Exchange Program

Undergraduate Exchange Student Program

The University of San Diego has established direct exchange programs with a variety of international partners. Below is a current list of our exchange partners. If you attend one of the following universities, we invite you to study abroad at USD as an exchange student. Please contact the International Office at your university to learn more about this opportunity.

Current J-1 students can find information about their visa polices on our J-1 Exchange Students page.

  • Aalto University School of Economics (Helsinki, FINLAND)
  • Al-Akhawayn University (Ifrane, MOROCCO)
  • The American College of Greece (Athens, GREECE)
  • BEM Management School (Bordeaux, FRANCE)
  • Bocconi University (Milan, ITALY)
  • Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics (Lisbon, PORTUGAL)
  • EDHEC Business School (Lille, FRANCE)
  • EM Strasbourg (Strasbourg, FRANCE)
  • ESADE Business School, Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona, SPAIN)
  • ESCA School of Management (Casablanca, MOROCCO)
  • Fudan University (Shanghai, CHINA)
  • Guanghua School of Management at Peking University (Beijing, CHINA)
  • IQS School of Engineering, Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona, SPAIN)
  • ITESO Universidad Jesuita (Guadalajara, MEXICO)
  • John Cabot University (Rome, ITALY)
  • KEDGE Business School (Toulon, FRANCE)
  • Korea University Business School (Seoul, SOUTH KOREA)
  • Kuwait University College of Business Administration (Kuwait City, KUWAIT)
  • La Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (Madrid, SPAIN)
  • Management Center Innsbruck (Innsbruck, AUSTRIA)
  • NEOMA Business School (Reims, FRANCE)
  • Pontifical Catholic University (Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL)
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey (Monterrey & Guadalajara, MEXICO)
  • Technion Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa, ISRAEL)
  • Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, COLOMBIA)
  • Universidad ORT Uruguay (Montevideo, URUGUAY)
  • Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (Lisbon, PORTUGAL)
  • University College Cork (Cork, IRELAND)
  • University of New South Wales (Sydney, AUSTRALIA)
  • Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS)
  • WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management (Vallendar, GERMANY)

Experience USD

To help international students take advantage of all that USD and San Diego have to offer, the International Center sponsors social and cultural programs and activities throughout the academic year. In addition, USD's International Student Organization plans events for the internationally-minded community at USD including a weekly "Coffee Hour" social in USD's International Student Lounge.

Examples of past programs and events include a San Diego Harbor Cruise, our annual International Expo and Cultural Fashion Show, a hiking trip at the Torrey Pines Natural Reserve, Halloween pumpkin carving, periodic ISO international dinners, an annual dinner and dance, and an international film screening. Below are photos from some of these exciting activities.

Important Dates and Deadlines for Exchange Students

J-1 Deadlines
Term Nomination Deadline Application Deadline
Spring 2020 Semester  September 23, 2019 October 14, 2019
Fall 2020 Semester February 24, 2020 March 13, 2020
Term Health Insurance Policy Submission Deadline
J-1 Students Starting Spring Semester  December 1st annually
J-1 Students Starting Fall Semester July 1st annually

Exchange Student Application Information

If you are nominated by your university to study at USD as an exchange student, the USD Office of International Students & Scholars will contact you with detailed instructions for completing an application. We have implemented a new, simplified application that students will complete entirely online through our international student information system called iTorero. All required documents will be uploaded to iTorero, eliminating the need for partner universities to collect and ship application materials to San Diego. 

Occasionally, USD is able to accept international students who are not affiliated with one of our partner universities. These "free mover" students are, however, subject to USD tuition.

Language Requirement for Admission to USD

Students must be proficient in English and submit confirmation through an official TOEFL score report, IELTS score report and/or a letter from their home university academic advisor stating that the student is prepared to take courses in English.

USD's minimum required scores are as follows:
TOEFL Internet-Based minimum score for undergraduate exchange students: 80
TOEFL Computer-Based minimum score for undergraduate exchange students: 213
TOEFL Paper-Based minimum score for undergraduate exchange students: 550
IELTS minimum score for undergraduate exchange students: 6.5

The University of San Diego has an established set of fees that all students are required to pay. Students will be given access to an online account where all fees will be posted and where all payments can be made. Payments must be made by the first week of classes each semester.

Exchange Student Fees

Students who study at USD as part of our established exchange program will pay tuition to their home university and will pay all other fees directly to the University of San Diego. To view a list of all fees, please see the "Fees" section of the Student Accounts web site.

Additional Fees (per semester) for International Students

In addition to the fees listed on the Student Accounts web site, international students should also be aware of the following additional fees:

J-1 Additional Fees
Item Expense
SEVIS fee for student visa

Approximately $220.00 USD

*please see the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement web site for updated costs

Health Insurance

Approximately $1526.50 USD

*may be waived with proper documentation of coverage 

Information about Expenses

  • Exchange students are not required to live on campus or purchase a meal plan. Living costs off-campus will vary depending on student’s preferences.
  • Upon arrival at USD, students will be expected to purchase their own textbooks. A bookstore is located on campus. Textbooks may be sold at the end of the semester at the USD bookstore but students should not expect to be reimbursed the same amount as originally paid.
  • Exchange students will be enrolled in USD’s health insurance plan unless they waive this coverage by demonstrating enrollment in a comparable health insurance plan that meets the US Department of State requirements for J-1 student visa holders as well as USD requirements.

Certification of Finances for International Students

All international students must demonstrate they have sufficient funds available for academic and living expenses equal to a minimum of $10,000.00 per semester.

