Prepare For Arrival

Your journey to UT Austin begins long before you arrive. This list will help you plan for your upcoming studies in the U.S. and prepare you for a successful transition to life at UT Austin.

Preparation List

Apply for J1 Visa

A J-1 Student visa is required to participate in an exchange program in the United States unless you are a U.S. citizen or have dual citizenship with the U.S. Upon receipt of your DS-2019:

  1. Verify that all the information is correct.
  2. Schedule a J-1 Visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy nearest to your home residence by submitting the DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form.
  3. Pay the J visa application fee and SEVIS Fee online prior to your visa interview and print out all receipts.

Secure Housing

Start searching for housing as soon as possible after admission. Finding accommodations in Austin can be both costly and competitive. For information about on-campus housing, visit University Housing and Dining. For information about off-campus housing options, visit Off-Campus Living Resources.

Prepare Immunization Documents

Proof of immunizations and Tuberculosis screenings are required before you are able to register for courses at UT Austin. For more information regarding these requirements, visit University Health Services.

View the International Student Handbook

To learn more about academic and campus resources, immigration guidelines, and living in Austin, read the International Student Handbook.

RSVP for New Student Orientation & Review Orientation Modules

ISSS offers variety of orientation programs and welcome events to help students prepare for and acclimate to living in Austin. To learn more about these events, register for New Student Orientation, and view Orientation Modules, visit International Student Orientation.

Prepare for Registration

Before you may register for courses, you must clear all registration holds. Types of holds include financial, nonfinancial and advising. For more information about registration holds, including how to clear them, view the “Registering for Classes” section on the Enrollment and Academic Information page.

Begin Arrival Checklist in myIO

All new reciprocal exchange students admitted to The University of Texas at Austin, including exchange students that are U.S. citizens, must complete the Arrival Check-In process in myIO. You may begin this process before you arrive, however you cannot complete it until you are physically present in the U.S. During Check-In you will learn about immigration, work eligibility in the U.S., how to obtain U.S. forms of identification (i.e. driver's license and social security number), health insurance requirements, and what else you need to do in order to register for classes. After completing the Check-In process, your International (I) Hold  will be waived or removed from your record.

Review Important Brochures for Exchange Visitors

In addition to attending orientation, ISSS recommends that you review the Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure and Wilberforce Pamphlet to help you understand your rights and responsibilities while in the United States.

You can find a pamphlet that outlines your rights in detail as well as versions in several languages on the U.S. Department of State website.

Arrange Airport Transportation

For transportation options from Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) to the university campus, view the ABIA website.


Spring 2024 Dates

Jan. 7This is the start date that will be listed on your DS-2019. You may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to this date. Students should visit the Immunization Clinic for newly arriving students at the University Health Center as soon as possible after arrival to remove the medical clearance hold.
Jan. 8Virtual International Student Welcome 
OngoingExchange Student Check-In. All exchange students are required to complete the Check-In process in myIO before registering for classes.
Jan. 10-14Registration Begins. Check your Registration Information Sheet (RIS) for your specific access period. Please note that you will be able to register only if you have cleared your holds, including Exchange Check-In, by this date.
Jan. 16Classes Begin.
Jan. 31

Payment / Enrollment Confirmation Deadline. While reciprocal exchange students pay tuition at their home universities, there will be a health insurance fee and an international student fee on the tuition and fee bill page. Even if no fees appear on your fee bill, you must confirm your enrollment or “zero fee bill” to finalize registration.

Payment deadline is Jan. 31, 5pm. If payment arrangements or confirmation of your zero fee bill are not made by 5 p.m. on these respective dates, your course registration will be dropped.

May 11For students whose last semester is spring 2024, this date will be listed as the end date on your DS-2019. You may stay in the United States in J-1 status up to 30 days beyond this date. The end date cannot be extended for travel purposes. If you depart the U.S. after this date you may not reenter in J-1 status.
Late May Unofficial grade reports sent to home universities. Students requiring an official transcript should order it directly from Texas One Stop.