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Information for New J-1 Exchange Students

An "exchange student" is a non-degree, undergraduate-level, student who is at NDSU on a J-1 visa from one of NDSU's partner schools or organizations or those who are sponsored by the U.S. government. This includes any exchange, affiliate or sponsored students. If you are one of these students, please see below for some resources to help you before and after your arrival at NDSU!

Registering for Classes

Step 1: Follow instructions in your admission letter

Be sure that you have followed all instructions in your admission letter BEFORE attempting registration.  **If you have not received your admission letter yet and need these instructions, please email me.

This is a repeat of the information in your admission letter. As noted in your admission letter, you should do the following:

  • Find your Student ID number listed in your admission letter (this may also be referred to as the "EMPLID."
  • Now, please go to the following website to claim your “System ID” at 

    • You will need your Student ID number and your birthdate to complete this process. This System ID is needed for applying for housing and completing course registration in the future.
    • Any questions about this claim process should be directed to the North Dakota University System Help Desk at

Step 2: Sign your "Financial Obligation Agreement"

Everyone will have a financial obligation hold to sign in CampusConnection. Do this first before attempting registration.

If you have difficulties signing this, please see these instructions here:


Step 3: Prepare to register by selecting courses you want to take

While you are waiting for information on how to register, please do the following and start building a list of classes and alternate classes that you are interested in taking during your stay at NDSU.

  1. When choosing your classes, make a list of the classes you would like to take.
  2. Note the days/times these courses are offered, to avoid time conflicts when building your class schedule.
  3. Also, please consider more courses than you intend to take as some courses may not be available for some of the following reasons. For example: 1) The class may not be offered during your requested placement period, 2) the class may be filled to capacity, 3) you may not meet the pre-requisites to enroll, or 4) the course/program is selective and/or not available to exchange/affiliate students.
Resources to help you make your list:
Special Vocabulary:

Course prerequisites (Prereq): Prerequisites indicate the academic background, academic level, or other requirements considered necessary for enrollment in the course. Most prerequisites are specific courses, however, equivalent preparation is usually acceptable.

Course co-requisites (Coreq): Co-requisites indicate courses to be taken concurrently with the course described. Instructor or department permission may override a prerequisite or co-requisite.

Step 4: Read these Important Reminders

  1. You will be entering NDSU as an undergraduate student, which means you can only register for 100, 200, 300, or 400 level classes. Any 500, 600, 700 or 800 level classes are graduate-level classes and you will not be allowed to take them.
  2. Also, the following program areas/courses are also not available to exchange students: Pharmacy, Nursing, the Intensive English Language Program, Accounting, Finance, Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Mathematics, Teacher Education, Construction Management or Construction Engineering. Please see the NDSU exchange/affiliate fact sheet for an up-to-date listing of restricted areas.

    • No course requests in these areas will be allowed. The restricted areas are subject to change at any time depending on limited space available in programs. In addition, if a student does not meet the needed background or prerequisites to enroll in a course or program, subject areas may become unavailable. We recommend students agree to remain flexible in course registration during the admission and class registration process.

  3. If you would like to take a course to improve your English - as an international or multilingual student, you are recommended to enroll in the following sections of English:

    1. English Composition I: ENGL 110-01 (class# 3109) or ENGL 110-02 (class# 3110)
    2. English Composition II: ENGL 120-55 (class# 6659)

  4. Also note that many "HNES" sports classes will have an extra fee attached to it, that in most cases you will be required to pay for on your own. Also, sometimes sports classes may be offered off-campus in the community, so please read the details of the course carefully before enrolling.
  5. PLEASE NOTE: As an international student, you are required to register for a minimum of 12 credits each semester to maintain your immigration status. Only one on-line class can count towards this 12-credit minimum, so you are limited to 1 online class– always consult with Sara Johnson or Amy Knudson first if you plan to take an online class in the event it is not allowed by your home school or sponsor.

Step 5: Wait for More Information on Registration

After you have followed the instructions in your admission letter, and have made a list of the courses you want to take: About a month after admission (usually in late May for Fall admits - and in early December for Spring admits), you'll receive an email from your international student advisor at NDSU with instructions on how to register. Please wait for this email before attempting any registration.

This email will include the following:
  1. Reminders about registration, including restricted areas that exchange students cannot enroll in
  2. A link to a survey form that will help our office assist you with any course permissions.

Step 6: Registration email received? Begin to Register.

Do not begin this process until you have received the special registration email from the incoming exchange coordinator at NDSU.

  1. Go to the NDSU website,, and click on “Online Services”, then on “Campus Connection”.
  2. At the Campus Connection website you'll need to enter your System User ID and password that you claimed soon after you were admitted with the instructions in your admission letter.
  3. Then, follow the navigation of Student Self-Service, Learner Services, Academics (on the right-hand side of the screen), Enroll in a Class, Click on Fall 2018, and then click on Add Classes.

