Incoming Exchange Student Info

APPLICATION PROCESS FOR EXCHANGE STUDENTS

To apply to UA as an Exchange Student, your institution must first nominate you.  Please have your exchange advisor at your home institution review the processes on our Exchange Partner page.

EXCHANGE STUDENT APPLICATION DEADLINES

  1. The deadline to apply for Fall Semester Exchanges (Beginning August) is April 1.
  2. The deadline to apply for  Spring Semester Exchanges (Beginning January) is October 1.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

  1. Application Form
  2. Copy of Transcripts (in English)
  3. Copy of English Proficiency Scores (if applicable)
  4. Study Plan/Course Registration Form (See: Course Selection Guidance Page)
  5. Copy of Main Passport Page
  6. Proof of Funding

Email Application Document Attachments (please save your files with your name in the file name) to Receive.dzyn2ranrbb74heu@u.box.com.

Visa

OBTAINING J-1 EXCHANGE VISA

SEVIS Fee
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal SEVIS Fee is generally a one-time fee and is required of those who are applying for an J-1 visa.  Proof of fee payment must be presented at the visa interview.

SEVIS FEE Payment Guide: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/assets/tutorials/i-901-fee-payment/story.html

How to Complete the I-901 and Pay the SEVIS Fee
Payment of the SEVIS fee may be made by you or by any other individual, either in the United States or abroad, including family or friends. Payment can be made in U.S. dollars by credit card online at http://www.fmjfee.com/.

To complete form I-901, you must enter two types of information:

  1. J-1 Visa Applicants need to enter the UA J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM NUMBER: P-1-03854, and
  2. You must enter your SEVIS ID number (e.g. N00*******), which is printed at the top of the DS-2019 form.

Applying for a J-1 Student Visa – The DS-160 and Visa Interview

Once you have received your DS-2019 from The University of Alabama, you may apply for a visa up to 120 days prior to your program start date.

  1. First, you should pay the SEVIS Fee as outlined above, which is required of all new J-1 students and must be paid prior to applying for your student visa.
  2. Second, you should submit the online visa application form DS-160.  The DS-160 now requires you to input your Social Media history as a standard question.  The question asks for all social media platforms you have used in the past 5 years and the username(s) or handle(s) you have used on those platforms.
    • The U.S. Embassy may ask you to also complete a DS-5535 Form, which is a supplemental questionnaire regarding your travel, employment, and residence history and family. Please note, not every visa applicant will be asked to complete the DS-5535 form.
  3. Finally, you should set your visa appointment.  You should plan to apply for your visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. Prior to scheduling your interview, you can check visa appointment waiting times online (Click here, to check Visa Waiting times).

No visa stamp is required for Canadian and Bahamian citizens.  However, Canadians and Bahamian’s must have a valid J-1 DS-2019 to enter the U.S. as exchange students, and they must pay the SEVIS Fee prior to arrival.

Please note that depending on your country of residence and field of study, visa processing times can exceed one month so apply early.  You will need to include the potential for visa delays in your travel plans.

Documentation Required for the Visa Interview
Please refer to the U.S. Department of State Web site: J-1 Students and Exchange Visitors.

You should also consult your U.S. Embassy or Consulatehttp://www.usembassy.gov/ to see if there are any additional country-specific visa application requirements.

Visa Interview – Proving Non-Immigrant Intent
J-1 visas are considered non-immigrant visas. Accordingly, during the student visa interview, applicants must establish their non-immigrant intent to the satisfaction of the consular officer.  Non-immigrant intent means that you have binding ties to your home country and have a home which you have no intention of abandoning, and that you will depart the United States when you have completed your studies. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence of non-immigrant intent should take since applicants’ circumstances vary greatly.

10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Non-immigrant VISA 

HOUSING

Exchange students are required to live on-campus. Once admitted to the exchange program, an application for housing must be completed.  The housing application will be accessed here: https://housing.sa.ua.edu/incoming-students/apply.

 

Incoming Exchange Students have three options for housing on-campus, which are billed at different rates.

