FAQ for Incoming Exchange Students

Are exchange students required to participate in International Student Orientation? Yes, all newly admitted international students are required to attend orientation and the immigration document check-in. Read more information, visit the International Student Orientation website.


Are exchange students coming to OSU guaranteed on campus housing? No, exchange students coming to OSU are not guaranteed on campus housing. However, University Housing and Dining Services will make an effort to accommodate exchange students if they submit a Housing Application in a timely manner.

Visit University Housing and Dining Services’ International Student web-page to learn about On-Campus, Homestay, and Off-Campus Housing. You will also be able to browse through frequently asked questions about housing, dining and transportation.

Please check out these links for some short-term housing options:

1. Hotel Listing

2. Homestays

3. Crossroads Homestay

4. Corvallis I-House


How do I get to campus?

Portland International Airport (PDX) is located about 145 km from Corvallis. The privately operated HUT Airport Shuttle makes daily trips from Portland to Corvallis, with drop-offs at the OSU Memorial Union and Hilton Garden Inn hotel near campus. Advanced reservations are required and can be made online at www.hutshuttle.com. Students living on the South side of campus should take the shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn, students living on the East and West sides of campus should take the shuttle to the Memorial Union stop.

Eugene Airport (EUG) is located 58 km from Corvallis. It is a much smaller, regional airport. Students who fly to Eugene may want to take the OMNI Shuttle to the OSU campus. Prices and reservation information can be found at http://www.omnishuttle.com/.


Where can find the campus map? Please visit the OSU Campus Map.


How can I travel around Corvallis? There are many ways to travel throughout the Corvallis area. Students can choose between the Corvallis Transit System, taxicabs, bicycling, walking, or OSU SafeRide. The Transit System is free to use. Bus maps and schedules can be found at the Corvallis City Bus site


I would like to travel outside the U.S over a break. Do I need to do anything? First, you will need to complete a Travel Signature Form, which can be found on our Forms Website. Please print the form and bring it along with your DS-2019 to University Plaza for a signature. Please note that all ISAS paperwork requires 7 business days to complete. Your DS-2019 will be returned to you after it is signed by an International Student Advisor. The signature on your DS-2019 is your key to getting back into the U.S. at the end of your trip.

Second, you will need to read carefully through the Travel Outside the U.S. handout you can find on the Forms Website. If you have questions after you read it, you will need to meet with an International Student Advisor. Walk-in schedule for advisors is Monday through Friday from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm both at University Plaza and ILLC.


How many credits are covered by my exchange agreement? Exchange agreements cover tuition for up to 15 credits for undergraduate students and up to 16 credits for graduate students. If you want to take more credits than what is covered by your exchange program, you will be charged an additional fee, ranging from approximately $560 to $660 per credit, and you will be personally responsible for paying that additional cost.


What is the advisable course load for a quarter-based University? Undergraduate students typically take between 12-15 credits per term, at quarter-based institutions like OSU. If you will be taking classes in English for the first time, you may wish to register for the minimum course load required by immigration: 12 credits if you are an undergraduate student or 9 credits if you are a graduate student (you can find more info about the minimum requirement below).


Is there a minimum number of credits I am required to register? You must register for and complete a minimum of 12 credits if you are an undergraduate student, or 9 credits if you are a graduate student, each academic term in order to maintain your full-time status.  No more than 3 credits of distance education (E‐Campus) classes can count toward full‐time enrollment per term.  This is a requirement of your J-1 visa.  Note that the cost of E-Campus classes is not covered by exchange agreements.  You will be personally responsible for paying their additional cost if you choose to take any E-Campus courses.


What am I supposed to pay? Each Exchange Agreement specifies charges an exchange student is responsible to pay. Once you create an ONID account you will be able to view your OSU charges. It is your responsibility to review this account for accuracy.

We strongly advise that you clarify with your home country exchange coordinator what fees and charges you will be required to pay to adequately prepare for your time in the U.S.


Am I supposed to pay course fees? Some exchange agreements do not cover course fees. Please make sure to confirm with your Exchange Coordinator if your exchange agreement covers course fees.


What are mandatory fees? Am I supposed to pay mandatory fees? Some exchange agreements do not cover mandatory fees. Please make sure to confirm with your Exchange Coordinator if your exchange agreement covers mandatory fees.

Descriptions of mandatory fees are as follows:

  • Building Fee - A Fee assessed each term to all students attending Oregon University System colleges and universities. The funds are pooled on a statewide basis from which building projects are funded for non-instructional buildings. These projects include recreational and student union types of buildings.
  • Incidental Fee - A fee assessed each term to all OSU students. Rates vary by institution, and are established at OSU by a committee with student representation. The committee responds to requests for allocation of funds from student groups, athletics and the operation of the student union. Committee appropriations are approved by the President. 
  • Technology Fee - A fee assessed each term to all students designated for technology oriented projects providing services to students. Funding has made possible the expansion of student computer labs on campus and providing access to the computer center, web, and email to all labs and residence halls.
  • Counseling/Health Service Fees - Are fees which are assessed of all students each term. Rates are established on each campus and vary, depending upon such factors as enrollment, level of service offered to students, and operation costs of the facilities. The fee entitles the student to avail himself or herself of the health care and counseling services offered. It is required as a prerequisite to purchasing student health insurance. The fee is not health insurance.

Note: * Some exchange agreements do not require exchange students to pay mandatory fees. Please make sure to confirm with your Exchange Coordinator if your exchange agreement covers mandatory fees.


When is my bill due? Your OSU Student Account will be billed directly. Once you sign up for ONID you will be able to view charges on your student account. Billing statements are available around the 5th of each month and are due upon receipt. Interest is assessed on unpaid balances following the 1st day of the next month.


Where is my statement being mailed? Current students receive all of their billing statements electronically through eBill. Paper statements are not sent out to currently enrolled students. When an eBill is issued the student receives an email to their ONID email address letting then know that their statement is ready to view. The student can then log on to the eBill website to view, print or even pay online via eCheck.

How can I pay?

OSU currently accepts eChecks, paper checks, cash, and Visa/MasterCard as methods of payment.

  • eCheck payments can be made online through the eBill website.
  • Checks can be mailed, dropped off in our drop box either in Kerr Admin or brought directly to the Cashier's Office.
  • Cash payments can be made at the Cashier's Office in Kerr.
  • Students can use Student Online Services as a convenience option for making credit card payments.


Can I purchase my own health insurance? All non-resident international students must enroll in the OSU International Student Health Plan unless they provide proof of alternate health insurance that meets federal, state, and OSU requirements and submit a completed waiver application to Student Health Services.


Where can I find information about OSU library? Please visit the OSU Libraries website to find valuable information and resources.


I would like to connect with a student group or join a club. How can I do that? Please visit the Student Leadership and Involvement website.

Student Leadership and Involvement provides opportunities for students to focus on Civic Engagement & Service, Leadership Development, Global Citizenship and Community Building, Involvement & Celebration.

Also, feel free to connect with International Students of Oregon State University (ISOSU). ISOSU is committed to supporting and developing a wide range of international opportunities for the OSU community focusing on the education of issues and appreciation of cultures on this university campus.