Exchange Student Application Process

Greetings and Welcome to the University of Iowa!

If you have been nominated by your University to attend the University of Iowa on an official exchange, I would like to offer you a description of the steps in the process before your arrival.

  1. Your exchange coordinator emails the nomination and information to the incoming exchange coordinator at Iowa: Robert Gutwein
  2. Fill out our online application here. Be sure to fill out the Nondegree Application. Please direct questions about the application to admissionsNOTE: Official TOEFL scores must be sent to the University by ETS.
  3. You will receive an email with forms from the exchange coordinator that you should return to Robert Gutwein.
  4. Communicate with Robert about any questions that come up involving travel and courses
  5. Wait for your acceptance packet to arrive from admissions and follow the steps listed here to apply for your visa.


If you plan to live off-campus

Students planning on living off-campus should download, complete, and include the off-campus housing form with your application.  Should you decide to live off-campus, please note that the burden of the search and potential added cost of off-campus housing will be yours. You cannot expect much assistance in this search. Since it can often take a week or more to locate suitable off-campus housing, you should plan to bring additional funds for temporary housing in the Iowa House (approximately $30 - $60/night) or another hotel (approximately $60-$100/night) until you find permanent housing. 

On-line resources for identifying off-campus accommodation include the following:

If you have any questions, or would like to inquire if there are other off-campus options that we may be aware of, please e-mail

If you plan to live in University housing

You should apply on-line for on-campus housing after your academic admission to the University of Iowa is approved. This is done through ISIS and is available via the Pre-Arrival Checklist. Log in to the housing portal with your Hawkid and password. Do this as soon as possible to get preferential housing. If at that time you are unable to access the housing application, e-mail

Please understand that the housing contract is a legally-binding relationship and once you accept university housing, you are bound to the contract. You do not have the option to move to an apartment off-campus should you find an interesting situation later. The penalties are described in the contract – the Housing Office does not make exceptions.

  • Some disadvantages to residence hall living. Reduced privacy. Shared living space. Most upperclassmen live off-campus, thus dorm occupants are predominantly younger, first year students. (Mayflower Residence Hall is the exception. It also houses upperclassmen.) Daum, Mayflower, Hillcrest, Parklawn, Centerstone and Building 3 will remain open during break.  Only students who register for Winter Break housing can stay. The cost is $100.00, so if you plan to remain in Iowa City between fall and spring semesters, or if you are arriving in the spring, we recommend that you live in one of those halls.
  • The advantages. Greater student contact; newcomers who live in off-campus apartments are more isolated and can take a far longer time to establish friendships. Apartments are unfurnished or minimally furnished, adding the cost of purchasing some basics. By the time newcomers arrive in August, the best apartments are long since taken, making for a tiring and uncertain search.

Please note that almost all rooms in University of Iowa residence halls are shared by two people. Few single rooms are available in the residence halls, and frequently they have been taken by the time we receive applications from visiting students. If you specify a single room in your application and actually receive that assignment, you will be responsible for paying the difference between a shared double and a single room, since the exchange agreement between our universities covers the cost of a shared double only.

We trust you will be satisfied with your housing and will be able to make the necessary adjustments to a new and different living situation.  Visit here for additional information about campus housing.

Full-year students and those arriving in January should specify Daum, Mayflower, Hillcrest, Parklawn, Centerstone or Building 3 as their Residence Hall Building Preference, because those residence halls are open during the vacation period between semesters. (Otherwise, students are responsible for their own interim housing.)

Please note: Students will receive an e-mail confirming the contract and housing assignment sometime during the summer (for fall arrival) or in December/early January (for spring arrival). Students have 10 days to contact the Housing Office to make any changes or cancel the contract. After 10 days, the contract becomes legally binding and changes/cancellations will not be accepted without being assessed a substantial fee. More information on this policy can be found on the Housing website or the application itself.