University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The Global Gopher Academy


Preparing for Success!

Dates: August 12-17, 2019
Cost: $750 ($100 application fee and $650 program costs)

The Global Gopher Academy is a customized pre-academic program that will give you an early start to your new life at the University of Minnesota. This program has been designed to meet your needs as a new international student! By becoming a Minnesota Gopher ahead of time, you will get to explore the sights, sounds, history, entertainment and culture of the Twin Cities with current University of Minnesota students, staff and faculty as your guides. You will learn strategies for bridging cultural challenges and how to succeed at the University. Global Gopher Academy also provides an interactive, simulated U.S. higher education style classroom consisting of academic workshops, sessions, activities and exploration that gives you the skills and experiences you need to prepare for the school year.

The Global Gopher Academy not only prepares you for the upcoming semester at the University of Minnesota. The Global Gopher Academy focuses on your needs before you depart your home country. This includes a personalized pre-departure online session with you and your family (select languages besides English available).

You will be assigned a current student mentor throughout the program. This will give you a chance to get to know another experienced student very well, and they will help guide you throughout the week's experiences. You will also be paired with a mentor for your first semester. This program also allows you an opportunity to become next year's student mentors!


What will I learn?

Academic Sessions may include the following:

  • How do I get an A?  Tips on Succeeding in the Classroom
  • What do they want?  Keys to Interacting with Your Faculty
  • How do I do that?  Writing for U.S. Coursework
  • Where do I find that?  Research Methods and Using the UM Libraries
  • What did they say?  Understanding American Slang
  • What’s it really like here?  Tips from a Panel of Current International Students

And for those who need it, you’ll have a great chance to get used to using and practicing your U.S. English skills. The Global Gopher Academy is a comprehensive and intensive classroom simulated program, so that you can become familiarized with U.S. higher education.

What will I do?

It’s not all about class! Activities may include:

  • Campus tours of thse places you must, and should go
  • A guided tour of “must see” places in the Twin Cities
  • Getting around using public transportation
  • Relaxation on a budget.  Inexpensive places to go have fun
  • Plus plenty of time to make new friends before the semester begins!

Registration is now closed.

ISSS does not host iSuccess before the start of the spring semester. To learn about other ways to get involved, review ISSS's other programs.

We will post further updates about when we will open registration for Fall 2020 registration.

If you have questions, please email The program coordinator (Marina Uehara) or one of our Program Assistants will respond to you within a few days.