Missouri State University
International Bears
International Perspectives at Missouri State University

2017 Global Agriculture Initiative

Students from UniCesumar and Missouri State tour Missouri farms.
Students from UniCesumar and Missouri State tour Missouri farms.


Students from Missouri State University’s partner institution, UniCesumar, arrived in Springfield, Missouri May 8. 

They found it a far cry from their home city, Maringá, Brazil, but luckily their fields of study, veterinary medicine and agronomy, translate around the world. Missouri State students and faculty greeted them on campus to hold workshops and training inside and out of the classroom for a program organized collaboratively between the International Leadership and Training Center, College of Agriculture, and Study Away Programs. 

Following an overview of Missouri agriculture and agribusiness practices in Missouri, presented by Missouri State agriculture students, the visitors were ready to hit the ground running. The students’ time was split between industry visits, classroom lectures by Missouri State faculty, and cultural exploration throughout the state. Missouri State students joined as they toured Missouri farms and agribusinesses and learned about agriculture in the Midwest.

After an action packed week in Missouri, UniCesumar and Missouri State students and faculty headed south for a mirrored version of the program, with Missouri State students receiving similar training and cultural opportunities in Maringá, Brazil.

Students from UniCesumar and Missouri State tour Missouri farms.

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Top 3 Ways to Get Involved on Campus

Our favorite ways to get involved on campus. 

1. Campus Organizations

American students, Korean students, Korean-American students, and international students are welcome in KASU. Aubra George/ Missouri State University
American students, Korean students, Korean-American students – basically anyone is welcome in KASU. Aubra George/Missouri State University

Students with interests from anime to zoology can find a group of like-minded Bears through CampusLINK, available through your my.missouristate.edu student portal on the “Profile” tab. Search by keyword or interest to find an organization. Getting involved in campus organizations is a great way to meet friends from all over the world!

If you’re interested in international or cultural organizations in particular, check out the list below. 

2. Say “Hey!” on Campus

There’s no formal procedure for meeting new people. Start a conversation with someone while you’re waiting for class to begin or ask if you can sit with someone for lunch. The worst anyone can say is no. 

Strike up a conversation while you're waiting in line. Look, it worked for these guys! Kevin White/Missouri State University
Strike up a conversation while you’re waiting in line. Look, it worked for these guys! Kevin White/Missouri State University

3. Sign up to make International Friends

Actually, we do have a formal procedure for meeting new people. It’s called International Friends and it’s an amazing way to meet people with similar interests. International students, sign up to request a family or friend from the United States. We’ll partner you with a local family or Missouri State student. Local families and students, sign up to request an international friend. We hope you’ll get together at least a few times a month to hang out. Follow International Friends on Facebook and contact Joyce Eddy to find out how you can get involved.

International Friends - horseback riding not required. Although it looks like they're having a nice time.
International Friends – horses not required. We do love cute animal photos though. International Friends/Participant photo


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International Services Winter Break Office Hours

The Office of International Services will be closed December 22 – January 4 for winter holiday. All university offices will be closed at that time. Staff will be back in the office on Thursday, January 5 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

Staff will be available to provide airport pick-ups to new international students, even during holiday break. New international students who wish to use this service should fill out the Airport Pick-Up Request form.

If you arrive at the airport without transportation, you may contact the Office of Safety and Transportation at 417-836-5509. They’ll help you get in contact with us to make sure you find a way to your new home. Review our Travel Arrangements page for more information and contact information.


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Online Immigration Orientation

All new international students are required to complete our Online Immigration Orientation prior to arrival in Springfield, Missouri. This is for your benefit! Travel and arrival at your United States port of entry will be much easier if you are familiar with your immigration documents and identification that you’ll need to present upon arrival in the United States. 

