UKIC / Education Abroad & Exchanges / Incoming Exchanges To UK

Incoming Exchanges To UK

Incoming Exchanges

Each semester the University of Kentucky welcomes non-degree seeking exchange students from our many international partner institutions. The first step for undergraduate students interested in attending UK on exchange is to speak with the education abroad or international office at their home institution. Students must be officially nominated by their home institution and approved by UK before they can start the UK exchange application process.

UK cannot accept applications from students not officially nominated by their home institution, or from institutions with whom UK does not have an active exchange agreement in place.

Graduate Students

Most UK exchange agreements are designed for undergraduate students. Graduate students must contact the education abroad or international office at their home institution to ask if it is possible for them to participate in the program.

Cost of Attendance

Approximate Cost of Undergraduate Study at the University of Kentucky, 2020-21
Tuition and Fees Included in exchange benefits*
Room and Board $12,000
Books and Supplies $1000
Health Insurance $2,641 ($1,003 fall term / $1,638 spring term)
ISSS J-1 Fee $160 (not included in bilateral exchange)

Estimated Personal $812
Academic Year Total: $16,613** (approximately $8,307 per semester)**


* Incoming ISEP students pay tuition, room and board to their home institution. ISEP provides assistance with immigration and visa support documentation. Incoming ISEP participants do not pay the ISSS J-1 fee as it is included in the costs paid to ISEP. ** fees are subject to change without notice.



Undergraduate TOEFL® 527 (197 CBT, 71 iBT) / IELTS 6.0

Undergraduate students in College of Business and Economics

TOEFL® 550 (213 CBT, 79 iBT) / IELTS 6.5
Graduate TOEFL® 550 (213 CBT, 79 iBT) / IELTS 6.5

TOEFL and IELTS are the only English proficiency tests accepted by UK. All non-native English speaking exchange applicants must provide a valid certificate from one of these providers.

The TOEFL/IELTS is not required for students who are native English speakers.

Application Deadlines

Fall semester & academic year (begins in mid-August): MAY 1

Spring semester (begins in early January): OCTOBER 1

Application Process


The first step in the admissions process for exchange students is to be officially nominated by their home institution using the online Exchange Student Nomination form.


Once nominated, students will receive preliminary approval from the UK Exchange Coordinator for acceptance into the exchange program. They will be instructed to complete the online UKEA exchange application. Students must provide the following documentation as part of their application: · High quality color scan of the passport photograph/identification page · Official transcript from the home institution (with English translation if necessary) · An official bank statement and/or other documents (such as a bank letter, scholarship or financial aid award letters) demonstrating an available balance of $7,941 per semester · Proof of English proficiency (unless English is applicant’s native language).

IMPORTANT! This is the only application an undergraduate exchange applicant is required to submit to UK. Do not submit any other applications to UK.


Once officially admitted to the University of Kentucky, each student will receive email notification and a welcome information packet (mailed to the International Office/Study Abroad Office at the student’s home institution) with important US immigration documentation. Admitted students will find information on steps to be completed AFTER they have been officially admitted and before arrival at UK here.

Health Insurance

US government visa regulations require all international students to have qualifying health insurance coverage for the duration of the period covered by the J-1 visa.

International students are automatically enrolled in the UK Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) when they register for classes.

In rare circumstances, when a student already has health insurance provided by an employer, government sponsor or exchange agency in their home country, which they believe complies with the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum standards for health insurance coverage they can apply for an insurance waiver after arrival at UK.

Students must provide documentation (translated into English if necessary) of their alternate health insurance coverage when submitting their insurance waiver request. If a waiver is approved for a qualifying alternate plan, UK will cancel that student’s eligibility for the SHIP for one semester.

The waiver must be completed each semester in order to cancel the SHIP charge.


Who can apply for a health insurance waiver?

  • Students with health insurance coverage provided by an employer,
  • Students with health insurance coverage provided by a government sponsor, or
  • Exchange students with group coverage provided by the organization coordinating their exchange

Which waiver applications are approved?

Approved waiver applications must meet all four of the following:

  • Be received by the posted deadline,
  • Include all requested insurance documents (with English translation if necessary),
  • Provide documentation of medical evacuation and repatriation benefits*, and
  • Show evidence of unlimited coverage for all “essential benefits” outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards.
  • *Medical evacuation and repatriation coverage may be purchased separately if needed.

Which waiver applications are denied?

Waiver applications will be denied if:

  • Application/documentation is incomplete, late, or not provided in English,
  • Coverage is provided through a Travel Insurance plan,
  • Plan is missing any element of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards, or
  • Coverage will not be active for the entire semester.

Deadline for Fall Waiver Applications: September 22nd

Deadline for Spring/Summer Waiver Applications: February 22nd

NOTE: Travel plans will not be accepted.