Admitted Exchange

The University of Arizona (UA) Exchange and Direct Enroll Program is a great way to spend a semester or a full year at one of the best public research universities in the United States.

Established in 1885, the UA is a leader in research, bringing in more than $606 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities.

Located in a highly diverse border region, the UA emphasizes making international experiences accessible to all students. You play an important role in creating a globally connected campus. You are also a critical component of the UA’s relationships with many of the best universities in the world.

Throughout your exchange program, you will work with staff in two offices, International Student Services (ISS) and UA Study Abroad.

UA Study Abroad Coordinator:

ISS International Student Advisors:

  • Receives your nomination from your home university coordinator and provides instructions for how to apply to the UA

  • Monitors your application toward completion

  • Answers general questions regarding housing, programming, registration, academics and transcripts

  • Process your immigration documents

  • Coordinate with UA Study Abroad to provide International Student Orientation

  • Provide immigration advising and authorizations

  • Organize social and cultural programs during your stay

As is the case with all international experiences, the key to a successful time abroad is to connect with your new environment. You will have plenty of opportunities to do so at the UA.

Follow the tabs below to get started on your exchange journey. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

After Admission

Request Your DS-2019

Now that you have been admitted to the UA, please upload your documents to UA International, ISS’s online system for submitting electronic forms (e-forms) for immigration requests.  You will need your UA NetID and password, so please create your UA NetID and password now.  Your NetID is the personal identifier that you will use for your email address and logging into secure university websites.  It will go before "" to become your UA email address.  After you create your NetID, you must wait 48 hours before logging into UA International.

To get your DS-2019 you need to submit these items for review:

  • Passport biographical page(s)

  • Funding documents (bank statements from checking or savings accounts, loan approval documents, etc.) – review the Cost of Attendance to find out how much funding you need to show.

  • Declaration of Support (for students submitting funding from family/friends)

If your spouse and/or children plan to join you in the United States as your J-2 dependents, then you also need to submit copies of their passport biographical page(s) and a copy of your marriage certificate with a certified English translation.

After you submit your documents in UA International, an international student advisor will review them.  We will send you an email if we need additional information. Do not submit additional copies of your documents by email unless requested by ISS.  We will not review documents that have been emailed or mailed to us instead of uploaded to UA International. 


Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

After you receive your DS-2019 and before you apply for a visa, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee

Apply for a Student Visa

Locate a nearby U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a student visa. Learn how to apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. After you apply, check your visa status online. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are exempt.

For more information, read 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa.

Apply for Housing

The University of Arizona has two offices on campus dedicated to helping students find housing.

Residence Life assists students with undergraduate on-campus housing options. The Residence Life website includes information on choosing a hall, the selection and assignment process, and a special section for international students. If you wish to live on-campus, you must complete the application through the Next Steps Center (undergraduates only). The on-campus housing option for graduate and professional students is La Aldea.

Off-Campus Housing provides students with off-campus living options and resources. The OCH resource page contains sample budget spreadsheets, apartment checklists, roommate contracts, emergency contacts and other resources for international students (go to International Students under Resources for more information). 

Upload Your Immunization Records

All University of Arizona students are required to have proof of 2 Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines. Medical records should be in English (translations are accepted) with legible dates that the MMR's were administered. 

Upload your medical records online in PatientLink on the Campus Health website.

If you do not submit your immunization records, there will be a hold on your account that prevents you from registering for classes during orientation.

Traveling to Tucson

Enter the United States

You can enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the start date on your DS-2019.

We recommend that you hand-carry the following documents to present at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S. Port of Entry:

  • DS-2019

  • Passport with valid visa (if applicable)

Entry to the U.S. is at the discretion of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and CBP may require you to go through Secondary Inspection and/or choose to inspect your electronic devices to further verify information. Since this may cause delays at your initial port of entry to the U.S., make sure you have enough travel time between any connecting flights.

Read more about entry to the U.S. on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website: Student Process Steps: How to Navigate the U.S. Immigration System.

Print Your I-94

Your entry to the United States is recorded by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. The I-94 records the date you entered the United States, your immigration status and the date your stay in the U.S. expires.

If you enter by air or sea, your I-94 record will be electronic. When you go through the port of entry, a CBP officer will stamp your passport. You can use the information from your passport to access your electronic I-94 record from U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. If you enter by land, CBP will stamp your passport and issue a paper I-94 in your passport.

You are required to carry evidence of your admission (entry) to the U.S. at all times. You can carry your passport with admission stamp, a print out of your electronic I-94, or your paper I-94 to satisfy this requirement.

Arrange Airport Transportation

The University of Arizona campus is about 10 miles from the Tucson International Airport and there are several transportation options.

Free Shuttle

ISS provides new international students with free airport pick-up service, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. A shuttle can take you from the Tucson International Airport to the UA campus or within a 10-mile radius of the UA.

