Exchange Students

Exchange Students at Spring Orientation

Each semester, Wellesley College welcomes international students from partner colleges and universities to join the Wellesley community as part of established exchange programs.

With approximately 2,300 undergraduate students from 66 countries and all 50 states, Wellesley College is one of the most diverse colleges in the nation. Along with a longstanding commitment to and established reputation for academic excellence, Wellesley offers more than 1,000 courses in 56 established majors and supports more than 100 student clubs and organizations. Wellesley's blend of high academic standards, strong sense of community, expansive and stunning residential campus, and dedicated faculty create an ideal environment for women who want to succeed. Wellesley’s belief in a strong liberal arts curriculum ensures that students themselves understand—every day and in the course of every learning challenge—that the disciplined thinking, refined judgment, creative synthesis, and collaborative dynamic are not only crucial to developing their leadership abilities, but are habits of mind that will serve them well throughout their lives and be primary contributors to their success.

Each year, Wellesley College welcomes a small number of exchange students from partner universities for one or two semesters. Exchange students earn credit toward their undergraduate degree at their home institution and are not eligible to transfer to Wellesley College.

Admission Requirements

Students at one of Wellesley’s partner institutions who are interested in studying at Wellesley should contact their home university exchange program coordinator for more details on the nomination process. All exchange program participants must be currently enrolled at one of our partner universities and must be nominated to study at Wellesley by their home institution; the College cannot accept unsolicited applications to our exchange program. Exchange students are expected to be proficient in English. Students who are non-native speakers should document language proficiency with a TOEFL score of 100 or higher (computer based exam) or the equivalent on another English language exam. Please contact for questions.

Application Deadlines
  Fall  Spring
Nominations February 15 September 15
Application Documents March 15 October 1


Application Documents

Once formally nominated by his/her home university to participate in the Wellesley College International Student Exchange program, the student should begin preparing the following documents:

  • Exchange Student Application
  • Certification of Finances (COF) form with required supporting financial documents
  • Photocopy of passport ID page and expiration page (if different)
  • Official transcripts for all previous university course work (translated into English in format as original, if applicable)
  • Proof of proficiency in English (for non-native English speakers only)
  • Health History and Immunization Form (see Health and Insurance Requirements below)

All application documents should be completed in English and submitted according to your home university’s instructions. For application questions, please contact:

Wellesley College
Office of International Studies
Katie Saibara, Assistant Director
106 Central St.
Wellesley, MA 02481 USA
Tel: 781-283-2320

Immigration Requirements

The Slater International Center assists exchange students who need a visa to enter and/or study in the United States. Upon acceptance and completion of the necessary financial support documents, students will receive a Form DS-2019, which must be submitted to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the student’s home country, along with the visa application and other required documents and fees needed to obtain a J-1 Exchange Visitor Student Visa. Please note that it is very important to make sure that you comprehensively fill out the information requested on the Certification of Finances. Incomplete documents will be returned.

For more detailed information on J-1 status, please visit the immigration section of our website.

Health and Immunization Requirements

All participants in the Wellesley College International Student Exchange Program are required to complete a Health History and Immunization Form prior to their arrival at Wellesley College. The Health History and Immunization Form can be downloaded directly from the Health Services website. In order to maintain the privacy of each student’s health records, this form should be completed and mailed with any accompanying documents directly to Health Services at the postal address on the form.

The deadline for submitting a completed Health History and Immunization Form is July 1st for participation during the fall semester or Academic Year, and December 1st for participation in the spring semester.

Insurance Requirements

All participants in the Wellesley College International Student Exchange Program are required to be covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan which meets the Massachusetts State requirements, as well as the federal J-1 regulations for health insurance coverage. All exchange students will be automatically enrolled in Wellesley’s Student Health Insurance Plan, which is administered by University Health Plans, unless a student provides proof of alternative coverage that meets both the Massachusetts State requirements and federal J-1 regulations and a waiver is granted. Please note that one of the requirements to waive the Wellesley Student Health Insurance Plan is alternative coverage from a U.S. based health insurance company.


Exchange students are provided with on-campus housing during both fall and spring semesters. The Housing Office will notify exchange students of their housing assignment approximately two to three weeks before the beginning of the semester. Housing varies from residence hall to residence hall, and includes single, double, triple and quad occupancy rooms, as well as residence halls that feature suite-style living. Please note that the College will do its best to accommodate individual housing preferences, but residential space on campus is limited and we cannot guarantee that we can provide rooms of specific configurations or in specific locations or buildings. More information on on-campus housing options can be found on the Residential Life website.

Meal Plans

All students living on campus must enroll in the meal plan. More information on dining options and resources.

Arrival Information (Fall Only)

Fall exchange students should plan to arrive at Wellesley and move into their residence halls on the first day of Orientation. Spring exchange students are typically allowed to arrive at Wellesley and move into their residence halls on the day preceding their mandatory orientation program. If new students arrive in the U.S. before the designated move-in dates, they will be responsible for their own accommodations.

Information on traveling to Wellesley College.


All exchange students will be required to participate in an Orientation program and mandatory immigration check-in process. Exchange students entering in the fall semester participate in a three-day Orientation program especially for international students that usually begins the weekend before the campus-wide Orientation program.

Exchange students entering in spring semester take part in a two-day Orientation program which occurs the last business day of the winter break.


Exchange students at Wellesley College typically take a full course load, which is four classes. Wellesley courses usually earn “one unit” of credit, although some courses earn a half-unit and courses with a lab component usually earn 1.25 units. How these academic units translate into credits at your home school will vary, and you should consult with your home school officials for more information. Exchange students must take a minimum of three units of credit to be permitted to live on campus and to meet U.S. immigration requirements. Taking five courses is not advised for exchange students; classes at Wellesley are demanding and the normal course load is the best starting point.

All courses are described in detail in the Course Catalog, and there is information about how to read the catalog. The catalog itself is available online in two places, as the full traditional catalog at or in a more easily searchable format in our Course Browser.

Many exchange students hope to take courses at one of our cross-registration partners. You may take one of your four courses at our partner schools, and we strongly recommend that you take courses at Wellesley only during your first semester. Please note that exchange students are not eligible to enroll in Computer Science courses at Wellesley. Transportation and scheduling concerns can be challenging and we find that our exchange students do best in our own classrooms. Information about cross-registration.

If you have any questions regarding registering for courses, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Important Dates

Please consult Wellesley’s Academic Calendar for detailed information.


Exchange students pay regular tuition to their home institution, and tuition costs are waived at Wellesley College. Non-tuition costs (room, board, activity fees, health insurance, visa fees, transportation and personal expenses are the responsibility of the student. For information about these costs, please refer to the Student Financial Services website. (Note: costs are quoted for the full year. Room & Meal plans are billed at 50% of yearly rate for single semester students.)


At the end of the semester or year at Wellesley, the College will automatically send one official transcript to the International Exchange Coordinator at the exchange student's home university. Students are encouraged to arrange for additional transcripts to be sent to their home address prior to leaving Wellesley at the end of their exchange semester or year. Information on how to request a transcript and the transcript request form is available on the Registrar's website.