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Student Life

Student Life

Our students have the best of both worlds—a rich academic environment centered on a traditional campus plus the excitement of a metropolitan setting. The University of Minnesota student experience is shaped by a large, diverse university community and the offerings of the surrounding city, including entertainment, internship, and career opportunities. Learn more about the benefits of our metropolitan location.


Something is always going on at the University of Minnesota. There are more than 900 student groups on campus along with programs organized by International Student and Scholar Services and campus-wide celebrations.


The University offers a wide variety of housing options across campus, including nine traditional residence halls and four apartment-style buildings. If you want to live with students who share your interests, check out the Living Learning Communities. Living on campus is a great way to meet other students. All freshman students are guaranteed a place to live on campus if they submit the required materials by the housing deadline.


We want your transition to the University of Minnesota to be as smooth as possible. You (and your parents) can take advantage of our extensive orientation programs, planned by Orientation and Transition Experiences and International Student and Scholar Services. In August/January, start by attending Global Gopher Events, which is the orientation program for all new international students. Students say Global Gopher Events was where they met their best friends and started their adventure at the University! You can also apply to be part of the International Buddy Program, ISSS's program that pairs new international students with returning students who serve as mentors and answer all of their buddy's questions.

Your parents are welcome to attend either the Chinese Parent Orientation Program (ChiPOP) or the International Parent Orientation Program (IPOP). These programs give your parents the opportunity to ask their questions directly to the staff who specialize in working with international students. A panel of returning students will also share stories about their experiences.

Once you have completed Global Gopher Events, undergraduate students participate in Welcome Week, an all-campus orientation for freshmen and transfer students. Graduate and professional degree students attend events sponsored by their programs.  

Pride and Spirit

When you arrive at the University of Minnesota, you join a campus with many events that foster university pride and spirit. Annual traditions like Homecoming and Spring Jam mark the beginning and end of the academic year.  You can cheer on our 23 Division I athletic teams and have your photo taken with our mascot, Goldy Gopher. We even sing special University of Minnesota songs (including The Minnesota Rouser and Hail Minnesota) to celebrate our community.