Incoming Undergraduate Participants

Welcome to Indiana University!

Congratulations on your nomination to participate in the exchange program with Indiana University. 

Indiana University Bloomington is the flagship campus of IU’s eight campuses across the state of Indiana. Over 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend IU Bloomington—and just over 7,000 are international students.

Indiana University is located in the city of Bloomington. Over 84,000 people call Bloomington home. It combines a small-town atmosphere with the amenities of a much bigger city—international grocery stores, restaurants with cuisine from around the world, and ethnic festivals. It’s also easy to travel to larger cities nearby, such as Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago.

In order to be accepted officially to the exchange program, you must first apply to the IU Bloomington campus.

Eligibility to Participate

To participate in the exchange, you must have completed at least one year of coursework at your home university and meet admissions standards. For more information about this requirement, including English proficiency, see:

IU Bloomington Admissions Standards

Before you start the application, you should review the list of academic programs 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

Start the Application for Admission

After you have completed the application for admission, the exchange coordinator for your university 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 score report (required)
  • Official academic records (originals or certified copies)
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation (in English or translated into English)
  • 300- to 500-word statement of purpose

The Office of International Partnerships will forward your application to the appropriate department or school for review. This process takes several weeks.

Financial Support

Indiana University and your home university have negotiated specific terms of support for exchange participants.

Some participants may receive a fellowship award from Indiana University that covers tuition, fees, and other expenses. Exchange students from Freie Universität Berlin receive a fellowship award that covers housing, meals, health insurance, tuition, or other academic-related fees.

If you receive a fellowship award, it 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

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 available on a first come, first serve basis. As you review options through IU's Residential Programs and Services, pay attention to those designated for international exchange students. Students living on campus should also consider a meal plan that gives them access to on-campus dining options. Indiana University covers the cost of on-campus housing and the meal plan for Freie Universität Berlin exchange students.

Bloomington on-campus housing options

Off-campus housing options are available. 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. Freie Universität Berlin exchange students that choose to live off campus will receive an estimated stipend of $1200 per month.

Bloomington off-campus housing options

All exchange students should notify the Office of International Partnerships at at least six weeks before the start of the semester about their plans to live either on campus or off campus. 

Health Insurance

IU provides a general health insurance plan. 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

IU Email Account and Access to Online Resources

After you have been admitted to IU, 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.

Arrival and Orientation

Bloomington campus: You should arrange transportation from the Indianapolis International Airport to the city of Bloomington (approximately 50 miles).

All incoming exchange students are required to attend orientation. At that time, you will complete a document check. You should verify that you have brought all of therequired documentswith 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.

Course Registration and Maintaining Visa Status

To stay in status, you must enroll in a full load of classes, at least 12 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.

Computing Labs and IT Support

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

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

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 has 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.