To complete Online Immigration Orientation: 

  1. Create your BearPass login and email address. If you’ve already done this step, great! 
  2. Log on to Blackboard, Missouri State University’s online learning management system. Find out how to log on here
  3. Choose “Community” in the top right corner. “International Student Orientation” will populate under the “My Organizations” tab.Online Immigration Training at Missouri State University
  4. Now you’re on our Online Immigration Orientation page. Online Immigration Training at Missouri State University
  5. From the Online Immigration Orientation page, choose “Immigration Orientation” from the navigation at left. Online Immigration Training at Missouri State University
  6. Follow the instructions to complete the Online Immigration Orientation tutorial videos and quiz. 
  7. Upload your immigration documents. PDF or JPG files will work. document-upload

This process will make your life easier as you prepare for travel and arrival in Springfield, Missouri. Please contact us if you have questions – we’re happy to help!

Call: +001-417-836-6618

Email: InternationalServices@MissouriState.edu

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Request Free Transportation from the Springfield Branson National Airport (SGF) to Missouri State University

Let us know when you will arrive in Springfield, Missouri at the Springfield Branson National Airport (airport code SGF) and we’ll be there to greet you!

How it works:

  1. Fill out the Airport Pick-Up Request form online.
  2. Receive an email confirmation from one of our #InternationalBears Welcome Crew members.
  3. Travel to Springfield, Missouri.
  4. Look for the Missouri State maroon shirts when you arrive at the Springfield Branson National Airport.
  5. The #InternationalBears Welcome Crew will give you a ride.

All you have to do is fill out the Airport Pick-Up Request form and our #InternationalBears Welcome Crew will greet you at the airport, help you find your luggage, provide transportation to your permanent or temporary housing, and make sure you have all the basics you need to start life in Springfield, Missouri. 

GIF of airport welcome
We love welcoming new students to Springfield, Missouri.
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Social Media Kit – Aman Ali: “Ask Me Anything – I’m Muslim!”

Aman Ali was raised in Ohio and as he describes, he “was the only brown kid” in his school. As a result, he has spent his lifetime explaining his Muslim faith to others and has learned to do so with sensitivity, humor, and an open heart. There are NO questions that he won’t field as he has likely answered them before! If you wonder what Islam is to a Muslim guy who lives in New York City, who Muslims worship, what it is like to fast at Ramadan (even from a young age), what happens at the mosque, how dating works, why some Muslims don’t touch alcohol and some do, why Muslims come from many different ethnic backgrounds, how praying in a language he doesn’t speak fluently is important, and why Mecca is a goal for Muslims, THIS presentation (which is largely discussion) is for you!

Key Details

  • What: International Education Week Keynote Speaker
  • When: November 10, 7:30 p.m.
  • Who: Open to all Missouri State and Springfield community members
  • Sponsor: International Programs, Public Affairs, Modern and Classical Languages, and the Foreign Language Institute. This event was also funded in part by the Student Involvement Fee, and approved by the Student Organization Funding Allocation Council (SOFAC).
  • Tickets: Free and open to the public
  • Download our flyer to print and post

Share the story

Help us spread the word about Ali’s presentation. If you’re planning on attending, invite your friends. Once you arrive, share the story with those who aren’t in attendance via social media.

Make your posts social media savvy


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Social Media Kit: Tour of the Globe

Tour of the Globe transforms the Morris Center downtown into a global bazaar for an evening, allowing the Missouri State and Springfield communities to experience the diverse cultures represented by our students at Missouri State. Students showcase their home countries with traditional dress, food, dancing, games, art, and more.

Key Details

Share the story

Help us spread the word about Tour of the Globe! It’s a great way to share the many cultures of Missouri State with friends in our local community. If you’re participating or planning on attending, share your experience. 

