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Welcome to the Sponsored Students Services Page!


The University of California San Diego is excited to welcome new sponsored international students as vital contributors to our community, who enrich our vibrant campus by creating educational exchanges with their fellow Tritons. Integral to sponsored student success, participation in campus and community activities allows sponsored students to share their unique perspectives and diverse cultural heritages.

The International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) is proud to provide services for sponsored students and their sponsors, and acts as a liaison between student, sponsor, and University departments and colleges.


Who are Sponsored Students?

A sponsored student is a student whose tuition and fees are paid directly to UC San Diego by an outside private or public agency, such as a corporation, government, educational institution or embassy. 


Learn More about Sponsored Students


ISPO's Sponsored Students Team Assists

Prospective Students

Prospective sponsored students apply to UC San Diego with the direction of their sponsor. Students may have already secured funds or are in the process of securing funds when they apply.

Graduate Admissions

Undergraduate Admissions

English Language Program


It is important to understand the financial realities of living and studying in San Diego in order to avoid difficulties after arrival.

Please review the budget estimates listing all education costs: registration fees, non-resident tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, personal expenses, and health care insurance fee (or health care allowance).

Depending on individual desires, more funds may be needed. The U.S. consulate or embassy will not grant a student visa unless the student can provide substantial proof of adequate funding for studying in the U.S.

New Students

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was designed to foster global understanding and cultural exchange through education along with other avenues. The primary goal of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to allow participants the ability to engage in cultural exchange, learn and build skills to advance their careers, share their culture with the U.S. and return home to strengthen and continue the connection and network made in the U.S. One of the major distinguishing components of the Exchange visitor program is that participants are funded privately, either by a U.S. government, the government of their home country, or an international organization. Due to the definition and purpose of the J-1 Exchange visitor program, most sponsored students only qualify to be issued the J-1 visa to pursue their degree program at UC San Diego. 

If you have a compelling or compassionate reason why you need to be issued the F-1 visa over the J-1 Exchange visitor visa, please email ISPO will consider such requests on a case by case basis. Upon review you will be required to provide a letter from your sponsor confirming that they are in support of you obtaining the F-1 visa to study at UC San Diego. 

Current Students

Help and advising

Current sponsored students are encouraged to communicate regularly with sponsored student staff. You can make an appointment or visit the office during walk-in hours.

Important reminders

  • If your F-1 or J-1 status is sponsored by UC San Diego, review Current Students page to apply for employment authorization, reduced course load, or letter requests.
  • Students who receive immigration documents from entities other than UC San Diego (for example, Fulbright participants) and who intend to work during their stay at the University, must confirm with their sponsoring organization’s regulations for working while in the U.S.
  • Sponsored students who wish to apply for a “reduced credit load” must obtain permission from their sponsor, academic advisor, and sponsored student staff.

Former Students

Let us know how you are! ISPO staff encourages past sponsored student program participants to contact our office with updates about their latest experiences and reflections about their time at UC San Diego. Email us with your most recent news.

Parents of Sponsored Students

UC San Diego is located on the cliffs of La Jolla, a beautiful seaside town just 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego.

Parent & Family Programs

UC San Diego provides an outstanding educational experience both inside and outside the classroom, and with the help of parents, students will be successful here.

At UC San Diego, we view the relationship we have with our students' parents and families as a partnership — a partnership created to help students be successful. Our motto is “when parents are informed, students benefit.”

Learn more about Parent & Family Programs.

Campus Safety

Safety and security are among the University’s top priorities. Several resources, including emergency notification systems via SMS and email, on campus walking escort services, emergency phone system, and security cameras are just a few examples of measures already in place to enhance the safety and security of students.

Alerts about crimes happening on or near campus are sent via email. The alert system is a part of the “Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act” (informally known as the "Clery Act") and ensures students, faculty and staff can take measures to protect themselves in the event of crime trends that affect the campus community.

See more information regarding campus safety at UC San Diego.

Sponsor Organizations

See our Sponsor Organizations page for links to international programs and sponsors, as well as for information for prospective sponsored program agencies.