• Off Campus: Eating apples in an apple orchard

  • Off Campus: Learning to ice fish

  • In the Student Center: Playing foosball

  • Off Campus: Learning about Vermont agriculture

  • End-of-Year Reception: Photo with friends

This is an exchange student-specific pre-arrival page designed to help you prepare for a successful transition to Vermont. Preparing for your exchange is a process which will take place over the months before your arrival. This page will help guide you through this process. Please read the information on this page carefully and then contact our office with any remaining questions - we are here to help!

Save the Date for International Student (Pre-)Orientation

Before the start of your semester at UVM, you will attend International Student (Pre-)Orientation. This is required for all new international undergraduate and exchange students and includes information about immigration, student life, cultural adjustment, course registration, health and safety procedures, housing, and meal plans. It also offers activities like campus and library tours, social events, and trips to help set up US cell phones and bank accounts.

See International Student Orientation for your required arrival day. We will send additional details about when and where to check in for our orientation as we get closer to this date. Exchange students who do not attend orientation may be unable to begin their studies at UVM.

Exchange students will participate in UVM's Orientation following International Student (Pre-)Orientation in both August and January.

Complete Immigration Tasks

  1. Receive your DS-2019: To study in the US, you will need an immigration document for a student non-immigrant status. For exchange students, this is called J-1 status. If you are a bilateral exchange student, your immigration document, called the DS-2019, will be automatically emailed to you at the point of acceptance. If you are an ISEP exchange student, your DS-2019 will be sent to you directly from ISEP in the weeks following your acceptance.
  2. Pay your SEVIS (I-901) fee: After you receive your DS-2019, you will use information listed on the document to pay your SEVIS fee. This activates your DS-2019. Most students can pay this fee online. Keep your receipt.
  3. Apply for your J-1 visa: After paying the SEVIS fee, you will need to apply for your J-1 entry visa to enter the US as a J-1 student. You will apply for this at a US consulate or embassy. Read more about this process on Applying for Your F-1 or J-1 Visa. You must plan ahead for this step - it could take several months, and you will need it to enter the US.

*Note: If you are a US citizen you will not need a non-immigrant status; you will skip these steps!

Set Up UVM NetID Password

You will need your student ID number, also called your '95 Number', to activate your UVM Network Identification (NetID). You can find this number in your pre-arrival email. Once you have this number handy, click here to set up your NetID password.

When you set up your NetID password, you must remember it. If you forget it, it is very complicated to reset from outside the US. You will need your NetID and password for many things at UVM, including accessing your email, registering for classes, and logging into UVM's wifi network.

Beware of phishing scams

Once you start using your UVM email you may start receiving phishing scams. UVM phishing scams are messages that go to your UVM account that attempt to steal your UVM credentials or other important personal information. Many of these emails appear to come from UVM addresses. You might have a phishing email if it:

  • Has a subject line similar to: “ATTENTION!! Your Password Will Expire Today!” or “*Complete Survey to Claim Prize!*”
  • Attempts to scare you with threatening language
  • Has spelling and/or grammatical errors
  • Offers a job, such as earning $400/week as a personal assistant, or some other fake employment opportunity that seems too good to be true

Remember, scammers pretend to be from an organization that you know and trust. They often claim that there is a problem or a prize, and they will try to pressure you to act immediately. They also may tell you to pay in a specific way. If you think you received a UVM phishing email, check out the UVM Phishbowl where you can identify common phishing scams and report suspicious messages. Never click on suspicious links or provide personally identifying information through these emails. Talk to the OIE if you're not sure what to do.

What your Contract Covers and What to Budget for

To budget for your exchange semester, you must first understand what your exchange program covers. 

ProgramCovered ExpensesNot Covered Expenses

ISEP and Czech Technical University

Tuition and comprehensive feesroom (up to cost of traditional double) and meal plan (Residential All Access Plan plus 150 retail points, or equivalent cost Retail Point plan), certain break housing costs.Laboratory or individual course fees, selecting a more expensive room/meal than indicated, any credits above 19 per semester. Business students: Be aware that many BUS courses come with additional course fees.

American University of Sharjah (Bilateral)

TuitionStudent fees, room and meal plan, laboratory or course fees, any credits above 19 per semester. Business students: Be aware that many BUS courses come with additional course fees.

All other bilateral exchange programs

Tuition and comprehensive feesRoom and meal plan, laboratory or individual course fees, any credits above 19 per semester. Business students: Be aware that many BUS courses come with additional course fees.

