International Office

The International Office coordinates and administers programs that serve international students, faculty members, staff members, and visitors to the University, as well as University students going abroad. The office is located at 2400 Nueces and is open 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The telephone number is (512) 471-1211.

International Student and Scholar Services

Advisors who are aware of the demands associated with studying in another country are available to assist international students with matters related to their immigration status, cross-cultural adjustment, orientation to the University, financial aid, health insurance, housing, employment, income tax status, social security regulations, and personal problems or concerns. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) also assists in case of an emergency involving an international student or the student’s family. More information about ISSS office hours and services is published by the International Office.

Sponsored Student Program. International students and sponsors of international students are provided advisors, special financial arrangements, required certifications, and supervision while in academic status and under sponsorship.

SEVIS and immigration regulation compliance. Student immigration advisors are available to assist international students with issues regarding immigration status and the immigration service. For example, in accordance with immigration regulations, an international student who seeks to be enrolled for fewer than twelve hours as an undergraduate or fewer than nine hours as a graduate student is referred to ISSS. Withdrawal petitions for international students are referred to ISSS before final action is taken by the appropriate academic dean’s office.

Special programs. The office administers special contract programs consistent with the academic objectives of the University and handles special arrangements for groups, including visiting representatives of other nations.

Mandatory health insurance. The Student Health Insurance Program is mandatory for international students, and the cost is included in the student’s tuition bill each semester. A student who has an acceptable level of coverage under another insurance plan may request a waiver of the mandatory plan through ISSS prior to the twelfth class day each long semester. Dependents in J-2 (exchange visitor) status are also required to have an acceptable level of coverage.

English as a Second Language Services

Several kinds of classes in English for nonnative speakers are available through ESL Services. More information about ESL Services is published by the International Office.

Classes for University undergraduate and international exchange students. ESL Services offers several courses for undergraduate students who need English language support. Each 5-hour course counts toward full-time enrollment, but the courses do not count toward UT degree requirements. However, most exchange students may count the credits towards degree requirements in their home universities. Courses are available for English language improvement in reading, writing, grammar or listening/speaking. Students take a placement test after enrolling and are integrated into one of 7 levels for each course. More information about ESL classes for undergraduate and international exchange students is published by the International Office.

Classes for University graduate students. ESL Services offers several courses for graduate students who would like to improve their English or are required by their departments to do so. Each three-semester-hour course counts toward full-time enrollment, but the courses do not count toward degree requirements. Courses are available in oral communication, academic writing, communication for international teaching assistants. More information about ESL classes for graduate students is published by the International Office.

Classes for everyone. ESL Services offers two intensive English programs that are open to adult nonnative speakers of English. The Academic English Program (AEP) is a full-time academic program for prospective graduate students who have completed their first university degree and plan to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in the United States. English proficiency at the intermediate level or above is required for admission to the program. The English Language Program (ELP) provides both full-time and part-time instruction in general-purpose English for students at all levels of English proficiency, including prospective undergraduates and those interested in improving their communication skills. Both programs offer optional test preparation instruction for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and other admission tests. Discounts are available for part-time study by University students, staff members, and faculty members and University-affiliated family members. More information about these courses can be found online.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad provides information on educational opportunities in other countries, including study abroad, exchange, international internships, research abroad, and study abroad scholarships. Information sessions are offered throughout the year; students are strongly encouraged to attend a session before seeking staff assistance in selecting the program most appropriate to their needs and interests. Session topics, dates, and times can be found on the Study Abroad website.

University programs available to students include reciprocal exchanges with foreign universities; affiliated studies through other organizations and institutions; faculty-led programs, including Maymesters Abroad; internships and international study and research. Students pay a $75 fee to defray the cost of processing applications and of tracking study abroad applicants and students who are abroad; the fee also encourages students to think carefully about the application to go abroad. The application fee is nonrefundable, regardless of whether the student is accepted by or enrolls in a program.

