You can join Rutgers for a semester or academic year through our student exchange program. Undergraduate students 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 a study abroad exchange agreement.
Graduate students may participate in a semester abroad by applying directly to the School of Graduate Studies–New Brunswick as a non-matriculating student.
There are two Rutgers Global offices which help undergraduate exchange students:
- Rutgers Global–Study Abroad oversees the application process. They will guide you through applying, billing, housing, and course registration.
- Rutgers Global–International Student/Scholar Services assists with visa and immigration processing matters before and after your arrival to campus.
Requirements for Undergraduate Exchange Students
Be officially nominated by your university
Apply using our digital application system
Have a 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 (official results of a standardized English test OR proof that your home university's official language of instruction is English)
Show sufficient proof of living expenses- Certificate of Funds
Be registered for a minimum of 12 credits (maximum 18 credits)
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 +
During the first stage you will submit your basic application materials, including:
- Proof of English language proficiency
- Intended field of study at Rutgers
- Copy of passport
- Statement of Interest
- Official transcript
Within two weeks of the application deadline, the Study Abroad Office will review Stage 1 materials and make a decision on your acceptance.
During the second stage, you will submit materials and sign official documents that will officially register you as a Rutgers student. These include:
- Course Selection
- Disability, special needs, or medical condition accommodations
- Immunization documents
- Mandatory Health Insurance Policies and Procedures signature document
- How to order your transcripts signature document
- Housing application
You will also be required to activate your Rutgers student IDs (RUID / NetID).
Step 2: Rutgers Global-ISSS processes application +
After completing Stage 1 of the application process with the Study Abroad Office, the ISSS (International Student & Scholars) 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) +
Once the DS-2019 document is mailed to you, 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. Additionally, make sure to arrive to Rutgers campus on the official Rutgers Move-In Day. If you arrive before this day, you will have to arrange for your own accommodation. Please note that exchange students must arrive in time to attend our mandatory International Student Orientation.
Step 7: Check-In on your RGLOBAL account +
Once you arrive on campus, 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.