Pre-Arrival Information

International Student Guide

The International Education Office has developed a PDF guide to aid new international students in their arrival and transition to UC Santa Cruz. In the guide you will find information on entering the U.S., health services and immunization requirements, transportation, housing, driver's licenses, local events and activities, and more. Click here to download the guide.

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Enrolling in Classes

Course Schedules:

You can access the Schedule of Classes by going to

Enrollment Instructions:

Enrollment Information
Enrollment Appointments FAQs

Enrollment FAQs
Waitlist FAQs

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Housing Options


All undergraduate students are affiliated with one of UCSC’s 10 colleges. In addition to housing students in small-scale residential communities, each college provides academic support, organizes student activities, and sponsors events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus.

Students that accept offer of admission to UC Santa Cruz will be asked to complete an online acceptance process. During the acceptance process you will be asked to indicate five UCSC college preferences. You may also choose to indicate “no preference,” as many students do, meaning you will be fine with any of our 10 colleges.

Once you have been affiliated with a college, the Campus Housing Office will send you information about the housing options available to you and instructions for the application process. Campus housing offers great options and the ultimate in convenience to help you get the most out of your experience at UCSC. Whether in an apartment or a residence hall you will benefit from the supportive environment that will help you succeed in your academic goals. Additional benefits include:

  • Convenience of living near classes, dining halls, and resources like the bookstore, libraries, computer labs, health center, and recreational/athletic facilities
  • Themed living/learning housing options for those who are interested
  • Dedicated professional and student staff support

Education Abroad Program (EAP) Student Options

EAP students can choose to apply to live at their affiliated college, The Village, or the University Town Center. Additionally, many visiting students are interested in living in the International Living Center. The International Living Center (ILC) offers a unique living environment fostering understanding and friendship among people from different nations. Half of the ILC's residents are from the U.S. and half are international. Students that become affiliated with either College Nine or College Ten will have the option to express an interest in the ILC during the online housing application process.

Family Student Apartments

Students and their families (spouse or domestic partner, other relative, or dependent children) can apply to live in these two-bedroom town homes, most including a balcony area or small yard. Units are unfurnished but come equipped with a full kitchen. Facilities also include a counseling center, play areas, and laundry rooms. UCSC Early Education Services offers several child care programs, serving children ranging in age from 14 months to 12 years. See Housing for Students With Families.

Off-Campus Rentals

Students interested in finding their own accommodations in the off-campus community are encouraged to use the resources available through the UCSC Community Rentals Office. Community Rentals maintains online rental listings and serves as an information and advising resource. Visit the Community Rentals website to learn more about your rental options including:

  • Average rates
  • Your legal rights as a renter
  • How to conduct a successful housing search

The Community Rentals Office has also created a webpage of tips for international students interested in renting in Santa Cruz.

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Purpose of J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

The J Exchange Visitor program was developed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people from other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. The Exchange Visitor Program provides opportunities for foreign nationals to participate in programs in the U.S. and then return home to share their experiences.

The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Below is the DOS contact information for the Exchange Visitor Program:

Mailing Address:
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Department of State
State Annex SA-5, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20522-0505

Phone Number: (202) 632-9310
Fax Number: (202) 632-2701
Email Address:

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212(e) Two Year Home Residency Requirement & 12-month bar for J-1 Students


Certain (not all) J-1 students and their J-2 dependents are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement (also known as 212(e)), and thus are obligated to return to their last country of legal residence for an aggregate of at least two years before they are eligible for H-1B, L, K visas, or Permanent Resident status. Please note that if a J-1 student is subject to the 212(e), any J-2 dependents are also subject to the 212(e).

This requirement applies to those whose:

  1. Program was financed to some extent by the U.S. government or the student’s home country;
  2. Skill appears in the Exchange Visitors Skills list as identified by the student’s home country government;
  3. Purpose in coming to the U.S. was to receive graduate medical education or training.

For details regarding who may be subject to the 212(e) please visit this Department of State website.

Advisory Opinion

A J-1 visa stamp or DS-2019 will have a statement in the bottom left hand corner of the form, as follows: “Bearer [is or is not] subject to section 212(e). Two year rule [does or does not] apply [name of country].” This is a preliminary endorsement by the Consular Officer or Immigration Officer regarding 212(e). You may request an Advisory Opinion from the Department of State (DOS) Waiver Review Division when you have doubt or question about this preliminary endorsement. For details on how to request an Advisory Opinion, please visit the DOS website.


A J-1 student may request that the Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement be waived from DOS. For details on how to request a Waiver please visit the DOS website.

Please note that once DOS sends a recommendation to the Department of Homeland Security that a waiver of the 212(e) be granted, no extension or transfer of the J-1 program is possible.

12-Month Bar

Students who have been in the United States for more than 6 months of the previous year (12 months) in J visa status are not eligible to begin a new program in the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for a 12-month period. Please note that if a J-1 student is subject to this 12-month bar, any J-2 dependents are also subject to the 12-month bar. The 12-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the U.S. in any other visa status.

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