COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
Study at St. Edward's University on Exchange
Meet with International Student Services
Current exchange students studying at St. Edward's University can meet with International Student Services staff by visiting our office during walk-in advising, 1-2pm, Monday-Friday. Or, make an appointment to meet with an advisor individually.
Each year St. Edward's University welcomes exchange students to campus from our partner universities around the world. Contact iss [at] stedwards.edu with questions about studying at St. Edward's through our exchange program.
Current St. Edward's students who are interested in studying abroad through exchange can visit the study abroad website for more information. Information about our exchange partner universities is on our website.
|March 16||On campus housing application opens|
|April 1||Exchange application deadline|
|August 16, 9am-4pm||Exchange Move-In Day: Settle in to your dormitory|
|August 18||International Landing Day (mandatory check-in for exchange students)|
|August 24||Classes begin|
|September 8||Last day to request health insurance waiver|
|December 10||End of fall semester|
|December 11||Winter Break Move-Out: On campus housing closes at noon|
|October 1||Exchange application deadline|
|November 18||Class registration begins|
|January 7, 9am-4pm||Exchange student move in date|
|January 8, 10am-3pm||International Landing Day (mandatory check-in for exchange students)|
|January 13||First day of class|
|May 7||End of semester|
Exchange Student Application
To study at St. Edward's University on exchange, you must first be nominated by your home university. Check with your home university exchange coordinator for information about this step.
After you have been nominated by your home university, you will need to apply to St. Edward's University and provide the following required documents:
- Complete the online application for admission to St. Edward's University.
- Upload a copy of your passport photo page. If you are a dual national, upload a copy of the passport you plan to travel with. If you are a U.S. citizen, upload your U.S. passport photo page.
Upload Passport Photo Page
- Complete and upload the Certification of Finances Form. We are required to verify proof of financial support before we can issue your form DS-2019 for your student visa application. U.S. citizens and ISEP students do not need to complete this step.
Semester Exchange Certification of Finances Form
Full Year Exchange Certification of Finances Form
Upload Certification of Finances Form
- Proof of financial support is required to issue the form DS-2019 and will be reviewed by the U.S. embassy or consulate during the visa application process. A screen shot of an online bank account balance, official bank statement, or signed letter from the bank detailing the available balance are examples of financial support documents. Bank documents must be dated within the past 6 months and meet the requirements described on the Certification of Finances Form. Proof of financial support is not required for U.S. citizens and ISEP students.
Upload Proof of Financial Support
- Exchange students must show proof of English proficiency, such as IELTS or TOEFL test scores. The minimum English proficiency scores are IELTS 6.5 and TOEFL 79 (iBT). APU students: Contact International Student Services for specific English proficiency requirements.
Upload English Proficiency Documents
- Academic Information:
To complete this online form, please prepare the following:
1. Official Transcript: An official transcript from your home university including final grades for the most recent completed semester is required for admission. Please include an English translation if your transcript is in another language.
2. Class Preference List: To help with class registration, we will review a list of 10 classes you are interested in taking at St. Edward's University. Review the Class Schedule to choose 10 classes you are interested in taking while on your exchange program.
If the next exchange semester's schedule is not available, use the previous semester's schedule.
Include the academic department, course title and course number.
Department: Art (ARTS)
Course Number: 1318
Course Title: Clay: Handbuilding
List your most important class first.
Submit Academic Information and Transcript
- All exchange students are required to have health insurance that meets U.S. Department of State requirements. Please complete the online Insurance Acknowledgement Form to agree to this important program requirement. Information about the St. Edward's insurance plan can be found on the Health & Counseling Center website.
Insurance Acknowledgement Form
Next Steps & Visa Information
Once we receive your application materials, it usually takes about a week to get your admission notice by email. Along with your admission notice, you will receive information about activating your St. Edward's University online account, including your St. Edward's email address.
International Student Services will issue your form DS-2019 shortly after you are admitted as an exchange student. The DS-2019 form is required for your J-1 student visa application. If you are an ISEP student, ISEP will issue your form DS-2019. When your DS-2019 is ready, we will mail it to your home university along with instructions for applying for your J-1 visa.
While you wait for your DS-2019 to arrive, you can get started on some important next steps:
- Activate your St. Edward's University Account. You will receive your account activation code by email after you are admitted. If you have not received an email with the account activation information, please check your spam folder. If you still cannot find your account activation code, contact International Student Services for assistance.
- Prepare your vaccination documents. You will need to take care of the bacterial meningitis vaccination requirement before you can register for classes at St. Edward's University. See "Health and Insurance" below for more information.
- Register or waive health insurance coverage. You will be automatically billed for health insurance if you do not receive a waiver by the 11th class day. See "Health and Insurance" for more information.
- Review Hillstart. After you are admitted, you will receive an invitation to Hillstart, an online course with important tasks to take care of before arriving on campus. The invitation will be sent to your St. Edward's University email account. Hillstart will direct you to the on campus housing application, orientation registration and more.
- Keep an eye on your email, we will be sending instructions about when and how to register for classes.
