Exchange Students

Welcome to the website for international exchange students interested in studying at Loyola University New Orleans!

Loyola is located in the vibrant city of New Orleans, Louisiana. With its unique cuisine, vibrant music scene (which of course includes Jazz), numerous museums and historical sites, and flourishing arts community, New Orleans provides an ideal setting for achieving a cultural experience few cities can match. Students experience southern hospitality, rich tradition, and undeniable charm that makes New Orleans a truly fascinating home away from home.

Here's what exchange students have said about Loyola:

"It was definitely more than I expected. I met so many nice people, saw so many different places, came to understand America a little better..."

"It was awesome!"

"It was really great. I think that it was a great opportunity to discover the culture, the country and to improve my English."

Click on the tabs below for information about Loyola and New Orleans:

    How to Apply

    Congratulations on being nominated to study at Loyola!

    Your advisor at your home institution must send the following information to

    - Name
    - Date of Birth
    - E-mail address
    - Gender

    Once we have receive this information we will send you your login information so that you can complete the online application. Once your application is complete, we will issue a DS-2019 to be used to obtain a J-1 visa. Your acceptance packet will include your DS-2019 immigration document, immunization and health forms, and other relevant information.

    Student Visa Application Process

    If you are coming to Loyola University from outside the U.S., you will need to have a J-1 exchange visitor visa to enter the U.S. You cannot study full-time at the university on either a B-2 tourist visa or the visa waiver program.

    Visa procedures vary from one consulate or embassy to another, so it is very important that you check the website of the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country for specific instructions.

    Three main phases are involved in the visa application process:
    1. Gain acceptance to Loyola exchange program
    2. Receive DS-2019 immigration document
    3. Apply for visa

    Once you have gained admission and received your immigration document (DS-2019), you can apply for a J-1 Visa. The consular officer will place a visa in your passport. You can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the beginning of the program. If you encounter any problems obtaining your visa, contact the Center for International Education, or (504)864-7550.

    Visit our visa website to learn more about applying for a visa.

    Pre-Departure Information

    The Center for International Education (CIE) has prepared this checklist to assist you before your arrival in New Orleans.

    - Valid passport: Ensure that your passport is valid at least six months into the future.

    - Certificate of eligibility: Form DS-2019.

    - Valid J-1 visa (not required for Canadian citizens).

    - I-901 SEVIS Fee: Proof of I-901 fee payment must be presented at the visa interview or port of entry.

    - Financial Support: Proof of financial support for your studies will be required upon entering the U.S.

    - Immunization Records: Be sure to fill out and bring the Immunization and Medical History form that was sent to you by Loyola.

    - Health Insurance Waiver: You should have received a health insurance waiver form in your admission packet from Loyola. Loyola University requires that all F-1 and J-1 students have health insurance. You will be charged an insurance fee and covered under a policy obtained by Loyola on your behalf, unless you submit proof of comparable personal coverage by the deadline.

    - Residence Hall Application: Ensure that you have appplied for housing through Residential Life.

    - Airport to Campus:  The university can be easily reached by taxi or by the Airport Shuttle. Taxis cost $33 and the Airport Shuttle costs $20. Taxis from the airport do not turn on their meters because the prices are fixed. Taxis are located outside the baggage claim area and there is often a line for the taxis. Tickets for the Airport Shuttle can be purchased by the door exiting the baggage claim. The railroad and bus stations are located downtown, a short distance from the university. If you know the residence hall in which you are staying, you can tell the driver to take you directly there. If you do not know your residence hall and you arrive between the hours of 8:30 and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can call CIE at +1-504-864-7550 or Residential Life at +1-504-865-2445 for your residence hall and room number. After hours or on the weekend, call the Loyola Department of Public Safety at +1-504-865-3434.


    - International Student Orientation: International Student Orientation is mandatory for all international students. At the orientation, we will provide you with information which you, as an international student, must know. The orientation will be held in Mercy Hall Room 301. Please bring your passport, DS-2019 and I-94 to check-in. For more information and a tentative schedule, visit the Orientation website.

    For more pre-departure information, visit our pre-departure website.

    Loyola Courses

    Once you have been accepted, we will ask for a list of the courses you wish to take. Courses can be found on the Loyola website called LORA. From this website go to the schedule of classes. Courses are available for the fall semester in late-March and for the spring in mid-October. We do not have a list of courses being offered prior to this information being published.  You can get an idea of what courses are offered in the fall and spring by going to a previous term in the schedule of classes and reviewing the courses and the syllabi.

    If you want to see course descriptions, go to the Bulletin, click on the appropriate college, and then the subject and you should see links for the course descriptions.  You can also go directly to the department websites by doing a search on the Loyola website.  If you have specific questions, CIE will be happy to help, but we cannot tell you which courses will be offered in advance of when the schedule is available nor provide you with more information than what is available on the website. 