All documents must be original scanned copiesin English and current (cannot be more than 3 months old) at the time of application to be considered valid.

Descriptions of necessary supporting documents for different types of funding are listed below. Most exchange students are financed through Personal and/or Family/Third-Party Sponsor.

J-1 Required Documents
Funds Source Required supporting document(s)

Personal Funds 

Original bank statement

Family / Third-Party Sponsor

Original bank statement AND Original affidavit of support (including duration of financial support, amount allowed to use, and relationship of the sponsor to you), stating you are allowed to use the funds for study in the Unites States. 

Home Government Funding

Original scholarship letter from sponsoring organization outlining dates, amount, and terms of sponsorship

U.S. Government Funding

Original scholarship letter from sponsoring organization outlining dates, amount, and terms of sponsorship

All other organizations' funding

Original scholarship letter from sponsoring organization outlining dates, amount, and terms of sponsorship

General Information

Please visit the Office of International Students and Scholars website for general information about preparing for your arrival to USD. In addition, the Student Life page offers practical information and resources about living in San Diego. Topics include finding a place to live in San Diego, purchasing or renting a car, opening a bank account, etcetera.

Student Visa

All exchange and free mover students must have a J-1 Student Visa in order to attend classes at USD. A Form DS-2019, issued by USD’s Responsible Officer (RO) will be sent to the student after acceptance. Students will need this document to complete their J-1 visa application and appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate.

For more information about the J-1 student visa, please see the Office of International Students and Scholars Information for J-1 Students page.

Course Selection and Registration

Exchange and free mover students should work closely with their academic advisor at their home university to determine which USD courses fit best with their academic plan.

The USD Exchange Program Coordinator will enroll students in academic classes on a space-available basis based on the “Learning Agreement" completed by the student and approved by the student’s home university advisor. 


Students must arrange their own housing. Assistance will be provided with on-campus housing. Students who choose to live off-campus will be responsible for making all arrangements independently.

On-Campus Accommodations

Applying to live in on-campus housing is recommended. We have found that students who live on campus have had a much easier transition to life in San Diego. When comparing the cost of on-campus housing students should consider the amenities, which make on-campus living a very economical and practical choice. Students who live on campus will have the advantage of a furnished apartment/dorm room, wireless Internet upon arrival, and on-site laundry facilities.

Residence halls are just a short walk to classes, campus dining facilities, the library, gym and the Student Life Pavilion. Students who live on campus will not necessarily need to rent a car to efficiently get around on a daily basis. USD also operates a Tram Service; an on-campus service that shuttles students to various stops around campus.

Students will be given access to the online housing application once they are officially accepted by USD. On-campus housing is limited, thus students who wish to live on campus are encouraged to complete the housing application as soon as they are given access. Typically exchange students will have roommates who are American students and can help them integrate into the USD community.

Off-Campus Accommodations

Information about renting off-campus accommodations (including information about neighborhoods in San Diego, what to look for in a rental, etc.) can be found on our Student Life page. 

On-Campus Dining/Meal Plans

USD has a variety of dining facilities on campus that all students are welcome to use, regardless of whether they decide to purchase a meal plan. Visit the USD Dining Services web site to see all dining options.

MEAL PLANS ARE OPTIONAL. Students can use cash and credit cards at all dining facilities, or electronically add money to their USD student ID cards (“campus cash”, see below). Student who plan to eat on campus often may choose from number of meal plans to best suit their needs. 

Students are encouraged to wait until they arrive at USD to decide whether or not to purchase a meal plan. They will have time to purchase a plan or make changes to their meal plans during the first week of classes.

Health Insurance Requirement

All J-1 exchange students and visiting scholars must demonstrate health insurance coverage for their time at USD. Health insurance policy documentation must be submitted to the Exchange Student Coordinator at least 45 days prior to arrival. Please refer to the Health Insurance section of our website for more details about this requirement.


Airport pick-up is not provided by USD. We recommend students take a taxi, Uber or Lyft to campus or their off-campus residence when they first arrive. The drive from the San Diego International Airport (SAN) to the USD campus is approximately 20 minutes.

To learn about transportation options during your time in San Diego, please refer to our Student Life page. 

Public Transportation:

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System:

Public transportation in San Diego is not very extensive. It is possible to get around the city using public transportation, but it is not always the most convenient option.

Car Rental:

We do not recommend students purchase a car if only staying in San Diego for one semester. However, students may want to rent a car.  The car rental company listed below is recommended by the USD International Center based on past experience.

Dirt Cheap Car Rental

4420 Pacific Highway, San Diego

Phone: (619) 234-9300


Parking Permit:

Students who wish to park a car on campus must purchase a parking permit. Please visit the USD Parking Services web site for information.


Many students take advantage of ride-sharing or car-sharing services like Lyft, Uber, and car2go to travel throughout San Diego.

MySanDiego Portal

MySanDiego is an online portal designed for students to access information such as the USD email account, class schedules, event calendars, student account billing, and other student resources. All exchange students will be given instructions about how to open a MySanDiego account and USD email account after they have been officially accepted to the Exchange Program at USD.

International Buddy Program

The International Buddy Program originated in the International Center as a student mentor program designed to help international students who are attending the University of San Diego ease into student life. This program is committed to pairing international students with a committed, domestic USD student who can help them adjust to living in a new city and connect them with local students. The goal of the International Buddy Program is to enrich the international student’s experience abroad and to create a truly global community.