Incoming Exchange Students

Application Guide For Incoming Exchange Students

This program is for student exchanges between UCA and Reciprocal Exchange Partner Universities.

Please see the UCA Fact Sheet for incoming exchange students for more information.

STEP #1: Institutional Approval

Approval by the exchange student’s home university and the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is required for acceptance to the Exchange Program. Students applying to the UCA Exchange Program must be nominated by the International Programs or Office of Exchange Programs at their home university.

Nominations from partner institutions should be submitted via the following form: Nomination Form for Exchanges.


Fall Admission

March 1

Spring Admission

September 1

Prospective Exchange 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 an exchange student.

International Students interested in participating in the Global Education Project (GEP), please visit the UCA International Student and Scholar Services GEP webpage or contact a GEP representative: Phone: 501-450-3445 • Fax: 501-852-2439


STEP #2: Submit Application Materials



Applications are complete once all required documentation is submitted.

Fall Admission

April 15

Spring Admission

October 15

Summer Admission

No summer exchange admission

1. Online Application for Exchange Admission

  • Online application link for exchange students is shared only after a student has been nominated AND his/her nomination has been accepted by the UCA Center for Global Learning and 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).

  • Undergraduate exchange students, who will pay tuition and fees at their home institution, must provide:
    • Documentation of Financial Resources (bank statement from within last six months that shows ending balance as indicated in the Exchange Cost of Attendance
    • 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

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

NOTE: Exchange students MUST maintain full time student status (12 credit hours) during their studies at UCA. Thus it is strongly recommended that this form be completed for more than 15 credit hours in order of preference. In some instances exchange 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

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.

STEP #3: Apply for a J-1 Exchange 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: Housing Application, Lease and Deposit

As an exchange student, you will be required to live on campus and enroll in a meal plan for the duration of the program. To reserve your housing accommodations, complete your housing application and lease, and pay the housing deposit using your UCA credentials. You may do so here.

STEP #5: Arrive at UCA and attend the MANDATORY International Student Orientation

UCA Center for Global Learning and 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

Fee Payment 

Be prepared to pay your room and board (and tuition and fees, if applicable) within two weeks of classes start date. In some instances payments can be made in advance via MyUCA with a credit card (after registering for your classes). Tuition and fees for Exchange students are waived per the Bilateral Exchange Agreement.

International Insurance

Exchange students are required to have medical insurance, which must provide the following coverage: $250,000.00 per accident or illness for medical expenses, $50,000.00 for medical evacuation, $25,000.00 for repatriation of remains, and maximum $500 deductible per policy year. For more information and to read alternate insurance requirements click here.

Exchange students have two options regarding medical insurance:

  1. Purchase the insurance directly from UCA when you arrive; For current Insurance policy details, requirements and cost, please click here
  2. Complete the process to request official approval for purchasing other insurance coverage that meets required standards.