Welcome to Georgia Southern University!
We are a major University with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students, granting bachelors, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees in hundreds of programs of study. Consistently featured in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges”, our focus is on YOU, the student. With many majors to choose from, hundreds of student organizations to get involved with, and many events on campus, Georgia Southern provides you with extensive opportunities.
While we are a major University, our outstanding professors and friendly and personal environment will provide you with the individual attention you need to succeed. At Georgia Southern, you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Use the following tabs to navigate between the types of information designed to help you prepare for a semester abroad at Georgia Southern.
- About Statesboro
- Applying to Georgia Southern
- Visa Information
- Estimating Expenses
- Arrival & Orientation
- Health Insurance
- Who Do I Contact?
- Important Dates to Know
- Your Rights
Georgia Southern University is located in Statesboro, which is in Bulloch County in the southeastern corner of Georgia (about one hour by car from Savannah and 1 1/2 hours to the beaches of Tybee and Hilton Head Islands). Florida is two hours away and metropolitan Atlanta can be reached in about three hours.
Statesboro is a university town of around 30,000 people, known for hospitality, friendliness, and a mild year-round climate. It offers the charm and safety of a small town but has the amenities of a larger city, such as varied shopping centers, cafes and restaurants, and entertainment options such as a cinema and outdoor parks.
Applying to Georgia Southern
Students who wish to study on exchange at Georgia Southern must be nominated by their home university’s international office. Once their nomination is received and confirmed, students should begin gathering the documents listed below. Since many of these documents will also help you obtain your visa, it is important to read carefully, follow all directions, and submit your materials in a timely manner.
It is best to mail all of these materials in a single packet for faster processing. Review your method of delivery, and select the proper corresponding address:
What are the deadlines for applying?
What information do I need to submit?
The $30 application fee is waived for exchange students and does not need to be included. Students should select “Transient” as their applicant type, and select the major that most closely aligns with their intended studies while at Georgia Southern.
Students should write a brief essay detailing why they would like to study at Georgia Southern University on exchange.
This will help the Office of International Programs & Services begin the registration process for new exchange students. The course search will help students plan for a term, and students are encouraged to carefully read and use the Course Search Guide to find appropriate courses to meet their needs. Most course search results will link to full course descriptions. These descriptions can also be found in the Georgia Southern Catalog. Students should note, though, that the catalog is an exhaustive listing of all courses authorized for instruction at Georgia Southern. Only the course search will indicate which courses are offered during a specific term.
All exchange students whose first language is not English and who have not studied exclusively in English must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores to Georgia Southern. The minimum scores for admission are TOEFL iBT 69 and IELTS 6.0. Those with scores less than TOEFL iBT 96 or IELTS 7.5 will take an English language placement exam during orientation to determine if additional English-language support coursework is required.
Be sure to complete all fields, write legibly, and check for accuracy.
All students must submit original copies of their financial documents. Emailed copies will only be accepted in order to review for accuracy. Students submitting financial documents for accounts in the name of a family member or friend must also include a Financial Support Form signed by that individual. For more information, please see the page on applying for a Form DS-2019.
All students entering Georgia Southern must submit proof of valid immunization. Complete the 3 forms for New Students found at the link. Note that all forms must be submitted in English. The Office of International Programs & Services will submit these to Health Services on behalf of exchange students. The Eagle ID number field may be left blank.
How do I submit these materials?
Office of International Programs & Services
P.O. Box 8106
Statesboro, GA 30460
Express Mail (UPS/DHL/FedEx):
Office of International Programs & Services
5539 Forest Drive, Suite 1313
Statesboro, GA 30458
The Office of International Programs & Services will do its best to notify students or their home international office when all materials have arrived. Once students have been admitted to Georgia Southern, they will begin receiving automatic emails with information about their Eagle ID student number, and access to sign up for accommodations and orientation.
It is best to mail all of these materials in a single packet for faster processing.
Review your method of delivery, and select the proper corresponding address:
When will I get my visa?
Georgia Southern does not issue the visa, but it does issue the Form DS-2019 – called the “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.” This form shows the U.S. government that based on your documented funds and academic record, you are considered eligible to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa and make an appointment for interview at your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. (Canadian citizens will only apply to enter the U.S. in J-1 status. No visa is required.) You will need to submit all of the forms listed as part of your application to Georgia Southern in order to receive the form DS-2019. It is important to provide all of the application documents in a timely manner so you have plenty of time to apply for and receive your J-1 visa.
Once the Form DS-2019 is prepared, a welcome packet containing a new student Welcome Guide, Letter of Admission, and Form DS-2019 will be shipped to you. For more detailed information on the J-1 visa process, please visit our page here.
