International Spouses and Families

Welcome to Fort Collins and the CSU Community!

Colorado State University has welcomed international students and scholars for more than one hundred years. Currently, more than 1,200 international students and scholars from over ninety countries study and work here in Fort Collins. Many of our students and scholars bring their spouses and families to be a part of the Colorado State University community. Currently we have more than 367 family members accompanying our international students and scholars.

The Office of International Programs (OIP) understands that the success of our international students and scholars is often times dependent upon the happiness of their families. We try, along with other various departments on campus, to provide services and programs to assist our international spouses and families with their transition to life in the U.S. Because of the abundant resources and family housing, we hope you will find Colorado State University your school of choice for both your academic experience and your family life. In addition, the city of Fort Collins offers a lot of family-oriented activities that makes it one of the best places to live in the United States, according to Money Magazine.

Things to Know:

  • Living Expenses may increase by 50% or more, since you will likely pay higher rent than single students, purchase additional bus passes, more food, pay for child care, etc. Explore Off Campus Life for family-housing options.
  • Spouse Transitions are difficult because you will likely spend far more time on campus with your classes, homework, research and work than you will at home. This can leave a spouse feeling lonely and neglected. It is often a difficult transition for a spouse who has been working professionally since most dependents are not allowed to work in the U.S. Since you will be meeting new people in your classes, at your work, etc, it may be difficult to help your spouse feel connected.
  • No Employment for F-2 Dependents: your F-2 dependents may not work nor apply for work permission under any circumstances. J-2 dependents may apply for work permission from the USCIS only if the income earned is to be used for support of the spouse or children, not for support of the J-1 student or scholar.
  • F2 spouses may enroll in part-time classes, as long as they are not studying full-time or working towards a degree. This is a great way to get family members involved and engaged–consider language classes, cooking classes, or another topic of interest. Make sure to speak with an immigration advisor before your spouse enrolls in any coursework.

We welcome our international spouses and families into the community and offers a variety of programs and services to help meet the unique needs of international spouses and families. As you will discover, there are many resources available for international spouses and families in Fort Collins both on and off the CSU campus. Some of these resources are listed below.



Primary and Secondary School Enrollment

To enroll your children in Poudre School District, please obtain the following documents from your home country:

  • An official birth certificate, a signed hospital certificate, or a passport as valid proof of your child’s birth date
  • Official copies of the child’s school records
  • All immunization records with names and dates of vaccines received.

Required immunization for all school-aged children are diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. In addition, some children from outside the United States must be screened for active tuberculosis infection.


Poudre School District, Administrative Offices, 482-7420,

They will provide recommendations for a school close to your residence, but you must enroll your child at the individual school site. Bring the most recent immunization record of your child.

School term: late August – early June. Children ages 6-18 years.

Day Care Centers (not all inclusive) Children 6 years and younger.


CSU does not offer a spouse or dependent health insurance plan. Spouses and domestic partners of CSU students may enroll in the CSU Health Network for a fee on a semester basis, or pay for medical services as they are administered by the CSU Health Network. (Children may not enroll at this time).

To find the names of private doctors in the area, inquire at the Health Center at 970-491-7121, at the Poudre Valley Hospital at 495-7000, or check the yellow pages of the telephone directory under “Physicians.”

International Student Rates

International students belong to a separate group plan for their student health insurance.  If you believe that you should be billed the international student rate for health insurance, but were instead billed for the domestic student rate, please meet with someone in the Office of International Programs to resolve this issue.  Please note that charges from a previous semester cannot be modified.

Why are families excluded from CSU Health Insurance? As of fall 2013, CSU will not provide an insurance plan to spouses and dependents of graduate students.  This policy was implemented because the cost of CSU insurance for spouse and dependents was significantly more than the cost of insurance on the open market. Spouses and children would find better prices for health insurance from other providers than they would through CSU.

CSU has historically had a very small pool of spouses and dependents enrolled in an insurance program — less than 1% of the insured student population. The insurance carrier was going to charge CSU spouses and children a high rate that CSU evaluated as unsustainable for families after comparing the costs to programs available on the open market.

The CSU Health Network website,, under the student insurance/eligibility tab, lists multiple venues in which to explore health insurance options and to receive quotes.  The Colorado Insurance Exchange will be implemented in accordance with federal health care reform and more options may be available. If you have non-resident status, visit your home state website for insurance options. If your home state does not have an insurance exchange, you can access the federal insurance exchange at  Additionally, you may request individual assistance by contacting Lynne Bunn, Manager of Student Insurance, 970-491-7806,  Below are some examples of insurance options.

* Colorado Health Program for families (CHP+), a safety net health organization:  based on graduate student income level, spouse or domestic partner currently pregnant would qualify for a no deductible, no premium, low co-pays, and comprehensive coverage. Children also eligible. Visit and then call 970.498.6755 or 970.498.6754 for an appointment.

* Rocky Mountain Health Plan:  $363.80/month for a man over 30 and one 8 year old child.  $2500 deductible, with RX and maternity coverage:

* Anthem Clear Protection 1000:  $276/month for a woman over 30 and one 8 year old child.  $1000 deductible, 70/30 coverage, maternity included with additional RX deductible.  Visit


Spouses and domestic partners of CSU students may enroll in the CSU Health Network for a fee on a semester basis, or pay for medical services as they are administered by the CSU Health Network. (Children may not enroll at this time).

The Northern Colorado Medical Directory lists doctors by specialty, so you can find one for your family members who can’t use Hartshorn Health Services. Make sure to confirm that your insurance accepts them.


Resources for Spouses and Families:

International Women’s Welcome:

Each fall, Apartment Life partners with International Programs to offer an orientation for female relatives of international students. If you have a female dependent coming with you to CSU, please encourage them to look for the Fall 2017 date on this website (which will be posted in the summer) and mark it on their calendars for this half-day orientation where they can begin to build community and become orientated to CSU. Translators will be provided, if requested.

What: an orientation for female, non-student family members of current CSU students

Where: University Village Center, building 34

Date:  TBD

Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon

What’s Included: Childcare, translators (available upon request), transportation (available upon request), breakfast, lunch, & giveaways.