Application Process for Student Exchange Scholar

Student Exchange Scholar participants in this category must be pursuing a full course of study at Southwest. Academic training is permitted, if approved by the program sponsor, but study must be the primary purpose of the exchange visitor's program in the United States.

Students are eligible for participation when they are not substantially supported by personal funds and when they meet the funding requirements set forth by the regulations.

Step-by-Step Application Process

  1. The student must first meet the admission requirements as indicated on the International Student's Checklist.
    1. The student should complete the and Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) Exchange Visitor/Scholar Request Form (PDF) [Size: 382 KB], requires Adobe Reader (opens new window) 3-6 months prior to the planned start date to ensure that the exchange visitor will have adequate time to apply for the visa and arrange travel.
  2. In addition to the regular admission requirements, students must provide the following support materials:
    1. Copies of current passport biographical page for scholar and any accompanying dependents.
    2. Financial support – documentation must include sufficient funds to cover tuition and fees, living expenses, health insurance, books/supplies, and completed International Student Financial Support Form (PDF) [Size: 532 KB], requires Adobe Reader (opens new window).
  3. International Student Affairs will issue a DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (opens new window) within five business days of receiving the completed Exchange Visitor/Scholar Request Form (PDF) [Size: 344 KB], requires Adobe Reader (opens new window).
  4. International Student Affairs will notify the student when the DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status is ready and arrange delivery of the DS-2019 and acceptance package.
  5. How to obtain a J-1 Visa.
    1. The student will receive a Southwest welcome guide with the DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status which provides additional advice regarding visa application process. To begin, the student pays the I-901 SEVIS fee (opens new window) and applies for the J-1 Visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate (opens new window). If they determine the person is a bona fide exchange visitor, the J-1 Visa will be granted and the exchange visitor and dependents may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on the DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.
  6. Arrival Procedures
    1. Once the student arrives, he/she must check in with International Student Affairs as soon as possible, no later than within 10 days of start date on DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. Failure to do so will jeopardize the individual's legal status in the U.S.
    2. During check-in/orientation, International Student Affairs will provide the exchange visitor with basic information about the College, Memphis Area, and immigration regulations.