Sign-up Instructions


A taxi ride from Tucson International Airport to the UA will be approximately $25-$30. Most taxis will accept credit or debit cards in addition to cash. 
App Ride ServicesDownload Uber or Lyft to arrange for a ride service to the UA. If you have arranged a ride, you can meet your car and driver outside the Car Rental Facility, which is a short walk east from baggage claim. Cars and drivers do not wait at the stop but will arrive when ordered through the mobile app.

For other options, go to Tucson International Airport: Parking & Transportation.

Purchase Health Insurance If You Are Arriving Early

J-1 students are required to carry health insurance that meets the minimum coverage required by immigration regulations for J-1 Exchange Visitors at all times while in the U.S. (read more under J-1 Students: Health Insurance).  The Student Health Insurance Plan is effective January 1, 2019. If you are arriving before January 1, you can apply for early enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan through Campus Health.

Download an overview of the mandatory insurance and temporary insurance ID card.

Spring Orientation

Register for Orientation

International Student Orientation is a mandatory program for all new exchange students attending the UA in Spring 2019. Orientation for all students begins Thursday, January 3 at 8:00 am in the North Ballroom of the Student Union.

Each day is mandatory, and you will not be permitted to register for classes if you do not attend.

Undergraduate Exchange Students: Register for International Student Orientation through the Next Steps Center.

Graduate Exchange Students: Register for International Student Orientation.

The cost for orientation is $125 for undergraduate exchange students and $75 for graduate exchange students. The fee will be posted directly to your UAccess account after the semester begins.

What to Bring

Immigration Documents

You must present your original immigration documents (DS-2019 and passport) at the Document Review session at orientation (see Document Review below for more information).


There is no dress code for orientation. Because there is a lot of walking, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes. 

Submit the Document Review E-Forms

In preparation for orientation, upload the following documents to the Document Review e-forms in UA International (located under Orientation on the menu):

  • Page one of your signed DS-2019

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • I-94 or port of entry stamp

If you will arrive to the U.S. by Tuesday, January 1, 2019, submit the required Document Review e-forms to have your documents reviewed early. If there are no problems, we will send you an approval email to exempt you from attending the Document Review session at International Student Orientation.

If you do not submit the e-forms by January 1, or you do not receive the approval email, you are required to attend the Document Review session at orientation

Late Arrivals

Request Approval to Arrive Late

Review of late arrival requests begins November 19. 

If you are not arriving in Tucson until after January 3, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Submit the Late Arrival Request e-form in UA International ( located under "Orientation" on the menu) and wait for approval. If you are approved, you will receive an email with instructions for completing the check-in with ISS.

  2. Even if you are arriving late and will miss the orientation program, you are still required to register for orientation in the Next Steps Center.

  3. Complete the Immigration Tutorial online. Submit the Immigration Tutorial e-form (link provided at the end of the tutorial). 

  4. Bring your immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019 and passport) to International Student Services during regular business hours to complete the in-person portion of your late arrival check-in. Please arrive at least one hour prior to close.

The latest date undergraduate exchange students can check in is Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 9:00 am, and the latest date graduate exchange students can check in is Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 9:00 am. If you cannot arrive by that time, please email your SASE Coordinator to learn about applying for a future term. 

Know the Consequences

ISS will accommodate your late arrival, but you may face the following consequences:

  • Late registration for courses (it may take up to 1 business day after check-in to be granted access to register)

  • Limited class availability

  • Late registration fees (review Dates and Deadlines on the Bursar's Office website)

Even if you do not attend orientation, you will still be charged the orientation fee for Late Arrival Check-In. 

You must enroll full-time for immigration purposes to maintain your immigration status. If you do not enroll full-time after checking in, your SEVIS record may be terminated, and you may be required to abandon your program and depart the U.S.

Health Insurance

You must have health insurance during your entire stay in the U.S as a J-1 student.  If you have dependents in the U.S on J-2 visas, they are also required to carry health insurance. Not carrying insurance that meets the minimum requirements is a violation of your status and can result in termination of your SEVIS record. 

Below are the minimum requirements that the health insurance plan for you and your dependents should meet according to the immigration regulations (22 C.F.R. § 62.14). These requirements are also explained on page 2 of the Form DS-2019.

Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness

Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000

Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000

Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

J-1 Students: You will be insured through Campus Health. The coverage plan offered meets the minimum requirements. Information about the effective dates is available on the Campus Health website.

Dependents: J-2 spouses and children cannot be insured through Campus Health. You must purchase private insurance for them. When purchasing a private health insurance plan you must make sure it meets the requirements above. Most insurance plans do not include repatriation and medical evacuation, so you might have to purchase additional coverage. 

For informational purposes only, here are some examples of health insurance providers that offer plans tailored to international students. International Student Services (ISS) does not monitor these insurance companies or their plans. The coverage can change, so it is your responsibility to confirm that they offer the coverage you need before you purchase any plans.