Coming to UNM as an Exchange Student or Guest

Welcome! The Global Education Office (GEO) helps new international exchange and guest students adjust to life at UNM through pre-arrival information, mandatory exchange student orientations, and fun welcome events. 

What is an Exchange Student?

  1. You come from one of UNM's partner universities through your international office
  2. You come as a student Fulbright scholarship
  3. You are a German Cultural Vista student
  4. You are an IREX Global Undergrad Eurasia or Pakistan Scholarship Recipient
If you are an exchange student in one of the above categories, you are on the right page.
To view slides from the Fall 2018 Exchange Student Orientation, please click below:

Part 1 - Welcome and Immigration

Part 2 - Immigration and Travel

Part 3 - Taxes and Campus Regulations

Part 4 - Work and Health

Part 5 - Mental Health and Academic Support

Part 6 - Fees, Registration and Campus Life

Part 7 - Campus Life and Recreation

Part 8 - Important Dates

The University of New Mexico


The University of New Mexico (UNM) was founded in 1889 and today is a world-class research university with over 30,000 students. UNM is the home of many Colleges and departments with wide spectrum of classes offered: (

The main campus is located in Albuquerque, near the downtown and historic districts of the city. The campus features a unique Pueblo Revival architectural style that echoes the buildings of the nearby Pueblo Indian villages. UNM offers courses in more than 200 different academic programs including arts and sciences, architecture, fine and performing arts, engineering, business, education, law, and health sciences. Approximately 900 international students from more than 85 different countries study at UNM.  About UNM video can be found here:

The City of Albuquerque and New Mexico


Albuquerque is a city of over 750,000, located in the valley of the Rio Grande River, with an altitude of 1,800 meters. The Sandia and Manzano mountain ranges lie just to the east of the city. Cool nights and warm days with very low humidity and bright blue skies are typical. Summer temperatures reach 35° Celsius, with thundershowers during July and August. Winter temperatures may dip below 0° Celsius and snowfall of a few inches can occur a few times in the winter months. As the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque offers many cultural amenities, including museums, concerts, a lively theater scene, and the world's largest Hot Air Balloon fiesta, which takes place for several days in October.

For more information about the city of Albuquerque, please visit the following websites:

New Mexico is located in the southwestern United States on the Mexican-U.S. border. Its neighboring states are Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma. The spectacular scenery of its deserts, mountains, and wide open spaces has earned New Mexico the title “Land of Enchantment.” New Mexico is the traditional home of many Native American peoples, and contains some of the best archaeological sites in the U.S. It was part of the Spanish colonial empire and then part of Mexico until the 1840s. Today, the state is noted for the diversity of its population, and its unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, African-American and Anglo arts and culture.

For more information about the state of New Mexico, please visit the following websites:



Applications and all supporting document must be submitted by the following dates:

  • March 31: Fall Semester (August-December)

  • September 30: Spring Semester (January-May)


Step One: Nomination from your home institution

The exchange advisor at your home university must nominate you to attend UNM before you submit an application. Please contact your home university's international office for details of how to obtain a nomination.


Step Two: Required Application Documents

The following documents will be required as part of our online application form. Please gather the documents prior to starting your application. 

  1. Copy of the biographical page of your passport
  2. Academic records: Originals or certified copies of official documents plus English translation. Your official transcript must demonstrate strong academic preparation, generally indicated by a U.S. equivalent grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and at least two semesters of full-time study completed at the time of application.

  3. Proof of financial capability: All applicants for the exchange program are required to submit documentation verifying adequate funding to meet study and living expenses while in the United States. The amount of money* you will be required to demonstrate is:

  • For either fall or spring semester: $6,625
  • For one academic year (August to May): $13,250

  • For one calendar year (January to December): $15,750

  • For summer session: $4,150

*Any amounts denominated in a foreign currency will be evaluated at the prevailing market rate on the date the application is received.