Burke Hall

Option 1: Dorm-Style Housing – Burke Hall
Burke East and West offer residents a fully furnished room. Most rooms are double-occupancy with community bathrooms, though some suites are available. Burke hall is located near on-campus dining options, Mary B’s and Burke Dining, which are conveniently located on the first floor.

Residents have access to common spaces areas on each floor, the 1st floor living room and laundry room, and community kitchens on the 4th and 5th floor of East and the 2nd floor in West.

Billed at the Burke Hall traditional halls rates.

Students are responsible for providing their own linens, trash receptacles, cookware, eating utensils, and cleaning supplies.

The Highlands

Option 2: Apartment-Style Housing – The Highlands
The Highlands offers residents a fully furnished 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment equipped with its own private kitchen. The hall is located near on-campus dining options, Presidential Terrace, Lakeside Dining, and Lakeside Market. The community’s activity center provides residents with a study lounge and laundry room.

Billed at the Highlands apartment rates.

Students are responsible for providing their own linens, trash receptacles, cookware, eating utensils, and cleaning supplies.

Rotary House - Credit to the Crimson White

Option 3: Small House, Multicultural Living Learning Community – The Rotary House
The Multicultural Living Learning Community is a place where students can engage with people and ideas from around the world. The small, co-ed atmosphere fosters an environment where globalism and multicultural communication is practiced through direct interaction. This community is ideal for students  who have a passion for global learning.

This community is paired with the recommended course CIP 200 Introduction to Global and Cultural Perspectives and participation in the Global Tide small group program.

Billed at the Smith Woods small group house rates.

Students should submit a preliminary application for selection for The Rotary House.

Students are responsible for providing their own linens, trash receptacles, cookware, eating utensils, and cleaning supplies.

student health center sign

IMMUNIZATIONS

Immunizations are required and must be completed before course registration.

All incoming students, regardless of classification, must have the following vaccinations:

  • Meningitis Vaccine – One dose at age 16 or greater
  • 2 Measles Containing Vaccines – One must be a MMR vaccination after 1980
  • TB Screening – Within one year

Full details and instructions on completing and submitting your immunization forms can be found here: https://shc.sa.ua.edu/forms/immunization-form/.

HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

Health Insurance is required for all international students. Students are automatically enrolled in a school policy unless a waiver is completed.

Health Insurance Information, Brochures, and Waiver Forms can be found on the Student Health Center website.

Exchange Student Class Registration

Step-by-Step Class Registration Instructions (Only Possible After Admission)

The University of Alabama Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog Site

All courses that could be offered at The University of Alabama are listed in the Academic Catalog. You can view the Academic Catalog at https://catalog.ua.edu/. Note, not every course in the catalog is offered every semester. The catalog is used to determine what courses you might be interested in.

Schedule of Classes

Schedule of Classes Link

The Office of the Registrar has a instructions page on viewing the Schedule of Classes.

To see courses offered by UA during the semester you intend to study, you can view the Schedule of Classes.  This can be done by logging into myBama and going to the Student tab and selecting Class Schedule in the Academic and Student Services channel.

If you do not have a myBama login, you can access the Class Schedule as a Guest or directly access the Class Schedule listings here.

Course Syllabus

Syllabi Search Page

The catalog description contains a brief description of the course. For a complete description of the material covered by the course, you will need the syllabus. Many syllabi are archived at https://syllabi.ua.edu/front/#/. If you can not find the syllabus that you are looking for, contact International Student and Scholar Services for help.

Course Equivalencies

Course Equivalencies Database

We recommend that you work with your faculty and advisors at your home institution to review course descriptions and syllabi to determine how UA courses may match to your home institution course.  The University of Alabama’s Education Abroad office has established a course equivalencies table for UA students studying abroad.

While this list is meant for UA students going abroad, you can use this course equivalencies table to search your home institution and find equivalent courses that UA has already evaluated.

Luggage

ARRIVAL

Pickups from the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport (BHM) are done on the Sunday and Monday prior to the start of classes every semester. Details will be emailed to exchange students prior to the start of the semester.