Skip to main content

Exchange Student Pre-Arrival Checklist

J1 Exchange Student

Once you have been officially accepted to Boise State as an exchange student, you will need to complete the following prior to your arrival.


Living on campus is convenient, and a great way to make new friends and become involved in the campus community, so it’s important to APPLY as soon as possibleRead more about on-campus housing option for exchange students here.

If you decide to live off-campus, you can find a list of nearby apartments here.

2. REGISTER FOR CLASSES It is important to register as soon as possible because classes can fill up quickly. You can find more information on registering for classes here.

3. REVIEW AND SIGN YOUR DS-2019 FROM BOISE STATE You will need your DS-2019 to apply for your visa and to enter the U.S.

  • If you have not received your DS-2019 from Boise State, be sure to contact the International Admissions Office.
  • If you have received your DS-2019, review all of the information. If everything is correct, sign and date on the bottom of the first form. If you find any errors, contact the International Admissions Office immediately.

4. PAY THE SEVIS FEE” All initial J1 students MUST pay the SEVIS fee (also known as Form I-901) prior to their visa interview. This is in addition to the visa application fee. For more information on how to pay the SEVIS fee please visit the ICE webpage.

The SEVIS fee can be paid online at the SEVP SEVIS I‑901 Fee Processing Website.

**Be sure to PRINT OUT THE SEVIS FEE RECEIPT to bring to your visa interview. J2 dependents are not required to pay the SEVIS fee. [/toggle]

5. APPLY FOR YOUR VISA The earliest you can apply for your visa is 120 days before the start date on your DS-2019. We recommend you apply for your visa as early as possible. For more information on this process, please visit the J1 Exchange Student Visa Information page.


Planning Your Flight

When making your travel arrangements, you must keep in mind two important details:

  • For Fall 2019, you must plan to arrive in Boise (BOI) on August 19th or 20th, 2019.  Entering the U.S. AFTER this date may cause you problems at the airport.
  • You cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20.

Airport Arrival

  • The Fall 2019 arrival days are August 20 and 21.
  • If you wish to be greeted at the airport, please submit your arrival form. Center for Global Education staff and peer advisors will meet you at the airport and assist you with local transportation options to your on-campus or off-campus housing location. Please have at least $20 US to pay your taxi.
  • If you do not want to be picked up at the airport. There are taxis available in front of the airport. The cost from the airport to campus is about $15. Remember that in the U.S. you tip a taxi driver between 10% and 15% of the total fare. For example, if the fare is $15, you would give the driver a $1.50 tip.

There are also ride-sharing options available from the airport, including Uber and Lyft. You will need a smart phone with a US data plan in order to access these services, and the estimated cost is roughly $11-12.

You can also ride a bus from the airport. The closest bus station from Boise State is Capitol & University. The cost is approximately $1.00 and the bus service runs every 20 minutes from 5:55am to 8:15am AND every 40 minutes from 8:15am to 5:55pm on weekdays. It runs every hour from 8am to 6pm on Saturdays, but there is no bus service on Sundays. For more information, check the ValleyRide bus schedule.

7. SIGN UP FOR THE MANDATORY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION You will receive an email with information on how to sign up for the International Student Orientation. Check both your primary contact email account, as well as your BroncoMail account (official Boise State University email) frequently during the weeks leading up to International Student Orientation as you will be receiving additional information about your program via email.


  • Payments: Boise State University does not mail tuition/fee or housing bills. Housing bills will be sent to your My.BoiseState account. Students need to be sure to check their account to determine how much they should pay. Though exchange students do not pay tuition fees to Boise State, you will be responsible for any lab or activity fee that is associated with a specific course (such as a Chemistry or Mountain Biking course).  All exchange students will be billed for mandatory international student insurance. The recommended payment vendor for Boise State is Flywire, and you can read more about paying your fees on the Student Financials website.
  • Customs Declaration (of carrying more than $10,000): You will be required to complete the Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form 6059B when you enter the U.S. A Sample Customs Declaration Form can be found at the CBP website. If you are bringing more than $10,000, you MUST circle “Yes” for the Question 13.
  • Currency Exchange before Departure: We recommend that you exchange your currency to U.S. dollars in your home country, in case currency exchanges are closed when you arrive. However, you will be able to exchange your currency at a bank in Boise during regular business hours.


You will need to bring a copy of the following documents to the International Student Orientation:

  • Passport (Biographical page)
  • Visa
  • DS-2019 (Front page only)

We recommend that you make at least one extra set of copies of these documents for your personal records