s just the same violations as anyone else.” Murphy said regarding Su’s comments. “Just making mistakes with stoplights, traffic signals and following speed regulations.”
Another testing session will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17 on the third floor of the International Center. Namy considers every event an opportunity for international students to get adjusted.
“It’s just a convenience factor a part of orientation to get yourself settled,” Namy said. “Part of what we try to do is help students get acclimated to a new life which unfortunately includes getting a Social Security number and a driver’s license.”