As a newly admitted international student, we want to help your transition to Ball State be as smooth as possible.  The International Services staff from the Rinker Center for Global Affairs is committed to the internationalization of Ball State University by providing appropriate services and support to international students, scholars, faculty, and staff.  Rinker Center is here to assist you if you need immigration documents (I20/DS2019) in order to study. Please watch for emails from, as Rinker Center will be contacting you to find out more about your specific situation and immigration needs.


If you have not already done so, please be sure to access your Ball State email account and choose a new password. You were assigned a Ball State email account at the time of your admission to Ball State. You should have received a username and temporary password sent from If you cannot find the initial email, you will need to contact the Ball State Helpdesk. They will be able to re-send the email message.

Your Ball State email will be our preferred method of contacting you, so it is very important that you check your Ball State email account often.  

Please note: We will begin sending email communications to the email address that you applied with and your new Ball State email address. However, moving forward, you will use the Ball State email credentials to complete important form responses such as (accessing MyRCIP, reserving your room at Ball State, and confirming your arrival).
You will use your login and password from your Ball State email account to access our online portal: MyRCIP. This portal provides you with the ability to request letters, update information, and complete forms for our office any time of day, from anywhere in the world.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you have a successful experience at Ball State! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance. You can email or call +1 765-285-5422.

Now that you are a Ball State Cardinal, it's time to discover your new home! 

Ball State offers vibrant residence halls and university apartments each offering the convenience of living near classeson-campus diningrecreation facilities, and unique opportunities for you to expand your wings and fly. Complete your housing contract as soon as possible to reserve your room at Ball State.  If you fail to complete a housing contract prior to your arrival, you run the risk of not having a place to stay. You will be required to pay a housing deposit of $125 (residence hall) or $300 (University Apartment).


Residency Requirements

All students are required to live in university housing for two semesters unless:

  • You will be 21 years of age prior to the beginning of the term for which you are enrolling
  • You have 24 or more semester hours of Ball State University accepted credits achieved after graduation from high school
  • You are married or are a custodial parent of a dependent child, or are living with your parents in the parents' primary residence within a 60-mile radius of campus.

Early Check-In and Holiday Breaks

International students with housing contracts are permitted to move into the Studebaker East residence hall early if needed for an additional fee. The cost to move into Studebaker East early is about $25 USD per night. Meals are not included or available during early check-in, though you may cook in the Studebaker East kitchen.

Thanksgiving Break. You may stay in Studebaker East starting the day before Thanksgiving, but you will need to pay a total of $100 to stay in your room over that break. Again, meals are not included or available.

Winter Break. You may stay in Studebaker East after the rest of the residence halls close on campus but the cost is $550 (meals are not included or available) for the 22 night winter break whether you stay one night or 22 nights. So, if you do not wish to be charged $550, you need to move out of Studebaker East no later than the Saturday of December Commencement.

Spring semester. We try to begin international orientation after New Year’s Day, but before classes begin. If you have a housing contract, you should be able to move into your housing the first day of international orientation. Again, check with Studebaker East about the date and time you can move in early at a cost of about $25 per day until the hall officially opens the weekend before classes begin.

Spring Break. Like winter break, you will be charged for the whole break of about 9 days of about $200 USD if you stay even one day. So plan accordingly. Again, check with Studebaker East about the exact dates.   

If you have questions regarding the additional fees and early check-in, please reach out to Housing and Residence Life or you may email  

You probably have some questions. Where can I eat on campus? How often can I eat? What kinds of food are available? And most importantly, is the food good?

Ball State offers 11 convenient locations, each with diverse menu selections. You can choose custom-made salads or paninis, Italian or Asian cuisine, wraps or pizza, fresh deli sandwiches, or home-style favorites. Enjoy national brands such as Quiznos, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Papa John's, and Jamba Juice. If you like a little bit of everything, try our all-you-care-to-eat buffets. We also offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. 

Meal Plans

Our residential meal plans allow you to choose the number of meals per week that meets your needs, and you also receive a debit-style Dining Plus account which provides flexibility in how you purchase meals and snacks. You will choose a meal plan that provides 10, 14, 18, or 21 meals per week. 

We are so excited to meet you on campus.  Be sure to reach out to us if you have any questions!


Covid-19 Information

International students participating in an academic program at Ball State University in Fall 2021 are strongly encouraged to be fully-vaccinated (as defined the CDC or the World Health Organization) before traveling to campus. According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Jensen vaccine.

