Study at St. Edward's as an Exchange Student
St. Edward’s welcomes exchange students to the hilltop from our partner universities around the world. Contact International Student Services (ISS) with questions about studying at St. Edward’s through our exchange program.
Exchange Student Application
You must first be nominated by your home university; check with your home university exchange coordinator for more information. Once nominated, you will:
- The nomination deadline is March 1 for fall exchange and September 15 for spring. Once nominated, you may submit your online application along with all the documents needed for your Apply DS2019 Form. Completed applications deadlines are fall April 1 and spring Oct. 1
- Once your application is completed and you have submitted approved documents for your DS 2019, you will be fully admitted to the university.
- Collect the following documents to be uploaded into the "Apply DS2019" Form:
- Passport photo page. Dual nationals will upload a copy of the passport you plan to travel with. U.S. citizens will upload your U.S. passport photo page.
- Certificate of Finance Form: Fill in the Exchange Certification of Finances Form (COF) and upload to your Apply DS2019 Form. U.S. Citizens and ISEP students do not need to complete this step. Banking certification is located on the COF form.. Follow the Banking letter requirements. Funding must be current within 6 months of the program start date. U.S. citizens and ISEP students do not need to complete this form.
- Proof of English Proficiency: The following are the minimum English proficiency for exchange admission: IELTS 6.5; TOEFL (iBT)79; TOEFL (ITP) 500; Duolingo 105 or other approved English proficiency test/score. Higher English proficiency scores support your successful participation in your academic programs and improves your ability to function on day-to-day basis in the U.S.
- Official Transcript: Submit an official transcript from your home university, including final grades for the most recent completed semester. Include an English translation.
- Submit the Insurance Acknowledgement Form as you complete your "Apply DS2019" form.
Next Steps, Visa Information and J-1 Regulations
You have applied to St. Edward's. Now what?
Once we receive all application materials, it usually takes a week to get your admission notice by email. You’ll receive information about activating your St. Edward’s online account, including your St. Edward’s email address.
ISS will issue your DS-2019 form after you’re admitted. This form is required for your J-1 student visa application. If you’re an ISEP student, ISEP will issue your form. When your DS-2019 is ready, we’ll mail it to the address provided on the Apply DS2019 document, along with instructions for applying for your J-1 visa.
While waiting for your DS-2019 to arrive, you will:
- Activate your St. Edward’s University account using your account activation code.
- Submit proof of your bacterial meningitis vaccination and COVID vaccination requirements.
- Register for or waive the university’s health insurance coverage. You’ll be billed for health insurance if you don’t waive by the 11th class day.
- Review Hillstart, an online pre-orientation course to complete tasks like submitting your advising information, registering for orientation and applying for housing (Exchange students are required to live on campus). Your Hillstart invitation will be sent to your St. Edward's email account.
- Prepare for Registration: Exchange students are assigned a Success Coach to support them through the registration and advising process. Exchange students may choose to preview "exchange eligible" courses by using the "exchange eligible" attribute in the advanced search option on the Course Schedule, prior to receiving the link to the Exchange Student Advising & Registration Form from their Success Coach.
Apply for Your J-1 Visa
Once you receive your DS-2019, follow these steps to 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. Application procedures vary by embassy or consulate location. Bring your original DS-2019 to your visa interview, along with your admission letter and financial support information.
Apply early to start your program on time. Once you receive your visa, upload a copy of it to ISS' records.
Ask ISS about J-1 visa regulations and benefits. Not following the requirements can affect your ability to stay in the U.S. as well as your eligibility for a visa in the future.
- Enroll full-time
- Update your DS-2019 with any address changes or program changes
- Don't work without authorization
- Follow U.S. laws
- Maintain required health insurance
- After your program end date on the DS-2019, depart within 30 days.
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.
Arrival to Campus
When should I 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 Launch (review dates in email correspondence). Mandatory check-in is required. Remember, exchange students are required to live on campus and move-in dates must be scheduled with housing.
How many classes do I have to take?
You must be enrolled full-time, which is 4 classes or 12 credit hours. Confirm whether your home university requires you to enroll in additional credit hours.
How do I register for classes?