    You should carefully review any prerequisites for the courses. While you do not need to have the exact course, you should have the background knowledge required for the course that you want to take.

    You may be able to register for courses that are listed as closed but we will need to get the authorization of the instructor. All students wishing to take courses for music majors must submit an audition tape.

     If you have any questions, please contact

    Residence Halls & Meal Plans

    Residence Halls
    Living in a residence hall provides you with the opportunity to make new friends and to learn and live with a diverse group of people. Living with a roommate also provides you the chance to learn more about yourself, as well as the other person.

    In order to live on-campus in one of Loyola's residence halls, you must apply for housing. To apply you will first need to fill out the "Application for Students from Partner Schools," which is one of the items to complete in your online application.

    Within a week of completing the "Application for Students from Partner Schools" you will receive an email from Residential Life with login instructions and an explanation of what you need to do to apply for housing.

    Housing assignments will be made in July for the fall semester and in December for the spring semester. You will be notified by email with information about your residence hall assignment and roommate(s).

    For more information about the Residence Halls, visit the Residential Life website. 

    Meal Plan Options

    Weekly Meal Plans
    The weekly meal plans let you enjoy all-you-care-to-eat dining once per meal period for breakfast, lunch and dinner depending on your chosen level - either 12 , 15 or 19 meals per week. NOTE: The set amount of meals per week expires at the end of the week.

    Block Meals
    Block Meals provide a guaranteed number of all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester. Simply present your dining card at the Orleans Dining Room entrance and your meal is deducted from the semester meal balance in your account. Bring a friend! You may use more than one Block Meal during a specific meal period.

    You may use your wolfbucks at any location on campus. They work like bank debit cards. Each time you make a purchase, the total is subtracted from the balance in your account. Plus, woflbucks can be added to your card at any time. Also you may use your wolf bucks at Tulane University as part of our Uptown Campus Dining program. Just visit to view the specifics.

    How Do I Choose?
    Unless you know that you will be eating most of your meals on campus every week, it is better to choose a block plan or just wolfbucks. Most past exchange students have been satisfied with a combination of one of the block meal plans + $500 wolfbucks per semester. Some students have been happy with just $500 wolfbucks per semester, but a few students who have chosen only wolfbucks said that they used all of them before the end of the semester.

    NOTE: ISEP students can select any combination of meal plan and/or stipend equal to the cost of the "Combo Plan."

    For more information about meal plan options, visit the Campus Dining website.

    International Student Orientation

    The Center for International Education has a special orientation session designed specifically for exchange students.The orientation covers information that you as an international student need to know whether this is your first time in the U.S. or you have studied here already.

    The orientation includes immigration and SEVIS information sessions, academic and cultural opportunities available at Loyola and in New Orleans, academic and social activities, information on working in the U.S. and much more. This special orientation provides a wonderful opportunity for you to meet other international students and it's a great way for you to begin your Loyola experience.

    Please remember to bring your passport and DS-2019. For an example schedule or to read more about orientation, check the orientation website.

    NOTE: Exchange students are not required to attend the general orientation held for all incoming students called "New Student Orientation." Even though you are not required to attend this orientation, you may still get an email from Loyola telling you that you need to register. Please disregard such emails.

    Getting Involved

    Through the INBUS program, all exchange students are matched with US buddies to help them adjust, meet the locals and explore the city. Additionally, Loyola hosts a wide variety of student organizations for internationally-minded students including the following: ISA (International Student Association), LASO (Loyola Asian Student Organization), GBA (Global Business Association),and the MSA (Muslim Student Association). Of course, you can also join any of the more than 120 student organizations.

    Loyola exchange students have also been active in a number of activities on-campus and off including:

    • Marching in a Mardi Gras parade with the university dance team
    • Singing with Genesis, the Gospel Choir
    • Touring the antebellum plantations and slave cabins upriver from New Orleans
    • Rebuilding New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity
    • Visiting jazz clubs and the French Quarter
    • And much much more...

    INBUS (International Buddies)

    INBUS aims to better integrate exchange and international students into the Loyola community. Often making the transition to the U.S. from another country can be overwhelming and intimidating to students.

    By pairing buddies from Loyola with incoming internationals, we hope to create long lasting friendships and support systems that are of mutual benefit to the students. 

    We encourage students to come to our monthly meetings during the semester with their buddies. Our events are planned to give students an opportunity to experience something important to our city, region and culture as Americans. We have gone on Swamp Tours, Fais Do-Do at Tipitinas, attended Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day Parades, as well as planned group dinners and BBQs in previous semesters.

