Join in!

Incoming students can get started with the following guides:

  • The Office of Admissions' Campus Life webpage focuses on freshmen or any other students new to campus.
  • Northwestern's International Office has published a Getting Started Guide, a must-read online pamphlet that covers basics such as where to buy groceries, how to get involved in the community, and many more important pieces of information.

In addition, information on the following topics can be found below:

Residential life

Northwestern University has a unique system of Residential Life. In all Northwestern residence halls, there will be a Resident Assistant (RA) to assist you and answer your questions. RAs are undergraduate students who are employed by the university to maintain safety and promote hall community. They are a great resource and are always happy to talk with you. 

Visit the Residential Services website for additional information about moving in, living with a roommate, resolving conflicts, and submitting a maintenance request. 

Health and wellness

Resources on campus

Health insurance

Exchange students can use their health insurance at both the on-campus clinic and local hospitals and clinics.

All international students are required to purchase the Northwestern Aetna Health Insurance Plan. All J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents are required to have insurance coverage. Exchange Visitors paid by Northwestern are eligible for NU benefits. Exchange Visitors not paid by Northwestern must have international visiting scholar health insurance.

The International Office provides more information about International Student health insurance requirements.

Area fitness centers

The following recreation and fitness centers are located in the Evanston area.

Northwestern traditions

There are people who will tell you that campus traditions say a lot about a school. Fight songs, mascots, and landmarks, they explain, are keys to the personality of a university. What, then, do a boulder, an armadillo, and marshmallows say about Northwestern? Find out more on the Office of Admissions' Northwestern Traditions page.


We highly suggest joining a student club while you are at Northwestern. Not only are they great places to explore your interests, but they also can help you find new friends. The Wildcat Connection site has the listings of all the student groups on campus. If you are coming to campus in Fall or Winter quarters, look out for student activity fairs where students showcase their clubs and are excited to welcome new members.