Prospective and current international students can learn about visa requirements, pre-advising, financials, health insurance, academic advising, employment, and volunteer opportunities.

Visa Requirements

International Student and Scholar Advising works with thousands of students each year including graduate, undergraduate, law students, medical students, intensive English students, summer session students, and some short-term residency students. Browse through the information below from the International Students and Scholars webpage for important information about the visa requirements to attend Penn State as an exchange student.

Visa Application Steps and SEVIS I-901 Fee

Mandatory Document Check In


For Incoming Students

 Estimated Expenses for 2024 / 2025 Academic Year


Fall Only

Spring Only

Fall + Spring

Spring + Fall

(12 months living estimates)

Tuition (covered) 





Living Expenses










Health Insurance





TOTAL Financial Guarantee for DS-2019:









Proof of Funds

To be issued a DS-2019 you must provide financial documentation for how your educational expenses will be supported for the duration of your J-1 Exchange Visitor Status.

A Financial Guarantee is typically 2 parts:  Proof of funds + a Certification of Financial Support from your guarantor.

Paying your Bursar Semester Bill

There are several options available to pay your semester bill. The Bursar’s Office is responsible for university charges and billing information. For more information on these, go to Payment of Semester Bill


Mandatory Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in F-1 and J-1 status and their accompanying dependents.  The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 exchange visitors (students, scholars, interns, etc.) and their dependents maintain health insurance.  Willful violation of this mandate requires termination of the J-1 status.


Health insurance charges will be on the student bill in LionPATH for all international students.  Students have the first week to apply for an insurance waiver if they have insurance meeting all of the waiver standards; otherwise, they will be automatically enrolled in the Penn State Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP).

The financial guarantee required for the I-20 or DS-2019 includes the estimated amount for health insurance.

Student Health Insurance
228 Bank of America Career Service Center (BOA)
University Park, PA  16802

Tel.: 1-814-865-4847


Office Location and Advising Hours for International Students

410 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-6348 (option 1 for an adviser)
Fax: 814-865-6194

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (closed 12-1 for lunch)

Advising Hours

Schedule a Starfish Appointment

Monday & Tuesday - 1:30 - 5:00 pm
Thursday & Friday - 8:30 am - noon

There are no advising hours on Wednesdays.

Advising by appointment only


Work Eligibility

Please see the Employment section of the International Students and Scholars website for important information about working while attending Penn State.