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International Student and Scholars Program


The International Studies Office (ISO) is a University-wide resource that supports the University’s international mission by developing and coordinating activities and services designed to create and enhance a globally aware, culturally diverse education and research environment. The area of international studies is crucial to the fulfillment of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of UVa as a symbol of superior intellectual enterprise and accomplishment for women and men around the world.

The staff of the ISO is committed to shaping the vision described in the Plan for the Year 2020: "The University must prepare individuals for a world characterized by heterogeneous and increasingly interdependent societies, (and) a complex global economy." (Plan for the Year 2020)

ISO administers the University’s:

  • International Student and Scholar Programs
  • The International Center
  • Study Abroad

The International Student and Scholars Program (ISSP) administers the F, J, H-1/B, O-1, TN and PR visa programs on behalf of the University. ISSP supports students, researchers, faculty, and official short-term visitors who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S. by:

  • Certifying eligible internationals for participation in the above mentioned visa programs
  • Advising on matters related to acquiring and maintaining legal presence in the U.S.
  • Advising on matters related to acquiring and maintaining relevant visa status
  • Supporting transition to American society and culture
  • Offering guidance on policies and procedures
  • Providing assistance for crisis intervention

ISSP collaborates with University divisions and departments by apprising them of the complex and frequently changing federal regulations. The ISSP’s comprehensive website includes information and forms for international students, scholars, and selected employees, for departmental use:

The Lorna Sundberg International Center


Since 1972, UVa’s International Center (IC) has promoted intercultural exchange through various educational and social programs. The IC provides a comfortable and dynamic forum for learning about the world’s cultures and exploring the rich diversity within our international community of students, scholars, faculty, and local residents. The IC offers:

  • Intercultural learning opportunities for individuals to share their expertise and enthusiasm to explore cultural diversity.
  • Educational and support services to ease the adjustment and enhance the life experience of our international students, scholars, faculty, and their family members, and to share the welcoming spirit of local residents through hosting opportunities.
  • A special collection of resources focusing on intercultural communication and travel, and living in other countries.
  • Short-term guest accommodations for University students and scholars from abroad.

Study Abroad


The International Studies Office offers a variety of study abroad programs. All students are encouraged to consider studying abroad for a summer, semester, or full academic year sometime during their undergraduate career. International study relates to every academic department at the University and gives students the opportunity to face a different intellectual tradition and to see the world from a different perspective. In a study abroad program students enjoy the opportunity to learn about their chosen academic field or career from an international perspective, develop intercultural communication skills, and learn how to establish successful relationships with others around the world. Study Abroad Advisors have weekly advising walk-in hours, and students can make appointments as well.

Types of Programs There are many study abroad options available to University of Virginia students. These include Exchange Programs, Affiliated Programs, Sponsored Programs, Summer Programs, and Direct Enrollment options. Students may also attend non-UVa study abroad programs.

  • Exchange Programs: There are numerous benefits to participating in an exchange program. One major advantage is that the tuition is the same as on-grounds and UVa-awarded financial aid may be available. Another benefit is that faculty both from UVa and the host institution communicate about department requirements and curricula.
  • In addition, the primary application and review process occurs through the UVa International Studies Office. Finally, students take regular University courses along with students from the host country.
  • Affiliated Program: The International Studies Office has special partnerships with outside educational organizations such as The Denmark International Study Program (DIS) and the International Education of Students (IES). The International Studies Office processes applications. UVa students have priority when they apply, do not pay the application fee, and receive a substantial discount on program fees.
  • Summer Program: UVa offers a variety of faculty-led study tours in Spain, France, Russia, China, South Africa, Peru, Morocco, Jordan, and the United Kingdom. Depending on the program, students receive UVa or transfer credits. For more information:
  • Outside Programs and Direct Enrollment: UVa students may attend non-UVa programs and/or directly enroll in a foreign institution. Students must take a leave of absence from the University and have their classes pre-approved before they go. Catalogs and evaluation forms are available in the Study Abroad Library in 216 Minor Hall.

Transfer Students Transfer students who have previously earned 60 or more non-UVa credits may study abroad through direct UVa programs and earn credit that is UVa–not transfer–credit. The University has seven summer and three semester programs with full UVa credit.


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