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Instructions & Components

Here are the next steps in completing your application to participate in an exchange program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


All incoming exchange students must submit their applications electronically. You should have received the link and access code via email from your home university.

Click on the link provided by your study abroad advisor from your home university.

  1. Navigate to "Application Process" tab and click "Apply Now." Do not log into the application before clicking “Apply Now”
  2. Click 'Create Account'
  3. Fill in the new user form, then click "Register".
  4. Enter required core information and click “Save”
  5. Read and acknowledge required information waiver and click “Update”
  6. Now that your account is set up, re-click the program link provided by your study abroad advisor from your home university, and re-click “Apply Now”
  7. Select Term for which you wish to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and click 'Continue'
  8. You are now on the program application page. Complete the requirements on your application checklist by the assigned deadline. Remember to use this initial username and password (not your NetID/Password that you receive after your acceptance) to access your online application
  9. Upon completion of all application components, the "Submit Application" button will allow you to submit your application for review


The following documents must be uploaded as part of the completed application.

  • You must include a copy of the personal information page of your passport in order to verify your identity and to ensure accuracy of personal information.
  • Make sure that your name, place of birth, date of birth, and other details are completely legible on the passport copy. Passport copies are sometimes faded and difficult to read, especially after having been copied or faxed.
  • Passports need to be valid up to six months after the date of your intended departure from the United States. For example, if you plan to remain in the U.S. through June 2020, your passport must be valid until at least December 2020.

All applicants must complete and submit the Certification of Financial Support. Financial documentation cannot be more than one year old.

In order for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to issue a DS-2019 visa authorization form, the U.S. government requires every applicant to submit evidence of financial support. Your source(s) of funding may come from one or more of the following:

  • You are self-supported (i.e. you are financially independent), in which case you will need to provide a statement from your bank (see below).
  • You have a financial sponsor (e.g., a parent, a relative, or government agency) supporting your participation in the exchange, in which case you will need to provide a financial statement from your sponsor.
  • Your study abroad expenses are covered by your home university's or a government agency's scholarship, in which case the official scholarship letter must be included with your application.

More information about the financial requirements and specifications for the Certification of Financial Support can be found within the online application.

  • All applicants must submit official records for all university-level coursework (transcripts, certificates, etc.).
  • If you have completed less than one year of university level work, you will need to include official records of post-secondary institutional courses (i.e. GCE A-level results) as well.
  • If the official records are in a language other than English, your records must be accompanied by an officially certified English translation.
  • An officer of the educational institution issuing the documents, a U.S. consulate official, or local government official, must certify all educational records. Uncertified copies (fax or notary public) will NOT be accepted.

Each incoming exchange applicant will need to verify their English language proficiency, per U.S. Department of State requirements, through one of the following accepted assessment or documentation methods (more information can be found in the online application upon formal nomination):

  • Student is a native English speaker or their first language is English.
  • Student has successfully participated in an University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign J-program in the past.
  • Degree from or current enrollment in institution where English is language of instruction.
  • Documentation from a representative from an academic institution or English language school confirming sufficient proficiency in English.
  • Documentation of a personal interview with home institution faculty members whose native language is English or who teaches in the English Department.
  • Recognized English language test:
    • Minimum Duolingo English Test score: 115
    • TOEFL or IELTS (note that some colleges at the university may require higher scores)*
    • Minimum TOEFL IBT score: 80-102
    • Minimum IELTS score: at least a 6.0 score on all modules

Special Requirements

  • The College of Engineering requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 IBT, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 total.
  • The College of Media requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 IBT, or a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 total with a minimum score of 7 on all four modules.
  • The School of Social Work requires a minimum TOEFL score of 103 IBT, or a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 total with a minimum score of 7 on all four modules.

Recommendation letters are optional, but may strengthen your application.

The letters of recommendation should be from your university instructors. Recommendations should, at a minimum, address the following questions:

  • How long and in what capacity have you known this student?
  • What is your assessment of this student's academic motivation and performance? Does this student perform to their abilities?
  • How would you describe this student in terms of maturity, responsibility, honesty, and character?
  • Does this student have your recommendation to participate on a U.S. exchange program? Do you have any reservations?

While a personal statement is not required, we recommend that you include one to bolster your overall application.

Your personal statement should be 1-2 pages, double-spaced, and address the following:

  • Motivations for participating in the exchange with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
  • Long-term goals and how studying abroad/studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign would help you meet those goals.

Applicants to the following programs are required to submit an audition tape or portfolio: