How to Apply (GEP)

STEP #1: Institutional Approval

Approval by the GEP student’s home university and the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is required for acceptance to GEP. Students applying to the UCA GEP must be nominated by their home university.

Nominations from partner institutions should be submitted via the following form: University Applicant list.

Prospective GEP Students: Please contact the international programs or exchange program office at your home university for more information about being nominated. Completing an application or inquiring without a prior approval will NOT make you eligible to study at UCA as a GEP student.

International Students interested in participating in the Exchange Program at UCA, please visit the UCA Education Abroad webpage. 

UCA GEP partner universities should share information regarding GEP to their students and recommend quality students to be candidates for the Project. A final list of recommended students should be sent to UCA’s Center for Global Learning & Engagement. UCA will process these students’ applications and issue a DS-2019 form for the intended length of study to qualified candidates. The students will use this form to apply for their J-1 (exchange student) visa.

Students are recommended to take the English proficiency test  before applying for admission.  Those who receive a score of at least 500 on TOEFL PBT (or equivalent TOEFL iBT 61, IELTS 6.0) will be able to take four (up to five) different courses (maximum of 15 undergraduate credits) from their own disciplines with approval from Department heads of UCA. Students with lower scores will enroll in the Intensive English Program. 

Please note that the Global Education Project students will pay the tuition and fees related to the program and all GEP students are required to live in UCA on-campus housing.

Graduate students interested in participating in the Global Education Project can apply through the Center for Global Learning & Engagement, but the applications are approved by the Graduate School and may be subject to credential evaluations.  The minimum TOEFL score to be admitted as a graduate student is 79 on the iBT, or 6.5 on the IELTS.  


STEP #2: Submit Application Materials

1. Online Application for GEP Admission

  • Online application link for GEP students is shared only AFTER a student has been nominated AND his/her nomination has been accepted by the UCA Center for Global Learning & Engagement.
  • All application materials (copies of transcript, passport, etc.) must be submitted as part of the online application.

2. Official transcript from your university, with English translation

Make sure to submit an English translation of your transcript. It does not have to be notarized.

3. Copy of the biographical page of your passport

Students are required to have a passport to travel to the United States and a copy of the biographic page of the passport is required.

4. Proof of Financial Support

U.S. Immigration Law requires that all F-1 and J-1 students demonstrate sufficient funds available for their educational expenses PRIOR TO immigration document issuance (Forms I-20 or DS-2019).

  • GEP students, who will pay tuition and fees to UCA must provide:
    • Documentation of Financial Resources (bank statement from within last six months that shows ending balance as indicated in the GEP price).
    • Financial Support Statement: If you are completely sponsored by your government or your university, you must also submit a copy of an official letter detailing your financial assistance. If your bank statement is from your personal account, you are still required to submit this form by entering available funds in the Self/Other line.

5. Course Request Form

GEP students must complete the GEP course request form  with their advisors at the home institution. The course request form must be submitted along with other application materials. Instructions can be found here. Students can find the course listings on this page or

NOTE: GEP students MUST maintain full time student status (12 credit hours) during their studies at UCA. It is strongly recommended that this form be completed for more than 15 credit hours in order of preference. In some instances, GEP students may not enroll in some of the courses listed on the form. Having additional courses approved in advance will prevent students from losing their J-1 status!

6. Proof of English Proficiency (If applicable)

Please take a look at this page for minimum requirements of English language proficiency and submit your test results at the time of your application. Applicants from these exempt countries whose first language is English and who graduated from a university where English was the language of instruction are not required to submit proof of English proficiency.


STEP #3: Apply for a J-1 Visiting Student Visa (How to Apply for a Visa Guide)

& Make Your Travel Arrangements

  • Complete the form DS-160, online nonimmigrant visa application. You will receive a confirmation of successful submission. Print this confirmation as you will need to bring your confirmation page with your application ID number on it in order to have your application retrieved. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process.
  • Pay the DS-160 application fee. Bring proof of this payment to your visa interview.
  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. For information on how to pay, see the website. Bring proof of this payment to your visa interview.
    • NOTE: Your SEVIS number is located above the barcode on your DS-2019 document.
  • Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you wish to apply to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer, and to schedule an interview. If the embassy or consulate at which you apply informs that you must have a visa interview, the visa application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a consular officer. Schedule a visa interview.
    • To find the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your area, please visit:
    • You should also check the visa wait times before making travel arrangements. You can find visa wait times at:
  • Make your travel arrangements; plan to arrive at UCA campus before the check-in date indicated on your admission documents.


STEP #4: Arrive at UCA and attend the MANDATORY International Student Orientation

UCA Center for Global Learning & Engagement provides transportation to the UCA campus from the Little Rock National Airport. To request transportation, please complete the International Arrival Form. In addition, we offer many other types of assistance and support services to new and currently enrolled international students and scholars, including, but not limited to: orientation, information and assistance with immigration regulations, housing assistance, social and educational programming.

If you cannot find the answers to your questions on the website, or for other assistance, please contact your admission counselor directly.

Important Information


All GEP students will apply for university housing and DO NOT need to pay the housing application fee.

Fee Payment 

Be prepared to pay your GEP tuition and fees during the first week of classes. UCA encourage students to pay via Flywire. 

International Insurance

GEP students are required to have medical insurance. Student don’t need to apply for it.