Receive a great education and memorable experiences at Western! Studying at a community college does not mean options are limited. Western has many different programs of study to choose from. The opportunities at Western can pave the path for students to continue their education at a 4-year institution.
International Student Guide 2022-2023
Western Wyoming Community College is a community college located in Rock Springs, Wyoming, USA. We offer many 2-year associate degree programs and a 4-year bachelor of applied science program. Most students transfer to four-year colleges and universities across the USA after graduating from Western.
- Small class sizes. The average class size is 18. Classes rarely have more than 40 students.
- Opportunities for you: free tutoring, field trips with specific classes, counseling services, a host family program, and a Cultural Connections Club.
The Western campus has…
- 2 gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a jogging track, a wellness center and weight room, tennis courts, and a soccer field.
- 4 on campus computer labs, which provide access to software programs, internet, and e-mail.
- Free WIFI across campus and housing.
- Wyoming is the least populated state, but Wyoming is the 9th largest in size.
- The average elevation is 6,700 feet or 2,040 meters.
- Wyoming is known as the “Equality State” and the “Cowboy State.”
- Southwest Wyoming is home to over 2,000 wild horses.
- There is only one university in Wyoming: The University of Wyoming in Laramie.
- The population of Rock Springs is about 23,000 residents.
- Rock Springs is known as the “Home of Fifty-Six Nationalities.” Every year, there is an International Day celebration in July.
- Rock Springs is the largest town in Sweetwater County and the 4th largest town in Wyoming.
- There are many outdoor opportunities in the Rock Springs area: snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, skiing, rock climbing, rock collecting, hiking, and biking.
- Rock Springs has restaurants, movie theaters, 2 recreation centers and some retail stores.
- com is a great website for more information on Things to Do in Rock Springs!
1. Know your student information.
- What is your Western student ID number?
- What is your Western email address?
- What is the name of your academic advisor? What is your academic advisor’s email and phone number?
- What is your major?
2. Take the Career Coach Assessment.
3. Check out the Western Student Handbook on your MyWestern account.
- Look at the academic calendar for the year
- Review the definitions of academic words
- Read the rights, policies, and laws
- Know the tips for success!
4. Check out the online Western Catalog for:
- Degrees and graduation information
- Course titles and descriptions
- Academic policies and procedures
- Student services information
5. Check out the Western Calendar.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requires every certified school to have a principal designated school official (PDSO). Also, each program or institution can have additional designated school officials (DSO) that provide support to F-1 Visa and M-1 Visa students. Click here to learn more about PDSO & DSOs.
Campus: Western Wyoming Community College
SEVIS Campus Code: DEN214F00224000
- Stu Moore (PDSO)
- Dustin Conover (DSO)
- Dean of Students
- Peg Larson (DSO)
- Senior Student Success Advisor
- Brenda Haskins (DSO)
- Advising Office Assistant
Peg Larson firstname.lastname@example.org (office in Mustang Central)
(See your advisor for questions about adding or dropping classes, academic problems and graduation.)
- Admissions: email@example.com
- Financial Aid: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Registration & Records: email@example.com
- Student records
- Health insurance
- Balance payments
- Questions about your balance
Student Life Services
Dean of Students Office (Room 2006)
- Housing: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Life: email@example.com
- Western Campus Amenities
- Western Clubs & Student Government
- Mitchell’s Dining Hall
- T-Rex Grill
Mailroom (Room 1324 and 1553)
- Counseling services for personal problems
- Culture shock
- Roommate issues
- Home sickness
Business Information Systems (BIS) Lab (Room 1448)
IT Help Desk (Room 1315): firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer Tutor Center (Room A-212)
For questions about your international student status or advising, contact Mustang Central. For any other questions, contact the Dean of Students Office.
Western wants to make sure you have opportunities to experience American culture while you study. You can have an American host family! You can experience U.S. culture in a family setting. American families benefit from learning more about the culture of your country too. You will not live with this family, but the program provides social opportunities for you on and off campus.
If you are interested, you can request a host family from the employees at Western. To become a part of this program, please fill out the Student Host-A-Student Program Application. When this application is filled out, we will match you with a host family.
As a student at Western, you can…
- Join a club as a member or in a leadership role (like Cultural Connections Club).
- Compete in Intramural Athletics.
- Go to Mustang athletic games.
- Go to events sponsored by Western.
- Go to Student Government Association (SGA) dances and social events (and lectures and other entertainment).
- Start a campus club and request funding from SGA.
The Dean of Students Office will tell you about events for international students during the semester!
