Information for New EAP Reciprocity Students

Welcome! This page provides a comprehensive guide for new EAP reciprocity students.

EAP means the Education Abroad Program, a set of reciprocal exchanges between the University of California and its partner institutions abroad.

Undergraduate and graduate reciprocity students are nominated by the partner universities under the provisions of specific contractual agreements, and attend a UC campus for up to one academic year on a no-fee-exchange, non-degree basis.

For more information on UC's Reciprocal Exchanges, visit the EAP systemwide website.

Wondering where to start? Complete the steps below.


Step 1 - Right Away:

Meet All Admissions Requirements

Request Your DS-2019

International students requiring a non-immigrant F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the USA must request and receive a form I-20 (F-1 Student) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitor).  The I-20 or DS-2019 is required to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa

How to request the DS-2019: 

You will need the following documentation to submit your request. All documents must be in PDF format.

  • Copy of passport information page
  • Current (no more than 3 months old) bank statement or bank letter with account holders name or letter of scholarship or letter of sponsorship. All financial documents must show funds that are easily available. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and the like, are NOT acceptable. Students must show enough financial support to cover expenses as listed on the I-20/DS-2019 Budget Estimates
  • If you are starting your UC exchange in September, you may expect to receive your visa document at any time from June to July.
  • If you are starting your UC exchange in January, you may expect to receive your visa document at any time from November to December.

The processing time for an I-20/DS-2019 document is 3 weeks from the date of a complete submission. You can check the status of your request by logging in to the iPortal at any time.

The deadline to apply for your DS-2019 is August 1 (September program start) or November 16th (January program start).

Transfer Your SEVIS Record (If Applicable)

If you are going to participate in an English Language Program before you start your studies at UCSD as a UC EAP student, you will be entering the United States on an F-1 Student visa.

The English Language Program will issue your initial I-20 before you start your English Language class. Upon completion of your English Language Program, your SEVIS immigration record must be transferred to UCSD.

Talk to the student advisor at the Language Program and tell them that you will transfer to UCSD after your language course.

Complete the following steps to transfer your SEVIS record and receive your UCSD I-20:

  • Notify your current institution of your intent to transfer to UC San Diego
  • In addition, request the release of your F-1 SEVIS record to University of California San Diego (SEVIS School Code SND214F00088000) before the first day of orientation.
    •  Inform your international student advisor at your current institution to search for *University of California* in SEVIS.
  • Login to iPortal to request the Transfer I-20 Form
    • Required items include sponsor's bank statement/ financial support letter, copy of current I-20, and copy of passport biographical page with name and expiration date, visa, and I-94 card.
    • Your bank statement/financial support letter must cover all educational and living expenses listed on the budget estimates for the upcoming year.

Pay the SEVIS Fee

After receiving your I-20 (F-1 Students) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitors), you must pay the $200 (F-1) or $180 (J-1) SEVIS fee.

Students transferring their SEVIS record to UC San Diego are NOT required to pay the SEVIS fee again.

  • Pay via Internet, via Western Union, or by mail.
  • Keep the Form I-797 receipt in a safe place.
  • Review SEVIS Fee Information for details.

Step 2 - Before Arrival in the United States:

Apply for your F-1 or J-1 Visa

Before you can come to the United States as an international student, you MUST obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa. Make sure to thoroughly review our Applying for a Visa page for detailed instructions and tips on how to obtain a visa.

Verify your earliest permitted arrival date into the U.S.

Students in F-1 and J-1 status may only enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the start date on their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. This is NOT the same date as your department, college, or international student orientation. It is typically the first official day of the quarter. You must verify this date on your form before booking any air travel. Attempted entry earlier than 30 days before your I-20 or DS-2019 start date can lead to a denial of entry at a U.S. port of entry.

The only exception to this case is for SEVIS-transfer students (those who have had their  F-1 or J-1 record SEVIS-transferred by their previous U.S. institution to UC San Diego). SEVIS-transfer students may enter earlier than 30 days before the start date on their Form I-20 or DS-2019 document.

Make Housing Arrangements Before your Arrival

Apply for a Free, Short-Term Homestay with an American Host Family

Solana Beach Homestay Program

The Solana Beach Host Family Program is a free, non-profit program that matches internationals with a volunteer host family. The host will meet you at the airport, have you stay in their home for your first few days, answer your questions, help you get your mobile phone and a bank account set up, and much more. Throughout your time at UC San Diego your friendship with your host can enrich your experience. Read more and apply at the website:

Additional local homestay agencies include:

Homestay Services International

Foreign Student Homestay

FA Homestay

San Diego Homestay

Take Pre-Arrival Webinars

Pre-Arrival Webinars will be presented by the UC San Diego International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) and will cover the following topics for newly admitted international students: International Center programs and services, review of immigration documentation,arriving in the U.S., housing and health insurance, campus resources, and frequently asked questions.

