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 Center for Global Education at the GAIA Centers. 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. Graduate students may participate in a semester abroad by applying to the School of Graduate Studies–New Brunswick as a nonmatriculating student.
Be registered for a minimum of 12 credits if an undergraduate student, or a minimum of nine credits for a graduate student
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
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 in the United States
Step 1: Apply to Rutgers +
Apply to Rutgers through the study abroad program page where you will be required to submit the application documents for your application.
Step 2: Rutgers processes application +
Receive notification that application is accepted by Rutgers and register for courses.
Step 3: Receive Certificate of Eligibility +
DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility and supporting documents are mailed to your home institution. These are necessary for your visa application.
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 via mail or the Internet (dependents in F-2 or J-2 status are not required to pay the fee). The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three business days prior to a visa interview or the filing of the change of status application in the US. Learn more about the SEVIS fee. Make sure you keep a printout of the receipt confirming the I-901 fee 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 https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/forms.html
Applicants will also 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: Map Your Arrival +
Once you have received your F-1 or J-1 visa, you can travel to the US with your valid passport and your I-20 or DS-2019. You should enter the US no more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. To help plan your arrival, view our online module on Mapping your Arrival to the US.
Step 7: Create your iSTART@RU Account, login, and complete your data +
Create an iSTART@RU account and complete your data information. After you arrive to the United States, you will need to complete an online check-in using iStart@RU. 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.