EMU: Uniquely Welcoming

EMU warmly welcomes international students. From the moment students land in the United States, through the transition to life on campus, EMU provides support every step of the way.

More than 70 percent of EMU faculty have lived and worked internationally. So we understand what it is like to adjust to a new culture, climate and environment! We help international students adjust. Some things start even before the student arrives on campus!

When You Arrive

EMU is located in the small, friendly city of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Travel time from Washington D.C. to Harrisonburg is about two hours. The first time new international students arrive in the United States, EMU International Student Services staff meet them at the airport and provide transportation to campus in an EMU vehicle.

Be sure to request your airport pickup and early dorm move-in by filling out the International Arrival form: https://emu.edu/admissions/international-students/arrival

Virginia airports within proximity to Harrisonburg include: 

  • Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) - 25 minutes
  • Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO) - 1 hour
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD) - 2 hours
  • Reagan National Airport (DCA) - 2 hours

Note: The Virginia Breeze is a daily MegaBus route that runs between Harrisonburg and Washington, DC with separate stops at Dulles International Airport and Union Station.

Where You Will Live

EMU arranges housing before the international student arrives on campus. A coordinator connects with new students via email before they arrive to ensure the student’s needs are met.

More about Campus Life and housing here.

Life at EMU

At the beginning of each semester International Student Services provides an orientation for international students. Included as part of the orientation are meals together, transportation to a shopping center, and the opportunity to get to know some returning EMU students. Participants go on an excursion to local attractions, discuss details such as health insurance, social security cards, and banking, and get an introduction to EMU student services, such as the fitness center, career center, and health and counseling services.

EMU’s student club International Student Organization also plans activities for the international students to enjoy together throughout the year. These include:

  • New international student orientation
  • Ethiopian New Year celebration
  • Options after graduation session
  • Movie nights
  • Diwali celebration
  • Meals together 
  • Soccer games 
  • Tax sessions
  • International food festival 
  • End of year celebration
  • Game Nights 
  • Celebrations from different cultures
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