Exchange students work with an academic Success Coach to register. They will issue PINS for registration.
What should I do if a class that I want is closed?
See if there’s another section of the class available. If not, work with your home university to find another class that fits your degree plan. You may still add your name to the waitlist; if a spot becomes available, you’ll have 24 hours to confirm your registration. But, be sure to register for another class, even if you’re on the waitlist, because you have to be enrolled full time.
What should I expect in the classroom?
Your professor expects you to participate in class discussions. Assignments, quizzes and exams are required throughout the semester. Many professors have an attendance policy requiring you not to miss too many classes. Professors can withdraw you from a class for non-attendance, which can cause problems for your exchange program and student visa status.
How do I get my transcript?
Order your transcript directly from the Office of the Registrar. There’s no fee to order transcripts sent by regular mail or to pick up in person, but there are fees if you order express mail or a digital transcript. We recommend express mail or a digital transcript because regular mail cannot be tracked and the Registrar cannot estimate delivery.
How do I take a language class?
If you already have knowledge of the language, you’ll complete an online assessment so we can place you in the correct level.
Health and Insurance Requirements
Do I have to have insurance?
Yes; your insurance plan must cover $50,000 medical expenses, repatriation and medical evacuation benefits. You may either purchase insurance through St. Edward’s or provide proof of insurance coverage each semester.
Are there vaccines I’m required to get?
Yes; you must submit proof of your bacterial meningitis vaccination. You may not be able to register if you do not complete this requirement. Please review the Covid vaccine requirements and submission of vaccination information at HealthyHilltop. Also review vaccination requirements for travel at Travel.gov.
I have a disability; how can I get support?
If you have a documented disability (learning, medical or psychological) or have questions about qualifying for services, email Student Disability Services or call 512-448-8557.
How do I sign up for on-campus housing?
Once admitted to St. Edward’s, complete the housing application in Hillstart. Exchange students are required to live on campus.
What are the on-campus housing options?
See video tours and learn about different options for on-campus living. We recommend that exchange students live in one of the following: St. André Apartments, Johnson Hall, Basil Moreau Casitas or Jacques Dujarié Casitas. Exchange students are not able to live in the Maryhill and Hilltopper Heights Apartments. Exchange students attending the university for two semesters will not have housing during long breaks (winter and summer).
Can I get a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A SSN is only required if you’re paid for employment. If you have an employment offer, speak with ISS to determine the appropriate documentation for authorization and your SSN application.
Can I work on campus?
J-1 visa holders are eligible for part-time on-campus employment, up to 20 hours per week. Before beginning your on-campus job, report your employment to ISS so we can update your DS-2019 record. Self-employment, such as private tutoring, is not allowed. If you’re unsure if a position is acceptable, check with ISS.
Do I have to file taxes?
If you receive income during your exchange program, you must 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.
Am I able to volunteer?
Per U.S. labor laws, work that is unpaid may still be considered employment for F-1 or J-1 status holders. Here are examples that highlight the differences between volunteering and unpaid employment.
Feb. 28 Fall housing applications open
April 1 Exchange application deadline
April 11 Registration opens for Exchange
July 20 International Landing Day pre-arrival webinar 2:00 pm
Aug. 16 Move-In from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Aug. 18 Exchange Orientation
Aug. 19 International Launch Webinar 4:00 pm
Aug 19-21 Anchors Welcome Weekend
Aug. 22 Classes begin
Sept. 7 Last day to request health insurance waiver
Nov. 23-27 Thanksgiving break
Dec. 5-8 Exams/test week
Dec. 8 End of semester
Dec. 9 Move-Out; campus housing closes at noon
Sept 15 Exchange nomination deadline
Oct. 1 Exchange application deadline
Nov. 22 Register for classes
Nov. 30 Intl Landing Day webinar
Jan.2-6 Reserve Move-In and Attend Orientation
Jan. 6 Intl Launch Webinar/Check-In
Jan. 9 Courses begin
Feb. 27 Mid-Semester
Mar.11-17 Spring Break
April Registration for Fall classes begins
Apr. 6-9 Easter Break
May 1-4 Exam week
May 4 End of Semester