Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu

Exchange (J1) Students

International students hiking

Welcome to Boise State!

We are glad you have selected Boise State for your exchange experience. This page is for international exchange students attending Boise State who are not seeking a degree from Boise State. During your exchange, the Center for Global Education will assist you in registering for classes, arranging housing, completing immigration paperwork, and getting involved and adjusted to the American culture. Below you will find helpful information.

  • Exchange students should be nominated by their home universities, under a bilateral agreement with Boise State University. In order to confirm your nomination and officially apply as an exchange student, please submit the following materials by October 1st to study in the spring semester and by March 15th (priority deadline) to study in the fall semester.

    • International Exchange Application.
    • J-1 Financial Statement Form 2018-2019
    • Financial Documentation (usually bank statements) showing financial support in the amount of $8094 for each semester you plan to be at Boise State.
    • Copy of the picture and identification page of your passport.
    • Official university transcripts in English. Please note that these must be sent by your home university directly to our office.
    • TOEFL or IELTS scores. Boise State requires a minimum of a 6.0 on the IELTs or a 68/520 on the TOEFL.

    All documents can be sent via e-mail to

  • It is important to apply for housing as soon as you have been admitted to Boise State and have a student ID number. Housing on campus is limited so it is important to apply early. Apply for housing here! You will need to pay an application fee and $250 down payment at the time of application.

    Housing Options for Exchange Students

    Exchange students are eligible to live on-campus in sophomore and above housing. Housing is not guaranteed, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible to reserve your spot. The recommended on-campus housing options for exchange students are University Square and Lincoln Townhomes.

    If you prefer to live off-campus, you can find a list of nearby apartments here.

    Early Arrival

    Because you will need to arrive several days before the campus housing officially opens, you will need to apply for early arrival. You can read more about early arrival requests here. You are responsible for applying for early arrival by directly working with the Housing and Residence Life department.

    Meal Plans

    It is not required that you purchase a meal plan if you live in any of these housing options. However, if you don’t like to cook, purchasing a meal plan can be a great option.
    You can view the different meal plans here. Once you have applied for housing, you can purchase a residential meal plan. To do this, log into your MyHousing portal and click on the “Dining” tab to purchase a meal plan. There are also Voluntary Block Meal plans available for students who plan to eat on campus less frequently.

  • How to Register

    You will register for courses in your Student Account in your My.BoiseState account. You will be sent instructions to log into your My.BoiseState account when you are officially accepted into Boise State. Once you log into your Student Account, you will be able to search for classes and enroll as well. You can find instructions on how to register for classes here.

    If you are enrolling in a course that has prerequisites, you must obtain a permission number from the instructor in order to register. To do this, email the instructor, explain that you are an exchange student and tell them what course or courses you have taken at your home school that meet the prerequisites. It is helpful to attach a scanned copy of your transcript to the email, so the instructor can see the courses you have taken. If you would like assistance with this, please contact Keith Quatraro,

    It is very important that you register for classes as soon as possible. Classes fill up and once a class is full, you cannot add the class.  This may be different from your home country.

    How to Read a Course Description

    The course description will give you important information as you decide which classes to take. You can find out how to read a course description here. The course description will indicate the term in which a course is typically offered as well as the prerequisites that you need to meet in order to take the course. Please note that the course catalog does not guarantee that the course will be offered in the desired term as it is subject to change.

    Course Load Requirements

    International students must take a minimum of 12 credits. This typically equates to four classes worth three credits each. Other exchange students have felt this course load kept them very busy while studying here. You may not take fewer than 12 credits, but you can take up to 15 credits without paying additional fees.

  • For details, see J1 Exchange Student Visa Information.
  • About Boise State

    Boise State University has over 23,000 students, and around 500 of those students are international students. You can read more about the Facts and Figures of Boise State here. The campus is located close to downtown Boise, and it is bordered on one side by the Boise River. View the campus map to see where buildings are located on campus.

    Contact Us
    You can email questions to Keith Quatraro at

    Mailing Address:
    Boise State University
    Center for Global Education
    1910 University Dr.
    Boise, ID 83725-1145 USA

    Physical Location: Simplot/Micron Advising Success Hub (SMASH) Room 227

    Academic Information

    All undergraduate areas (except Nursing and Kinesiology) are open to exchange students. Business courses require proof of prerequisites for upper-division courses. Mechanical Engineering requires pre-approval by the Center for Global Education. Art requires program admission and a portfolio. You can read more about course registration here.

    The fall semester typically runs from late-August to mid-December. The spring semester typically runs from mid-January to early-May. The complete academic calendar can be found here.

    Health Insurance

    Beginning in Fall 2017, all exchange students must purchase the Boise State University health insurance. All exchange students will be billed for this coverage.   Read more about the health insurance plan here.

    Cost of Living

    The estimated expenses for a semester are listed below. The expenses can fluctuate, but these estimates can help you to prepare for your semester in Boise. Please note, exchange students are responsible for lab and professional fees charged by academic departments. These fees are not covered under the exchange.

    Books: $600
    Insurance: $610/semester (mandatory)
    Room & Board: $3,906 (varies)
    Transportation: $1,108
    Personal Expenses: $1,505


    Leadership, Involvement, and Clubs

    There are a variety of ways to get involved on campus at Boise State. The Student Involvement and Leadership Center has information about the 200+ student clubs that you can join. As an exchange student, you also have full access to the Rec Center and the Outdoor Program. You should also follow International Student Services on Facebook to lean more about upcoming events and opportunities on campus.

  • Employment can be a great way to enrich your student exchange experience.  There are two main types of employment available to J-1 student exchange visitors: on-campus employment and off-campus employment.  All employment requires prior authorization through the Center for Global Education before you can start work.

    On-Campus Employment

    Working on-campus can help you gain valuable professional experience in the US.  The work does not have to be related to your field of study.  You can work up to 20 hours per week on-campus, but you can’t work after the end date on your DS-2019.

    You must have authorization from your J-1 sponsor before you start any on-campus job and before you change on-campus jobs.  Your J-1 sponsor is listed on your DS-2019 and in most cases your J-1 sponsor is Boise State University.

    Steps to complete:

    1. Find a suitable on-campus job
    2. Complete the J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Form with your employer
    3. If your employment is approved then apply for a social security number (if you don’t have one)
    4. Start work

    You have to submit a new J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Form to the Center for Global Education every time you change on-campus jobs.  You can’t start working in the new job until your employment is approved.

    Off-Campus Employment

    If you want to work off-campus as a J-1 student exchange visitor then you must be approved for Academic Training (AT) before you start work.  AT is an authorization to work off-campus either during or after your J-1 program in a field directly related to your study at Boise State University.  You must have a written job offer to apply for AT.

    You can learn more about Academic Training on our dedicated AT webpage.