Students socialising at a cafe

Student life

Get involved at JMU

James Madison University is in Harrisonburg, Virginia and offers students an exciting, vibrant, and all-American student experience.

JMU plans over 1,400 programs and social activities each year in the residence halls. Each hall has a Resident Advisor – a student worker who lives in your hall. Your Resident Advisor will organize special social events and weekend activities so you will easily make friends and enjoy your time at the University.

Things to do

JMU students are all about engaging with the community. Get out and explore!

  • Discover Shenandoah Valley National Park with a hike through the woods and see beautiful waterfalls and views.
  • Visit an amusement park. Kings Dominion is a 2-hour drive, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is 3 hours away, and there’s Virginia’s largest water park too.
  • Water Country USA.
  • Dance and sing along at one the many music festivals, including Rocktown, and Redwing Roots Music Festival.

Student clubs and organizations

JMU offers more than 350 different student clubs and organizations. By joining these clubs, you can easily make friends with American and other international students from over 70 countries around the world.

With such huge choice there is something for everyone. Here is a sample of some of the clubs that you can join:

  • The Breeze - the University's award-winning student newspaper
  • WXJM - student-run radio station
  • James Madison Eco Community
  • Building Tomorrow
  • Amnesty International
  • Brass Band Club
  • Drumline
  • Stratford Players (theater production)
  • Cinemuse Film Club
  • Madison Motorsports
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • Belly Dance
  • Ethnic and cultural organizations
  • Academic and professional organizations
  • Spiritual and religious organizations

Cost of living

As a student, your cost of living is based on your own budgeting skills and lifestyle. As a campus university, JMU has lots of places designed specifically for students, such as stores and restaurants, which could be cheaper than going shopping or eating in restaurants off campus.

Career opportunities

Once you arrive at the International Study Center, you can gain access to our CareerAhead course, which helps you begin developing the skills to impress employers once you graduate. You will continue learning with CareerAhead when you join your degree at JMU.

Additionally, you will also have access to the University’s Student Work Experience Center. If you are looking for employment while you are at James Madison University, the Center can help you find a job on campus. If you hold a F-1 visa, you will be restricted to on-campus Institutional Employment only. There are 300 departments that hire around 2,500 students per year in jobs ranging from dining hall services to graduate assistant positions.

Join our Global Champions program today!

Why Become a Global Champion

By becoming a Global Champion, you will join a network of international students studying at International Study Centers/Colleges around the world. 

With regular training sessions, catch-ups and creative activities to get involved in, the role is perfect for those of you interested in sharing your experience with others, developing your professional skills, and boosting your resume. 

It’s an exciting program to be a part of, with a variety of tasks and activities to get involved in, from blog writing, social media takeovers, attending events and taking part in focus groups. 

Please contact us if you’d like more information or apply for the role here.

Myet from Myanmar

What our students say

"I grew up in a big city, but I’ve always wanted to live in a slow-paced small town. Harrisonburg is perfect for me. People are very friendly and willing to help. At the same time, there’s always something going on at JMU’s campus"

Myet Thwe, from Myanmar. Studying Political Science

Students looking at laptop


Choose between our International Year to begin your academic journey in the International Study Center or Direct Admit to start your degree immediately.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Learn more the application process in order to start your journey to study at JMU International Study Center, or to apply for Direct Entry to James Madison University.