January 1: New Year’s Day. Starting with the night before (New Year’s Eve on December 31), this is a celebration to welcome the new year. (Western is closed.)
January (third Monday of the month): Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This holiday commemorates the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights leader. (Western is open.)
February (third Monday of the month): Presidents’ Day. This day honors past U.S. presidents. (Western is closed.)
February 14: Valentine’s Day. This day celebrates love and romance. This is a custom. Many people wear red or pink! (Western is open.)
February/March (the date changes): Ash Wednesday. This day marks the beginning of the 40-day period of Lent. Lent is a period of penitence and fasting in some Christian denominations. This is a custom or religious holiday. (Western is open.)
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day. This day is dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland. Many people wear green. This is a custom. (Western is open.)
March/April (always on a Sunday – the exact day changes): Easter. This Christian holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Friday before Easter is called Good Friday and is a religious holiday. Though Easter is a mainly a religious holiday, many people dye eggs for fun. Also, an Easter Bunny is connected to this holiday. (Western is closed.)
April 1: April Fools’ Day. Fun jokes or tricks are played on each other on this day. This is a custom. (Western is closed.)
May (second Sunday of the month): Mother’s Day. This holiday is a custom to celebrate mothers. (Western is open.)
May (last Monday of the month): Memorial Day. This holiday pays tribute to members of the armed forces who have been killed in war and commemorates family and friends who have died. (Western is closed.)
June (third Sunday of the month): Father’s Day. This holiday is a custom to celebrate fathers. (Western is open.)
July 4: Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed as the 13 colonies declared independence from British rule and became the United States of America. Many Americans celebrate with barbeques and fireworks! (Western is closed.)
September (first Monday of the month): Labor Day. This holiday celebrates all those who work. (Western is closed.)
October 31: Halloween. Many dress in costumes and attend parties or dances for this holiday. Traditionally, children dress in costumes and “Trick-or-Treat” (going to houses, saying “Trick or Treat,” and receiving candy). This is a custom. (Western is open.)
November 11: (Veterans’ Day). This is a holiday that marks the date of the end of World War I and honors veterans (people who served) of the armed forces. (Western is open.)
November (last Thursday of the month): Thanksgiving. This is a day of giving thanks. The “first Thanksgiving” was celebrated by Pilgrims who first came to American in 1621. This holiday is usually celebrated with a feast with lots of food! (Western is closed.)
December 25: Christmas. This annual holiday of the Christian church commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. This major holiday is usually celebrated with food and gifts. (Western is closed for Christmas and Winter Break for nearly one month.)
All students who are degree-seeking or full-time are required to take placement tests. These tests determine your level in English and math, so you can register for the right classes! Sometimes, developmental classes are required before you can enter college-level classes.
The placement tests can be taken one time for free. With your advisor’s approval, you can repeat the tests one time every semester for $10. If you have questions, talk to the advising staff in Mustang Central or email email@example.com.
English Department Classes
Many U.S. and international students take developmental classes before they can take college level English classes, so do not be discouraged if you cannot take English classes in your first – or even second – semester at Western. In every degree program, international students on F-1 visas are required to take and successfully complete an English course each semester until English Composition I is completed with a “C” grade or better.
At Western, classes are taught in different ways, depending on the class and instructor. Classes usually are a combination of lecture and discussion.
- Lectures are most common. The instructor is at the front of the room lecturing to students as they take notes. Sometimes, topics discussed in lectures are on exams, even if the topics are not in the textbook. Students usually can record lectures. Ask the instructor for permission before you record. Also, sitting in the front row can help.
- Discussion classes encourage class discussion and reviews concepts taught in class.
- Laboratory (also called “Lab”) classes are usually combined with lectures. Labs are usually a part of a science or professional class. Labs allow you to apply your knowledge. The traditional science lab meets once a week. Sometimes, you will work with a lab partner. Lab classes are combined with other classes, but you must register and test for them separately.
- Internet classes use an online software called Canvas to communicate with the instructor and complete assignments. International students on F-1 visas cannot take more than three credits by internet each semester.
To keep your status as an international student on an F-1 visa, you must complete at least 12 credit hours each semester with a 2.00-grade point average (GPA) or higher.
If these requirements are not met, here is what happens:
- After one semester, students will be placed on academic alert.
- After the second semester, students will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation are assigned a probation advisor. They are limited on how many credit hours they can take. Also, international students are not allowed to work.
- After three semesters, students will be placed on academic suspension. They are not allowed to return to Western for a fall or spring semester. Suspended international students are terminated in SEVIS. They are not eligible for transfer to other U.S. colleges or universities.