Understanding what is and is not covered, you should think about the following things as you plan your budget:

  • Books and Course Materials - UVM students buy (and occasionally rent) their own books and some courses require that students purchase access to electronic systems in place of paper-based books. While costs will vary, you should budget at least $500 per semester. 
  • Break Housing - Break housing is approximately $150 per vacation week for students staying on campus.
  • Break Meals - Students must either save their points or plan on food costs for break meals.
  • Winter Clothing - Students may need to buy coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc. for the Vermont winter. Budget at least $200 if you do not have these things already.

Course Registration

Registration is a process that begins in the weeks before your registration opens with preparation and ends in the second week of your first semester. Usually, it is not something that begins and ends on the same day. Start as soon as you are able, but plan that you will continue this process over a period of time before beginning your exchange program. At UVM, exchange students have first priority for registration (see the deadline in your pre-arrival email), but many courses fill within just a few hours. You will have an opportunity to add and drop courses through the first weeks of the semester, but do your very best to finalize your schedule earlier. 

Exchange students must register for 12-19 credit hours per semester. Most students at UVM take 15 credits per semester. You cannot take more than 19 credits on exchange. Pay attention to the course descriptions. Some courses have extra fees (e.g. lab fees, material fees); these will be listed with the course registration information. You are responsible for paying the extra fees if you register for these courses. 

Preparing for Registration (Begin once Accepted)

  • In your exchange application you listed courses of interest, which is not the same thing as registration. Now that you are accepted, you must review course offerings on the Office of the Registrar’s website for your exchange term. Pay close attention to selecting the correct term at the top of the page or the information will not be relevant. Fall courses are listed in late March and Spring Courses are listed in November. Review the expanded section description when it is available, though not all courses have this. 
  • Build a list of classes you are interested in. As you identify courses of interest, write down the 4-digit course number, title and CRN (course registration number). The CRN is what you will use to register most quickly. 
  • When you build your list of courses, pay attention to the time of their meetings. In the US, attendance is mandatory in many classes, and you cannot register for two for courses which overlap with one another. 
  • If a course does not say that it has restrictions for students of a certain major, to degree-seeking students, to a certain class level (such as sophomore standing), or that it has pre-requisites, you should be able to register for that course without difficulty.
  • If a course says it is restricted to a major, has prerequisites, or is only open to degree-seeking students or students of a certain degree level, you will need to get permission. Exchange students are coded as "general studies students" which means that you need permission for major-restricted courses even if this is your major at home. Likewise, if you have taken the equivalent pre-requisite course at home, you must still get special overrides for this class from the UVM faculty member. You should get this instructor permission before registration opens to avoid missing out on a spot.
  • Check the section below if you plan to take courses in Biology, Business,  Chemistry, Economics, Engineering/Mathematics/Computer Science, English, Geography, Geology, Nursing, Physics, Psychology, Religion, or Romance Languages & Linguistics for required pre-registration advising. You follow a different process for these classes and must follow those instructions.

Getting Instructor Permission (As needed before registration opens and after)

  • First, if you are trying to get into a course in Biology, Business,  Chemistry, Economics, Engineering/Mathematics/Computer Science, English, Geography, Geology, Nursing, Physics, Psychology, Religion, or Romance Languages & Linguistics contact the person named in the "Contacts and Instructions for Courses in Specific Academic Disciplines" section below. When you write to these contacts, send these emails from your UVM email. Always introduce yourself with your full name, explain that you are incoming exchange student and then explain a bit about your academic background and the types of courses you are interested in. If you have specific courses you would like to take, it is fine to ask that, but also remember that course placement will be a process and might not be the exact schedule you were hoping for.
  • If the course is in any discipline other than the ones listed in the row above, to get instructor permissionemail the professor and ask for permission to enroll in the course.  Professors' names are listed in the “Instructor” column of the registration system. Email addresses can be found in the UVM Directory. Introduce yourself, and explain why you want to enroll in the course. If there are prerequisites to the course, you should explain how you have met them. Include a transcript with your email, and include your UVM netID and 95 Number in the email as they will need those to process the override. Make sure to request both pre-requisite and major overrides - just because you took the class at home or it is your major at home will not automatically allow the system to register you. Sometimes students will get overrides for only some of the restrictions on a course. Make sure to ask for all restrictions to be lifted. 
  • When they process your "override" for permission, the UVM system will send you a special email notifying you of this. The email will list a Course Registration Number ("CRN") that you will use to directly add the course to your schedule of courses once registration opens. If you simply go look the class up on registration and attempt to add it, you will still get an error, but if you input the CRN directly on the add/drop course page, it will register you assuming that all restrictions are overridden. 
  • If you have not heard from a professor within one week, it is appropriate to send a friendly follow-up email. Professors do not work from mid-May until mid-August and mid-December until early January. Work on instructor permission for any courses with restrictions as soon as possible, but ideally 2+ weeks before registration opens.

