Ohio University

Incoming Undergraduate Exchange Students

Application Procedures & General Information for Undergraduate Exchange Students to OHIO

Undergraduate Application Deadlines 

  • To apply for summer or fall semester 2020: Application deadline is February 1, 2020 
  • To apply for spring semester 2021: Application deadline is September 1, 2020 

Application Instructions 

Students use the exchange student application, in hard copy.  

Partner offices send the required application materials directly to the Office of Global Opportunities (OGO) by the application deadlines listed above. Application fees are waived.  

Undergraduate application requirements: (send originals for official documents) 

  1. OHIO Undergraduate Exchange Student Application Form. 
  2. Official Academic Transcripts in the original language and in English. Documents must be originals.  
  3. Financial Affidavit: Applicants must submit proof that they have sufficient funds for their stay in the U.S. The dollar amount listed in the affidavit must correspond to, at minimum, the dollar amount listed for students in the graduate student expense estimate provided by OHIO. A template bank letter is provided. A template sponsor form is available at the ISFS website here
  4. OHIO Courses: Applicants must submit a list of the OHIO courses they are interested in taking. NOTE: When compiling the exchange course list, use the corresponding semester of the previous year in OHIO course offerings. Course offerings are subject to change. 
  5. English Language Proficiency Documentation: See below.  
  6. Passport Copy: One copy of the student’s personal information and photo page.  
  7. Statement of Interest: Submit 1-page personal statement, covering background and interest in this exchange. 

NOTE: Missing documents or incomplete applications will delay the application process. Exchange student applicants should always work with the international advisor or exchange program coordinator at the home university to ensure that the application is complete and all required documents are provided. 

English Language Proficiency Requirements 

Official TOEFL or IELTS test scores are required for non-native English speakers. No other proof of English language proficiency will be accepted. Visit the Office of Admissions for details on the OHIO English proficiency policy. Students must fulfill these requirements in order to take academic courses at OHIO. With the approval from the student's home university, students who do not fulfill these requirements may take English language courses with OPIE, Ohio's Program of Intensive English. 

Applicants must request that Educational Testing Service (ETS) send official TOEFL or IELTS scores to OHIO. The OHIO institutional code for TOEFL is 1593. Scans or hard copy result pages are not accepted. See: ets.org/toefl for further information.  

Academic Calendar and Arrival Dates 

OHIO operates on the semester system. The academic year begins with fall semester. Each semester consists of 14 weeks of classes and one week of exams. Fewer courses are offered during the summer sessions and most OHIO students leave Athens. Consequently, we do not encourage exchange students to attend during summer sessions.  

The OHIO academic calendar is available on-line at: ohio.edu/registrar/calendar.cfm. The tentative academic calendar for 2020-2021 is: 

  • Summer term: May 11 – August 15, 2020 
  • Fall semester: August 24 – December 12, 2020 
  • Spring semester: January 11 – May 1, 2021 

Tentative arrival dates for undergraduate students are May 5, 2020 for summer term, August 12, 2020 for fall semester and January 7, 2021 for spring semester. Arrival dates are confirmed in students’ welcome packets. Do not book airfare prior to receiving a letter of admissions and confirming arrival dates. 

Immigration Matters 

Exchange students apply for J1 U.S. visa status. Upon admission, a DS2019 immigration document is requested at OHIO for the student. The processing time is 2-4 weeks. The DS2019 and the official admission letter will be sent to the student in care of the international office at the home university. Upon receipt, check the document carefully and notify OGO immediately if mistakes are found.  

For more information on visa application and visa requirements, please see https://www.ohio.edu/isfs/resources-new-students/visa-information.  

U.S. immigration regulations require that students be enrolled as full-time students. Undergraduate exchange students must enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester (approximately 4 courses). Classes must be taken for a letter grade. Online courses do not qualify. In addition, OGO requires full-time enrollment as we have pre-paid full-time tuition fees for each student. 

Health Insurance 

All international students are automatically enrolled in the OHIO Student Health Insurance. Students will be automatically billed for the cost of the insurance plan after they arrive in Athens. A waiver may be requested, but because of the strict policy coverage requirements, it is most frequently denied. 

Information and costs of this insurance plan can be found on-line at: ohio.edu/student-insurance


Undergraduate exchange students generally live in OHIO's residence halls. Between academic semesters when classes are not in session, regular on-campus housing closes and all students are asked to move out until classes resume for the next semester. Interim housing is available between semesters for a fee. 

It is the student’s responsibility to reserve and confirm permanent and interim housing. Housing information is available on-line at: ohio.edu/housing. Further directions are sent to admitted students. 


Airport: The closest and most convenient airport to Athens is the John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. OHIO Transportation & Parking Services will be providing a shuttle service from the airport to OHIO on specific dates prior to the start of most semesters.  

Transport to Athens: Shuttle bus service available to exchange students on specific days and times before the start of most semesters. See https://www.ohio.edu/transportation-parking/transit-services/airport-shuttle for more information. OHIO will cover the cost of the shuttle on specified arrival dates (currently $35).  

International Student Orientation 

Exchange students are required to attend an on-campus orientation for international students. The orientation program cost is $150, which is billed to student's accounts. The orientation requires students to arrive one week prior to semester start. Orientation dates will be published 1-2 months before arrival. 

Course Registration 

Students register for courses upon arrival during orientation. Pre-registration is not available. Each student is assigned an academic advisor to help with registration and academic course concerns. Courses may be full, cancelled or unavailable to incoming exchange students. Students should be flexible and have a broad set of course interests.  

Access to course information is on-line at ohio.edu/registrar. Be sure to check course offerings for the correct semester and do not use the comprehensive course catalog as many courses are not offered each semester. 

Costs and Fees 

Students should be fully aware of the cost involved in exchange participation at OHIO at the time of application. For details on expected costs, please refer to the provided expense estimate for undergraduate students.  

Undergraduate exchange students will receive an instructional (“tuition”) fee waiver, which covers the per-semester instructional, general, technology, and most other academic fees at OHIO. However, undergraduate exchange students from most partner universities are additionally responsible for paying a $150 International Student Orientation fee. 

Housing and meal plan fees are available at https://www.ohio.edu/housing/nogsr.cfm and will be covered by the student. 

Useful Websites 

OGO Exchange Program Staff Members 

Kirsten Dabelko, Exchange Coordinator, dabelkok@ohio.edu
Keely Davin, Associate Director, davin@ohio.edu