Incoming Exchange Students

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Participating Schools


Course Offerings

Academic Calendar

Application Forms and Procedures

Acceptance Procedures

Post- Acceptance Procedures

Visa Application and Immigration Guidelines

Arrival Instructions

Welcome to SUNY Geneseo! This page is designed to help you if you are considering our campus as your exchange student destination. SUNY Geneseo administers exchange programs with the following partner universities:

  • Bath Spa University (Bath, UK)
  • Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Euromed Management (Marseilles, France)
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)
  • Sogang University (Seoul, South Korea)
  • Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou, China)
  • Universidad de las Américas (Puebla, Mexico)
  • Universidad de Cádiz (Cadiz, Spain)
  • Universidad de Córdoba (Córdoba, Argentina)
  • Université Paul Valéry – Montpellier III (Montpellier, France)
  • University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand)
  • University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands)
  • University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica)

Sturges Hall
Sturges Hall

In order to study in Geneseo as an exchange student, you must attend and be nominated by one of these partner universities, or the MICEFA program.

You must follow the application procedures of your home school or sending institution, and comply with SUNY Geneseo’s Application Procedures for Exchange Students.

Click here to download the application form.

If you are an international student and you are interested in earning a degree from SUNY Geneseo, please visit our International Student Services Web page.



The costs listed below are per semester and are subject to change without notice.


** This figure does not include personal expenses, which differ by individual.



You should begin exploring course possibilities at least 6-9 months before you plan to study at our campus. This will give you time to determine whether and how courses will transfer back to your campus, meet deadlines for applications, and make contacts and plans for your living accommodations, etc. Please submit a list of the courses you are interested in with your application.

Course availability during your term of study at Geneseo can be found on KnightWeb

Information about programs at our Geneseo campus, our courses and our faculty can be found in our Undergraduate Bulletin. Please contact our office, by email or by calling us at 585 245-5546, for additional guidance.




Courses at SUNY Geneseo are offered year-round. Fall semester is held from late August to December. Spring semester is held from the end of January through mid-May. Upcoming term dates are as follows:

SPRING TERM2013201420152016
Classes Begin*Jan. 22Jan. 21Jan. 20Jan. 19
Spring Break (no classes)March 18-22March 17-21March 16-20March 15-19
Final ExamsMay 9-15May 8-14May 7-13May 6-13
Classes Begin*Aug. 26Aug. 25Aug.24Aug.23
Break (no classes)Oct. 14-15Oct. 13-14Oct. 12-13Oct. 11-12
Thanksgiving (no classes)Nov. 27-29Nov. 26-28Nov. 25-27Nov. 24-27
Final ExamsDec. 11-17Dec. 10-16Dec. 9-15Dec. 8-14

*Your acceptance letter will list the dates you should arrive in Geneseo, approximately ONE WEEK before the beginning date of your semester of study, in order to participate in our college’s International Student Orientation.

Deadline for Receipt of Application and Accompanying Documents:

  • For Spring Semester Study: October 1
  • For Fall Semester or Academic Year Study: March 30



In order to apply to study at SUNY Geneseo as an exchange student, you must attend and be nominated by one of our partner universities (see above). Once accepted by your home campus to participate in an exchange program at Geneseo, you need to submit to the International Office at your home campus the following documents, some of which are downloadable from this website:

[ ] Completed Exchange Student Application Form (.PDF)

[ ] Official transcript of all universities you have attended, translated into English. If your first language is not English, evidence of competence in the English Language in the form of one of the following exams:

  • TOEFL (minimum accepted score: 550)
  • COMP (minimum accepted score: 213)
  • IBT (minimum accepted score: 79-80)
  • IELTS (minimum accepted score: 6.5)
    We also accept the European Common Framework of Reference for Language test and are willing to evaluate alternate tests.

[ ] CV or resumé


Please submit the above-listed material to the International Office at your home campus, who will submit the material directly to us. Your home campus should submit your application material to us by the following dates:

  • For Spring Semester Study: October 1
  • For Fall Semester or Academic Year Study: March 15



Students accepted to SUNY Geneseo as exchange program students will receive an initial acceptance letter. However, in order for the admission process to be complete, you must also complete and/or submit the following material to your campus International Programs for submission to SUNY Geneseo’s Office of International Programs:

[ ] Personal and Medical History form, signed by your physician in the various spaces indicated throughout the form

[ ] Completed Exchange Student Financial Form (.PDF). You must be able to demonstrate that you have the resources to stay in the US for the time you expect to be here. You must provide documentation for your financial statement in the form of an original, official bank statement showing the funds available to you.