Problems with a Class
If you have trouble in a class or do not understand something, ask for help! There are many people at Western to help you. Here are suggestions on getting academic help:
- Talk to your instructor. Your instructor could not know that there is a problem. Your instructor could clear up any confusion you have.
- Talk to your academic advisor in Mustang Central or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your academic advisor helps you decide which classes to take. Your academic advisor advises you if you have trouble.
- Visit the Peer Tutor Center (Room A-212)
Living on campus gives you more chances to get to know other students and make college memories! Also, living on campus is cheaper than living off campus.
Western has seven different room styles. To live on campus, you need to pay a $150 housing deposit. Room assignments are made by the date the deposit is paid. You do not need to be accepted for admissions to pay the deposit. Pay the deposit early to have a better chance of getting the room style you want. All freshman residents and all residents living in a room style without a kitchen are required to buy an A or B Meal Plan.
After living on-campus for a year, some students decide to live off-campus. If you want to rent off-campus, talk to students who are renting. Ask them if they have had any problems. Off-campus housing is usually expensive in Rock Springs.
Finding a place to live can be stressful, even for Americans, so do not feel overwhelmed. Here is a list of words you could see or hear:
- Apartment – A place to live that usually has a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedrooms. Apartments are together in an apartment building
- Deposit – An amount of money that you pay the landlord before renting the apartment
- Landlord – (also called a “manager”) The person who owns or manages an apartment
- Lease – A legal document signed by you and the landlord that represents your agreement.
- Furnished – The apartment has furniture
- Unfurnished – The apartment has no furniture but there is a refrigerator, stove, and maybe other kitchen appliances
- Utilities – Gas, electricity, garbage collection, water, and WIFI
Local Grocery Stores and Convenience Stores
Albertsons 1323 Dewar Dr.
Smith's 2581 Foothill Blvd.
Walmart 201 Gateway Blvd.
Loaf & Jug 3036 College Dr.
A list of what to buy when you arrive in the U.S.:
- Sheets (extra-long twin)
- Bath Towels
- Hand Towels
- Bath Soap
- Laundry Detergent
- Toilet Paper
- Cleaning Supplies
A list of more items to buy if you have an apartment:
- Dish Soap
- Dish Towels
- Sharp knife
- Pots and Pans
- Can opener
- Paper towels
- Plastic wrap
- Basic food items
- Free WIFI is available across campus.
- Rocky Mountain Hall has a computer room for on-campus residents. Aspen Mountain Hall also offers a small computer lab for residents.
- All of Western Housing has WIFI.
Television (also called “TV”)
TVs are located in the Game Room, Aspen Mountain, Rocky Mountain, and Wind River Hall!
Having a cell phone is very useful! Verizon and Union Cellular require a contract and service plan. Verizon has nationwide cell coverage. Union Wireless cell coverage is over Wyoming. TracFones are used with minutes bought on a phone card or online with no monthly fee. You can buy a Tracphone at Walmart, Smiths, or Albertsons.
You should keep your money in a bank. You should not keep a lot of money in your on-campus or off-campus housing. You should have a savings account and a debit card/checking account to make shopping easier. You need to be at least 18 years old to have a bank account.
- Commerce Bank:1575 Dewar Dr., Suite 100
- First Bank: 601 N. Front Street
- Rock Springs National Bank: 1987 Dewar Drive
- State Bank: 300 Center Street
- U.S. Bank: 1510 Dewar Drive
- Wells Fargo: 1400 Dewar Drive
- Bank of the West: 200 N. Center Street
- Mailing a letter within the U.S. costs $0.55. The weight and size of a letter/package can raise the price.
- The price of mailing a letter or package overseas depends on the destination and the weight.
- Most of your mail can be sent from Western’s mailroom. The Western Bookstore sells postage stamps.
- The Rock Springs Post Office is located at 2829 Commercial Way.
You can rent a bicycle from the Western Game Room. Remember to wear a helmet! Return the bicycle within 24 hours.
Rock Springs offers students a public transportation system called the STAR Transit (a bus). The bus can drive you from the Western Transfer Station (in the west parking lot). The STAR Transit is a great way to travel in Rocky Springs and Green River!
The STAR Transit can drive you to specific locations in Rock Springs and Green River for a fee of $1 each way. You can ride the STAR Transit between Walmart and the Western campus for free. If you have questions, talk to the Dean of Students Office.
College employees cannot drive students to the store, the bank, or other places during Western business hours. Western employees will transport students for medical emergencies.
Many students buy or borrow a vehicle. Having a vehicle is nice, but buying and maintaining a vehicle is expensive. Driving without a valid driver’s license is illegal.