Once you receive your DS-2019, apply for your J-1 visa:
- Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online.
- Find your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Complete the online visa application and make an appointment for your J-1 visa interview. Visa application procedures can vary by embassy or consulate location. You will need to bring your original DS-2019 with you to your visa interview, along with your admission letter and financial support information.
It is important to apply for your visa early so that you can start your program on time if there are any unexpected delays.
Once you receive your visa, upload a copy of it to International Student Services records:
Travel, Arrival & Settling In
When to Arrive
Exchange students with a J-1 visa may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date shown on the DS-2019 form.
Plan to arrive in time for International Landing Day, which is a mandatory check-in session. If you arrive before international move-in day, remember to arrange short term housing at a hotel or hostel in advance.
Getting to Campus
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is approximately 15-30 minutes from St. Edward's University campus, depending on traffic. The airport publishes a list of transportation options, including taxi, bus, ride-share and shuttle.
During the application process, we will ask for 10 classes you are interested in taking at St. Edward's University. Usually, full time enrollment is around 4 classes, or 12 credit hours. Check with your home university to see if your school requires registration in more than 12 credit hours. We ask for 10 classes so that our academic advisors can review additional classes to give some flexibility during registration. We recommend taking a mixture of classes in your major and classes outside your major.
Although we cannot guarantee placement in any specific class, exchange students generally have access to a wide array of classes offered at St. Edward's University.
Students should be aware that some of the acting classes may not be accessible to exchange students because they have a very strict sequence. Check with us in advance if you are interested in these courses.
New College is a program of study for adult learners returning to college and classes are generally offered in the evening. New College classes are not generally available to exchange students. When reviewing the course schedule, classes with a course number ending in "A" are New College classes. For example, Business Administration 2305A Business Statistics is a New College class and Business Administration 2305 Business Statistics is the traditional undergraduate class.
Understanding Course Numbers
Generally, course numbers work like this:
- 1000 number classes are first year level classes
- 2000 number classes are second year level classes
- 3000 number classes are third year level classes
- 4000 number classes are fourth year level classes
To register for classes, you will need to be admitted to St. Edward's University as an exchange student and submit the required vaccination documents. Once this has been completed and registration opens, International Student Services will send your PIN number (a code you need to complete registration) by email.
With your PIN, you can log in to the online registration system. Choose the correct term (spring or fall) and find the classes you need to take. The registration system will tell you if the class is full or conflicts with another class on your schedule. Click "add" and then "submit" to register for the course.
When A Class You Want Is Closed
- First, be sure to check if there is another section of the class that is available.
- Work with your home university to see if there is another class that fits into your degree plan.
- If the class is full the registration system will ask if you would like to go on the waitlist. Choose "waitlist" from the drop-down menu and then "submit changes." If a space becomes available in the class, a student on the waitlist will have the opportunity to add. You will receive an email if a class becomes available from the waitlist and you will have 24 hours to confirm the registration for the class. It is very important to check your St. Edward's University email daily if you are on the waitlist. International Student Services cannot guarantee that you will be placed in a class that you are waitlisted for, but please feel free to contact us if you need assistance.
- Register for another class if you are on the waitlist, even if it is not your top choice. It is important for student visa holders to be enrolled full time in at least 12 credit hours.
- Don't worry! Lots of students change classes before the start of the semester and the class you want may become available. It is also possible to make some changes to your schedule after you arrive on campus during the first week of class.
What to Expect in the Classroom
The average class size at St. Edward's University is 19 students. Since classes are small, the professor will usually expect all students to be actively involved in class discussions. Assignments, quizzes and exams are typically required throughout the semester. Many professors will have an attendance policy requiring that you do not miss too many classes. It is important to attend class regularly and communicate with your professor if you must be absent. Professors can withdraw students from a class for non-attendance, which can cause problems for your exchange program and student visa status.
Reach out to staff in International Student Services if you are having difficulty in your classes. St. Edward's University has many resources to help you achieve academic success in your exchange program. Free academic mentoring is offered to international students to offset academic acculturation stress.
Health & Insurance
On Campus Health Services
Exchange students have access to on campus health and counseling services through the Health and Counseling Center (HCC).
St. Edward's University is committed to providing equal access to all students with disabilities. If you have a documented disability (learning, medical or psychological) or have questions about qualifying for services, you should contact Student Disability Services in Moody Hall 155, by email at sds [at] stedwards.edu (subject: Accommodation%20for%20Exchange%20Student) or by phone at +1 512-448-8557. You can also visit the Student Disability Services website for more information about the process to qualify for accommodation.
Texas law requires most students to have a bacterial meningitis vaccination. Your registration may be blocked if you have not completed this requirement. Please visit the HCC web site for information about completing this requirement.
The U.S. Department of State requires health insurance that meets specific requirements for all J-1 visa holders. Exchange students at St. Edward's University will be automatically enrolled in health insurance and charged the insurance fee unless they complete the waiver process. To request a waiver for the St. Edward's University health insurance, complete the online form. In order to submit the waiver, you must be admitted and registered in at least 6 credit hours of class.
