Exchange Students

Lehigh accepts exchange students through a variety of agreements with partner colleges, universities and programs around the world. In addition, all interested students are welcome to apply to Lehigh independent of any existing program; these students will have to pay their own tuition and fees.


Jen Topp, Assistant Director, Global Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives

(01) 610-758-2875 (phone) 
(01) 610-758-5156 (fax)

Office of International Affairs
Lehigh University
32 Sayre Drive, Coxe Hall
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Term Dates

Academic Year 2018-2019

Fall semester: August 27 – December 19, 2018
Spring semester: January 21– May 15, 2019

Exchange Application and Deadline

Application Deadlines

Fall: March 16, 2018
Spring: October 12, 2018

The application to study at Lehigh in fall 2018 will open on February 5, 2018.

Apply now!

English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores to be considered for admission.

TOEFL score requirements:

Reading: 24
Listening: 17
Speaking: 24
Writing: 25

*Applicants who wish to waive the TOEFL requirement must provide four of the following six options:

  • Evidence of successful completion of an English language course;
  • Evidence of successful completion of three years at a U.S. school;
  • Written confirmation that English is the country's dominant language;
  • Evidence of successful completion of IB, AP, or A-level program, or SAT verbal score about 620;
  • An English language writing sample;
  • Participation in a Skype interview/placement test

Orientation Program

Exchange students participate in the new student orientation run by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), as well as an exchange student orientation led by Jen Topp. The orientation programs are typically the week prior to the start of classes. Orientation is mandatory for incoming exchange students and there is a $160 orientation fee.

Health Insurance

Exchange Students are required to have insurance during their stay in the U.S. and studies at Lehigh University. Coverage for a comprehensive set of services includes doctors’ visits, hospital admissions, day surgery, emergency services, mental health and substance abuse, and prescription drug coverage. If a student is not covered by health insurance in his/her host country, he/she may enroll in Lehigh University’s student health insurance program administered by University Health Plans, Inc. (select “Lehigh University”).

All J-1 visa holders are required by U.S. federal law to carry medical insurance including coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains for the full duration of the J-1 exchange visitor program.  The minimum requirements are:

  • medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness (with a deductible that does not exceed $500 per accident or illness)
  • repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • expenses associated with the medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $50,000

Expected Arrival Date

For students living on campus, arrival dates usually depend on dorm check-in dates. These dates have not yet been confirmed for the 2016-2017 academic year but are the most likely the dates.

Fall semester: August 17, 2018*
Spring semester: January 17, 2019*

*dates subject to change

Students living off campus and arranging their own housing can arrive up to three weeks prior to the start of classes, as per the J-1 visa regulations.


Housing needs are automatically considered upon acceptance of the exchange student by their academic department, and Lehigh will make every effort to accommodate all incoming exchange students who choose on-campus housing. Exchange students who live on campus are housed in one of the 14 themed residential communities.  Students who are accepted for exchange will be contacted by Residential Services to make their housing request. You may not withdraw your housing contract once you have submitted it. 

Living Costs

Please note that all costs are approximate and in U.S. dollars.

Housing prices per semester: $3,795-$4,415

Meal plan (required for on-campus housing): $2,435-$3,045

Mandatory health insurance: $1,954* for academic year, $900* for fall semester only, $1,054* for spring semester only The requirement is waived for students showing proof of coverage.  *Subject to change

Books and class reading materials: $550 per semester

Local transportation: Varies depending on travel preferences

Miscellaneous expenses: $1,000 - $5,000

Activity fee: $100/semester, $200/year

Mandatory Orientation fee: $160

Paying for Your Stay

Exchange students will need to set up and use their Lehigh email address upon acceptance, as they will receive import email notifications about paying their housing and meal plan bill.

A payment plan is available. The deadline to participate is July 1 (for fall semester) and December 1 (for spring semester). If exchange students wish to pay in full, that payment must be made before arrival to campus. 

Failure to set up a payment plan or pay in full before arrival to campus will affect registration for classes. 

For more information, visit the Bursar's Office website

Learning Expectations

Class format: Lectures, discussions, papers, presentations, projects.

Attendance: Required; typically influences final grade.

Participation: In-class participation is usually expected, except for large lectures.

Grading: 4.0 scale; A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F. Typically based on several components (papers, quizzes, homework, attendance, projects, etc.)

Class size: Depends on the class level and department. 100-level courses are typically larger lectures. 200- and 300-level courses are typically smaller (up to 40 students).

Course load: 4-5 classes; 12-16 credits.

Course choices: Exchange students can take whatever undergraduate courses are offered by the university as long as they can meet the prerequisite requirements of the courses and there are vacancies available in those courses. Graduate-level courses are subject to availability and department approval.

Examinations: Format of exams varies. Exams are administered the last nine days of each semester.

Majors and programs: Lehigh offers more than 100 majors and programs.

Language of instruction: English

Student Services

Academic advising: Students are assigned a faculty member in their major area who will be their adviser for their duration at Lehigh, unless the student prefers to request a specific faculty member to act as his or her advisor.

The Office of International Students and Scholars runs events and programming for all international students, including exchange students.

Computer services: Computing facilities are found all around campus, and all students have email accounts, access to online libraries and journals, online registration, etc.

On-campus facilities: With an ID card, students can use all sporting and athletic facilities, receive free and discounted tickets to events at Zoellner Arts Center, and receive free general medical treatment, counseling, lectures, trips, etc. There are also numerous student clubs and organizations including academic, cultural, linguistic, political, athletic, recreational and social. Learn more about student life at Lehigh here.

Other Information

Bethlehem is located in eastern Pennsylvania, convenient to New York City, Philadelphia, PA, and Newark, NJ. Students who do not fly directly to the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) are encouraged to use an airport in any of these three cities. A bus station is located in south Bethlehem two blocks from campus, making travel to and from these cities easy. Learn more about our area and how to get to Lehigh here.