Lehigh welcomes exchange students through a variety of agreements with partner colleges, universities and programs around the world.
Students from other colleges and universities may also apply to Lehigh independently. These students will have to pay their own tuition and fees.
Whether they are here for a semester or a year, exchange students receive one-on-one mentoring and join a custom program designed to make the most of their experience at Lehigh and in the United States. The program includes:
- Exchange student orientation
- Academic and personal advising
- Special events and trips to meet students and learn about American culture
- Monthly lunch and coffee breaks
- Peer mentoring program with other Lehigh students
- Visits to local businesses and industries
- Support from the Center for Career and Professional Development
Jen Topp, Assistant Director, Global Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives
(01) 610-758-2875 (phone)
(01) 610-758-5156 (fax)
Office of International Affairs
32 Sayre Drive, Coxe Hall
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Section 1Term Dates
Academic Year 2019-2020
Fall semester: August 26 - December 18, 2019
Spring semester: January 20 - May 13, 2020
Section 3English Proficiency Requirements
Applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores to be considered for admission.
TOEFL score requirements:
TOTAL SCORE: 90
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
Section 4Orientation Program
In addition to the mandatory international orientation from OISS, exchange students also have an exchange student orientation led by Jen Topp. The orientation programs are typically the week before the start of classes. Orientation is mandatory for incoming exchange students and there is a $160 orientation fee.
Section 5Health 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
Section 6Arrival Information
For students living on campus, arrival dates usually depend on dorm check-in dates.
Fall semester: August 18, 2019
Spring semester: January 15, 2020*
*date subject to change
Students living off campus and arranging their own housing can arrive up to 30 days 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.
Section 8Living Costs and Payment Information
These are estimated living costs for exchange students studying at Lehigh. Please note that all costs are approximate and in U.S. dollars.
- Housing prices per semester: $4,145-$4,825
- Meal plan (required for on-campus housing): $2,935-$3,230
- Mandatory health insurance: $1,918* for academic year, $810* for fall semester only, $1,118* for spring semester only The requirement is waived for students showing proof of coverage. *Subject to change
- Books and class reading materials: $500 per semester
- Local transportation: Varies depending on travel preferences
- Activity fee: $125/semester
- 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 important 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.
Section 9Learning Expectations
Language of instruction: English
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 any undergraduate courses as long as they can meet the prerequisite requirements 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.
Section 10Student 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.