International Studies & Programs

Campus Resources

What is my PID and PAN?

Your PID is your personal identification number. It begins with the letter "A". It is your unique number at Michigan State. It may be required by professors or other university representatives at other times during your semesters as a Spartan.

Your PAN is a 4 digit number used by students to activate your student e-mail account and for advisors to enroll you in courses. It isn't as important to remember, because you probably won't use it after you activate your MSU e-mail and student account. It is periodically changed by the Office of the Registrar for your security.

Your PID and PAN were provided to you with your admission letter. Please take a look at that packet.

I am sick and need to go to the doctor. What do I do?

You should keep a copy of your health insurance card/information with you at all times. Each insurance company has different procedures. Some require you to pay a co-pay at the time of your treatment, and others require you to pay for the appointment upfront and you are refunded later. It is helpful to familiarize yourself with the regulations of your health insurance company. Not all insurance is accepted at all locations. It also helps to know which medical facilities will accept your insurance in case there is an emergency.

The Olin Health Center is located conveniently on campus. If you are sick, a van can be arranged to pick you up from your residence hall to take you to the health center by calling their office.

If the Olin Health Center is closed, you may want to consider visiting an urgent acre facility to be seen by a doctor. The emergency room should only be visited for life-threatening injuries or if a doctor determines that your sickness needs to be treated in a hospital. 

Do I need health insurance as an American Semester Student at MSU?

Yes, health insurance coverage is required for all students on the American Semester Program and at Michigan State University. Health insurance is also required for your visa, so it is very important that you have sufficient health insurance coverage during your time at Michigan State. Not having health insurance is a violation of your visa, and you may be sent home if you are uninsured. Healthcare is extremely expensive in the United States, and not having coverage means that you might not be able to receive the care that you need if you were in an accident or became ill while you are in the United States.

Every student on the American Semester Program, who is not a U.S. citizen, is automatically enrolled in the university's student health insurance plan. This health insurance meets the minimum requirements required by the government. More information about the MSU student insurance plan through Blue Care Network can be found the MSU Benefits Office website.

I have my own health insurance coverage. How do I waive the health insurance through MSU?

If your health insurance meets the minimum requirements set by the United States government, you can choose to waive MSU student insurance. The waiver process happens at the MSU Health Benefits Office. In order to get a waiver you need to make sure your policy meets the necessary requirements.

The online waiver form cannot be filed before arrival on campus. However, students should contact their insurance company in advance to request a special letter in English, which outlines how the coverage meets or exceeds the necessary minimum requirements. 

After arrival on campus, students can fill out the electronic waiver request and ask for support if needed. Once the online waiver form has been completed and a copy of your policy in English has been submitted, the responsible office will review your request and get back to you with either a decision or with additional questions. Be sure to check your MSU e-mail (at least) daily and respond promptly.

Can I work while I am on the American Semester Program?

Students on a J-1 and F-1 visa are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours a week during the academic semester. However, the hiring process involves a background check, which can take 3 weeks to process. Depending on any training needs for the specific job, students may not be able to start working until the middle of the semester.

It is possible to find flexible part time work in the cafeterias, departments and athletic and cultural venues. Students often find working on campus to be a great way to make friends and earn extra money. It is best to arrange jobs after arrival on campus when you can apply in person.

What is a social security card and where do I go to get one?

A social security card is a form of identification required of all employees in the United States. Before you can start working on campus, you will need to have a social security card.


Follow the instructions on the handout for getting a social security card listed on the Office for International Students and Scholar's website.

How do I get a driver's license or a state of Michigan ID card?

If you would like to drive in the United States it is important you get a Michigan driver's license. Since you are not a tourist, an international driver's license will not be valid after a short amount of time.


Follow the instructions for getting a driver's license or state ID listed on the Office for International Students and Scholars website. If you are a scholar rather than a student follow these instructions.

How do I access my MSU email and student account?

MSU email can be accessed online here

Log in using the MSU NetID and password provided to you in your acceptance letters from the American Semester Program. It is very important to check your MSU Email daily is it is how ASP, your professors, and other departments at MSU will communicate with you!

Where do I go if I lose my Michigan State University ID card?

Students who lose their MSU ID card can stop in at the MSU ID Office, which is located is room 170 International Center (right next the food court). Students need to bring their passport or Michigan driver's license as well as your APID (Your MSU Identification number, which starts with an "A").

How do I print on campus?

To print to any campus Print Services printer (in the Main Library or a computer Lab), you must first set up an MSU Print account. There are computer labs located in the Main Library, the Union, and in lecture halls and residence halls.

How do I get a membership to the gyms (IMs) at Michigan State?

Gym passes can be purchased online or in person at one of the IM gym locations. Here is a link to the IM Sports webpage that lists membership fees and has a link to purchase memberships online at the MSU Rec Sports website.

Where can I get a bus pass?

Students can purchase bus passes on the CATA website or on campus at the MSU Union, the MSU ID Office (107 International Center) and certain residence halls. Semester passes, one-month passes, and 10-ride passes are available.

Where can I get a bike to ride on campus?

MSU has its own bike store as many students choose to ride bikes as a fun, convenient way to get across campus. While biking is popular in the fall and spring, it is generally recommended you do not ride your bike when the sidewalks are snowy and icy.

It is possible to rent bikes from the MSU Bikes for the semester. Their office is located along the north side of the Red Cedar River on Farm Lane. It is also an inexpensive and convenient place to have your bike serviced.

If the MSU Bikes office is out of bikes, and they often are, it is possible to purchase a basic new bike for less than $100 from a store like Meijer or Walmart.

Who is Sparty?

Sparty is the mascot for the Michigan State University Spartans! To learn more about Sparty, visit the Sparty page.

How can I get involved on campus?

There are more than 650 student organizations on campus varying from performing arts clubs, to sports clubs and business groups. There is something for everyone here at MSU and many of the ASP students do get involved in one way or another. 

There are also ways to get involved in your residence hall. Talk with your resident assistant (RA) about your interest and they can help connect you to residents who share the same interests and activities on your floor, building and the overall neighborhood. You can connect with other students in your residence hall by joining your hall’s Facebook group (more information on Spartan Connect).

Information on activities and student organizations can be found on the Student Life page and the University Activities Board.


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