St. Edward's University offers on-campus housing for exchange students. The housing application can be accessed by admitted exchange students in Hillstart once it becomes available for the new semester.
Visit the housing website for detailed information and video tours of the variety of options for on-campus living. We recommend that exchange students look at the following housing options: St. Andre Apartments, Johnson Hall, Basil Moreau Casitas, and Jacques Dujarie Casitas.
Housing is not available to exchange students in the Maryhill and Hilltopper Heights Apartments. Residents of these apartments are required to provide their own furniture and set up accounts to pay for utilities like electricity and water. Furniture and utilities are included in the on-campus housing options recommended for exchange students.
ISEP students housing and meal plan rates are based on the $150 housing deposit, meal plan B and Dujarie or Moreau Casitas.
Exchange students living on-campus may purchase linen (bed sheets) and care packages for their rooms. Please visit the Resident Resource page for more information about linens.
Your J-1 visa status belongs to you. Be proactive and ask International Student Services any questions about J-1 visa regulations and benefits. Not following the requirements of your J-1 visa can affect your ability to stay in the U.S. as well as your eligibility for a U.S. visa in the future.
- Enroll full-time: Full-time enrollment for undergraduate students is 12 credit hour. Check with your home university in case they require you to enroll in additional credit hours.
- Keep your DS-2019 up-to-date: Report any address changes or program changes to International Student Services
- Don't work without authorization
- Follow U.S. laws
- Maintain required health insurance
- Depart on time: After your program end date on the DS-2019, you have 30 days to remain in the U.S.
Two Year Home Residency Requirement 212(e)
Some J-1 visa holders are subject to a two year home country physical presence requirement based on Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. You can find more information on the U.S. Department of State website.
On Campus Employment
J-1 visa holders are eligible for part-time on-campus employment, up to 20 hours per week. On-campus employment includes office jobs, teaching assistant positions, or work at a university-affiliated business such as Jo's Coffee Shop, the bookstore or cafeteria. Self employment, such as private tutoring, is not allowed. If you have any doubts about whether or not a position is acceptable, please check with International Student Services before getting started.
Take advantage of services offered by the Career and Professional Development Office to search for positions, review your resume and more.
Before starting on campus work, report your employment to International Student Services so we can update your DS-2019 record.
J-1 Academic Training for Internships
Academic Training is work authorization that allows J-1 students to work in the U.S. in a job or internship related the their field of study. This authorization requires approval by either St. Edward's University or ISEP and the student's home university. Academic Training can be done during or immediately following your exchange program. Work must be directly related to your major at St. Edward's University and you must receive authorization before starting any work.
If you receive income during your exchange program, you will need to file taxes. In the U.S., some of your income is typically withheld for taxes. Depending on your home country's tax agreement with the U.S., you may be eligible to get some of this tax money back by filing tax forms at the beginning of the following calendar year.
International Student Services staff are not tax experts. If you are working on-campus, work with the Payroll Office to set up appropriate tax withholding.
Social Security Number
J-1 students are only eligible for a social security number (SSN) if they have an offer of employment. If you are going to receive payment for employment, you will need an SSN.
More information about applying for an SSN can be found on our SSN handout.
The issue of volunteering may seem simple. Many students think “I’m not getting paid, so that means I am volunteering.” This is actually a complex area where immigration regulations and labor laws intersect. According to U.S. labor laws, work that is unpaid may still be considered employment for F-1 or J-1 status holders. We have created a brief handout with a few examples to highlight the differences between volunteering and unpaid employment.
Exchange students can order transcripts directly from the Office of the Registrar. There is no fee to order transcripts sent by regular mail or picked up in person, but there are additional fees if you order express mail or a digital transcript.
We recommend that you consider express mail or a digital transcript because regular mail cannot be tracked and the Registrar cannot estimate delivery time. If you would like to use express mail, first submit your transcript request to the Registrar. Then, order express mail service online through University Express Mail Service.
Do I have to have insurance?
Students must have insurance which covers $50,000 medical expenses, repatriation, and medical evacuation benefits. Students may purchase insurance through St. Edward's University or provide proof of insurance coverage by completing the Insurance Form each semester on myhilltop.stedwards.edu
Can I get a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A social security number is only required if you are going to be paid for employment. J-1 students are eligible to work up to 20 hours/week on campus. Authorization for off campus employment requires special authorization called academic training. If you have an employment offer, please discuss it with ISS so we can help you with the appropriate documentation for authorization and your SSN application.
How do I take a language class on exchange?
If you already have some background with the language, we'll ask you to complete an online assessment so that we can place you in the correct level at St. Edward's University.
Information for Exchange Partner Universities
Exchange nominations are submitted by our partners through an online survey. Please contact iss [at] stedwards.edu if you are a partner university exchange coordinator who needs a link to the survey.
Fall Semester (August-December) and Academic Year (August-May): March 1
Spring Semester (January-May): September 15
Partner resources, such as St. Edward's University Exchange Fact Sheet, university photos, videos and brochures can be accessed online: