Exchange Student Common Questions and Answers
- Do I have to mail in my official transcript?
Exchange students are not required to submit an official transcript by mail. You will be asked to upload a digital copy of your official transcript to your myIO portal upon admission to UT. If your MyStatus page shows a message requesting that you mail a transcript, this message is an error that can be disregarded.
- Does UT offer any scholarships for international / exchange students?
Unfortunately, UT does not provide scholarships for incoming exchange students. Check with your home university exchange coordinator to find out if any scholarships are available from your home institution.
- What do I do if I can't get my financial information before the application deadline?
Financial documents are not necessary for admission. However, we will not be able to issue your immigration documents until you have uploaded proof of adequate financial support in myIO. The issuance of your immigration document by our office may take several weeks, and visa processing times vary by consulate location. Please provide your financial support information as early as possible to allow sufficient time to complete the visa application process.
- If I have a U.S. passport, should I upload it to my application?
If you have a U.S. passport or are a U.S. Permanent Resident, you are required to enter the U.S. with a U.S. passport or Green Card. You may not apply for a J-1 visa. Please upload a copy of your U.S. passport or Green Card in myIO when prompted. You will still be required to complete all forms in myIO.
- What do I do if I get an "Access Denied" error message?
Did you receive an "Access Denied, the application for Reciprocal Exchange is only meant for specific international students. Our records do not indicate that you are currently eligible to use this service." error message?
This error frequently occurs when students do not indicate that they are applying as a student during the UT EID creation process. Please do the following to correct your affiliation status:
- Go to https://utexas.edu/eid
- Select Get a UT EID
- You will be asked "Do you want to apply (or have you already applied) to be a student at the University of Texas at Austin?" You must select "YES"
- After you fill out the appropriate information in the subsequent screens, your EID should populate
- Select and claim your EID
Once your EID is claimed, this affiliation should be added and you should be able to complete the application.
Preparing for Arrival
- When should I start applying for housing?
The housing market in Austin is extremely competitive. We recommend that you start looking for housing as soon as possible. If you are interested in on-campus housing at UT, you should begin applying as soon as you have been formally admitted to UT. On-campus housing is awarded on a first-come first-served basis.
For other housing options, review the recommendations on the Housing in Austin page. If you apply for on-campus housing you should also prepare a back-up option in case you are not selected.
- When do I find out about campus housing? What if I am not selected?
Contact UT Housing and Dining directly to find out when housing decisions will be made and check on the status of your application: email@example.com. If you do not get a room on-campus, there are plenty of housing options within walking distance of campus. The majority of exchange students enjoy living in private housing in the neighborhood around campus. Please view the Off-Campus Housing Resources page for more information on options.
- What date should I arrive by?
You can find information about important dates on Prepare for Arrival page.
All new students have to complete some administrative tasks before they are allowed to register for class. Please plan to arrive at least a few days before classes start to take care of these requirements. Attending one International Briefing and Check-In session is a requirement. It is recommended that you attend the International Student Orientation.
- How much do immunizations at University Health Services (UHS) cost?
Immunizations will be covered at 100% by the UT Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) as long as you receive care at UHS.
- How can I find information about course offerings at UT?
Detailed information about academic planning for exchange students is available on our Enrollment and Academic Information page.
- How do I secure a seat in a specific course that I must take?
We cannot guarantee placement in any specific course. Some classes may not be available due to popularity or program capacity and not all classes listed in the course catalog are offered each semester. General exchange students should not rely upon any specific UT course for timely graduation from their home university. Consider working with your university to arrange a back-up option in case your preferred class is not available.
- How do I register for courses/why do I have bars on my account?
As a new exchange student, there are three things you must do before you are given access to the system to register for your classes:
- Attend an International Briefing & Check-in session.
- Meet with your academic advisor to assist you with choosing your courses. More information about advising for exchange students can be found on our Enrollment and Academic Information page.
- Complete UT's medical clearance process as detailed on the University Health Service's website. Keep in mind that the processing time of any procedures completed at University Health Services may take up to 5 business days for registration bar removal.
You must complete these requirements prior to the day of registration in order to register on time.
- What should I do if the courses I want are full?
At UT, returning students select their courses in the previous semester. They generally select classes tentatively and then add and drop classes once they return to campus for the new semester. This will typically open up sufficient room for exchange students to be able to get into the classes they need. Once you arrive on the UT campus, you will work with an academic advisor to select your classes and register.
Exchange students are not guaranteed a spot in any specific course and are strongly advised to have an array of course options ready to choose from.
- May I enroll as a graduate exchange student?
Our general exchange program is designed for the undergraduate level and general exchange students are admitted at the undergraduate level. Undergraduate level students require specific permission from the department and professor to join graduate level classes. We recommend that you contact the department in advance to find out about the accessibility of graduate level classes. We cannot guarantee in advance that you will be able to take graduate classes.
- Can I take business courses while at UT?
Students admitted to the general or engineering exchange program may not enroll in business (see exception below) or law courses. To take courses in business or law, you must be admitted to the McCombs School of Business (M.B.A. or B.B.A.) or Law School exchange programs.
Exception: There are a limited number of courses for non-business majors that are open to students participating in the general exchange program. For information on how to take courses for non-business majors, review the Registration - Exchange Students not in McCombs section of the McCombs School of Business website.
- Can I take English as a Second Language (English Language Center) courses?
You can take English Language Center classes at UT. Tuition for English Language Center classes that appear in the course catalog is covered by the exchange agreement between UT and your home university. Other English Language Center classes may require separate tuition payment. Please check with firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about enrolling in English Language Center classes.
- How does the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) translate to the American system?
Generally, U.S. academic credits are transferred on a 1:2 scale for ECTS credits. A 3-credit U.S. course would be counted as a 6-credit ECTS course. Most UT courses are 3 credits. You can determine the number of credits of a class by looking at the first number in its course number (example: GOV 310 is a 3 credit class). The final decision on the transfer of your UT credit is up to your home university.
During Your Exchange
- How can I add/drop a course?
After your initial registration you can drop and add classes yourself using the online registration system for a specific period of time. During the first 4 days of class you can drop and add classes yourself online. During the 5th through 12th class days you may drop classes online, but you'll need your academic department to help add classes.
After the 12th class day you will need your department and Texas Global to grant permission for you to drop a class. Undergraduate exchange students must stay enrolled in at least 12 credit hours of class each semester to maintain their valid J-1 visa status. New classes cannot be added after the 12th class day.
- Do I have to purchase UT insurance if I am already insured in my country?
We are not able to accept any outside insurance policies. The UT Student Health Insurance Plan (UTSHIP) is mandatory for all exchange students with a J-1 visa.
- How and when will I be billed for the UT Student Health Insurance Plan?
UT student health insurance will be automatically added to your account (My Tuition Bill) once you register for classes if you have a J-1 visa. You must pay the insurance fee and other fees by the deadline for tuition payments. Information about payment methods can be found on the tuition website.
- As a U.S. citizen, am I required to purchase UT health insurance?
Exchange students who are U.S. citizens will not be automatically charged for health insurance, but can optionally add it. The deadline to add insurance is the 11th class day. Contact email@example.com with any questions.
Here are some helpful links regarding the UT student health insurance plan:
Should you decide to self-enroll, the cost of the Student Health Insurance Plan will be added to your Tuition/Fee Bill for the requested semester(s).
- What must I do to travel and return to the U.S. during my program?
Please make sure that you have a travel signature in the bottom right corner of your DS-2019. The travel signature should cover your entire exchange program as it is valid for up to 1 year (or until your program end date if your program is shorter than 1 year).
If you are not traveling to your home country, please check first to see if you need a separate visa to visit another country. Requirements are different depending on which country you are from, so don't rely on advice from other exchange students. Do your own research about the visa requirements for other countries.
Review the travel recommendations on our Know Before You Travel page and contact the exchange coordinator if you have questions.
- How do I stay for an additional semester?
To extend your exchange for an additional semester, ask the exchange coordinator at your home institution to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org giving permission for your extension. You will need to submit a J-1 extension request form in myIO and schedule an appointment with the exchange advisor to extend your DS-2019 and registration record.
- Can you send me my official transcript from UT?
Texas Global only sends unofficial grade reports (not official transcripts) to your home institution. You can order your official transcript online from the Office of the Registrar for a fee. The instructions to order your transcript can be found on the Registrar's website.
After Your Exchange Program
- Can I participate in an internship after my exchange program?
As a J-1 exchange student, you are eligible for academic training authorization during or immediately following your program of study. Any work authorized under academic training must be in your major field of study at UT. Once you have finalized the details of your internship, we can extend your current DS-2019 and authorize academic training for the duration of the internship. Authorization must be granted before your DS-2019 end date.
Visit our J-1 Employment page for a detailed list of documents you need for this process. To discuss academic training in detail, meet with your exchange coordinator for exchange student advising. View the “Advising” section for more information on the Enrollment and Academic Information page
- What do I need to know/do before I leave the U.S. at the end of my exchange program?
Please see the Completing the Exchange Program page for information regarding your immigration status, obtaining a transcript, and dealing with personal property, as well as other useful information.