Please review the following table to determine acceptable documents for proving adequate funding or financial capability:

Source of Funds Required Verification

Personal and Family Savings

Bank statement or letter from a bank verifying liquid assets/cash. Please note that investment portfolios, credit card monthly reports, mortgage appraisals, and similar statements are not acceptable. In addition, please note that if you will be using your parents or a sponsor bank statement you will need to provide an additional letter signed by the owner of the account, where she or he indicates that they will support you during you studies at UNM.


Official scholarship award letter from the institution awarding the scholarship. The letter must contain (1) Name of the applicant, (2) Amount of money available for each semester or academic year of study and, (3) Duration of the award.


Official letter indicating amount of support and containing the same information as described above for scholarship.


Official letter from a credit institution indicating approval of the loan and the amount approved

  1. Evidence of English language proficiency*:  If English is not your first language, you must submit official results from an English test you have taken within the past two years. The tests we accept, and the minimum scores we require on each, are:
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – Undergraduate: 68 on the Internet-Based Test (iBT) or 520 on the Paper-Based Test (PBT). Graduate: 79 on the iBT or 550 on the PBT. *Unofficial (ITP) scores are not accepted.

  • UNM Law School:  TOEFL100 on the Internet-Based Test (iBT), 250 on the Computer-Based Test (CBT), or 600 on the Paper-Based Test (PBT)   *Unofficial (ITP) scores are not accepted.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – 6.0

  • Cambridge English Language Assessment Cambridge English: Advanced (CEA) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) – B2 for Undergraduate and C1 for Graduate students.

*NOTE: You are exempt from submitting English test scores if you meet one or both of the following conditions:

  1. ) You received a high school diploma from an accredited, English-speaking institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.
  2. ) You have attended a university where English is the medium of instruction for at least one year of full-time study at the time of your application.
  1. Health Insurance: You are required to show health insurance as an exchange student at UNM. Satisfying this requirement (by enrolling in the UNM group plan or applying for a waiver with evidence of comparable coverage) will take place after your arrival at UNM during our orientation week. You do not need to purchase insurance during the application phase. For requirements, please see the health insurance tab or click here

  2. Immigration Processing Fee: A processing fee of $275, payable by credit card after your arrival, will be assessed to your UNM Bursar's Account when you accept the offer of admission to UNM.


Step Three: Apply NOW! 

Once you have been nominated and gathered all your documents, your education abroad advisor at your home institution will send you the link to our online application where you will submit all the required documentation.



Please see all visa requirements for J1 scholars here:

1.      Visa Requirements

If you are currently outside the U.S., you should use the DS-2019 form to apply for a J-1 student visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate nearest your place of residence only after you are sure you will attend UNM.  If you have already applied for a visa using another school’s form, and you want to attend UNM, you will need to return to the consulate and apply for a new visa that has UNM listed as the school you will attend. Canadian citizens do not require a visa, but must present this form when entering the US from Canada and must pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee before arriving (see below).  Non-citizen residents of Canada should check with the US Consulate to find out whether or not they need a visa.  For information on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate(s) nearest you, please see:

2.      Required SEVIS Fee

All students must pay a mandatory SEVIS fee.  This is a U.S. Government fee, not a university fee, and is in addition to any visa fee. Because the payment of the fee will be recorded in the SEVIS system and it MUST be fully processed before you arrive at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the visa interview, you must pay it at least 3 business days prior to the visa interview, and you must bring proof of payment to the interview.  Canadian citizens must present proof of payment of the fee when arriving at the port of entry to the U.S. (they do NOT need a visa). For more detailed information on the fee payment process please go to the SEVIS website at:  You can pay the SEVIS fee in one of three ways:

a)      Online at  Use a credit card and complete the online Form I-901.  Once you have submitted the payment please print the computer-generated receipt.  This receipt will be your proof of payment. Please note that SEVP is unable to accept credit card payments on behalf of students from Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria, Cameroon or Kenya.

b)      Through Western Union Quick Pay.  This option is available in any country where Western Union offers its Quick Pay service. This service allows you to pay the SEVIS fee electronically and directly to the Department of Homeland Security in local currency.  You must fill out the I-901 form on  before you go to Western Union and record or print the unique coupon number to submit your payment (if someone will pay for you they will also need to enter your coupon number in the Account Number field of the Western Union form to pay). To read the detailed instructions for this form of payment, please go to

c)      Through the mail by submitting a completed Form I-901 and a check or money order drawn from a U.S. bank. The mailing address and instructions can be found at:  The payment confirmation you can print from the FMJ fee website will serve as proof of payment for the I-901 SEVIS fee.

