A family at graduation
At St. Kate’s we understand the unique needs of international students, strive to make them feel welcome and provide support to ensure the best experience possible while studying in the United States.

Parents of International Students

We work closely with each international student to make sure her experience is a positive one.

As a parent, you want to be sure your daughter will be safe and learn. Here are some of the things you can expect for her at St. Kate’s:

Friendship Families

To help with your daughter’s adjustment to the United States, we will match her with an American Friendship Family who will welcome her to the United States. The Friendship Family will meet your daughter at the airport and invite her to stay with them for her first night. They are interested in helping her feel more comfortable here and in getting to know her and learning about her family, country and culture. We hope that this will be a lasting intercultural friendship for her.

Orientation

A special orientation for all international students takes place just before classes begin. The program includes an introduction to the U.S. academic system and to U.S. culture, meetings with an academic adviser, academic placement tests and activities such as buying books for the semester's classes, etc.

International students then join the general all-campus orientation with about 400 students, which includes social activities with international and American students. Students have opportunities to meet in small groups to facilitate new friendships.

Climate

During the summer, Minnesota temperatures range from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. But as you probably know, Minnesota winters are very cold. Most of our students come from much warmer climates and the cold is always an adjustment. Be sure your daughter brings some warm clothes with her, but also know that she can buy warm coats, sweaters and boots once she has arrived. It would be helpful for her to have about $500 in traveler’s checks for costs such as these.

Making friends

There are approximately 60 international students at St. Catherine University. They get to know each other well, especially during their special orientation. The all-campus orientation also provides opportunities for your daughter to meet American students.

Current U.S. and international students will be available to serve as mentors to new students during orientation and throughout the year. They help your daughter adjust to campus and are available to answer questions and provide information.

Safety

St. Catherine University is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood, well-known as one of the safest areas in the city of Saint Paul. The University has a staff of security officers available 24 hours per day to escort students walking on campus at night. Security staff answer emergency calls within minutes, if needed.

Personal expenses

An estimate for personal expenses is $1,000 for the school year. Most students whose room and board is already paid spend an extra $100 per month on toiletries, entertainment, snacks, presents and long-distance phone calls.

Culture shock

Students tell us one of the things they appreciate most at St. Catherine University is the friendly and supportive environment — there is always someone available to help when help is needed. Every student is assigned an academic adviser, a student orientation leader and a student mentor, all of whom are available to provide information, answer questions and provide help.

If your daughter lives on-campus in the residence halls, she can also rely on help from the student adviser who lives in her residence hall. The University also employs licensed psychologists and a registered nurse. The international student adviser is always available to meet with students and can help with a variety of issues, including immigration questions and concerns. The O'Neill Learning Center offers all students help with academic course work. Most students make friends quickly and easily find peers with whom they are comfortable.

Communicating with your daughter

Each student is assigned a private mailbox at St. Kate’s. Please address your letters to her by including the number of this mail box in her address. (Your daughter's mail will reach her without this number, however, it may take a little longer.)

Every room in the residence halls has a telephone and voicemail account. Overseas phone calls are expensive, but the call is usually less expensive if it originates in the United States. We suggest you set up a regular time (weekly or monthly) for your daughter to reach you by phone.

Each student at St. Catherine University also has her own e-mail address. Depending on your situation, e-mail may be the least expensive form of communication.