Make your posts social media savvy



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Sample Tweets

  • Experience the vast array of cultures represented by #InternationalBears at @MoStateGlobal’s Tour of the Globe http://bit.ly/2esSqdh
  • Learn something new at Tour of the Globe! I’ll be representing #InternationalBears from India with @MoStateGlobal http://bit.ly/2esSqdh 
  • Join @MoStateGlobal Nov 4 to celebrate the diversity of cultures represented by #InternationalBears @MissouriState http://bit.ly/2esSqdh

Sample Facebook posts

  • #InternationalBears will share their cultures Nov 1 at the Jim D. Morris Center downtown. I’m proud to be a part of the diverse community at Missouri State http://bit.ly/2esSqdh
  • Experience the art, music, fashion, and food of many nations in the Jim D. Morris Center downtown this Friday, Nov 4 with International Services at Missouri State http://bit.ly/2esSqdh
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Beginning Real Life, Post Graduation

It may seem early in the semester to be thinking about graduation, but we know a lot of international students are preparing to graduate this December and next May. Have you considered your post-graduation plans?

If you’re planning on returning to your home country…

You have 60 days after graduation on your visa to return home. This is a great opportunity to travel or make arrangements for your trip home. Will you be living with family, or striking off on your own? Are you returning to your home city, or seeking work in another area of your home country? The job search can be intimidating, especially when you’re searching from thousands of miles away. We recommend checking out the Career Center for their tips and resources.

If you’re planning on seeking temporary work in the United States…

Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training are options for many Missouri State graduates. The Office of International Services offers multiple workshops each semester to help students make the transition from school to work smoothly. These workshops are required for students who wish to continue living and working in the United States to help you maintain your immigration status.

If you’re planning on applying to graduate or post-baccalaureate studies…

We applaud you for continuing your studies at Missouri State University. The Office of International Services is here to help you move from your undergraduate studies to graduate or post-baccalaureate studies seamlessly. Did you know that even if you wish to continue your studies at Missouri State, your visa expires 60 days after you graduate? We’ll show you how to avoid being out of status and creating a headache for yourself at our Change of Level Workshops. We’ll also cover how to report those coveted graduate assistantships. These workshops are required for students who wish to continue studying in the United States to help you maintain your immigration status.

Regardless of your plans after graduation, we’re very proud of all our international graduates.

Welcome Home

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Attending the Missouri State Tailgate Party and Football Game

American Football.

It’s as much of a cultural phenomenon as it is an athletic event, and Americans get SO. EXCITED. over it.

It’s easy to confuse football with fútbol when you’re talking about it, but when you get to the game you’ll know it’s totally different. We’ll borrow from the National Football League for a brief explanation of the game.

“One 11-man team has possession of the football. It is called the offense and it tries to advance the ball down the field-by running with the ball or throwing it – and score points by crossing the goal line and getting into an area called the end zone.

The other team (also with 11 players) is called the defense. It tries to stop the offensive team and make it give up possession of the ball. If the team with the ball does score or is forced to give up possession, the offensive and defensive teams switch roles (the offensive team goes on defense and the defensive team goes on offense). And so on, back and forth, until all four quarters of the game have been played.” National Football League

We’ll let you read more about the way the game is played on their website, because there are A LOT of rules. Basically, you want the Missouri State Bears to have possession of the ball as much as possible and cross the goal line into the end zone as frequently as possible. We highly recommend making an American friend when you go watch who can tell you what’s going on – just look for someone who’s really into the game. They usually know what’s happening. You could also tweet our football team’s coach, Coach Dave Steckel, for American football tips.

Missouri State University Football

What to Expect on Campus on Game Day

The Plaster Student Union Bear (statue) will be wearing clothes.

giphy (16)

The PSU Bear is a campus icon who gets involved in all sorts of events, and she loves game days. She wears the number 05 on her football jersey because Missouri State was founded in 1905. If you take a picture with her on game day, make sure you tweet her. She loves the attention from #InternationalBears.

The area between Carrington Hall and Meyer Library will be covered in tents.

This area is called BearFest Village on game days, and is the designated area for campus tailgating. They look funny when they’re empty, but on game days they’re great to gather under and celebrate with other students, staff, faculty, and alumni. And yes, those are portable bathrooms next to Carrington Hall, usually called port-o-potties. We’ll use those during tailgating.

Tents at Missouri State University Bearfest Village

Classes will go on as usual, unless you’re otherwise notified.

