Information for International Exchange Students

International Exchange Student Application

If your home university has an exchange agreement with the University of Mary Washington, you should consult your university coordinator before applying as an exchange student. To apply, please complete the International Exchange Student Application.  Your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status will be issued once your application has been reviewed and accepted.

Students who wish to apply as a “fee-paying student” should contact International Student and Scholars ( for further information.

International Student Orientation and Arrival

All international students are required to attend International Student Orientation.  The orientation is designed to ease the transition to studying and living in the United States, and provides an opportunity to review immigration, academic, financial, and personal matters. The orientation also includes a tour of Fredericksburg and a shopping trip to pick up additional items you may need during your stay.  All exchange students should arrive to UMW on the program start date listed on your DS-2019 (section 3).  Students arriving earlier than their program start date must arrange their own accommodations until they are permitted to move onto campus.

After the International Student Orientation you are encouraged to join the UMW Orientation for New Students which covers more information to prepare you for the semester and includes a range of social activities.

InterLink Mentor Program

The InterLink mentor program connects each incoming international student with a current UMW student to help ease the transition into life at UMW.  Our InterLink mentors are highly involved members of the UMW community who have a special interest in cross-cultural interaction. InterLink hosts several excursions throughout the year such as trips to the “Halloween Haunt” at King’s Dominion, the rodeo, the cherry blossom festival in Washington, D.C., and colonial Williamsburg.  Additionally, InterLink coffee hour is held every month at the CIE office for all international students and their mentors.

Health and Medical Insurance

International exchange students are required to carry health and medical  insurance purchased through the University of Mary Washington. The insurance provider is Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).  The monthly rate is $113.65 for our CISI Inbound Student Coverage Plan.  You will be enrolled automatically for the duration of your program and the cost will be billed to your UMW student account.  Alternatively, you may choose to purchase your health and medical insurance in your home country, but it must include:  $100,000 Maximum per Illness or Accident; $25,000 Repatriation of Remains; and $50,000 Medical Evacuation (to Home Country).  Your policy must clearly articulate these requirements, and be translated into English if necessary.

You are required to submit a Health History & Immunization Form to the Student Health Center prior to your arrival.  You will not be able to register for courses or access your residence hall until this information has been received.

All international students will have visiting privileges at the Student Health Center, which is located on campus and provides a variety of services to the UMW student community.


International undergraduate students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours in order to maintain visa status. Students typically enroll in 12-15 credit hours per semester. Credit hours represent the number of hours you are expected to be in the classroom. In addition, students are expected to spend considerable time outside of the classroom to keep up with assignments and study for exams.

Course Catalog

Before selecting your courses, please review the Course Descriptions website and learn about course levels (100-499), pre-requisites, and co-requisites.  Assuming you have take some university-level course work in a particular discipline, you will most likely take 300-level classes.  However, you may take introductory courses, as well.

We encourage you to register for courses prior to your arrival, as courses fill up very quickly.  Please be advised you will have additional opportunities to register for courses and make changes to your schedule during orientation week and the first week of classes.  Students should view the list of Open Classes and e-mail (Charles Tate or Jennifer Cirbus  for assistance.  To view all courses offered in a given term, consult the  Schedule of Courses.

Housing Information

Exchange students must submit a Housing & Dining Agreement via Symplicity Residence to Residence Life.  You will receive an e-mail in your UMW e-mail account notifying you to access Symplicity Residence.

  • View the New Student Housing Information page for instructions about the Housing & Dining Agreement.
  • Framar House and Ball Hall (all female) are highly recommended by our previous exchange students.  Exchange students should choose housing from the Upperclass Residence Hall list.
  • Room assignments are made on a space-available basis.
  • For information about room amenities, check out the Res-Life Welcome and UMW-at-a-Glance
  • We highly recommend you purchase a “bed & bath set” for your room at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival. Bed linens are not provided for you.  The Student Starter Pak is a popular choice, but you may purchase items separately.  Please use your name on the order and Center for International Education, Lee Hall 434, 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 as the Shipping Address.  Any additional items you may need for your room can be purchased after your arrival. A shopping trip is scheduled during orientation.

Dining Information

The Housing & Dining Agreement you will submit via Symplicity Residence will ask you to choose a dining plan.  Typically, students choose the 225 Meal Block Plan.

Additional Resources

Life At UMW

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