Support and Special Programs

The International Programs Office leads an excursion to the Black Hills for International Student Orientation.

Augustana welcomes international students! Some of the most important services for new students are also outlined below.

Free Airport Pick-up:  Augustana provides free airport pick-up for all new international students. We will arrange for a staff member or ACE Ambassador to pick you up at the airport in Sioux Falls (FSD).

Orientation Program International student orientation is mandatory for new students, and inlcudes a mix of fun sight-seeing social activities designed to help you get to know people and places in your new university home - as well as a number of important sessions on academics and classroom expectations, immigration regulations, and other topics of interest for new internatioal students.

During orientation, the IPO will help you obtain your Augustana Student ID card, set up a bank account, help you connect your devices to campus WiFi, and provide emergency contact information and instructions. You will also learn more about intramural sports teams, the Friendship Family program, the ACE program, and how to get involved with the many activities and events happening on campus and in the Sioux Falls community. We will also provide you with information and tips for the cultural adjustment process, making friends with American students, and a lesson on the philosophies and concepts that form the foundation of the American educational system and at Augustana as well.

Employment and Internship Advising:  The IPO is pleased to offer assistance to international students seeking employment or internships.  Augustana is fortunate to be located in Sioux Falls, a city that enjoys a dynamic local economy and an unemployment rate among the lowest in the United States, making it comparatively easy for students to find jobs. International students are only permitted to work on campus during their first year of study. Most international students may be approved to work off-campus during their second, third, and fourth years of study as long as the job is related to their field of study. The IPO provides assistance with the SEVIS immigration paperwork related to employment for international students as well as help with social security number applications once a student has secured a job offer.

Immigration and Visa Advising: The IPO provides assistance to prospective and current students with the visa application process and general immigration questions. For more complicated immigration issues, the IPO can recommend immigration attorneys specializing in work with students.  The U.S. State Department provides helpful information on its website as well.

Friendship Family Program: Augustana offers a Friendship Family Program for international students. Though nearly all new international students live on campus at Augustana, being a part of a local family can introduce you to American culture, activities, and family life away from campus. Please visit our Friendship Family page for more information. If you are interested in joining the program, please fill out a Friendship Family Student Application.

Augustana Cultural Exchange (ACE) Program:  The ACE program provides peer assistance for new international students in the transition to Augustana University. Each new international student is placed in a small group with other new students and 3-4 second, third, or fourth-year Ambassadors.  The Ambassadors act as mentors to new international students, providing guidance, advice, and assistance adapting to American culture and to studies at Augustana.

Writing Center: Augustana offers a free Writing Center with nationally certified peer tutors. The tutors are available to help you understand your writing assignments, organize your ideas and provide strategies for editing. Each semester a variety of workshops are offered to help with the writing process as well.  The Writing Center also sponsors a weekly English conversation table for international students.

Departmental Tutors:  Many academic departments offer free tutors for Augustana students. View the tutoring schedule for each department.

Academic Advising:  Each international student is assigned a faculty academic advisor in his or her major. Faculty advisors help students make sure they are taking the appropriate classes to complete their major and other academic requirements at Augustana. Students who are undecided are also assigned a faculty advisor until they have chosen a major. IPO staff serve as a secondary academic advisors for international students as needed.

Rendezvous Program: Each Friday at the Rendezvous Program, students gather in the Back Alley to listen to a fellow student/s presentation on their cultural experiences.  These speakers are current international students and returning study abroad students. The presentations educate Augustana students and faculty members on their country of origin or recent study abroad experience. 

Excursions:  In addition to monthly local activities, the IPO plans several excursions for international students outside of Sioux Falls each year.  Annual excursions include a trip to the Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, and Crazy Horse, the Mall of America, the Omaha Zoo and Old Market area.  These experiences are all covered by your international student enrollment deposit, so you can take part in as many trips as you like!

Concerts and Entertainment: The Augustana Union Board of Governors (UBG) programs entertainment events at Augustana. Its purpose is to provide fun social, cultural, and developmental activities for the Augustana student body. Activities include films, dances, acoustic nights, comedians, authors, world issues, symphony nights and Big Events concerts.  Past Big Event performers include Ben Folds, O.A.R., Sara Bareilles, Wide Spread Panic, Philip Philips, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the Goo Goo Dolls, the Plain White T's, and Parachute.

World Famous Speakers: Through the Boe Forum on Public Affairs, the Center for Western Studies has hosted many of the world’s most influential leaders, including: Gen. Colin Powell (1995), President George H. W. Bush (1995), President of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev (1996), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999), Jordan's Queen Noor (2001), Vice President Al Gore (2007), former President of Mexico Vicente Fox (2007), former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O-Connor (2008), President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf (2009), former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (2010), former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (2011), director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen (2012), former governor of Utah and former U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore Jon Huntsman (2013), Microsoft Executive Robbie Bach (2014), the late U.S. Suprem Court Justice Antonin D. Scalia (In Memoriam - 2016), and award-winning astrophysicist, author, and narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson (2017).