3.      When to Apply for the Visa and What to Bring to the Consulate

You cannot apply for the visa more than 120 days prior to the date your U.S. program begins (check your DS-2019 for the program start date).  Documents you will need to bring with you to the U.S. Consulate and to the U.S.:

  • Passport
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee
  • DS-2019 form
  • UNM acceptance letter
  • Proof of finances for your studies
  • Any evidence that you intend to return home when you complete your studies (e.g., proof of property, a job or family in your home country)

​Please contact the U.S. Consulate before you go to find out how to make an appointment, what the fees are, what additional documents you should bring to the interview, and how long it generally takes to process the visa. A list of U.S. Embassy/Consulate websites can be found at

4.      The Visa Interview

If you will have an interview at a U.S. Consulate, GEO recommends the following:

  • Be ready to articulate in English briefly and clearly your reason for study in the US and your plan to use your education in your home country after program completion.
  • Know how your academic degree will fit into your home country job market.
  • Be prepared with the above information, but don’t memorize a “speech” which sounds rehearsed.
  • Remain calm.
  • Ask the consular officer if s/he will review any documents you brought (even if s/he doesn’t ask for them.)
  • In case of a denial, ask that the reason be given to you in writing before you leave the consulate.  Only in this way, can you address the U.S. Consulate’s concern if and when you return for a second interview. Reasons for a visa denial are found at:
  • You may be subject to a security check that will delay the visa application process. Therefore, we highly recommend that you apply for the visa as soon as you receive this form (but not sooner than 120 days before your program begins).
  • Once you are issued a visa, you should verify that all information is correct and does not contain any typographical errors in your name, date of birth, or other biographical information. It is extremely important that your name and biographical information on the visa MATCH your passport and your DS-2019.  Make sure you are issued the correct type of visa, J-1 (NOT F1). It is extremely difficult to correct these errors once you have left the consulate and nearly impossible once you have entered the US, so you want to get these errors corrected BEFORE you leave your home country.
  • Finally, once you are issued a visa, the consular officer may seal your DS-2019 in an envelope and attach it to your passport. The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. port–of-entry will open the envelope.  DO NOT PACK THE ENVELOPE IN YOUR LUGGAGE!

5.      How Soon Can I Legally Arrive in the U.S.?

New students CANNOT arrive more than 30 days prior to the reporting date listed on the DS-2019 form.  Be sure that you do not arrive earlier than that date or you may be sent back to your home country.

6.      What You Need to Enter the U.S.

You should bring the following with you to enter the U.S. (do not pack these documents in your luggage!):

  • Passport with entry visa
  • DS-2019 form (in many cases this will be in an envelope that the U.S. Consulate has given you)
  • Proof of finances to support your stay in the U.S.
  • Money to cover initial costs (approximately $2,000 in accessible funds via an ATM, debit, or credit card; do not bring more than $1000 in cash)

According to U.S. law, you must enter the U.S. using the DS-2019 from the institution you plan to attend first.  If you enter the United States with a form from a university other than the University of New Mexico you will be required to report to and possibly attend that university before you will be eligible to transfer to UNM.  Upon your arrival in the U.S. the official should review the form and return it to you.

At the U.S. port of entry, an official should stamp your passport and indicate the correct immigration status (J1) on the stamp. DO NOT ENTER THE U.S. on a B visitor’s visa or WB/WT visa waiver or you will be ineligible to study!!! Once you are able, you will need to print out the record of entry (form I-94) at and bring a copy to the GEO check-in. The I-94 is an important document that records your current U.S. immigration status.