[ ] Payment of your health and medical insurance plan can be completed prior to your arrival or on the first business day after arriving at Geneseo. Payment may be in cash or by check issued to: SUNY Geneseo. PLEASE NOTE: The SUNY Health Insurance plan or a plan providing comparable coverage is mandatory for all exchange students. The following minimum health insurance coverage is required:

  1. $200,000 worth of coverage for hospitalization or treatment for accidents or illness that occur abroad;
  2. Coverage for pre-existing conditions that may need treatment while abroad;
  3. Provision for medical evacuation in the event that the participant suffers a catastrophic medical event while abroad; and
  4. Provision for the repatriation of the remains in the event of the participant's death while abroad.

If you currently have a health insurance plan that provides at a minimum the coverage described above and its expiration date is no earlier than three months after the completion of your program, you may be exempt from purchasing the SUNY Health Insurance plan. To find out whether you are exempt, proof of adequate coverage must be provided to SUNY Geneseo’s Office of International Programs. Acceptable proof of adequate coverage may be a copy of a current policy or a letter from the insurance provider describing the student´s health insurance coverage; proof must be in the English language.

[ ] Residential License Agreement form and housing deposit of $150 .

[ ] Copy of your passport’s information page. (Your passport should have an expiration date at least 6 months after the completion of your study program at Geneseo.)

[ ] Two passport-sized photos.




Once the documentation listed in the acceptence procedures section is received in our office and approved, you will be issued an admission letter and a “Certificate of Eligibility”(Form DS-2019). This form is a requirement for you to be able to:

[ ] Apply for a J-1 student visa with a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence. Please be advised that this process can take time and may require the completion of additional forms and the payment of other fees; it typically entails an appointment with the U.S. Consulate. For a checklist of steps and detailed guidelines for obtaining a J-1 visa, please click here.

Once your visa request is approved:

[ ] Purchase a round-trip flight to Rochester, New York (the airport most easily accessible to Geneseo). Please schedule your arrival in Geneseo ONE WEEK before the beginning date of your semester of study in order to participate in our college’s required International Student Orientation; your return flight may safely be scheduled the day after the last day of final exams. Please Note: As an international exchange student (on a J-1 visa) you cannot be admitted to the United States earlier than thirty (30) days before the starting date on your DS-2019 Form.

For upcoming academic calendar dates, click here:

[ ] Email your flight itinerary to Geneseo’s Office of International Programs (, SUBJECT LINE: Flight Itinerary).

[ ] Continue exploring course possibilities for the term you will study at Geneseo.

[ ] Pack. Be sure that your passport and your sealed documents are in your carry-on luggage and not in your suitcase!

PLEASE NOTE: Student dormitories are not supplied with sheets, blankets nor towels, nor household supplies other than toilet paper. Students must either bring linens and personal supplies with them or purchase them upon arrival. Geneseo’s Office of International Programs can help you by purchasing in advance some basic supplies so that they are available in your room upon your arrival, if you give us sufficient notice of your desire (let us know if we can help you in this manner); you will need to refund our office for the costs once you are in Geneseo. There is a Wal-Mart in Geneseo and many department stores are found in Rochester, a 30-minute drive; during your Orientation, you will be driven to a shopping district in Rochester, where a variety of stores selling household goods, clothing, footwear, and sporting goods are available. The college also offers bus transpotation to Rochester on a regular basis; please click here for further information about this service.


 APPLYING FOR A J (Exchange Student) VISA

Students admitted to SUNY Geneseo as exchange program students will receive an acceptance letter. However, an exchange student can proceed to request a visa to enter the United States only after also receiving a DS-2019 (“Certificate of Eligibility”) Form from our college (see POST-ACCEPTANCE PROCEDURES section in this page).

