Exchange program guide

Arrival information

Arrival assistance

Mizzou Study Abroad can provide arrival assistance for exchange students who fly into Columbia Regional Airport, take an airport shuttle from St. Louis to Columbia or are already staying in Columbia. To request assistance, you must complete the arrival information form in your myStudyAbroad account by the deadline. See our getting to Columbia page for more information about transportation options.

International Student Welcome

International Student Welcome is MU’s mandatory orientation for new international students. You will attend specific sessions for exchange students, as well as events for all international students and all Mizzou students. You should plan to arrive in Columbia to attend these events.

  • Check-in session: You must attend one of these mandatory sessions upon arrival at MU.
  • Exchange student orientation: This session will focus on information specific to exchange students.
  • Welcome Week events: Meet other new Mizzou students and learn about cultural adjustment and academic success at MU.

Fall 2021 exchange student orientation schedule


Course registration

You will register for your courses once you arrive at MU. You can research current course offerings ahead of time so you know which courses you want to take. Drop-in course registration assistance will be available during International Student Welcome. You must enroll in at least 12 undergraduate credit hours (or nine graduate credit hours). Enrolling in some courses may require meeting individually with someone in the academic department to obtain a permission number. You are only able to enroll in one online course per semester based on international student enrollment guidelines.

As an exchange student, you are not allowed to enroll in courses in some academic divisions or programs, including:

  • Masters in Business Administration program
  • Many health sciences courses
  • Courses through the School of Accountancy
  • Courses through the School of Journalism (unless you are participating on an exchange program facilitated by the School of Journalism)

You should be flexible and always have alternate selections for each course you wish to take. With more than 100 degree programs at MU, you can find courses to meet your needs and interests in many fields. More information about academics at MU is available in the Exchange Student Orientation Handbook.


When you have completed your exchange program and all bills to MU have been paid, an official transcript will be sent to your home university. If you want a copy for your personal records, you can request an official copy from the Office of the University Registrar, or obtain an unofficial copy in myZou.


On-campus housing

If you would like to live in a residence hall, you must complete the housing request in your myStudyAbroad account by the deadline. You should indicate your room preference on the form, but note that Residential Life cannot guarantee placement in your preferred accommodations. You should complete your housing contract online prior to your arrival in Columbia. This contract is mandatory to secure housing in a residence hall. Do not select your room preference on this contract — your room assignment will be finalized when both the contract and housing request form are completed, and you will receive your assignment when you arrive on campus. More information about on-campus housing is available in the Exchange Student Orientation Handbook.

Off-campus housing

If you plan to live off campus, it is your responsibility to make your own housing arrangements. More information about off-campus housing is available from Off-Campus Student Services and in the Exchange Student Orientation Handbook.


A valid I-20/DS-2019 is required for you to obtain a visa and enter the U.S. and maintain immigration status once you are in the U.S. Educational institutions in the U.S. are required by federal regulation to have documentation of adequate financial support before you may:

  • Receive an I-20/DS-2019
  • Extend or change a program
  • Change financial information on your I-20/DS-2019

You must show proof of having financial resources immediately available to cover 12 months of expenses based on the estimates outlined below. Remember that all fees may change without notice and that specific costs for each student will vary depending on the number of credits, housing options, etc.

Estimated expenses for exchange students

As an exchange student, you will continue to pay tuition and other student fees to your home university. At MU, you will be responsible for the following expenses.

Item(s) Fall 2021 Spring 2022 Academic year 2021/22
Health insurance $958 $1,319 $2,277
Information technology fee $180 $180 $360
International student services fee $125 $125 $250
Living expenses (total)

  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses








TOTAL $8,097 $8,458 $16,555

Course fees: Some departments also assess additional course fees. See the Office of Cashiers website for additional fee information.

You will not pay tuition, student activities, student health, non-Missouri resident and recreation center fees. These fees may show up on your account initially, but will be removed once the add/drop period for the semester has passed.

More information about money and finances is available in the Exchange Student Orientation Handbook.