7.      Special Information For Canadian Citizens

Citizens of Canada do not require entry visas, but must present the DS-2019 form, financial proof, and proof of payment of the SEVIS fee when entering the U.S. from Canada. Passports are required for all Canadian citizens entering the U.S. in student status.  Students who are receiving assistantships or plan to work on campus must have a valid passport.  Canadian students crossing at a land port need to be sure that their DS-2019 is reviewed by the immigration official AND need to carefully check that the stamp in the passport accurately indicates their J-1 status.


Arrival Dates

1.      When to Arrive

The date you arrive is CRITICAL for a smooth transition to student life! If you are outside the U.S., you cannot arrive more than 30 days before the start date listed on your DS-2019 form. You must plan to arrive in Albuquerque by January 8th at the latest.  Here is an “ideal” arrival schedule:

January 3rd-4th: If you will live off campus, arrive in Albuquerque to find housing

January 10th: If you will live on campus, move in to campus housing (if you arrive earlier, register for early move-in by following instructions below)

January  8th or 9th: Attend one new student check-in/information session at 9:30 am beginning at GEO, 2120 Mesa Vista Hall (building #56), settle in to housing, finalize class schedule

January 10th: Attend MANDATORY international orientation from 8:30am – 3:30pm

January 11th – 13th: Settle in and participate in fun welcome events

January 14th: Begin classes

2.      Where to Stay Until You Can Move into Permanent Housing

Students who will live in UNM campus housing (not Casas del Rio or Lobo Village) can move into their room early for a fee of $30 per night. Early move-in does not begin until Tuesday,January 8th.  To request early move-in, students must sign a 2018-2019 academic year housing contract with UNM and submit a request for early arrival to UNM Residence Life and Student Housing . You will receive a confirmation of your arrival request along with instructions on where to check into housing. You will not be able to move in early unless you register in advance! Please note that the dining hall will not open until Tuesday, January 8th.  However, there are many dining options near campus. If you have any questions, contact UNM Residence Life and Student Housing at or 505-277-2606. If you don’t submit a request for early arrival, you can’t move-in to campus housing until Tuesday, January 8th.

3.      Airport Pick-Up and Temporary Home-Stay

UNM student groups will sometimes provide airport pick-up and/or temporary home-stays for new students. You can contact students from your home country through one of the country/culture group representatives on the UNM Student Activities website at to see if this service is being offered by a group from your country.

Offered by ISI (Local Community Christian Organization – NOT UNM)

A non-UNM, community Christian volunteer organization called ISI (International Students, Inc.) offers free airport pick-up and a temporary home-stay with a local family not to exceed 3 days. ISI is a Christian Organization, but there is no obligation to participate in any religious activities.  If you are interested in airport pick-up or the home-stay opportunity offered by ISI please contact them at: . Pick-up and home-stays for students arriving for the Spring 2019 semester will begin the week of January 2nd ,2019.  Contact ISI at least 2 weeks in advance of your arrival for the best chance of getting a home-stay placement. Please report to GEO if you feel any pressure from ISI volunteers to participate in religious activities.

4.      How to Get to Campus

If you will not be picked up, taxis and Uber from the airport to UNM and to hotels near campus are relatively inexpensive (less than $20).  Bus #50 goes from the airport to the UNM campus in 10 minutes.  Ask the bus driver to let you off at UNM (the intersection of Yale and Central Avenues). Students moving into campus housing will need to get to the SRC Commons Building (Building #89 on the UNM central campus map, enclosed; this map is also on the UNM website at If you are moving into campus housing, make sure you arrive during move-in hours (check or email

5.      Orientation Requirements

ALL Exchange Students must attend a new student check-in session (two hours long) AND the international orientationBOTH OF THESE ARE REQUIRED!!!

Orientation Schedule:

  1. CHECK-IN: Tuesday, January 8thOR Wednesday, Janaury 9thCheck-in sessions offered mornings (each session is approximately 2.5 hours long); arrive by 9:00 am to complete the mandatory check-in session. You must come to ONE check-in session.
  2. INTERNATIONAL ORIENTATION: Thursday, Janaury 10th  MANDATORY International Orientation ALL DAY– 8:30 am until 3:30 pm in Centennial Engineering Auditorium (building #112)

Once you arrive at UNM, come into the GEO office. GEO is located at 2120 Mesa Vista Hall, directly east of the Student Union Building (SUB) and is in building #56 on the UNM campus map (enclosed).  Bring your passport, DS-2019, I-94 (printed at after arrival in the US), and proof of health insurance purchased from the ISI website at At the check-in we will inform you about requirements you must complete before classes begin which include:

Note: Failure to provide all required information by the end of the first week of class will result in administrative withdrawal from the University and may mean that you would have to leave the country.

- Before you Leave Home

  1. Documents:  You should copy all of your important documents before you come to the U.S. and leave copies with family or friends at home in case you need them sent to you. Important documents include: passport, visa, DS-2019, financial information, transcripts, credit card information, international and home country driver’s licenses and national ID card.  Remember, you must bring the originals of these documents with you to the U.S. Certified original copies of your birth certificate may be necessary for a driver’s permit or state ID.
  2. Medical:
  • Get copies of your immunization records (Measles, Mumps, Rubella [MMR] is required) in English. You will need to provide these if there is an outbreak.
  • Bring prescriptions for any regular medications (plus several months’ worth of these medications).
  • Get extra eyeglasses if you need them – these are expensive in the U.S. and are usually not covered by insurance.
  • Get your dental work done – dentistry in the U.S. is expensive and not covered by insurance.
  1. Financial:  You should arrive with access to approximately $2,000 via a credit or ATM card to cover initial costs.  For your protection, do not carry more than $1,000 in cash.

Course Registration

International Exchange students must be registered and complete at least 12 credits each semester in order to remain full-time and maintain legal immigration status. Most UNM courses are 3 credits and the credit values are indicated in the Catalog and Schedule.

PHARMACY, MEDICAL SCIENCE, AND NURSING are not allowed to take. Law and Architecture are restricted. 

Please find the semester start and end dates here. Remember, you will need to arrive about one week early in order to check-in, find housing, and attend orientation. 


Registration for Spring 2019 does not open until the end of October 2018.  Exchange students may be prevented from enrolling for some classes due to pre-requisites or the fact that they are not UNM degree students.  You may need to contact advisors in specific departments to get “overrides” for the courses you need.  If you need information on who to contact, please email

Step 1: Finding your courses

The online schedule lists all the courses, days and times that classes will be taught.  You can see the “Schedule of Classes” at Click on “LoboWeb Course catalog” to find courses that will be offered.   

Make sure that none of the classes you want to take conflict with any other of your courses. 

Business students find available courses here:

You will need to understand the UNM course numbering system in order to choose your classes:   

Course numbers in the:

  • 100’s are introductory courses generally taken by first year students.  

  • 200-level courses are usually for second year students

  • 300-level for third year

  • 400-level for fourth year  

Courses numbered 500 or 600 are for graduate students only (i.e., you must have completed a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.) You are not allowed to pre-register for graduate courses if you are not admitted as a graduate student.  

Note: These are only guidelines, and students may register for any courses for which they are qualified regardless of their year in school, with the proper preparations and permissions, which may include notifying the professor or department and asking for special permission to register.

Step 2: Creating a UNM NetID

To register for classes you need a UNM NetID, to make a UNM NetID, do the following:

You will need to set up a UNM Net ID in order to register for classes, view your student information, and pay your bills with UNM.  To do so, you will need your student ID# in addition to the University-issued temporary Social Security Number printed on your admission letter.  To set up the NetID you will:

  • Go to the link:
  • Click on “I am new, I need a new NetID”
  • Read and complete the user agreement, fill in your name,  and click “I agree”
  • Follow set-up instructions using your real or temporary SSN (e.g. 000XXXXXX)
  • The system will suggest a user ID for you, but you can change it; this is the ONLY opportunity to change your user ID, so make sure to pick one that you like!!!

