Once You’re Here

As an exchange student admitted through Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, you are required to check in with the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Office, the Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange Office, the McKinley Health Center, and your academic college.


Please plan to arrive on campus by August 23, 2017 for the mandatory Incoming Exchange Student Orientation. The most common way students arrive is by flying into Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD). Champaign is roughly a two and half-hour drive from Chicago, so if you fly into O'Hare, you will need to determine a way to transfer to Champaign. Do not attempt to hire a taxi-cab from O’Hare to Champaign. The best way to transfer to Champaign is via the multiple bus coach service options.

ISSS Check-In

Checking in with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is mandatory to comply with U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations and to obtain your i-card. Without your i-card, you may not have access to various facilities, including University Housing, Campus Recreation and paid MTD bus transportation.

Further, please note that the ISSS immigration check-in is different from the ISSS orientation. The ISSS immigration check-in is required, while the ISSS orientation is only highly recommended.

Incoming Exchange Student Orientation

We will offer one mandatory orientation on August 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Lincoln Hall (702 S. Wright Street, Urbana; on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Main Quad) for exchange students admitted through exchange programs administered by the following offices:

Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (also called by its former name SAO - Study Abroad Office)

ACES Education Abroad

Business International Programs

International Programs in Engineering

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

College of Media International Office

Fall 2017 Essential Dates

  • ISSS Check-In: See the ISSS website for dates and times. Fall Check-In will be held in the Illini Union, Ballroom (2nd floor), 1401 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL
  • Recommended: International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Orientation
  • Academic (College Specific) Briefings and Orientations: during mandatory Incoming Exchange Student Orientation on August 23, 2017
  • First Day of Instruction: August 28, 2017
  • Labor Day: September 4 (no classes)
  • Payment of Fall Semester Fees Due By: September 28, 2017.  See USFSCO (University System Financial Services and Cashier Operations) for how to pay.  See this link for mandatory fees not covered by the exchange program.    
  • Last Day of Instruction: December 13, 2017
  • Reading Day: December 14, 2017
  • Final Exams: December 15-21, 2017—Your date of departure must be after your last exam. You may not depart campus prior to you last exam. As a J-1 visa holder, you have a 30 day period to leave the US following your program end date (as listed on your DS-2019).

Please note: Your date of departure must be after your last exam. You may not depart campus prior to your last exam.


Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange does not reserve housing for students, so you are responsible for arranging your own housing. There are many options available to exchange students: University Residence HallsPrivate Certified Housing, and off-campus properties owned and managed by independent landlords. You may also find listings for subleases on the Study Abroad Housing Board. You will need your NetID and NetID password to access the Housing Board.


Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange is here to try to facilitate your enrollment in courses that you need for your major at home. Read more to understand the registration process and academic culture on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Exchange Student Finances

Even with a tuition waiver, you may still be required to pay various student fees or fees for instruction not covered under your exchange agreement.