Making Travel Plans
Entry into the USA: J-1 students (the immigration status most common for exchange students) may enter the USA up to 30 days before the start date listed on the the Form DS-2019 immigration document. You will also be able to stay 30 days beyond the end date of your immigration document. If you wish to stay and travel longer, you will need to take special actions to change your status which we will explain during orientation. If you have immediate questions because you are booking a return flight, you can email Exchange@uvm.edu.
Arrival in Burlington: Check arrival dates and times for your semester on the International Student Orientation website. We will send additional details about where to check in as we get closer to orientation. You must arrive on the stated days - exchange students who do not attend international student orientation will lose their exchange spot. It is not possible to move into UVM housing any earlier than the stated move-in date. If you arrive in Vermont before this time, you will be responsible for costs associated with temporary accommodation. For ideas about travel to Burlington and temporary housing, check out our general pre-arrival information.
What your Contract Covers and What to Budget for
To budget for your exchange semester, you must first understand what your exchange program covers.
|Program||Covered Expenses||Not Covered Expenses|
ISEP and Yaroslavl State University
|Tuition and comprehensive fees, room (up to cost of traditional double) and meal plan (Residential Unlimited plus 100 points or equivalent cost Points plans), certain break housing costs.||Laboratory or individual course fees, selecting a more expensive room/meal than indicated, any credits above 18 per semester|
American University of Sharjah (Bilateral)
|Tuition||Student fees, room and meal plan, laboratory or course fees, any credits above 18 per semester|
All other bilateral exchange programs
|Tuition and comprehensive fees||Room and meal plan, laboratory or individual course fees, any credits above 18 per semester|
Understanding what is and is not covered, you should think about the following things as you plan your budget:
- Orientation Meals - ISEP student meals begin on the Tuesday of orientation with dinner. All other students should budget around $100 for meals during orientation.
- 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.
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.
Preparing for Registration:
- 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 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.
When Registration Opens
- Register as soon as registration opens. Waiting even an hour can cause you to miss out on a class that might be popular.
- You will register on the MyUVM website through the"add/drop/withdraw" button on the registrar tab. Your pre-arrival email has the date registration opens.
- 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.
Things to keep in mind:
- You must register for 12-19 credit hours. Most students at UVM take 15 credits per semester. You cannot take more than 19 credits on exchange.
- 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. All courses in the Grossman School of Business carry material fees with them. These are helping to buy software access and other support for you specific to those classes. These fees are not optional.
- You will have an opportunity to add and drop courses through the first two weeks of classes, but open spaces fill on a first-come-first-served basis.
- Course levels: 001-099 Introductory, 100-199 Intermediate, 200-299 Advanced, 300+ Graduate-level
Getting Instructor Permission:
- 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 follow the steps below.
- To get instructor permission, email 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.
Notes for Courses in Specific Academic Disciplines:
These instructions are just for courses in these specific areas. If you will take some coursework in these areas but also other general coursework, you should follow these instructions only for the relevant courses and follow normal procedures for getting instructor permission for any other coursework which requires special access. Click on the links below to open pre-populated emails to specific academic area contacts.
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.
Housing and Meal Plans
Exchange Students are required to live on the UVM campus and to have a University of Vermont meal plan.
Housing Sign-up: UVM Residential Life (Housing) will contact you via your UVM e-mail with the application process and application due date. Do not try to complete the application until they contact you directly. 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 application. 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 just before arrival.
Housing Styles: Exchange students will be placed in traditional-style or suite-style housing. 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 are a group of 4-5 bedrooms and one common living area and two shared bathrooms. Suites are often mixed-sex (but same-sex roommates). 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).
Room Types: Most exchange students will be placed in traditional double rooms. Students may request other types of rooms, including single rooms, but those are extremely limited. Exchange students are almost never placed in triple or 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.
Roommates: Almost all exchange students will live with another student. This might be an American student or could be another international 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 an "Unlimited" or a "Points" 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 unlimited 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 as you are unlikely to be placed in triple/quadruple rooms. Housing costs can be viewed here and dining costs can be viewed here.
Paying your Student Bill
All UVM students have a “student account” and you will receive messages through your UVM email when you have charges. Your student account can be accessed through the same website that you used for registering for courses (MyUVM).
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.
Health and Insurance Requirements
All exchange students must have health insurance and meet UVM's immunization requirements. Students who do not submit these materials may forfeit their spot in the UVM exchange – these are state and federally required. Read immunization and health care task requirements for all international students in our pre-arrival materials.
The following additional information is specific to exchange students. You must complete the tasks on both pre-arrival pages.
Proof of Insurance: Exchange participants must provide proof of an insurance plan that meets US Department of State requirements or the you will be enrolled in UVM’s health insurance plan, which is very expensive (about $2600 per year). If you have health insurance that meets these requirements, you may use this. To collect this information, you must complete an insurance verification form prior to arrival in iStart under full client services (you will need your netID and password to log in). This form is Due December 1 for Spring/Calendar Year Students and July 15 for Fall/Academic Year students and students who miss these deadlines will be enrolled in UVM insurance and required to pay the cost. ISEP insurance meets UVM's requirements, but you must upload it into iStart. Bilateral exchange students may use another insurance they might have that meets the Department of State minimums.
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.