Tips for Registering

Finding classes that are open - and attempting enrollment

When registering:

  • A green circle means the class is still open
  • A blue square means that the class is closed – no more students are allowed to register. You can watch this course to see if it opens, but it probably will remain closed and you most likely will not be able to take this course.
  • A yellow triangle shows classes that are considered “wait listed.” This means the class is currently full and students are already on a list waiting to register. This means you most likely will not be able to take “Wait List” courses. You should watch your progress on the wait list and if you are still not enrolled when classes begin, please go to the first class and visit with the instructor.

After enrolling, you should see the word “Success” and see a green checkmark to show that you have successfully added a course.

If you received an error, keep reading below.

What if I get an error when registering?

IMPORTANT: It is very normal to receive an error when trying to register. Some students may find themselves with an error on most classes they enroll in – and others may have fewer issues, depending on your area of study. We have a process in place to help you with any errors – and that special survey form link was provided to you in an email. Please read the email and this page very carefully as it will help avoid confusion during registration.

If you want to request a class but you received an “Error” message, please fill out our web form which will include the specific details of the class in which you would like to enroll. We can then request permission for you to possibly take the course.

You may be receiving this error because of pre-requisites needed, sophomore or junior standing, etc. It is important that you meet all pre-requisites for taking a particular course, which means that your academic transcripts must show that you have taken classes similar to the required NDSU coursework and that you have the appropriate background to take the class.

If you get an error based on a "co-requisite" - this means that you must also enroll for that co-requisite course at the same time as the course you are trying to register for, or sometimes this also means that you must have had that course already.

  • If you enroll yourself for a class that you do not possess the appropriate course background for, the department/instructor reserves the right to drop you from the course. So, it is very important that if the course lists a special pre-requisite condition or course that you meet all of these conditions.
  • If you received an Error for any courses. it may take some time to receive a response regarding your permission to register. It may take time to hear back from the department and gain appropriate class permissions for you. The time for us to gain permission for you sometimes takes up to 2 days, but other times it may take 1 week or more, especially during Summer Break, Thanksgiving Holiday or Winter Break, or if an instructor is out of the office. We will contact you as soon as we hear back, to let you know if you can enroll.

Keep in mind that my office actually does not register you in the course – If you had an error when you tried to register for a course/courses, what we do is receive your request and forward it to the department with a copy of your transcript. They then look at your background and determine if you can register. Then, they email me back and let me know if you can enroll and then I email you, to tell you that a permit has been issued if they can allow your enrollment. And then at that time, you go in and finish the enrollment process from your enrollment "shopping cart." This is the reason the process takes some time so please be patient as we work with the department on permit approval.

What if I need help accessing CampusConnection?

NDSU OneStop

Here you can find detailed information in areas such as searching for courses, registering for classes, etc.

CampusConnection: Problems logging in or have questions about your System ID
  • Please call the N.D. University System Help Desk at 866-457-6387 or submit a Help Desk ticket online:

Take the Math Placement Test

Most exchange students do not need to take the math placement test. This is optional, but any exchange student can take it.

If you are going to register for a course that requires a special math background/equivalent in the course description (or if the professor needs to know the extent of your math background), we recommend you take the math placement test. If you choose to take it as an exchange student, please email us at to let me know you've taken it.


Your Arrival

Orientation info

For more important information about your arrival, please view this page which includes updates about Orientation in addition to required immunizations and your arrival in Fargo:

Break Housing (for Thanksgiving, Winter and/or Spring Breaks)

If you will be living on-campus during these breaks, you must request break housing because the residence hall license contract does not include housing costs during breaks.

To qualify for break housing at NDSU, students must apply through the website of Residence Life. The application and the deadline for requesting break housing will be posted on their website when applications become available:

ISEP students please see the "Resources for ISEP Exchange Students" section below for more information on Break Housing.

Resources for ISEP Exchange Students Only

  • Guides and Tips page from

  • Notes on Break Housing/Meal Stipends
    Please refer to NDSU's "IIS (Institutional Information Sheet)" that you received upon your placement at NDSU. It contains information about break housing. 1) Thanksgiving and Spring Break: Students stay in permanent housing over Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks and the break housing is covered in ISEP benefits; Students should notify their ISEP Coordinator in advance if they will be staying in break housing during these times; 2) Winter Break: Students may be moved into temporary on-campus housing during winter holiday break as well. 3) Any student wishing to take advantage of Winter Break housing must notify the ISEP Coordinator before November 15 to receive Winter Break housing benefits. 4) Other notes: To qualify for break housing at NDSU, students must apply through the website of Residence Life. The application and the deadline for requesting break housing will be posted on their website when applications become available:; 5) Meal benefits during vacation periods: ISEP meal benefits are available through stipends which are issued for students who elect to remain in on-campus housing during Thanksgiving and Spring Break based on usual on-campus cafeteria costs. Please inform your ISEP Coordinator at NDSU if you are staying on campus during Thanksgiving and Spring Break. Please note no meal benefits are available during Winter Break.



Resources for World Learning UGRAD Program Students Only

You are provided with the required NDSU international student health insurance through UnitedHealthcare StudentResources, and World Learning pays this on your behalf. Also, as part of your program participation, you may also have been provided by World Learning with a health benefit plan through ASPE. You can choose to use the ASPE plan, however, we recommend you instead use the UHCSR plan because it is more comprehensive coverage and will cover you better when you seek care on the NDSU campus in particular. 