Please read the paper attached to the DS-2019 Form you receive from us to learn if you are required to pay a one-time SEVIS fee before you interview for your visa; SEVIS is the acronym for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

You should plan to apply for your visa well in advance of the date you wish to depart your country for study at SUNY Geneseo. Appointments for an interview are now required for all student visa applications.


At the time of your visa interview, you will need to present the following documents:
[ ] Receipt showing your SEVIS fee payment, if you are required to pay a fee (see above).
[ ] U.S. Department of State Visa Application Form (Online) (Form DS-160).
[ ] Visa Fee (if required)
[ ] Original DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility Form issued by SUNY Geneseo - All 3 Pages of it
[ ] Letter of Admission from SUNY Geneseo (the original letter, not a copy).
[ ] Passport, valid at least six months after the completion of your Geneseo program.
[ ] Other documents supporting your intention to return home, if available.
[ ] Other documents and forms as required by the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the country you are applying.
[ ] Photos.

You will be interviewed in English by a visa officer regarding your educational plans and intention to return to your home country. Be sure that you have prepared precise and concise replies. As an applicant for a J-1 visa, your purpose for coming to the United States is to study for a semester or year and then to return to your home country to complete your education. If that is not your purpose for coming to the United States, do not apply for a student (J-1) visa.

The Consulate officer will ask you for evidence of your enduring ties to your home country; your family’s employment in your home country and their proof of owning property in the country are examples of such evidence. Once granted, your visa will be placed in your passport, and the DS-2019 Form and supporting documents will be placed in a sealed envelope for you to present to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at your port of entry when you arrive in the United States.

  • For information about maintaining your legal nonimmigrant status once your visa is approved, click here.



No SUNY Geneseo exchange students have been denied a J-1 visa. Common reasons for denial of a visa usually relate to either the student did not show sufficient evidence of enduring ties to the home country OR the student was unable to demonstrate sufficient financial evidence.

If you are denied a visa, please email the International Office at SUNY Geneseo ( and inform us. Also tell us the reason the visa officer gave you for the denial. If you have scheduled another visa interview and wish us to send a letter to the Consulate, provide us with the name of the head of the nonimmigrant visa section and the Consulate’s address.



You will be asked to complete an I-94 Form either on the plane, ship, or at the port of entry. When completing the I-94 card, please make certain you spell your name exactly as it appears on your U.S. J-1 visa. This card will contain an eleven (11) digit “Admission Number”. The I-94 Form will be stamped by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer with the date of your entry and your legal status.

The officer will also open your sealed envelope and remove your DS-2019 Form. The officer will stamp the DS-2019 Form with the same information, place the admission number on the DS-2019 Form, and return the DS-2019 Form to you. Expect to have your index fingers scanned and a digital photograph taken, as required by U.S. federal regulations.

Make sure you have your Passport, your I-94 Card, and your DS-2019 Form with you before you leave the inspection area.



A college representative will be at the airport to greet you. Please find a person holding a sign that says SUNY GENESEO and identify yourself.

Welcome Packet

The person greeting you at the airport will provide you a welcome packet with the following:

  • Swipe access card that will allow you entry in your Residence Hall’s main door.
  • Metal key or key card that provides access to your bedroom.
  • Map of Geneseo.
  • Student Orientation and advisement information and schedules.



The staff of International Student Services (ISS) and the Office of the Dean jointly provide a thorough Orientation program to incoming exchange students. This Orientation session will be most beneficial to you, as it will introduce you to the steps necessary in order to successfully complete your exchange program at Geneseo. It is very important that you bring to this Orientation session the following documents:

[ ] Your passport
[ ] Your DS-2019 form
[ ] The I-94 card (you will have received this in the airplane on your way into the U.S.)
[ ] Your room's access key and swipe card, and the envelopes in which they were provided to you.
[ ] A completed Personal and Medical History form SIGNED BY YOUR PHYSICIAN, if you have not already mailed it to the Office of International Programs.

During Orientation and prior to the beginning of classes, SUNY Geneseo personnel will also assist you with:

  • Obtaining a SUNY Geneseo Student Identification Card.
  • Selecting courses and registering. You also will be escorted to Sundance Bookstore, where you can purchase your courses’ required texts.
  • Establishing a bank account.

Welcome to SUNY Geneseo.
We look forward to meeting you!