Exchange Programs

Exchange programs allow UT Austin students to enroll at a partner university abroad while continuing to pay UT Austin tuition. These cost-effective programs integrate UT Austin students into the host university and provide access to courses applicable to UT Austin degree plans. Students in exchange programs register for a block of coursework in study abroad (SAB). Students pay a $500 fee per semester to participate in an exchange. Faculty members in the appropriate academic departments review the student’s work to identify equivalent University courses; Study Abroad staff convert grades from the foreign credit system used by the host institution into their University equivalents. Courses and grades are recorded as resident credit. All courses reported to UT on the official transcript from abroad must be represented in some way on the official UT transcript.

Affiliated Programs

Students register for affiliated studies (A S) when they participate in study abroad programs offered by organizations and institutions with which the University has an affiliation agreement. Students enrolled in affiliated studies pay a fee of $600 per semester and are considered full-time students by the University.

After a student takes part in a program offered under an affiliation agreement, University faculty members in the appropriate academic units review the student’s work to identify the equivalent University courses. Courses and grades appear on the student’s academic record, but they are not included in the University grade point average. A student must make a C- or better to earn credit in accordance with UT transfer credit policies. In some circumstances, affiliated studies credit is treated as resident credit; more information is given in the General Requirements for Graduation in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Faculty-Led Programs

Academic units may offer courses taught abroad as a part of their regular curriculum. Students who take these courses follow normal registration procedures and are assessed normal tuition and fees. Additional fees are charged to cover program costs.

International Study and Research

Students may register for international study and research (ISR) if they are conducting research or studying independently abroad. Enrollment requires the approval of the student’s faculty sponsor, graduate advisor (for graduate students) or departmental undergraduate advisor (for undergraduates), and Study Abroad. The approval may cover up to four consecutive long-session semesters and contiguous summer sessions.

Students enrolled in international study and research pay a fee of $600 a semester and are considered full-time students by the University.

Students who register for international study and research are not guaranteed credit for work completed abroad. Students must consult with the departmental undergraduate advisor or the graduate advisor and with the Graduate and International Admissions Center to determine whether credit will be granted.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid, including loans, scholarships, and grants, may be applied toward the cost of study abroad. If study abroad costs exceed the on-campus cost of attending the University, and if the student is eligible for additional aid, the Office of Financial Aid will repackage the student’s aid award based on the budget submitted by the Study Abroad program coordinator, with one exception: students registered for international study and research abroad are not eligible to receive federal financial aid; however, they may use scholarships and grants awarded by the University and outside agencies.

Information about other funding opportunities for study abroad is available on the Study Abroad website. The office administers the campus competition for a number of local and federal grants and scholarships, including the IIE Fulbright and the University's International Education Fee Scholarship (IEFS).

Overseas Insurance

Ensuring that UT Austin students have adequate health and safety support while abroad is a primary goal of the University. All students participating in approved international activities as stipulated by the Student Travel Policy for International Locations are required to pay the International Insurance Coverage Fee. This fee has been established to ensure that all students are systematically and comprehensively covered by an international health insurance policy, an emergency services policy, and a general liability policy. The fee is non-refundable and is scaled to correspond to the length of international activity. Students are also encouraged to maintain their domestic health insurance coverage.

Transfer Credit Policies for Coursework from international Institutions 

Evaluation by the Office of Admissions of course credit earned at an international institution does not constitute approval of the credit for use toward a degree; such approval is solely within the jurisdiction of the student’s academic dean. Policies governing the evaluation of transfer credit from international institutions include the following.

  1. Transfer credit is generally awarded for academic course credit earned from Ministry of Education–accredited institutions.
  2. Rules governing the assignment of transfer credit from United States institutions also apply to transfer credit from international institutions. These rules are given in Transfer Application Review Process.
  3. To receive credit, the student must earn a grade that is comparable to a C- on the grading scale used at the University. The Graduate and International Admissions Center establishes grading scale equivalencies for international institutions.
  4. If the credit was not earned as part of a University-affiliated study abroad program, the symbol CR (credit) will appear on the student’s University record instead of a letter grade.
  5. Transfer credit from a nonaffiliated study abroad (language and culture) program is not assigned a specific University course number. Instead, undesignated credit may be recorded, and the student’s academic dean will determine the specific credit to be allowed for degree purposes on a substitution basis. Both current and previously enrolled University students who attend a nonaffiliated study abroad program may be required, at the discretion of the appropriate language department, to take an examination to earn credit for specific language courses.