Please see our Webinars page for information on our pre-arrival webinars.

Complete the Tuberculosis Screening

Tuberculosis screening is a mandatory University admission requirement for ALL newly admitted students. Screening must be performed PRIOR to arrival to University of California, San Diego.

See the Student Health Services website for submission deadlines

Complete Immunization Requirements

The University of California is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students. Therefore, all of the UC campuses are implementing procedures to ensure that students are educated about and receive vaccinations to prevent potentially serious and contagious diseases.

All incoming students are REQUIRED to obtain certain vaccines and undergo Tuberculosis testing. Failure to meet these requirements by the states deadlines are subject to registration holds.

Information on these requirements as well as important deadlines for meeting them can be found on the Student Health Services website.

Activate your UC San Diego Campus Account

Please wait on prompting and instructions from the UCEAP office to activate your UCSD account. Activating it prior to this will lead to technical difficulties accessing your account.

Complete the "We Are Tritons" Online Program

“We Are Tritons” is an online program that introduces incoming you to our student community and your role in maintaining a welcoming campus environment. You will not be able to complete registration for courses until this requirement is met.

For more information, including the deadline for completion, see the Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD) website.

Sign-up for International Student Orientation

Complete the iTriton - New International Student Online Training

iTriton Online Orientation

All new international students are required to complete ISPO’s iTriton Online Training Program prior to starting classes at UC San Diego. Information for this training program will be posted soon.

If you have any questions of concerns regarding this training program, please contact us via our Contact Us eForm.

Enroll in Classes

It's time to enroll. How do I begin?

Winter 2019 EAP Reciprocity students may view the step-by-step Enrollment Guide to learn about how to enroll at UC San Diego.

Don't worry!

Do not despair though if you cannot get your ideal course schedule right away. Most students will be adjusting their schedules through the first week of the term.

Pick the courses that are the closest match for you to obtain a full schedule. Keep in mind that U.S. Immigration regulations require a minimum enrollment of 12 units per term.

Step 3 - Upon Arrival in the United States:

Gather Your Documents for Entry into the United States

Review your passport and visa page. Your first name and family/last name should be the same on both documents. If there are any errors, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consular Post immediately.

Place your original passport, financial statement or support letter, and form I-20 or DS-2019 in your purse or carry-on baggage. Present all these documents when entering the USA.

Note: NEW F-1 and J-1 students who are NOT transferring their SEVIS record from another U.S. institution to UC San Diego can enter the USA no earlier than 30 days prior to program start date listed on the I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students).

Arrive in the United States and Clear Customs

To clear U.S. Customs Port of Entry you must present: original passport, financial statement or support letter, and form I-20 or DS-2019

After clearing customs  and arriving in the U.S. print your electronic I-94 Record.

These I-94 printouts may be needed for the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, or for 3rd parties, such as the Social Security Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles, which require a Form I-94 for granting benefits.

We recommend students schedule 2-3 hours between connecting flights, or when crossing a land border, for SEVIS status verification processing at U.S. Ports of Entry. 

Arrange Your Transportation to the Campus

Step 4 - When on Campus:

Learn What to Do When You Arrive at UC San Diego

Finished with everything above? The link below will redirect you to a comprehensive list of things that will help you get started at UC San Diego. Find detailed information on email set-up, course registration, campus ID cards, housing, cell phones, health insurance, and more.

Additional Information:


Check back regularly to see updates to the timeline for EAP reciprocity students starting at UC San Diego.

To prepare, also refer to resources from your home university as well as the University of California.


October 29-November 16

  • Submit iPortal request for DS-2019 (see information below). Deadline to submit request is November 16

October 31

  • Deadline to complete the "We are Tritons" online program. When you reach the login screen, please click the “Student Sign On” tab and log in. Once you have logged in, look for the "We Are Tritons" button in the blue box on the UC Learning home page. Failure to complete by the deadline will result in a hold being placed on your student account. Holds will begin being placed October 31.

November 1

  • I-House application opens
  • UCSD Pre-Arrival Webinar starts at 9am. See for past webinar recordings and more information.
  • Deadline to submit the TB screening requirementFailure to complete by the deadline will result in a hold being placed on your student account and you will be unable to enroll for Winter quarter.

November 7

  • Enrollment begins (1st pass, Wednesday Week 6)

November 13

November 19

  • 2nd pass enrollment


Full timeline to be confirmed at a later date.

Frequently Asked Questions

The link below will redirect you to the page where you can find answers to common questions from new international students.