African dancers
Flags from different countries
People talking at the Festival of Cultures

Step-by-Step Application Process: Student Exchange Scholar


  1. A Student Exchange Scholar: participants in this category must be pursuing a full course of study at the specified Community College.

    Academic training is permitted, if approved by the program sponsor, but study must be the primary purpose of the exchange visitor’s program in the United States.

    Students are eligible for participation when they are not substantially supported by personal funds and when they meet the funding requirements set forth by the regulations.
  2. The Student must first meet the admission requirements for the Community College.
  3. The student should complete the application process 3-6 months prior to the planned start date to ensure that the exchange visitor will have adequate time to apply for the visa and arrange travel.
    1. In addition to the regular admission requirements, students must provide the following support materials:
      1. Copies of current passport biographical page for scholar and any accompanying dependents.
      2. Financial support– Documentation must include sufficient funds to cover tuition and fees, living expenses, health insurance, and books/supplies. (Link to Financial Support Form)
  4. International Office will issue a DS-2019 within 5 business days of receiving the completed application requirements and will arrange delivery of the DS-2019 form and acceptance package.
  5. Getting the J-1 VISA
    The exchange visitor will receive a welcome guide with the DS-2019 form which provides additional advice regarding visa application process. To begin, the student pays the SEVIS fee (I-901) at www.fmjfee.com and applies for the J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If the Consular Office determines that the person is a bona fide exchange visitor, the J-1 visa will be granted and the exchange visitor and dependents may enter the US up to 30 days before the start date on the DS-2019.
  6. Arrival Procedures
    1. Once the exchange visitor arrives, he/she must check in with International Office as soon as possible, not no later than within 10 days of start date on DS-2019 form. Failure to do so will jeopardize the individual's legal status in the US.
    2. During check-in/orientation, the International Office will provide the exchange visitor with basic information about the College, City, and immigration regulations.