When Registration Opens (See Pre-Arrival Email for Dates)

  • To register for courses once the registration window opens:
    • Log into your myUVM portal with your UVM netID and password.
    • Click on the Registrar tab at the top of the screen.
    • Click on the green ADD/DROP/WITHDRAW button.
    • Type or paste all of your course registration numbers (CRNs) into the boxes at the bottom of the screen and submit.
  • Register as soon as the registration window opens. Waiting even an hour can cause you to miss out on a class that might be popular.
  • Registration is just one semester at a time. If you are coming for two semesters, you will do a second registration process during your exchange. 
  • Registration closes nightly from 12AM-6AM EST. For fall entry, student registration also closes during the month of June entirely.
  • If a course is full or you are unable to register for a specific class, register for all other courses, as well as an alternative course in place of the one you cannot register for.
  • Don’t panic. Most of the time, students are able to get many of the courses they want, but this is a process. Again, start this process early.
  • We know that this process can be confusing and sometimes challenging. Please be patient, and do not panic. The OIE is here to help you.

Contacts and Instructions for Courses in Specific Academic Disciplines 

BiologyEmail Professor Bryan Ballif (bballif@uvm.edu)
BusinessIf you wish to take any classes in the school of business (BUS prefix for courses), you must complete a form to tell the school of business more about your academic background. A staff member will reach out to you with registration support. This form must be filled out at least two weeks before registration opens. Please email Lindsey Bouzan (Lindsey.Bouzan@uvm.edu) with questions.
ChemistryEmail Professor Mathias Brewer (Mathias.Brewer@uvm.edu) for coursework in Chemistry. Newcastle chemistry students will work with Dr. Brewer (Mathias.Brewer@uvm.edu) to identify appropriate research placement for the Newcastle Chemistry exchange. 
EconomicsEmail Professor Sara Solnick (Sara.Solnick@uvm.edu)
Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer ScienceFor MATH courses, email Helen Read (hpread@uvm.edu). For Engineering and Computer Science courses, email Matt Manz (Matthew.Manz@uvm.edu)
EnglishEmail Professor John Gennari (John.Gennari@uvm.edu)
Geography & GeosciencesEmail Professor Shelly Rayback (srayback@uvm.edu)
NursingNursing courses are only open to students from Edith Cowan University. Email Professor Kathleen Monforte (Kathleen.Monforte@med.uvm.edu)
PhysicsEmail Professor Randall Headrick (Randall.Headrick@uvm.edu)
PsychologyEmail Professor John Green (John.Green@uvm.edu)
ReligionEmail Professor Tomas Borchert (Thomas.Borchert@uvm.edu)
Romance Languages & LinguisticsEmail Professor Joseph Acquisto (Joseph.Acquisto@uvm.edu)

Academic Accommodations

If you are seeking academic accommodations due to a documented disability that substantially limits your ability to learn, please contact UVM Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to learn more about their services and and to get started. We recommend that you reach out to SAS as soon as possible; ideally students are registered in their system before the semester begins.

Housing and Meal Plans

UVM Residential Life (ResLife) will contact you via your UVM email with details on the housing contract process and due date. This is usually in May or June for Fall and academic year students, and in November or December for Spring and calendar year students.

Important: Exchange students are required to live on the UVM campus and have a UVM meal plan. 

Housing Sign-up

UVM Residential Life (ResLife) will contact you via your UVM email with the housing contract process and due date. Do not try to complete the contract until you have been contacted directly: you will get locked out of your contract if you attempt to access before you have been contacted. This is usually in May or June for Fall and Academic Year students, and November or December for Spring and Calendar Year students. Although you are guaranteed housing as an exchange student, you must complete an online housing contract. If you do not complete a housing contract, you will not be given on-campus housing, even if this is part of your exchange agreement. Failure to sign a contract could result in losing your place in the UVM exchange program. The Housing and Meal Plan Contract is a binding agreement for your entire stay at UVM. You will be notified of your housing assignment in early August for Fall arrivals and early Jnuary for Spring arrivals. As long as you complete your contract on time you are guaranteed housing, even if you do not know your placement right away.