The State of Wyoming requires every driver to be licensed and insured before driving a vehicle on public streets and roads. If you have a valid International Driving License, you do not need a Wyoming driver’s license.
- If you want a Wyoming driver’s license, you can take 2 tests (a written test and a driving test) from the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Check out the study guide with practice tests!
- You can take the tests on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Here is what to bring
when you take the tests:
- Passport and Visa
- Letter from Western (Mustang Central): This letter states that you are a full-time Western student and how long you are staying. Mustang Central can only certify enrollment for the current semester.
- Social Security Affidavit (if needed)
- $20 fee
- If you do not have a Social Security Number, you need to have an Affidavit notarized. Visit Mustang Central for more information!
Vehicle Insurance and Registration
- Vehicle insurance is required in Wyoming.
- Wyoming State Law requires you to have proof of insurance in your vehicle.
- Insurance helps if you get into an accident.
- Insurance can be expensive.
- Registration shows the state of Wyoming that you own a vehicle.
- When you buy a new or used vehicle, arrangements will be made for you to receive a title.
- You receive the title in your name from the County Clerk’s Office in the County Courthouse (80 Flaming Gorge Way in Green River).
- Keep your vehicle title in a safe place!
- When you have the car title, get license plates and registration from the Treasurer’s Office in the Courthouse.
- You need to provide proof of insurance to complete this process. Make sure that you complete Step 1 (Vehicle Insurance) before starting Step 2 (Registration).
Full-Time Student Status
International students under F-1 student visas are required to be enrolled in at least 12 semester credit hours each fall and spring semester (summer classes are not required). Remember, you are required to remain in good academic standing. International students are required to be enrolled in 9 credit hours on campus each semester. The other 3 (or more) credits can be taken online.
You need to have a valid passport through your stay at Western. Renewals should be started at least 6 months prior to the expiration date. Be aware of the expiration date and contact your embassy in time to renew your passport!
All F-1 students should have a valid I-20. The student is responsible for monitoring the expiration date and starting the renewal process at least 2 months before the date the stay will expire. If not, the process will be expensive, take a lot of time, and (sometimes) result in immigration, making the student return home.
Because of immigration law, Western is required to report any change to an international student’s status within 30 days. You are required to tell the DSO in Mustang Central about any changes to your major, local address, or any other status as soon as they happen. Any international students who drop below full-time status (12 credit hours) risk being deported back to their home country.
Going Home for Holidays and the Summer
If you plan to leave the U.S. for a holiday or summer vacation, you are required to have your current, unexpired I-20 form signed or obtain a new I-20 to return to the U.S.
- Register for the next semester without an outstanding balance if you want to receive an authorized signature on page 3 of the I-20 and leave the U.S.
- Check academic and finals schedules before making travel plans.
- Get new forms from Mustang Central if your Form I-20 is lost or expired.
- Ask for a signature on the forms by a PDSO or the DSO.
- Remember that the form needs to be presented upon reentry into the U.S.
- Apply for an on-campus student worker job and complete employee paperwork.
- Bring your completed Form I-20 to Mustang Central to request employment authorization. You cannot work until you have employment authorization!
- Mustang Central will prepare two letters for you. The first letter is for your supervisor’s signature and states that you have been hired for an on-campus student worker job. The second letter is for your enrollment and states that you have been approved to work.
- Take these papers to the Social Security Office. (The Social Security Office keeps
the work approval letter. Do not give them your original Form I-20, Passport, or I-94. They can make copies.)
- The 2 work approval letters
- Form I-20
- Form I-94 (inside passport)
Location: 79 Winston Drive, Suite 131 in Rock Springs
(two-story building near Village Inn and Bonsai)
Office Hours: 9 AM to 3 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
9 AM to 12 PM on Wednesday
- Ask the Social Security Office for a letter stating that you applied for a Social Security Number.
- Take the letter to Western’s Human Resources Office (Room 3025 on the third floor). Western cannot pay you unless you complete the Social Security Card application process and provide proof of application to Western’s Human Resources Office!
- Your Social Security Card should arrive within 2 to 6 weeks after you apply. Take the Social Security card to The Western Human Resources Office. They will make a copy for your employee file. Keep the original card in a safe place!
You can be authorized to work on campus for 20 hours per week (or less) after your first semester. You can work 40 hours a week in the summer. Under Western policy, students cannot exceed 1,040 work hours in the calendar year (January to December). You cannot hold more than 2 jobs.
You cannot work during your first semester at Western. This time is needed to adjust to the academic and social environment of college life. After your first semester (if you are in good academic standing and have a 3.00 GPA or higher), you can apply to be considered for any job on campus.
