Frequently Asked Questions: Exchange Students

Academic Information

When do classes start and end?

View a typical academic calendar for Syracuse University. Fall semester classes begin in late August and run through mid-December, and are followed by a month-long winter break. Spring semester classes begin in mid-January a run through early May.

Do I have to take an English Proficiency Exam?

Students whose native language is English, or who are currently enrolled in a degree program in English are not required to provide English language test results as part of their initial exchange student application. However, you may be asked to provide an official English language test result at a later point if there is not sufficient proof for the admissions committee to complete their application review. 

All students whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge English Language Assessment  or other accepted exam to be prepared.

A list of of accepted English proficiency exams and score requirements can be found on the Syracuse University Admissions website.

Do I have to take the English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE) once I arrive on campus?

The ELAE exam is used as a placement exam for ENL and WRT courses. The ELAE is not required for exchange students. You should take the exam, though, if you are interested in taking any ENL (English as a Second Language) courses while you are here.

How will I select and register for my classes? 

Students should consult with their academic advisor to enroll in courses for which they meet the prerequisites. Upon receiving your official acceptance letter, you should email your assigned Syracuse academic advisor as soon as possible to select and register for your courses.

Who is my academic advisor?

You will be assigned an academic advisor from one of Syracuse’s schools and colleges based on information you provide in the Course Request form in your application. The name and email address of your academic advisor can be found in your official acceptance letter that you received from Syracuse University.

How many classes can I take during the semester?

You must, with NO exceptions, enroll in at least 12 credits per semester as an undergraduate student. This is usually 4 classes. (Graduate students may enroll in 9 credits, or 3 courses.) Undergraduate students may register for up to 19 credits.

Where can I find the courses that are offered for my semester?

You can find information on classes by exploring the online course catalog.

Where can I find my SUID number?

Your SUID can be found on the acceptance letter that you received from Syracuse University.

How do I activate my SUID?

Before you begin, you will need to activate your NetID by using your SUID number. Begin here by activating your NetID.

What is a MySlice account?

MySlice  is a web portal that allows you to view and interact with your student record. Use MySlice to view your schedule, and pay your bill. You can also register for classes on MySlice.

How and when can I request a copy of my transcript?

Request an academic transcript after you check your MySlice  account to make sure that ALL of your grades have been posted. You will find the transcript request form on the Syracuse University Registrar website.

About Syracuse University

What’s the weather like in Syracuse?

Syracuse has warm summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures typically range from 20-32° C (70-90° F) and in the winter range from -17- -1° C (0-30° F). You should be aware that buildings on campus are centrally heated to about 19° C (68° F) so that when you dress for the day during winter, you must actually accommodate a range of temperatures for transitioning from outside to inside. In the winter, most people tend to layer clothing as opposed to wearing one extremely warm outfit. A coat, hat, snow boots, scarf, and warm gloves are recommended gear for outdoors in the winter, which you can purchase here. You will also want to purchase a warm blanket after you arrive as well. If you arrive in August, it will be warm but the temperatures will get colder starting at the end of October. Snow will begin to fall as early as the end of October and may continue to fall until the end of March or very early April.

How far away is the airport from the SU campus? How much does it cost to take a taxi to campus?

The airport is about a 15 minute drive to campus. There are taxi stands at each end of the airport. You prepay for your trip (approx. $30 cash or credit) at the stand but you will need to tip your driver at the end. You should plan to tip $4-$5. Ubers and Lyft are available to use to get to campus too.

Where can I go to shop for things I need that I could not bring with me?

Destiny USA is one of the biggest shopping malls in the U.S. It is about a 10 minute bus ride from campus. There are also clothing stores on Marshall Street and a pharmacy right around the corner from the University. The SU Bookstore also has bedding available for purchase at the beginning of each semester. If you are residing on-campus, you can pick up bedding at your dorm office for temporary or permanent use.

What about transportation?

Syracuse University provides safe, reliable and free campus shuttle services to faculty, staff, students and visitors. Please refer to this page for Campus Shuttle information.

More information about transportation on and around campus and out of town is available from SU Parking Services.

What is campus safety like?

Information about campus safety, safety programs, and resources, including important announcements and apps, can be found on the Department of Public Safety’s website.

Resources for Exchange Students

What is the Center for International Services?

The Center for International Services is dedicated to the support and success of all international students at Syracuse University. Services include assistance with student visa documents; special orientation programs; English con­versation groups; guidance with immigration compliance; and events that encourage international students to meet people from all over the world. Finally, CIS is the University’s official link with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The International Center provides a new student check-in list for incoming graduate and undergraduate international students. To contact the center, email or call (315) 443-2427.

When is orientation held and what is covered during orientation?

The International Center provides the schedules for International Student Orientation. These schedules will be updated for each semester.

Where can I find information about health insurance?

The Center for International Services provides some information on health insurance for international and exchange students. If you have additional questions, you can contact the Syracuse University Student Health Insurance Office.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

For questions about applying to Syracuse University, contact Sarah Nebhut at

For emergencies, you can reach the Syracuse University Abroad office at (315) 443-3471 from 8:30am until 5:00pm EST. Once you are in the US and if outside of the universities regular business hours, 8:30am – 5:00pm, please call the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety: (315) 443-2224.