You can join Rutgers for a semester or academic year for undergraduate students through our student exchange program run by our study abroad office, the Rutgers Global–Study Abroad. If you are an undergraduate student, you may come to the United States on a Rutgers sponsored J-1 exchange visa and pursue a full-course of study in a credit-bearing program as part of one of our study abroad exchange agreements. Graduate students may participate in a semester abroad by applying to the School of Graduate Studies–New Brunswick as a non-matriculating student.
Please note that there are two Rutgers Global offices with which you will interact: Rutgers Global–Study Abroad will guide you through applying, billing, housing, and course registration; Rutgers Global–International Student/Scholar Services will assist you with visa and immigration processing matters once you arrive on campus.
Be accepted as part of an existing Rutgers exchange
Have a valid passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements)
Evidence of English proficiency
Show sufficient proof of living expenses- Certificate of Funds
Be registered for a minimum of 12 credits if an undergraduate student, or a minimum of nine credits for a graduate student
Obtain at least a minimum level of health insurance coverage for you (and your family, if accompanying you) and show proof of adequate coverage
Payment of any student fees
Evidence of current immigration status (if currently inside the United States)
Step 1: Apply to the Study Abroad Office +
Apply to Rutgers through the Study Abroad office where you will be required to submit an application to be reviewed.
Step 2: Rutgers Global-ISSS processes application +
After your application is accepted by the Study Abroad, the ISSS office will request you to log in to the RGlobal Portal to submit the rest of the documents needed to issue the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019).
Step 3: Receive Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) +
The DS-2019 document is mailed to you and you can begin to schedule your visa interview and prepare for your J-1 visa appointment (if required). See Pre and Post Arrival Steps for more guidance.
Step 4: Pay the SEVIS fee +
Once you’ve received your DS-2019, you will need to pay a SEVIS fee to the US Department of Homeland Security. In order to pay, complete the Form I-901 along with the payment (dependents in F-2 or J-2 status are not required to pay the fee). This fee must be paid at least three business days prior to a visa interview. Learn more about the SEVIS fee and be to keep a printout of the receipt confirming payment.
Step 5: Apply for and receive a J-1 student visa +
Use the DS-2019 issued by Rutgers to apply for your visa. Review these tips on applying for a student visa, then apply for a student visa from the United States consulate in your country of citizenship or country of permanent residence.
All non-immigrant visa applicants must complete Forms DS-160 (online non-immigrant visa application). You can access this form at DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (state.gov)
Applicants may need to appear for an in-person interview at the U.S. consulate in the their home country in English and must pay a visa application fee.
Step 6: Plan Your Arrival +
Once you have received your J-1 visa, you can travel to the US with your valid passport and your DS-2019. You should enter the US no more than 30 days before the start date on your DS-2019.
Step 7: Check-In on your RGLOBAL account +
Use your Rutgers NetID to login to your RGLOBAL account to complete your information through the check-in form (available under “Orientation” in the RGlobal portal). This is a legal requirement of your F-1 or J-1 status. This process can be started before arrival but must be completed once you arrive in the United States.