College of LAS « Illinois

Information for accepted exchange students

Incoming students make a human Block I at Memorial Stadium

Congratulations on being accepted to Illinois through an exchange program! We can't wait to welcome you to campus.

Find more information here about what to expect upon your arrival, working through admission and visa issues, and how to navigate classes, housing, and more.

You should plan to arrive no later than the Wednesday before classes begin. Upon arrival, you should check in with the International Student and Scholar Services Office.

You must attend a mandatory orientation the week before classes begin. Date, time, and location will be provided to you via email. It's critical that you attend this orientation in order to have a successful start to your exchange program.

Upon acceptance to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we will mail your admission documents directly to your home institution. This will include your Notice of Admission and Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019).

The "Term/Year" on your Notice of Admission (NOA) indicates the term your exchange program begins. If you applied for the academic year, your NOA will only indicate the fall term.

All LAS exchange students are coded in the University of Illinois system as a non-degree, undergraduate student no matter what level you are at your home university.

All international students are required to obtain a visa before entering the United States. You need your Notice of Admissions and DS-2019 to apply for a J1 visa for the duration of your stay.

Before applying for your J1 visa, you need to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. Instructions for making payment are available on the SEVIS website.

Once you have paid the SEVIS fee, you will need to apply for your visa and schedule an appointment at the nearest designated U.S. consulate or embassy. For more information on applying for a visa, please consult the U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor page. International Student and Scholar Services will be your resource for all visa-related matters. Please note that you have to maintain full-time student status (12 credit hours per semester) at Illinois to maintain your visa status.

For your visa application, please provide the following contact information under the required fields:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
International Student and Scholar Services

Your address in the United States will be:

400 Turner Student Services Building
610 E. John St.
Champaign, IL 61820

You must complete the Immunization History Form prior to your arrival on campus. Please read the instructions before completing the history form. You will need your home doctor to sign it, so you need to complete it before you leave your home country.

If you are unable to submit the completed form prior to your arrival, you can submit it to McKinley Health Center when you arrive on campus. If you have not had all of the required immunizations, you can get any immunizations you need at McKinley. The fee for the immunization will be charged to your student account.

Your NetID is a name assigned to you that is unique across all University of Illinois campuses. It serves as your login to many university computing and networking services and also determines your university email address, which is For additional information and to claim your NetID, visit Technology Services' website.

University of Illinois undergraduate students set up an email account using Google Apps @ Illinois. You can find instruction on how to set up your new email on Technology Services' website.

It is important that you set up and regularly check your University of Illinois email account. Useful and essential information will be sent out to students at their University of Illinois email addresses.

For a complete view of what courses are offered, you should use the university's Course Explorer. Please remember: LAS exchange students cannot register in courses offered by the College of Business - no exceptions. We cannot guarantee enrollment in any specific course, even if you need the course to complete the requirements of your home university. It is extremely important for exchange students to be as flexible as possible in their course selection.

As an exchange student, you are required to maintain full-time student status (12 Illinois credit hours). The maximum number of credit hours you can take is 18 Illinois credit hours. If you need to take more than 18 credit hours, you can request permission for a course overload when you arrive to campus.

We cannot set up or guarantee exchange students will be able to participate in research projects during their exchange. Exchange students who want to participate in a project should connect with the department and its faculty members during the first weeks of class to explore the possibility of working on a project. We cannot accommodate exchange students who are required to do a project as part of their exchange program.

If you receive an error message indicating the course you are trying to register for is restricted (for example, with a major restriction or pre-requisite restriction), you must wait until you arrive on campus to request permission from the department to register for the course.

An error message about a closed class indicates there is no space in the course. You will have to continue to monitor the registration system to see if space becomes available. We will discuss possible options for getting into closed courses during the mandatory orientation.

Campus housing resources:

Recommended resource for off-campus housing:

If you arrive on campus before you can move into University Housing, you have several options for temporary housing.

All exchange students are automatically enrolled in the University of Illinois student health insurance. The fee for student health insurance will be charged to your student account. For more information, visit the Office of Student Health Insurance. You can also find detailed information on how to opt out.

All exchange students receive a full tuition waiver and partial fee waivers, but some fees cannot be waived. You are required to pay those fees. Visit the Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange website for a list of mandatory fees. This will be explained in detail during the mandatory orientation.

The ISSS Academics Guide provides an overview of the U.S. academic system, as well as what to expect in the classroom and other useful information for international students.

Make sure you do not have any holds on your student account and that all outstanding balances have been paid in full. If you have a hold on your student account, we will not be able to send your Illinois transcript to your home university.

If you live in University Housing, make sure you have completed the required check-out procedures. If you live in private housing, make sure you have completed your landlord's check-out requirements.

As part of the exchange agreement between your home university and the College of LAS, we will send one original Illinois transcript directly to the exchange coordinator at your home university at the end of your exchange program.

Fall-semester transcripts are requested from the Registrar’s Office during the first week of January. Spring semester transcripts are requested from the Registrar’s Office during the first week of June. Once transcripts are received from the Registrar’s Office, a scanned copy is sent via email to the study abroad coordinator at your home university and the original is express mailed.

If you require additional original Illinois transcripts, you may order them directly from the Registrar’s Office.