Money earned from an on-campus job will not be enough to pay tuition and living expenses. This money will only pay a small portion of your expenses.
Students with F-1 visa status cannot work off-campus without federal authorization. Students are required to prove economic hardship to be approved for off-campus work, which is difficult and expensive. Very few students are accepted. You should not plan to work off campus.
Off-campus employment is prohibited (except in special circumstances). Any violations are subject to deportation!
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
If you are interested in Optional Practical Training (OPT), apply before you complete your Western degree! You must fill out an application and pay a fee to apply for OPT.
- OPT gives you an opportunity to gain experience in your field of study.
- The work needs to be directly related to your major field.
- The work needs to be appropriate for your level of education.
- The work can be full-time or part-time.
- The work can be located anywhere in the United States.
- You are responsible for finding a job!
- OPT needs to be completed within 14 months after graduating at Western.
Payment of Expenses
You are required to submit full payment before arrival to Western. You can see the amount in your acceptance letter. Westerns accepts Visa, MasterCard, money orders, travel checks and checks. If you want to pay by wire transfer, please send to:
Bank Swift Code: USBKUS44IMT
Routing Number: 307070115
General Fund Account: 1474-9700-0074
Returning international students are required to pay in full or set up a payment plan. The first payment needs to be paid by the deadline in the semester class schedule.
Payment plans are only available to returning international students after their first semester. Payment plan requests need to be submitted for every semester.
Pay your balance in on time. If not, you could be charged late fees or be suspended. Returning students are not allowed to enroll in the next semester if they owe money for the current semester. Please request money from home in time to pay your account by the due date.
Please use your MyWestern student account to view your account balances and due dates. On your MyWestern account, go to View My Account under Student Records - Financial Aid. Please review account information carefully, pay by the deadlines, and let a Western employee know if there are any problems!
If you have an unpaid balance, you could have your meal plan taken away. You could also be evicted from on-campus housing.
International Student Refunds
When a credit is on your account, the credit balance can will be refunded after the last day to drop full semester class if:
- You are not returning the next semester
- You will return and have an emergency. A request for a partial refund can be made to the Registrar after the last day to drop full semester classes.
If you have a credit on your account, never assume that a refund will automatically be given to you.
Family (or other sponsors sending money to you) are encouraged to deposit the money in a bank account instead of sending money to Western. Your account is for charges directly related to Western (tuition, books, housing, meal plan, insurance…).
Knowing the American health care system is important, because you could need to visit a doctor while in the U.S. Talk to the Dean of Students to understand the differences between the health care in your county and the health care in America.
- You are required to be enrolled in the insurance policy through Western.
- Each semester, you will be asked to present proof of insurance coverage by a deadline.
- Insurance coverage needs to cover the entire academic year (August to May).
- You are responsible for all insurance premiums (costs).
- Insurance can be expensive, but insurance is less expensive than paying the full cost of medical bills!
- Insurance policies list what can be covered by your insurance.
- If you do not follow the rules of your policy, you will have to pay the entire amount yourself.
When you receive your insurance, you should receive:
- An insurance policy number
- An insurance card
- A telephone number to call with questions
Carry your insurance card with you! The card proves that you have insurance.
Going to the Hospital
- If you do not have an emergency, you should not visit the emergency room!
- The emergency room can be very expensive. If you go there and do not have an emergency, your insurance will not cover the cost. You will have to pay the full amount.
Going to a Doctor’s Office
- If you are sick and do not have an emergency, you should go to a doctor’s office.
- Find a doctor by searching online. You can also talk to the Dean of Students Office.
- Choose a doctor that is a “Family Practice” or “General Practitioner.” Female services are called “Obstetrics” or “Gynecology.”
- Ask other students, faculty, or staff for advice on who to choose.
- When you find a doctor, call to make an appointment. Usually, you will get an appointment within a few days. If you need to see a doctor sooner, you can try calling other offices until you find an earlier appointment.
- At your appointment, if you do not understand something, ask the doctor to repeat.
- If you receive a prescription from the doctor, you can get the prescription at a pharmacy (Walmart, Walgreen’s, Smith’s)
- Even with health insurance, you could need to pay for the office visit and wait for a refund. You need enough money to pay the cost.
Doctor’s Offices in Rock Springs
- Emergencies: Call 911
- On Campus Emergencies: Call Protective Services (security) at 307-382-1690
- YWCA Support and Safe House 382-6925 (24-hour crisis line)
- Provides support for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
- Services are free and confidential.
Fill out this form if you have questions!