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Frequently Asked Questions

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of questions we receive from our J-1 exchange students, these are the questions we receive most often. Please feel free to contact our Director, Dr. Erin Heidkamp or our Immigration Specialist, Jazmin Sharif with any additional questions at either heidkampe1@southernct.edu or sharifj1@southernct.edu.

When will I receive official notification regarding my admission into Southern’s exchange student program?

This depends on when we receive your information from your home university. As a general rule, Southern will make decisions regarding placements within 3 weeks of receiving a prospective student’s file. Please check with either your home institution to determine when your file was submitted.

I’m having difficulties logging into my Banner Web page so that I can submit my housing application, view my courses, and pay my fees. What do I do?

Once you have received official notification of your acceptance into Southern’s exchange program, you will receive a username and temporary password to log into your MySCSU account and Southern’s Banner system. If you experience difficulties, please feel free to either contact Southern’s information technology Helpdesk, or contact us at heidkampe1@southernct.edu or sharifj1@southernct.edu. The Helpdesk can work with you to reset your password, and if you’re still having difficulties, our staff can contact the Helpdesk on your behalf.

What if I need to enroll in specific courses at Southern in order to graduate or fulfill my academic requirements at my home university?

Our staff will make every effort to enroll you in the courses you request. At times, courses may be unavailable, they may have filled (this depends, of course, on when your file was received), or, the courses you requested may not be offered during the current term. To be sure you are requesting courses from the correct term, please visit Southern’s website. We are generally able to enroll students in the courses they need, but we do appreciate flexibility since challenges do occasionally arise.

Where will I be housed during my exchange semester or year at Southern?

Most exchange students will live on campus in the North Campus Midrise complex. This is a co-ed apartment building for upper-level undergraduate students. North Campus Midrise is the home of the “International Living and Learning Community”—an LLC for international and domestic students which emphasizes cultural awareness and inclusivity. While there will be other international students in the LLC, you will be sharing a room with an American student who has applied to participate in the LLC. And while you will be able to purchase food or use your HootLoot ID and meal card in Connecticut Hall, our main cafeteria, you will also have a kitchen so that you can cook at your convenience.

Are there alternate living arrangements available?

Students are encouraged, but not required, to live on campus. For most students, on-campus living will be ideal for practical reasons (transportation to and from campus, distance to shopping, etc.); however, we have had some students request to live off campus. While this is certainly allowed, Southern unfortunately cannot assist with locating or contracting off-campus housing.

I have a medical condition that requires me to have my own independent living space (without a roommate). Does Southern provide such accommodations?

Yes. Please check the following website for information regarding on-campus housing accommodations for students with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions.

Will I be able to have friends or family stay with me in my dorm at Southern?

We advise that you do not plan to have any guests the first several weeks in your dorm at Southern. The first few weeks are a time to get to know your roommate and suitemates, and arriving with a guest or having an immediate visitor can present challenges for everyone. Thereafter, you will be asked to abide by the rules of the complex.

When will I receive my DS-2019 so that I can schedule my visa appointment at the nearest embassy or consulate?

DS-2019s are processed once all required supporting documentation has been submitted, including a J-1 Exchange Visitor Application, evidence of sufficient available funds, and evidence of health insurance. If any documents are missing, the DS-2019 will not be processed. 

How do I waive Southern’s health insurance requirement and the associated health insurance fee?

All exchange students must either purchase Southern’s student health insurance plan or request a waiver. To do so, you must provide the OIE with a schedule of benefits from the insurance company listing all items covered, all exclusions, maximum amounts of coverage, etc. The policy must be in English in order for our office to perform a review of the policy. The policy can only be waived if it provides comparable benefits to those offered by Southern’s student health insurance policy. NOTE: *Starting in Fall 2017, SCSU will no longer be issuing student Health Insurance but exchange students will still need to show proof of comprehensive health insurance in accordance with Federal Regulation requirements. J-1 Exchange students may contact Dr. Heidkamp or Jazmin for more information regarding J-1 Health Insurance requirements.

Is it possible to establish a payment plan with SCSU so that I can pay my student fee bill over the course of the semester?

Yes. Please find information regarding establishing a payment plan here.

I’m having trouble getting my Connecticut State University Student Health Services Form filled out. Is this really necessary in order for me to study at Southern?

Yes! In fact, you will not be able to move into the dorms at Southern until your form, showing evidence of all required immunizations, has been received by our Health Services office. Certain vaccinations are required by state law, so the university must have this information on file before you check in. You can find a copy of the form here.

What should I bring?

This is very individual, of course, but there are certain items that you will want to have with you when you arrive. Your room will have two twin beds (one of which is for you), and as a service to our exchange students, we will make sure that one of the beds is made in advance with sheets, a light blanket, and a pillow. Bringing an additional light blanket and duvet cover, perhaps even a small pillow, is a comfort most students prefer, but not a requirement.   If you’re a tea or coffee drinker, you may want to bring some with you for the first few days until Connecticut Hall (our cafeteria) opens, which is usually the day before classes begin. OIE staff will do our best to take you to the supermarket either the day of your arrival or the day after so that you can purchase food and drink to tide you over until classes begin.