Housing Styles

Exchange students will almost always be placed in traditional-style housing, which could be in a number of different residence halls around campus. Traditional housing is a long hallway with rooms on either side and shared same-sex bathrooms on the floor with multiple showers and toilets. Suites is another style of housing and consists of a group of 4-5 bedrooms, with one common living area and two shared bathrooms, and they are often mixed-sex (but same-sex roommates). This is a far less common housing type for exchange students. All UVM housing is open to students over University breaks at an extra cost, though this cost is covered for certain exchange contracts (see above section for details). Most exchange students will be placed in traditional double rooms. Some may be placed in traditional triples. Students may request other types of rooms, including single rooms, but those are extremely limited. Exchange students are almost never placed in quadruple rooms. If you require a single room for medical/mobility reasons, review the information needed on the Student Accessibility Services website and apply in a timely manner to be considered for accommodations. In your online contract you will indicate room preferences.

Learning Communities

You will be asked in the housing contract to select learning community preferences. UVM has multiple learning communities based out of different residence halls, each designed to bring students with a shared interest together. Residential Life will not generally place an exchange student in the Wellness Environment learning community due to the course requirement associated with it. Do not spend much time researching learning communities; we encourage you to just quickly list the learning communities of interest based on your gut preference, but in most cases, exchange students will be placed in unprogrammed housing.


Almost all exchange students will live with another student. This might be another international student or could be an American student. After a waiting period during the first weeks of the semester, students will have the option to request room changes, subject to availability. If you have a friend who will also be at UVM during your semester and who you want to live with, you will need their UVM NetID (ex: jdoe, eswift) to complete your housing contract. They will also need your information in their contract for the match to be considered.

Meal Plans

Meal plans are required of all students living on campus. Students will have either a residential "All Access Plan" or a "Retail Point Plan" - both of these allow students to eat at multiple locations on campus, but which one you select will depend on some of your own dining habits. Most exchange students decide on an all access meal plan which allows them to more frequently share meals in the traditional dining halls with friends. If you want to learn more about the types of plans available, visit the Meal Plan Office website. Students whose meal plan is paid for by the exchange contract should be careful to not select a more expensive plan than is covered, or you will have to pay the difference.

Paying for Housing and Meal Plans

All students should make budgets to accommodate the maximum room costs of those chosen in their preferences. All students whose exchange contracts do not cover housing should budget for at least the traditional double room rate. Housing costs can be viewed here and dining costs can be viewed here

Housing Accommodations

If you are seeking housing accommodations due to a documented disibility, please contact UVM Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as soon as possible. There are deadlines for housing accommodation requests which you can view here.

Health and Health Insurance Requirements

UVM is committed to maintaining the health of our individual students and our campus community. As such, exchange students are required to complete various health related tasks, as outlined below. Read the following information carefully to understand more about these requirements and when they are due. 

Get Immunizations

UVM has multiple immunization (vaccination) requirements. Uploading proof of these vaccinations should be taken care of before ever arriving in Vermont. For students arriving in the fall, these are due by June 15. For students arriving in the spring, these are due by December 1. The Immunization Compliance Office at UVM is in charge of overseeing the process of uploading proof of your vaccinations; the OIE is not involved in this. If you have questions, please email ImmunizationCompliance@uvm.edu directly. 

  • Exchange students are required by the Vermont State Health Department to show proof of required vaccinations before arriving in Vermont. These vaccinations may not be required in your home country, but they are required by law in Vermont. Follow the steps outlined here to upload proof of your other vaccinations.    

Upload Proof of Health Insurance

All exchange students must provide the OIE with proof of health insurance that meets US Department of State requirements for the duration of their exchange. Those who do not upload documentation of appropriate outside coverage by the deadline will be automatically enrolled in UVM's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) which is expensive (about $2,700 per year) and not covered by the exchange contract.

To collect this information, you must complete and submit the Health Insurance Documentation e-form within the Exchange Student tab in iStart. Be sure to log in under Full/Standard Client Services using your UVM netID and password. This form is due December 1 for Spring/Calendar Year students and July 15 for Fall/Academic Year students.