Normally Missouri State football games are on Saturdays, so they don’t affect our regular university schedule. The 2016 home opener (first home game) will be held on September 1, which is a Thursday. We’ve heard rumors that a few professors are planning to cancel class, but it will be on a case by case basis. Make sure you’re in class if your professor is still holding it.

University offices will remain on regular schedules.

Again, most Missouri State football games are on Saturdays, so campus offices are usually closed on game day. For the 2016 home opener, President Clif Smart is encouraging our campus staff and faculty members to attend the pre-game tailgate celebration and game, so offices on campus will be letting most employees leave for the day at 4 p.m. on September 1, 2016. If you have university business, make sure to plan accordingly and try to get in earlier in the day if possible since staffing will be limited after 4 p.m.

Tailgating will begin 3 hours before scheduled game time.

According to the internet, tailgate parties began way back during the American Civil War at the Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Onlookers gathered at the battlefield to cheer on their “team” and celebrated with food and drink. Don’t worry – modern tailgating is much more light-hearted and fun. We’re bummed the origins are so grim. At a Missouri State tailgate party in BearFest Village, you can expect a huge crowd, lots of maroon clothing, and all kinds of foods and drinks. We’ll even have a tent to welcome international students and your friends, open to anyone who’s cheering for the Bears. For the September 1, 2016 game, you can find our tent nearest the Carrington Hall shuttle stop, on the northeast corner of the football stadium. Since the game starts at 6 p.m., we’ll be out ready to cheer on the Bears with nachos and drinks starting at 3 p.m. We’d love for you to stop by and see us, but you should also walk around all of BearFest Village to experience all the action.

Pride Band

The football team, Pride Band, and spirit squads will walk through BearFest Village close to game time.

Our tent is in a great location to see the parade of student athletes and musicians. High five the football players and wish them luck before the game!

BearFest Village at Missouri State University

An important note.

BearFest Village is a rare exception to the normal alcohol-free campus policy at Missouri State. Alcohol is allowed at tailgating, but please be responsible and remember that it is illegal in the United States for anyone under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol or to have consumed alcohol. If you are over 21, just remember not to bring any glass containers and make sure you carry your ID.

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Welcome Weekend at Missouri State University

Now that you’ve moved into your permanent housing and settled into campus life following New International Student Orientation, it’s time to party! Missouri State has so many great activities planned for Welcome Weekend, August 19-21. We’ll give you a breakdown of activities happening this weekend and what you can expect to find when you attend.

Friday, August 19, 2016


7 p.m. | Allison Recreation Fields

The name seems confusing, but… it’s just a Playfair. The Allison Recreation Fields are on the northeast side of campus near National Avenue. Friday night this big open soccer space will be full of students playing all kinds of games. The games are meant to help you meet new friends and get to know the people you’ll be going to classes with in a fun, interactive environment.

giphy (4)

Men’s Soccer vs Missouri S&T

7 p.m. | Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium

#BearUp and #GoMaroon and cheer on the Missouri State Soccer Bears as they face our neighbor in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri Science and Technology. There are a few #InternationalBears on the team, so this is a great way to support your international friends. #BearUp is a phrase from our Missouri State football coach that we started using to describe anyone who is working hard, hustling, or winning. Using the #GoMaroon hashtag is a good way to join any conversation about Missouri State on social media. And we like #InternationalBears to give our international students a voice (plus we use it a lot on our social media).

Missouri State Men's Soccer

Outdoor Games and Movie Night

10 p.m. | North Mall

Have you seen those inflatable jump houses? They’ll have those. We’re guessing you’ll be able to run bungee races,* wrestle in sumo suits,* and just jump around* in general. The North Mall is that area in front of Plaster Student Union between Taylor Health and Wellness and Blair-Shannon. When you’re tired of the inflatables, watch “Captain America: Civil War” on an inflatable screen outside. It might be a good idea to bring a blanket to sit on for that part.

