Incoming Participants

Welcome to IU's vibrant academic community

Congratulations on your nomination to participate in the exchange program with Indiana University.  Exchange participants may study or conduct research on either the Bloomington campus (IUB) or the Indianapolis campus (IUPUI) depending on their interests.

Exchange participants visiting Indiana University solely for the purpose of conducting research may come as J-1 visiting scholars and are not required to submit an application for admission. Such students should contact the Office of International Partnerships to get instructions on next steps.

Exchange participants enrolling in courses must apply for admission to Indiana University. Because each campus has unique academic programs and strengths, you should carefully review the available academic programs on each campus. Make a decision about which campus will offer you the best experience, and then complete your application for admission to that campus.

Eligibility to Participate

To participate in the exchange, you must possess the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree or similar certification prior to enrollment at Indiana University as a non-degree exchange participant. For more information about this requirement, see:

IU Bloomington Admissions Standards for Graduate Students

IUPUI Admissions Standards for Visiting Students

English proficiency is an important factor in your potential success. Should you propose to come to the United States for a period of intensive English study prior to your enrollment, you should notify the Office of International Partnerships. Such additional English study will be at your expense.

Application Process

Now that you have made a decision about the Indiana University campus and academic program that best meet your academic goals, you should complete the application for admission.

Application for the Bloomington campus (IUB)

Application for the Indianapolis campus (IUPUI)

You will be required to pay the application fee. An application is not submitted for review until the fee is paid. Some exchange participants may qualify for reimbursement of this fee; the letter of acceptance sent to your home institution will indicate if this is covered.

Before you start the application, you should review the list of academic programs (programs for Bloomington | programs for Indianapolis) and identify the one that most closely matches your current program of study. You will be asked to select this academic program on your application.

Exchange students may not apply for admission to any academic program in the Kelley School of Business. Exchange students from Freie Universität Berlin are restricted to academic programs offered in the College of Arts and Sciences on the IU Bloomington campus. 

Your home institution’s exchange coordinator should send the following supporting documents to the Office of International Partnerships:

  • IU International Application for Admission (Application Form printed from online application system)
  • TOEFL or IELTS Score Report (Required)
  • Official Academic Records (originals or certified copies)
  • Degree Certificates (originals or certified copies)
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation (in English or translated into English)
  • Resume
  • 300- to 500-Word Statement of Purpose
  • Evidence of Financial Support beyond IU financial support
  • Evidence of Financial Support for dependents, if applicable
  • Other Special Tests as Directed (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc.)

The Office of International Partnerships will then submit the supporting documents to the appropriate campus admissions office with a funding letter. Your application will be forwarded to the appropriate department or school for review. This process takes several weeks.

Financial Support

Indiana University and your home institution have negotiated specific terms of support for exchange participants. Some participants may receive a fellowship award from Indiana University that covers housing, meals, transportation, health insurance, tuition, or other academic-related fees.

A fellowship award is considered taxable income by the State of Indiana and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Tax laws require that Indiana University withhold 14% of the exchange participant's fellowship to cover the approximate tax liability. It will be responsibility of the exchange participant to report the fellowship income. Some individuals may claim full exemption from taxation under tax treaties between their countries and the U.S. Specific tax information will be discussed at the International Student Orientation. Read more about taxes:

Tax resources at IU Bloomington

Tax resources at IUPUI

You should plan to bring a credit card or traveler’s checks to pay initial expenses when you arrive. Some of these expenses may include:

  • Ground transportation from airport to housing accommodations: $25-$85
  • Text books and supplies: $350-$500
  • Household and personal items: $100-$150
  • Taxis, bicycle, or other non-bus transportation: $50-$125

Housing & Meal Plans

On-campus housing is typically available on a first come, first serve basis. As you review options, pay attention to those designated for international exchange students and/or graduate students. Students living on campus may also consider a meal plan that gives them access to on-campus dining options. Off-campus housing options are available in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Note that off-campus apartments may require the signing of a lease and payment of both the first month's rent and a security deposit, often equivalent to one month's rent; that payment cannot typically be paid by credit card.

For more information about housing options, visit the appropriate campus website:

Bloomington on-campus housing options

Bloomington off-campus housing options

Indianapolis housing options

Health Insurance

IU provides a general health insurance plan for all graduate fellowship recipients. Coverage is adequate, but not comprehensive. Participation in this group program is mandatory. Premiums are heavily subsidized by IU. Students may maintain duplicate coverage. Some past recipients have chosen to make separate arrangements, at their own expense, for more extensive health insurance coverage from their home countries. Read more:

Health and insurance resources at IU Bloomington

Health and insurance resources at IUPUI

IU Email Account and Access to Online Resources

You should set up your IU email account after you receive your university ID number. Follow the email set-up instructions on the University Information Technology Services website. You will need to provide their last name, date of birth, and university ID number.

With the IU email address and passphrase, you can access IU’s many online resources and services through One.IU and at selected library resources with IU Bloomington Libraries or the IUPUI University Library.

Arrival and Orientation

Bloomington campus: You should arrange transportation from the Indianapolis International Airport to the city of Bloomington (approximately 50 miles). The Office of International Services has information available online about shuttle services.

Indianapolis campus: You should consult the Office of International Affairs website for resources on local transportation within the city of Indianapolis.

All incoming exchange students are required to attend orientation before they can register for classes. At that time, you will complete a document check. You should verify that you have brought all of the required documents with you to the United States:

  • Orientation schedule
  • Passport
  • Visa stamp
  • I-94 document
  • All original I-20s or DS-2019s (including documents from previous U.S. schools as well)
  • Final, official copies of academic records and degree certificates or diplomas (these all must bear the stamp or seal of the issuing institution). Final academic records are not required if the home university plans to send them to Indiana University.

For more information about orientation, visit the appropriate website below:

Bloomington campus orientation

Indianapolis campus orientation

Course Registration and Maintaining Visa Status

To stay in status, you must enroll in a full load of classes, at least 8 credit hours, each semester you are studying at IU.

In preparation for orientation, you can look at the schedule of classes, searchable by academic department, for IU Bloomington or IUPUI.

Computing Labs and IT Support

Wireless internet (“wifi”) access is available across the majority of the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses. Read more about connection services.

Computing labs, including many with printing services, are available in multiple locations on the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.

University Information Technology Services (UITS) offers many other resources and services, including an option for live chat with a staff member to resolve any issues that arise during the exchange participant's visit.

Other Useful Resources

The Office of International Services on the Bloomington campus and the Office of International Affairs on the Indianapolis have several online resources available to help students prepare for their experience in the United States:

IU Bloomington Resources on Living & Working in the U.S.

IUPUI Welcome Services for International Students