Note to ISEP exchange students: ISEP insurance meets UVM's requirements, but you still must upload it into iStart.

Note to Nursing students completing clinical courses in a hospital: The College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) has additional immunization requirements for students engaged in clinical practice. These are required at an additional cost and MUST be completed before arriving at UVM, otherwise you run the risk of ineligibility to participate in clinical labs. If you will be participating in any clinical coursework, contact the exchange coordinator. He/she will provide more specific information and can connect you with the CNHS.

Complete Other Health Tasks

In addition to visiting your doctor at home for any vaccinations you might need, we recommend that you visit a doctor for a general check-up before leaving home as well. For more information about healthcare in the US and at UVM, please see Health Care at UVM.

If you have any prescription medications, we recommend that you bring a supply with you, as well as copies of your prescriptions translated into English and the chemical name of the active drugs in the medicine. This will make it easier for UVM doctors to help you continue those medications in the US. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, consider bringing extra pairs in case something gets lost or broken, and bring a copy of your recent eye exam prescription. 

Finally, before you visit Student Health Services (SHS) at UVM, you will need to complete a Health History Form which helps UVM doctors understand your medical needs, such as chronic conditions or past surgeries. This can be done prior to arrival or during orientation. You need to be registered for six credit hours before the form becomes available, and it is only available online a few weeks before arrival to campus.

Paying your Student Bill

You can view your student bill within the Student Financial Services tab of your myUVM portal

Your account will be charged tuition, housing, meals and student fees even if it is covered by your exchange contract. The Office of International Education will apply credit for those costs which are covered under your program which will clear the charges. Sometimes, there might be a delay in these reaching your bill. Do not panic – please just wait for the account to be updated to cover the tuition and any other items that are covered under the exchange agreement. You will pay for everything else that is not covered by your exchange contract. 

Methods of Payment: UVM student bills can be paid in many different ways, including credit card, cash, personal checks, Electronic Check ACH, and Wire Transfer. You can read more here. International students wishing to make a wire transfer should use the service “Flywire” to ensure the money reaches your student account.

Making Travel Plans

Entry into the US: J-1 students may enter the US up to 30 days before the start date listed on the DS-2019. You will also be able to stay in the US up to 30 days beyond the end date on your DS-2019. If you have immediate questions because you are booking a return flight, please email exchange@uvm.edu. 

Arrival in Burlington: All exchange students must arrive in Burlington in time for the start of International Student Orientation. It is not possible to move into UVM housing earlier than the stated move-in date or outside of the stated move-in times. This may mean that you have to arrange temporary accommodation if you arrive a day early or after hours. This often can cost $150+ per night and in many cases it is worth price differences in flights to book travel that will help you check into your UVM housing during the designated window. 

Students can fly directly to Burlington International Airport (BTV) or may also take a bus or train to Burlington from another point of arrival. New York City, Boston, and Montreal are all within a distance that travel can occur in a day. Burlington International Airport (BTV) is a 10-minute taxi ride from the UVM campus (around $25 including tip), or a 30-minute city bus ride. While taxis and rideshare options like Uber and Lyft exist in the Burlington area, they are not as readily available as they are in some bigger cities in the US.

Students are responsible for making their own way to campus, though occasionally a student organization will offer airport/bus station/train station pick-up. If that is available in a given term, students will be notified of such in pre-arrival communications.

Connect with UVM!

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Connect with International Student Clubs and Organizations: UVM has student groups and associations that bring together students from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Some of these are tied to specific countries, others to regions of the world, and we have organizations at both the undergraduate and graduate level that are for anyone who identifies as an international student. Check out the whole list of international student organizations on our website.

Plan activities you want to try: You can start by reading our Life in Burlington and Getting Involved pages. Bookmark the UVM Bored calendar for events happening during the semester on campus and in the Burlington community Check out information about UVM’s many clubs and organizations here, and think about what club(s) you may want to join.

Think about ways to stay healthy and take care of yourself: Look at the opportunities available at the Patrick Gym. Using the fitness center is free once classes start but some of the classes and intramural sports have an extra fee. Living Well offers other ways to reduce stress and stay healthy, such as meditation and yoga classes, drop-in conversations with counselors, therapy dogs, and more. Think about ways you take care of yourself and enjoy spending time at home – whether that is dance, music, exercise, or another activity – and how you might incorporate that into your life at UVM.