Frequently Asked Questions: Exchange Students

Health insurance for Exchange students

We provide information for exchange students looking for health insurance.

Matriculated Part-Time Students, Non-Matriculated Students, Students on OPT and Visiting Scholars

The following individuals are NOT subject to the new University requirement of an ACA compliant health insurance policy written in the U.S.:

  • Non-matriculated students (Syracuse Abroad Exchange Students, Humphrey Fellows)
  • Students applying for or approved for OPT
  • Visiting Scholars in J-1 Professor, Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar, Specialist, or Intern Status

This group is NOT eligible for the AETNA plan.

Recommended Insurance Policies

Four policies are recommended for acceptable coverage:

It is strongly advised that you do not have a lapse in coverage. If your current coverage expires before arrival, sign up for new coverage as soon as possible, even if you will not be in the U.S. until a later date. You should never have a lapse in coverage, even when you are out of the country.

Please provide the Center for International Services with a copy (either electronic or hard copy) of your enrollment agreement, and the receipt with starting and ending dates of your coverage. You must have health insurance in effect every day of your stay in the U.S.

If you have questions, you may contact Syracuse University Student Health Insurance Office.

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 students should be advised that they 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. It is recommended for all students whose native language is not English to take the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or other accepted exam to be prepared, should you be required later to provide test results.

Please review the English proficiency exam score requirements on the Syracuse University website.

What colleges at Syracuse can I apply to?

You can apply to seven of our colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, L.C. Smith College of Engineering & Computer Science, Falk College of Sport & Human Dynamics, the School of Information Studies, Whitman School of Management, and the College of Visual & Performing Arts, although some classes are restricted in VPA.

What colleges have application restrictions?

Newhouse School of Public Communications is open to students at Stuttgart Media Univesity, DMJX and IDC Herzilya only. The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Architecture is open to students enrolled in professional degree programs ONLY and subject to portfolio review prior to acceptance by Syracuse University.

What types of courses can I take?

You will be able to enroll in almost any undergraduate course that does not require a pre-requisite or for Syracuse University students only.

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. A class schedule can be found here.

When can I register for my classes?

More information about registration is available here.

Who is my academic advisor?

This information can be found on your acceptance letter that you received from Syracuse University.

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 a 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. When 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. Not only do we offer schedules for our on campus services, but also services that are available from campus to various points of interest within the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County.

A mobile tracking app will be available for all of our regularly scheduled transit services.

In and around Syracuse University: Information about transportation on and around campus and out of town is available from SU Parking Services.

What is campus safety like?

The university’s Rave Guardian app is used by students to enhance and track safety throughout campus. The app provides links to important campus resources and allows students to submit tips, use SafeWalk, and connect with emergency services. Rave Guardian integrates seamlessly with the Orange Alert system on campus. Learn more from DPS.

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.

How do I register for new student orientation and when is orientation held?

The International Center provides a registration form and updated dates on their website.

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.