Therefore, as soon as you see a charge appear on your NDSU student account from the NDSU Student Health Service, you must do the following to file a claim. Click here and scroll to the section on the FAQ page about using the Student Health Service.

If any of your charges on your account remain unpaid after your UGRAD program is over at NDSU, your transcript cannot be released, so it is very important to file insurance claims quickly and have a zero when you leave NDSU.


Travel Signatures

General Information on Travel Signatures and Processing Time in the ISSAS Office

Special Notes for ISEP Exchange Students

Be sure to drop off your original DS-2019 at the ISSAS office upon your arrival - your incoming ISEP coordinator must mail the DS-2019 to ISEP in Arlington, VA for a travel signature in the event you will need to return home during your stay.

Requirements for Travelling to Canada During your J-1 Program

Depending on your home country, and method of travel to Canada - you may not need a tourist visa to enter Canada. Please see this page for more information:

  • Students who don't need a visa to go to Canada still may need a special electronic travel authorization to enter Canada by air or even transit through a Canadian airport. Find out more about the "eTA" here: 


Preparing for your departure from Fargo

(1) How to Request your Transcript (your grade report/marks from NDSU)

Type of J-1 Undergraduate StudentHow to Request
ISEP Exchange

NDSU will request 1 transcript on your behalf, to be sent directly to ISEP. You do not need to do anything special to request it.

When ISEP receives it, they will send it to your coordinator at your home institution. This request is usually completed by late May/early June for those leaving in May of each year - and in late December/early January if you are leaving in December.

If you want more copies for yourself or other purposes, follow the instructions below.

NDSU Exchange or
Affiliate Student
Follow instructions below
(including World Learning UGRAD students)
Follow instructions below
Process for Requesting an "Official Transcript"

Instructions on ordering can be found here:

If you have any questions about ordering or have problems while placing the order, please contact the Office of Registration and Records at NDSU:

When grade access begins each semester (see this page for these dates), check your student account to view your grades and once all grades have posted, request the transcript(s).


  • It can be mailed internationally to the address(es) of your choice (mailing costs will be listed on order form). It is possible for you to order in advance before grades are final, and the transcript will be generated later when grades have been posted.

    • To do this, however, you must indicate “Send After Grades are Posted…” on the request.

  • If you want an unofficial copy for yourself, you can get a copy here (which can be accessed through your web browser and downloaded/printed as a PDF):   

(2) Checking out of your residence hall

All J-1 students must follow all rules and deadlines associated with cancelling for the next term, or checking out of your residence hall.

Please contact your RA, Hall Director, or the main Residence Life office in Bison Court West if you have any questions about the procedures to follow.

Important Residence Life dates/deadlines to follow can be found here:

Some students return home and then find out they have a charge on their account, but thought their bill was paid. Sometimes, you may be charged for room damages or a lost key. If you see any charges on your account after you leave Fargo, and you have questions about it, please contact Residence Life for more information on the reason for the charge, and pay your bill as soon as possible.


(3) Filing U.S. Taxes - Deadline April 17, 2018

Even if you did not earn any income in the 2017 calendar year, but you were here during that time, you are still required to fill out a tax form (8843) to report your presence in the U.S., and there may be other forms to fill out if you need to file because of the income you earned.

Please see our website here for more information on FNTR, a free tax preparation software. If you were an exchange student in 2017 but you did not receive an email with a special access code, please email Amy Knudson or Sara Johnson for more information and one can be provided to you. 

Also, you may receive email communications from NDSU regarding form "1098-T." If you receive an email about this form because NDSU is requesting a "TIN" (Tax Identification Number), please contact the Office of Registration and Records to comply with the request, and tell them you do not have a "TIN." If you had authorization to work on-campus, you would have a Social Security Number - and provide them the SSN instead of a TIN. 

30-day grace period

Remember that you have a 30-day "grace period" after your J-1 program end date, in which you can remain in the U.S. and travel, or prepare for your departure. Some sponsored students may already have a ticket purchased for them and must go home on the date specified by their sponsor, but most other students are allowed this full 30-day grace period.

You do not need a travel signature to leave the U.S. after your J-1 program is over.

However, if you have plans to travel to Canada or Mexico after your stay at NDSU - and to re-enter the U.S. and leave for your home country, please email for more information.

Are you travelling to Canada after your J-1 program at NDSU?

No travel signature is needed on your DS-2019 if you are departing the United States at the end of your J-1 program.

If you are travelling to Canada (or Mexico) after your J-1 exchange/affiliate program is done at NDSU, and planning to re-enter the U.S., please email the J-1 Student Coordinator, Amy Knudson, and she can explain the logistics of your travel after your J-1 program is over.

Depending on the type of your J-1 program and country of origin, your instructions may vary.

Helpful links

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7895 - Fax: +1 (701) 231-1014
Campus address: Memorial Union 116
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave / Memorial Union 116, Fargo, ND  58102
Page manager: International Student and Study Abroad Services

Last Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 12:22:03 PM
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