Protocols for Fully Vaccinated Students

Effective June 15, 2021, the University has loosened restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated. Specifically, the following standards apply to fully vaccinated students:

  • Exempt from pre-arrival testing for the Fall 2021 semester (with attestation of vaccination status)
  • Not expected to wear a mask, inside or outside (unless public health conditions warrant or campus authorities determine otherwise)
  • Not required to engage in physical distancing
  • Exempt from quarantine requirements if identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (unless symptomatic after exposure)
  • Exempt from any mandatory surveillance testing

Protocols for Unvaccinated Students

The following standards apply to unvaccinated students:

  • Subject to pre-arrival testing for the Fall 2021 semester if attending classes on campus or residing on campus
  • Remain subject to current mask protocols, as found in the University Face Mask Policy
  • Must continue to engage in physical distancing, where possible
  • Required to quarantine if identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, even if asymptomatic
  • May be required to submit to mandatory surveillance testing, as public health conditions warrant


Health requirements for students at Ball State exist primarily to protect the student body as a whole from infectious disease. It is mandatory for you to have the following immunizations completed in your home country before you arrive at Ball State University.

  • Proof of two measles vaccines (after first birthday)
  • Proof of two mumps vaccines (after first birthday)
  • Proof of one rubella vaccine (after first birthday)
  • Proof of one tetanus/diphtheria vaccine (given after August 2010)
  • Proof of one meningitis quadrivalent (ACWY) vaccine if under the age of 22 years
  • Each student under the age of 24 must have  a total of two meningitis B vaccines
  • The final requirement is to have a tuberculosis test performed in the United States. Testing performed in another country will not be accepted.  The cost of the test is $70.
    • The Quantiferon blood test for tuberculosis will be obtained during orientation week at the Student Health Center


Vaccine Requirements

You should visit your doctor several months prior to your arrival at Ball State.  If you have a record showing you received the required vaccines as a child, have your doctor complete the Ball State Health Form.  If you have no record of receiving these vaccines as a child, your doctor will need to give you the vaccines listed above to complete the vaccine requirements.

The cost to get all of the vaccines listed above may be over $600 if you do not get these done before you arrive at Ball State.

Please Note: If you are under the age of 18 years old, the health form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.  If you have any questions regarding health requirements or vaccine requirements, please contact

Due to Covid-19 international student orientation will be online this year.  Please watch for an email from regarding the online orientation.


Transportation Options

You may schedule one of these transportation options:

  1. Hoosier Ride - (approximately $20)
    Hoosier Ride offers a bus service that travels between the Indianapolis International Airport and the Ball State Student Center in Muncie two times per day. The Hoosier Ride bus departs Indianapolis at 9:50 AM and again at 5:00 PM. It is a two-to-three hour ride to Muncie. The approximate cost is $20 per ticket if you click on the college student checkbox. Hoosier Ride offers easy online ticketing as well as free WiFi service onboard the bus.
  2.  Uber or Lyft - (prices vary)
  3. Airport Cab - (varies multiple companies)

We look forward to meeting you at orientation!  If you have questions, please reach out to us:

We are looking forward to your arrival at Ball State!  You will live in the beautiful City of Muncie, named the No. 1 Most Affordable College Town in the United States by  Muncie is a mid-sized city with a population of 68,625.  You will experience a variety of dining, shopping, and other entertainment and cultural options within easy reach.  Larger cities such as Indianapolis (61 miles), Chicago (336 miles), Cincinnati (168 miles), and St. Louis (490 miles) are also very close in proximity.

What to Pack


You will get to experience all four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter). We recommend you purchase most coats, boots, and outerwear in the United States. You will want to pack the following clothes for your stay with us:

  • Winter clothing such as sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, hats, scarves, gloves, and heavy socks
  • Summer clothing such as t-shirts, shorts, sandals, and flip-flops
  • One or two nicer outfits with dress shoes for formal occasions
  • Many students enjoy dressing in traditional clothing for special events on campus like the Amazing Taste and President's Dinner
Average Winter Temperatures 26°F or -3°C
Average Summer Temperatures 74°F or 26°C
Average Precipitation 36 in or 92 cm

Personal Items

  • If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring a spare pair and verification of your current optical prescription
  • Medication needed to treat any on-going medical conditions. Certain medications may not be permitted in the U.S. Please visit the US Food & Drug Administration's webpage about traveling with medications for more information
  • Any personal hygiene products from your home country that may not be available in the United States

Optional Items

  • Music and photos from your home country
  • Bath towels
  • A set or two of bedding sheets (Residence Halls: Twin XL)

Important Pre-Arrival Tasks

    If you have not had the opportunity to complete your housing contract, you run the risk of not having a place to stay. You will be required to pay a housing deposit of $125 (residence hall) or $300 (University Apartment) in order to reserve your room.
    If you have not confirmed that you will arrive and attend orientation, please complete the online form as soon as possible.  The form will also inform us how you will arrive to Muncie (shuttle, bus, Uber, etc.).