When you have your NetID and the list of courses you want to take, go to

Here you can log in with the NetID and password you just created.

NOTE: It may take 48 hours that your UNM Net ID is activated. If you cannot log-in after creating the Net ID, please wait at least 48 hours.

Step 3: Registering for Courses

Please check for registration dates for your courses: Note that your date is the last listed because as an exchange student you are considered as a transfer student but please try to register as soon as possible when your date comes up! You can register about three months before the semester starts. Before you try to register, you should examine the course descriptions in the online UNM Catalog.

To register for classes, you must do the following:

1. Visit the registration website:

2. Click “Login”

3. Enter your Net ID and password 

4. Click on “Student Life” tab

5. Click on “LoboWeb”

6. Click on “Registration and Records”

7. Click on “Registration (Add/Drop/with Override)”

8. Click on “Accept Financial Responsibility”

9. Select the term you will be here at UNM

10. Click on “Class Search”

11. If you go to advanced search, you can search for courses by their Course Number

12. Check the box in the “Select” column and then click “Register” to register for the course

13. Repeat this process until you have register for the courses you need


15. You may add or drop courses at any time before your arrival at UNM using this system.

Undergraduate International Exchange students must be registered and complete at least 12 credit hours (4 classes) each semester in order to remain full-time and maintain legal immigration status. The classes you take are completely up to you, but talk to your home-advisor before you register to make sure that they accept your course credits. 

Graduate International Exchange students must be registered and complete at least 9 graduate credit hours (3 classes) each semester in order to remain full-time and maintain legal immigration status. If a graduate student takes less than 9 graduate credit hours, the student will have to take 12 credit hours: mixed undergraduate and graduate credit hours.

Most UNM courses are 3 credits and the credit values are indicated in the online Catalog and Schedule of Classes. You may register for a maximum of 18 credits, but we strongly recommend that you take no more than 15 credits your first semester.  

Note:  Students who want to register for English 101 or 102 and get a registration error, please email your UNM international advisor with a copy of your TOFEL score and your UNM ID number. He/she can help you to register for the English classes.

This is the link to all UNM departments:

This is the link to the UNM directory where you can find advisors by name:

Course Registration Errors and Restrictions

You may recieve a registration error when you attempt to enroll in courses online. Please see here: for the proper action to take. Some specific subject areas are limited. For example, if you wish to take any Business courses, please send us the list of the classes you want to take with your UNM ID number and for Architecture, please send us your portfolio, the list of Architecture software you are familiar with, and the list of classes you want to take along with your UNM ID number; Please contact GEO (see Contact Us tab) if you have questions and/or problems of any kind!

For all other classes, the best advice is that you go online and try to register as soon as possible. If you get a message that you cannot register for any particular class for any reason, try to get on the waiting list and check your email regularly because they will send you an email if a spot opens in the class and they will give you 48 hours to register for the class. 

It is best to contact the instructor or department advisor in advance by e-mail to get permission to enter the class. Also, during the first week of classes many students add and drop their courses.  If you cannot register for classes, you can always talk to the instructor or advisor after your arrival but please try to register as soon as you receive your admission letter! Most exchange students get into the classes they need.  However, registration in all desired courses is not guaranteed. If you have problems registering for the courses you want after you arrive, please come and talk with us at GEO (See Contact Us tab).

You can register courses ONLY AFTER your Course Registration Date. Please see here: for the schedule. All the new students, including the exchange students who have earned 0-14 credits at UNM, should see the bottom of this page.

You are not allowed to take courses from the school of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Also, you are restricted to take courses from the School of Law and Architecture. If you are planning to take courses in Law and Architecture, please contact the department advisors or please contact GEO (See Contact Us tab) before the semester starts.