Estimating your cost of study is an important part of preparing to participate on your exchange program. The chart below will help you determine your budget while studying in the U.S. Though the tuition fee and related fees are waived for exchange students, accommodations, meals, and personal expenses still need to be paid. ISEP students should refer to the information provided on their Institutional Information Sheet (IIS), as their estimated expenses will differ.
|Estimated Costs for a Semester of Study||AY17-18|
|Costs Paid to Georgia Southern|
|On-Campus Housing (varies by dormitory)||$2,120 – $3,895|
|Housing Application and Deposit*||$350|
|Residence Hall Activity Fee||$20|
|Dining Plan (unlimited meals)||$1,725 – $1,875|
|Other Class Fees (varies, estimate)||$50|
|Books and Supplies (estimate)||$300|
|Mandatory Health Insurance||$870 – $1,206|
|SOAR Fee (orientation)*||$110|
|Transcript Request Fee*||$10|
|Costs Paid to U.S. Government|
|Visa Application Fee*||$160|
*Students studying at Georgia Southern for two semesters will only pay this fee one time.
Living in a campus dormitory is not required of exchange students, though it is highly encouraged for ease of transition, access to campus services, and the ability to interact with other students. Dining plans are also optional, though many students choose them for the convenience. Read more by selecting the Accommodations tab.
Class fees, books, and supplies can vary depending on the subject area a student intends to study. Many laboratory courses carry a fee to help the cover the cost of special equipment, software, and special technology. These class fees are the responsibility of exchange students to pay.
All students must possess health insurance that meets the minimum requirements for their visa category. Georgia Southern offers health insurance that meets these requirements that students may purchase. Read more by selecting the Health Insurance tab.
Arrival and Orientation
International SOAR (Orientation)
August 9-11, 2017
*Note: there is an orientation fee of approximately $110. The fee includes early move-in access to on-campus accommodations, orientation supplies, and several meals during orientation. Residence halls open for new international students on Monday, August 7. Classes begin Monday, August 14. Flying: The Savannah\Hilton Head International Airport is the closest airport to Georgia Southern University. At this time, we are not able to offer a shuttle from the airport to campus. A taxi will cost approximately $100, but we also recommend Uber or Lyft. Depending on when your flight arrives, you may need to spend the night at an airport hotel. A list of Savannah-Hilton Head Airport hotels can be found here. Driving: For driving directions to Lewis Hall, home of Georgia Southern University’s Welcome Center, click here. For a map service or GPS, use 100 Southern Drive, Statesboro, GA 30460. More thorough information will be provided upon acceptance to Georgia Southern, and in the welcome packet sent to students.
When is Orientation?
When should I arrive for the Fall 2017 term?
How do I get to the Georgia Southern campus?
*Note: there is an orientation fee of approximately $110. The fee includes early move-in access to on-campus accommodations, orientation supplies, and several meals during orientation.
Residence halls open for new international students on Monday, August 7.
Classes begin Monday, August 14.
Flying: The Savannah\Hilton Head International Airport is the closest airport to Georgia Southern University. At this time, we are not able to offer a shuttle from the airport to campus. A taxi will cost approximately $100, but we also recommend Uber or Lyft.
Depending on when your flight arrives, you may need to spend the night at an airport hotel. A list of Savannah-Hilton Head Airport hotels can be found here.
Driving: For driving directions to Lewis Hall, home of Georgia Southern University’s Welcome Center, click here. For a map service or GPS, use 100 Southern Drive, Statesboro, GA 30460.
More thorough information will be provided upon acceptance to Georgia Southern, and in the welcome packet sent to students.
In order to meet federal requirements, the University System of Georgia requires all international students to purchase health insurance. You will be automatically billed after you register for classes every semester. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) must be paid for in August and provides coverage from August through December. Health insurance coverage for January through July must be paid in January. All exchange students are required to purchase the University System of Georgia Student Health Insurance Plan. Each semester period (fall and spring/summer) you will need to either enroll in, or waive out of, the USG SHIP through the United Healthcare-Student Resources Georgia Southern MyAccount online program. During orientation we will discuss how to use this health insurance plan in the event that you require medical attention.
Students may only request to waive out of the USG SHIP policy if their personal insurance meets the minimum requirements listed here. Students, though, should be cautioned that health insurance plans based out of other countries are not always easy to use or accepted everywhere in the U.S.
Additionally, all students enrolling in Georgia Southern University are required to show proof of immunizations. Print the immunization forms and ask your health care provider fill out your immunization history.
University Villas (UV) is Georgia Southern’s community for upper-class students with suites of 4 students who have private bedrooms, a bathroom shared with one other student, a large shared living room and kitchen, and laundry facilities. After acceptance, you will be provided with instructions on how to reserve your housing in University Villas. Students who wish to stay off-campus must reserve their own accommodations. Be sure to inquire about distance from campus and the possibility for a short-term lease. Moving to Statesboro is exciting but deciding what to pack can be challenging! Check luggage restrictions for your airline as overweight luggage can be very costly. University Housing keeps a list of suggested items to bring when you are moving into your dorm. We will take you shopping after you arrive so that you can purchase items such as bed linens, towels, and school supplies. There are several places in Statesboro to purchase necessities. You may want to purchase small electronic items here if your country does not use 120/60Hz voltage, the standard for the United States.
Where can I stay while studying at Georgia Southern?
What are my dining options at Georgia Southern?