    Please visit the inBUS Facebook page.

    International Student Association (ISA)
    The International Student Association (ISA) is an organization that works to foster cultural understanding on Loyola's campus. ISA is a great way to meet new people from different countries and backgrounds and to help people understand where you come from.

    We sponsor both on-campus and off-campus activities that promote cultural diversity and encourage international students to learn about the rich cultural heritage of New Orleans and Louisiana. We educate students, faculty and staff on international student issues through open forums, speakers and film series.

    We have two signature events--the Country Fair and the International Student Scholarship Banquet, but we also have a range of smaller activities such as volunteer work, student panels, field trips, movie nights and other fun activities that involve interacting with different cultures.
    ISA is open to all Loyola students. We would love to have you as a part of ISA.

    For more information or if you would like to join ISA, please visit the ISA website or Facebook page.

    About Loyola

    With 2,655 undergraduates from all 50 states and over 40 countries, Loyola is a great place to spend your semester or year abroad. Loyola offers students a wide variety of academic programs, ranging from arts and sciences to business to music, all taught in the Jesuit tradition of educating the whole person.

    Our faculty consists of highly-qualified experts in their fields who are always available to assist students with their academic endeavors. Loyola's campus is ideal for international students who want to be a part of a close-knit university community. Loyola offers on-campus student accommodation.

    Click here to read about what make Loyola unique, including Loyola's History, Jesuit tradition and more.

    Loyola Express Card
    All students, once they are enrolled, are eligible for a student ID card. At Loyola this is called an Express card. This card will have your name and picture on it, as well as your ID number.

    Your express card has a variety of purposes. You can load money onto the card and use it to pay for things (from food, photocopies, checking out books), or if you have a meal plan this will track your spending. This card is also like a key and gets you into your residence hall and a variety of other places on campus.

    To get an Express card, you can visit Parking services on the 1st Floor of Biever Hall across from University Police. Click here to read more about the Express card.

    Academic Calendar
    Click here for a detailed calendar of important dates, including holidays, registration periods, and the dates for the Fall and Spring semester.

    New Orleans is tropically warm and humid in the summer; however, all buildings are air-conditioned. Lightweight summer clothing is appropriate most of the time, but it can get quite cold from November through February. The winter is short, but there are times when the temperature drops below freezing. Fall and spring are often very beautiful with bright, warm days and cool nights. Bring an umbrella.

    Click here if you wish to familiarize yourself further with the New Orleans region before your arrival.

    J-1 Student Employment

    The information below will provide you with an introduction to the various categories of J-1 employment that may be available to you. A Note of Caution: You should not assume that you are automatically eligible to work in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers unauthorized employment to be a serious violation of your J-1 status. Please consult with the Center for International Education (CIE) before accepting any employment.

    On-Campus Employment
    J-1 exchange students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters if they get permission in advance. During official school breaks, students can work full-time (over 20 hours per week). Students interested in working on-campus can complete an employment application in the Human Resources office or look online at the HR student employment website.

    Most students, however, find jobs by inquiring at offices and departments around campus. J-1 students are not eligible for the Federal Work-Study program because it is funded by the U.S. government. However, you can apply for all student assistant positions, which are funded by the various campus departments.

    If you are hired:

    • You will need to request a letter approving you for employment from CIE.
    • You will need to apply for a social security number.
    • You will be required to file federal and state income taxes each year. CIE will help you with the tax filing process.

    Off-Campus Employment (Academic Training)
    To apply for off-campus employment, please meet with Kristy Magner after arriving at the Center for International Education.

    J-1 students may participate in academic training, with or without compensation, both while enrolled in school and after completion of the program of study. The training may not exceed the amount of time spent in the course of study and must be approved by CIE before the expiration date of the DS-2019.

    For more information about off-campus employment, visit our employment website.

    REMEMBER: do not begin working on or off campus until you have received written approval from the Center for International Education.

    Billing Information

    Exchange students do not pay Loyola tuition charges or special fees because of our arrangements with your home campus through our exchange program.

    You are responsible for paying your housing costs and Loyola will bill your student account for the cost of room and board (except for ISEP students). You will also be charged for the Loyola Health Insurance plan.

    Loyola charges will be due before the first day of class at Loyola. The due date for the fall semester is August 1, the due date for the spring semester is December 10. You can pay a few different ways:

    1. Online through Flywire. With Flywire, you set up the payment amount to Loyola, they calculate any conversion and fees, and then give you a quote for the cost in your currency.  That quote is locked in for a specified time frame giving you time to initiate the payment with your financial institution.

    2. Online through your LORA account (we will send you login information before you arrive at Loyola).

    3. In person at the Bursar's Office.