*Videos not affiliated with Missouri State, just examples of what we think may be there. Please don’t be mad at us if those aren’t at the party.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

“See you later” Brunch

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Campus Dining Centers

For anyone who brought your family with you this week, this is a good time to enjoy a meal with them before they go back home. Up to two family members can eat free with students (everyone else has to pay). Even if you didn’t bring your family, this is a great opportunity to meet other students and enjoy a nice brunch. Visit the dining center in Blair-Shannon, Garst, or Kentwood.

Swag Stations

12-5 p.m. | Baker Bookstore, Boomer’s at Hammons House and John Q. Hammons Fountain

Swag = Free stuff. This one is sponsored by the Missouri State Bookstore and Coca-Cola, so you’ll have a chance to grab free hats, bags, and t-shirts from them. We hear there is also a chance to win a Coca-Cola branded bicycle valued at $400, so make sure you visit all the stations for a chance to win the bike.

Fan Fest and Bear Bash

7:30 p.m. | North Mall and Plaster Student Union

This is, in our opinion, the biggest and best back-to-school party in the world.* At the North Mall again, the open space in front of Plaster Student Union, and this time you’ll find games, music, and all kinds of free stuff. We love this event. Look forward to free food, games, hypnotists, karaoke, bowling, and fun.

*Just our opinion. We have no facts to back this up.

Bear Bash
Bear Bash

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fraternity & Sorority Life 101

12 p.m. | Hammons Student Center

Have you wondered if being in a fraternity or sorority is really like it seems in the movies? Learn the basics of what it means to be a member of “Greek life” on campus and how to join. Even if you don’t plan on rushing (the process of joining a fraternity or sorority) this is a great way to learn about this piece of U.S. university culture.

Greek Life

New Student Convocation

2 p.m. | JQH Arena

This is THE official welcome ceremony for new students. Our male a capella group, the Beartones, will perform, as well as the Pride Band, the Missouri State marching band. This year’s guest speaker is Jeff Houghton, a local celebrity who’s claim to fame was the viral YouTube video “Instagram Husband,” a bit first shown at Springfield, Missouri’s only late night talk show, The Mystery Hour. You’ll also hear from our university president, Clif Smart. We highly recommend attending this event.

Bear Path

Following New Student Convocation | Sidewalk between JQH Arena and Plaster Student Union

This is an annual tradition following New Student Convocation. Missouri State faculty, staff, and student groups line the sidewalk between JQH Arena and Plaster Student Union to cheer you on as you walk by. It’s like being in a parade, and new students are the biggest stars. We suggest taking photos and video to send to your adoring fans back home.

Bear Path

New Student Festival

3 p.m. | North Mall and Plaster Student Union

More than 150 student organizations and campus resources will be at the North Mall or inside Plaster Student Union. Getting involved on campus is important, and this is the best time to check out what Missouri State offers for students. All you have to do is find something that looks interesting and start talking to people at the booth. Oh – this is another event where you’ll find lots of free stuff.

Commuter Reception

4 p.m. | Plaster Student Union Club (Room 400)

If you live in an off-campus apartment or house, you’ll want to attend this event. Free pizza for attendees, plus you’ll learn about resources for students who plan on commuting to campus every day.


5 p.m. | Freudenberger House Courtyard

This is a fun play on words – BBQ is a type of food that’s pretty popular around here, and we hope you’ll find that you “belong” here at Missouri State by meeting new people and enjoying a warm welcome from faculty and staff. Free food, fun activities, and, you guessed it, more free stuff.


7 p.m. | Plaster Stadium

Check out a full-scale marching band performance from the Pride Band at Plaster Stadium (the football field). They’re pretty impressive.

Pride Band

Feel at Home at Missouri State

All of these events are planned with you in mind! We want you to feel welcomed and excited about the school year so you can start thinking of Missouri State as home. Every one of these events are free, too. Free events, free food, free stuff, games, cheering, music, parades… Welcome Weekend at Missouri State has it all.

Welcome Home

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