According to the exchange student agreement between our universities, you will not pay UNM tuition. However, you may be responsible for course fees, such as art class or laboratory fees (which are anywhere from US$ 25 to US$ 400 per class). These fees are noted in the course listings schedule.

There will also be a $275 visa processing and administration fee assessed per semester during your stay at UNM.

You will not have a bill until you have registered for classes.  The bill can be accessed by logging in to with your NetID (see above).  Bills paid by credit card will incur an additional 3% fee or you can pay by wire transfer using your UNM ID number through our partner flywire at:

Remember that the amount you pay depends on course fees for the courses you are taking and your on-campus housing charges. There is also a the UNM health insurance charge if you do not receive a waiver of the UNM Student Health Insurance Plan.  Please check the due dates and submit your payment online or to the Bursar’s office by the correct deadline to avoid late fees.

Finally, if an outside sponsor will pay your bill, you will need to go in person to the UNM Bursar’s Office so that the bill can be sent to your sponsor, even if this information has already been sent to UNM.  For more information regarding payment, please contact the Bursar’s Office at

Airport Pick-Up and Temporary Housing


UNM student groups will sometimes provide airport pick-up and/or temporary home-stays for new students. You can contact students from your home country through one of the country/culture group representatives on the UNM Student Activities website at to see if this service is being offered by a group from your country. This website is taken down in December and January, so please reference it now to see if there is a group from your country and take note of the contact information.
- Offered by ISI (Local Community Christian Organization – NOT UNM)
A non-UNM, community Christian volunteer organization called ISI (International Students, Inc.) offers free airport pick-up and a temporary home-stay with a local family not to exceed 3 days.  If you are interested, you must contact them in advance. This service is free. ISI is a Christian Organization, but there is no obligation to participate in any religious activities. If you are interested in airport pick-up or the home-stay opportunity offered by ISI please contact them at: ISI Airport pick-up and home-stays for students arriving for the Spring 2019 semester will begin two weeks before the classes start.  You must contact ISI at least two weeks in advance of your arrival for the best chance of getting a home-stay placement.  Please report to GEO if you feel any pressure from ISI volunteers to participate in religious activities.
You can also choose to stay in a local hotel until you can move into permanent housing.  Be sure to ask if they have a UNM student discount.
You can find all the information about housing options by visiting the Housing webpage here: Exchange students should be mindful of the length of their program before signing any housing contracts or leases. Clarify before signing that those of you who will only be here for one semester will be able to leave the contract after 6 months.  

You should think carefully about the kind of housing experience you want.  There are advantages and disadvantages to living on campus or off campus that you should consider carefully before you decide.  Please read the housing brochure for more information.  Regardless of the permanent housing option you choose, you need to be prepared to pay for temporary housing when you first arrive (early move-in for on-campus residents, hotel, etc.).  You can also choose to use the non-UNM ISI volunteer airport pick-up and temporary home-stay service listed above or contact students from your home country or department about a temporary home-stay.

To view UNM campus housing options, visit and sign up as soon as possible to have the best chance at getting your first choice.


Insurance Requirements for UNM International Students

For the most up to date Health Insurance information, please read through the "Insurance Requirements for UNM International Students" here:

Every exchange student must buy one of the plans from the website above – no exceptions. Even if you have insurance from your home country or provided by your university, you must purchase one of these U.S. and UNM-approved plans.

Students MUST buy one of the 4 plans from the International Student Insurance website here:

They must buy this insurance even if they are ALSO required to purchase a plan or are already covered by a plan offered by your institution or your country. If they already have an insurance plan, the UNM plan will act as secondary insurance coverage for their stay in the US.

Please remember that US federal regulations require that all J1 visa holders have insurance that meets specific requirements and this policy is being implemented to ensure compliance with U.S. federal requirements.  All of the plans offered on the site above meet the minimum requirements for J1 visa holders.

Contact Us

Anima Bista / Nao Fukami

Education Abroad Graduate Assistant

Phone: (505) 277-4032

Fax: (505) 277-1867