ASU Student Life
This section provides information to help you prepare for student life at ASU.
Several local transportation options are available to ASU students, including walking, biking, skateboarding, driving, free ASU and neighborhood shuttles, the Light Rail train, and public buses. In addition, ASU provides free shuttle transportation between all four campuses. Most international exchange students choose not to buy a car since most students live at or near the university, and instead use alternative transportation.
Bicycles in Tempe
Inexpensive second-hand bicycles can be purchased near campus, and advertisements in the university newspaper or on campus bulletin board often advertise bikes for sale. Be sure to get a strong and secure lock. Students may also find inexpensive new bicycles at discount stores. ASU’s Bike Co-Op has a Community Bikes Program and provides reduced-cost tools, parts and bike repair assistance. New or used bicycles can be purchased at shops located near ASU Tempe Campus.
Important: Do not ride your bike on the wrong side of the road (against traffic), even when riding on the sidewalk, unless a sign says otherwise. If caught, you could be fined $85. If you are crossing at a corner or entering a roadway, yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. If you are using roller blades or a skateboard, use the sidewalks; do not ride on the road.
Students also have access to the Valley Metro bus routes and the METRO Light Rail. ASU students receive discounts of almost 50% for these services when they purchase a student U-Pass.
Learn more about transportation options.
Dining and Food Options
Being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., several local, international, and multiethnic restaurants and markets are available to meet the dietary needs of a diverse population. ASU offers various dining options, including cafeterias, markets, restaurants, and more. ASU students can purchase meal plans or purchase food elsewhere. Learn more about ASU’s on-campus dining options and dining options around the ASU Tempe Campus.
Safeway is a large supermarket located on Rural and Broadway, a 10-minute walk from the campus. Food City is another supermarket located on Apache Boulevard.
Specialty food stores near ASU campus
Local specialty food stores near ASU include Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian and Pakastani, British, and Mediterranean food.
- Asiana Market
- Baiz Market
- DeFalco's Italian Grocery and Deli
- Fujiya Market
- Haji Baba
- House of Rice Store
- Lee Lee Oriental Market
- Mekong Supermarket
- Pro's Ranch Markets
- Super L Ranch Market
- Zam Zam World
Restaurants Around Campus
There are many low- and medium-priced restaurants in the campus area, mostly along University Drive and in nearby downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue. If you eat at a restaurant with table service, it is customary to leave a 15%-20% tip, depending on the quality of the food and the service.
ASU Discounts and Coupons
At the beginning of the semester, booklets of discount coupons are distributed at the entrances to the Memorial Union, at Residence Halls, and in some distribution boxes on campus. These coupons provide discounts when purchasing food and other services at selected stores in Tempe. Discount coupons are often found in the State Press, the campus newspaper. In addition, you may find student discounts around Tempe, so be sure to carry your student ID card with you.
All ASU facilities, including on-campus dormitories and all intercampus shuttles, provide free wireless internet. Various computing and technology centers are available throughout ASU. Many international exchange students bring their own laptop or purchase a laptop from ASU or a local technology store, while others use ASU’s computer facilities instead of using a laptop. ASU also provides free laptop technology solutions. Learn more about ASU’s technology resources.
All ASU students are provided with their own personal ASU online student portal (MyASU) which houses a student’s ASU email account, calendar, files, access to online course information, academic information, free software downloads, and more.
What to Do When You Are Not Studying
Almost everything except deep-sea fishing is available in Arizona--and that is found close by in Mexico. Theater, dancing, swimming, ice skating, snow skiing, hiking, fishing, camping, shopping, tennis, golf, football games and sports--whatever you enjoy in your leisure time is available in or near the Phoenix area. Some noted local events are the "Tempe Arts Festival" that occurs each December and March, and the "Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Fair" in December. Anyone who wants to learn about that great American tradition, baseball, can purchase tickets to see the Valley’s professional baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, at Chase Field in downtown. Tickets cost between $5 and $50. You may also purchase tickets to see other professional teams in the Valley during spring training.
Student Organizations and Activities
There are over 1,000 student organizations at ASU. With this many student groups, there is truly something for everyone. Student organizations are a great way to get involved at ASU and in the local community, develop new skills, hone skills learned in the classroom, meet friends, and have fun. Browse or search through ASU’s registered student groups and organizations. Two groups on campus focus on the needs of International Students: Friends of Internationals and the International Students Club.
ASU Global Guides
It’s not easy being a new student, especially when you’re coming from thousands of miles away and speak a different language. ASU Global Guides are current domestic and international student leaders who volunteer their time to help new undergraduate international students transition to life at ASU. Apply to be matched with a Global Guide who can help you transition to ASU by answering your questions, taking you to events, and helping you get involved in the Sun Devil community! More information and the application can be found here.
The International Student Engagement (ISE) unit at ASU provides an additional list of international student organizations that may be of interest to exchange students. The ISE website is another great resource for information on upcoming international events on campus and other opportunities to get involved at ASU.
Exercise, Sports and Recreation
ASU provides several exercise, sports, and recreation resources and activities. ASU students have unlimited access to the ASU recreation centers and can receive discounts to various ASU fitness activities, as well as ASU sporting events. Learn more about ASU fitness and recreation and ASU athletic sports.
Students participating on the ASU exchange program are allowed to work on-campus within the dates of their program. Employment may total no more than 20 hours per week during the academic semesters and no more than 40 hours during official school breaks. All positions (including stipend-paid jobs) cannot average more than 25 hours/week for the year. Students are allowed to work on-campus in hourly jobs only. Students must maintain good academic standing and be enrolled full-time, or authorizations will be withdrawn.
Hundreds of student employment opportunities are available in various departments throughout ASU. Job postings are updated daily and can be found on the student employment website (http://students.asu.edu/employment).
Instructions for obtaining on-campus employment / J-1 work authorization:
1. Check out job opportunities at the ASU student employment website (https://students.asu.edu/employment).
2. As soon as you are hired for a job:
- Fill out the J-1 Student Application for On-campus Employment Authorization eform.
- The form will be automatically sent to the Global Education Office Exchange Coordinator for review/approval.
3. Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). The ISSC will provide instructions on how to obtain a SSN. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up the instruction handout at the ISSC.
International exchange students have access to ASU’s Career Services, which provides resources to help prepare students for their future career such as: interview preparation, career advising, resume and cover letter reviews, and more.
ASU’s Sun Devil Campus Stores provide many resources such as books, supplies, technology, apparel, gifts, and more.