Prospective Exchange Students
In order to participate in an exchange program at UVa you must be enrolled in good standing at an institution with which UVa has a formal exchange agreement and you must be nominated by your institution to participate in the exchange program. For a list of institutions with which UVa has formal contractual exchange agreements please see our list of exchange partners.
As an exchange student you will be enrolled in one of the following Schools or Colleges at UVa:
School of Architecture
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering and Applied Science
School of Nursing
McIntire School of Commerce
School of Law
Darden School of Business (please contact Darden directly for application procedures)
Your school of enrollment is dependent on the exchange agreement between UVa and your home institution so it is important to consult with the study abroad advisor at your home institution in advance of submitting an application to UVa.
- Step 1: Obtain your home institution's permission to apply to UVA as an exchange student under the terms of your home institution’s agreement with UVA. Exchange students must be approved (e.g. “cleared”, “nominated,” etc.) for participation in an exchange program by their home institution.
- Step 2: Complete the Exchange Student Application and submit it, with all required documentation listed on the application, either to your home institution who will forward it to UVa, OR directly to the International Studies Office. Additional information about applying to ISO is listed on the form.
- Application deadlines:
- Fall 2014 – March 1, 2014
- Spring 2015 – October 1, 2014
If admitted you will receive an email notifying you of your acceptance to the University as an exchange student. In addition, UVA will send an acceptance package to your home institution containing the visa documents that you will need in order to obtain a J-1 student visa. This package should then be forwarded on to you by the exchange coordinator at your home institution. Please review the information on J-1 status and obtaining your J-1 visa from our website: J-1 Status.
Exchange students are eligible to enroll in any courses offered at the University (with the exception of the professional schools which include Law, Business and Medicine) regardless of your school of enrollment as long as you meet any pre-requisites required for the course and/or receive instructor permission.
Exchange students enrolled in the Law School, School of Nursing, Darden School of Busines and the McIntire School of Commerce will receive separate instructions directly from those schools on course selection and enrollment procedures.
The “Course Catalog” includes the complete list and description of all courses offered at UVa. It is called the Graduate or Undergraduate Record at UVa and can be found online at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/ . The Course Offering Directory (COD) is the list of courses that are offered for a specific semester or term. It becomes available midway through the previous semester (about 3 months before spring semester classes begin and about 6 months before fall semester classes begin). Exchange students are required to wait until the “open enrollment” date before they are eligible to enroll in any courses at UVa. Please note that UVA cannot guarantee that an exchange student will be able to enroll in any specific course offered.
Under the terms of UVA’s exchange agreements, UVA tuition and student fees are waived for exchange students. Student fees do not include health insurance.
Additionally, the ISO requires that all students provide documentation of the availability of at least $6,500 per semester of attendance at UVA. A bank statement and/or a letter from a sponsor (such as parents) is sufficient documentation of these funds. $6,500 is the minimum estimated cost of living based on shared accommodation and including meals, housing, personal expenses, and books and supplies. This does not include the cost of transportation to and from Charlottesville, entertainment, or any travel that you may plan to do while in the US. Please take this into consideration when planning for your exchange program.
Exchange students must obtain and pay for their own health insurance. US government regulations for the J-1 visa program stipulate that health insurance must meet a minimum level of coverage. Please verify that your insurance meets these minimum requirements in advance of your arrival at UVa.
The University also requires that you complete a pre-entrance health form. The form should be submitted directly to the Elson Student Health Center. Exchange students are not required to purchase the University of Virginia student health insurance coverage offered through Aetna OR register for the hard waiver program. Although not required, the Aetna plan is available for exchange students to purchase, but can only be purchased for the entire academic year. If you will be attending UVa for a single semester this coverage may not be appropriate.
Exchange students are eligible for residential (on-campus) housing at UVa. Fall semester students can find information about applying for on-campus housing at www.virginia.edu/housing. Housing options available to exchange students are listed under the “transfer student” link on the housing webpage.
Students arriving for the Spring term should email the Housing Division at firstname.lastname@example.org to request accommodation and list your preferences for residence (see the Housing Website). This should be done before November 30. In December vacancies will be determined and students will be emailed a housing offer.
If you elect NOT to live in residential housing there are many options available off-grounds near the University. This website offers a listing of a wide variety of off-grounds accommodations: http://offgroundshousing.student.virginia.edu/.
If you are planning to apply for on-campus housing please note when housing will be available for move-in. If you plan to arrive in Charlottesville before your residential housing becomes available you will need to contact housing directly to arrange for an early move-in or make arrangements to stay at a local hotel.
We recommend for all international students to fly into the Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport
(CHO), located approximately 7 miles (11.5 km) from UVa. The cost of flying into CHO is generally somewhat more expensive than arriving at a near-by international airport such as Dulles (IAD) located just outside of Washington, D.C. Please note that the cost of transportation by taxi or shuttle from Dulles may exceed the cost of the additional airfare. Taxi service is available from CHO.
Airlines that regularly fly in and out of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport include:
- Delta - www.delta.com
- Northwest - www.nwa.com
- United Express - www.united.com
- US Airways - www.usairways.com
Other airports in the region include:
- Richmond International Airport (RIC) - Approximately 84 miles (140 km) 1.5 hour drive
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) - Approximately 103 miles (172 km) 2 hour drive
- Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) - Approximately 118 miles (197 km) 2.5 hour drive
- Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) - Approximately 151 miles (252 km) 3 hour drive
UVAExpress: UVaExpress is the free coordinated shuttle bus transportation available for all international students from Dulles airport directly to U.Va. in August for the Fall term only.
You can reach Charlottesville on the Amtrak rail system from many cities throughout the U.S. See www.amtrak.com for more information on routes, rates, and schedules. Please note that if you arrive at Dulles Airport and have scheduled Amtrak transportation to Charlottesville, you will be required to hire a taxi or find other means of transportation from the airport to Amtrak’s Union Station in Washington, D.C. From the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, (BWI) a train can take you to Union Station in Washington, where you may catch a train to Charlottesville.
Other Transportation Options:
Go Green Charlottesville: www.gogreentaxiva.com
Van on the Go: www.vanonthego.com.
All exchange students are required to attend a mandatory orientation session held by the International Studies Office. Details about the time and location for this required session are here: ISO Exchange Student Orientation.
You will need to bring your passport, I-94, DS-2019, and proof of medical insurance with you to this orientation. We will need to make copies of these documents for our records. Please verify that whatever insurance you have selected meets the requirements listed on our website for J-1 visa holders. If you are unsure copy the requirement, send it to your insurer and ask them to verify that it meets the requirement.