What should I bring with me?
What is the weather in Statesboro like? How do people dress?
University Villas (UV) is Georgia Southern’s community for upper-class students with suites of 4 students who have private bedrooms, a bathroom shared with one other student, a large shared living room and kitchen, and laundry facilities. After acceptance, you will be provided with instructions on how to reserve your housing in University Villas. Students who wish to stay off-campus must reserve their own accommodations. Be sure to inquire about distance from campus and the possibility for a short-term lease.
Moving to Statesboro is exciting but deciding what to pack can be challenging! Check luggage restrictions for your airline as overweight luggage can be very costly. University Housing keeps a list of suggested items to bring when you are moving into your dorm. We will take you shopping after you arrive so that you can purchase items such as bed linens, towels, and school supplies. There are several places in Statesboro to purchase necessities. You may want to purchase small electronic items here if your country does not use 120/60Hz voltage, the standard for the United States.
For example: MKTG 3132 is a Marketing course taught at the Junior level.
When do I register for my classes?
Your registration will be completed during your SOAR orientation session. Prior to arrival on campus, your exchange advisor will work to help you finalize your course selections and placements to build a complete schedule, and register you for as many classes as possible before your arrival.
What if I don’t like my classes, or found something more interesting? Can I change them?
How many credits will I take?
What do the course numbers mean?
Courses at Georgia Southern are labeled by academic subject and numbered according to when students complete them during University. Course numbers beginning with a 1 or 2 are introductory courses that are completed during the Freshman or Sophomore year. Courses beginning with a 3 or 4 are often completed during the Junior or Senior year. It is important to understand that courses beginning with a 3 or 4 often require significant previous study in that academic field in order to be successful.
What will my classes be like?
How will I be graded?
Final course grades at Georgia Southern are assigned using A, B, C, D, and F. Grades of ‘A’ are the highest, and indicate excellent work and mastery of the class material, and an ‘F’ indicates a failing grade. These are the grades that will appear on the final transcript issued to you by Georgia Southern. If your home institution use percentages for final grades. If you are in need of these please click to access this form, which will request your professors provide a final percentage grade be released to the Office of International Programs and Services.
How will I receive my Georgia Southern transcript?
Each student will have an official copy for their transcript sent from Georgia Southern to their home institution. This process will be facilitated by the Office of International Programs & Services at the completion of their studies. At any point, students may access additional copies of their official transcripts through the Office of the Registrar.
For example: MKTG 3132 is a Marketing course taught at the Junior level.
Who Do I Contact
Do you have more questions? Need some help? Contact us!
Your main contacts for exchange programs in the Office of International Programs & Services are:
Ms. Danielle L. Smith
Phone: +1 (912) 478-7968
Fax: +1 (912) 478-0824
Ms. Emilee Carr
Study Abroad Advisor
Phone: +1 (912) 478-5574
Fax: +1 (912) 478-0824
January 2: University Closed
January 3-4: Arrive and move in to housing (on campus housing will open January 4)
January 5-6: International SOAR Student Orientation
January 9: Classes Begin
January 12: Schedule Adjustment period ends
January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday– Administrative Offices Closed; No Classes
March 13-17: Spring Break – No Classes
April 28: Last Day of Classes
May 1: Deadline for Fall 2017 exchange applications
May 1-5 Final Exams
May 6: Commencement Ceremonies
August 7-8: Arrive and move in to housing (on campus housing will open August 7)
August 9-11: International SOAR Student Orientation
August 14: Classes Begin
August 17: Schedule Adjustment period ends
September 4: Labor Day Holiday– Administrative Offices Closed; No Classes
November 1: Deadline for exchange applications
November 20-24: Thanksgiving Break – No Classes
December 1: Last Day of Classes
December 4-7: Final Exams
December 8: Commencement Ceremonies
Looking for a university form or link quickly? Find them all here in one place.
- Course Request List
- Course Search Guide
- Course Search System
- Dining Services
- Essay of Educational Intent
- Georgia Southern Admissions Application
- Immunization Requirements
- SEVIS Data Form
- SEVIS Financial Documentation Requirements
- SEVIS Financial Source Form
- SOAR Registration
- Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
- Transcript Request
- Visa Information
The goal of your J-1 Exchange Visitor program is to provide educational and cultural exchange activities in an interesting, safe, and rewarding environment. Students should know that while studying in J-1 status at Georgia Southern, you have certain rights and protections guaranteed to you under U.S. law. Some of these protections include the ability to keep possession of your documents, receive fair and equal treatment, seek justice in U.S. courts, and avoid fear of retaliation for reporting abuse. Your safety and security while studying in the U.S. and at Georgia Southern is highly important.
Students are encouraged to access and read the Wilberforce Pamphlet to better understand their rights and protections while studying in the United States.
Additionally, Georgia Southern take issues of equal opportunity and non-discrimination very seriously. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the role of the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office on campus. A student who feels they have been the recipient of discriminatory behavior including harassment or assault related to their national original, sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, or disability is encouraged to contact this office.
Last updated: 3/29/2017