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 2019 Exchange Student Orientation, please click HERE.

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 on the following dates. PLEASE SEND THE APPLICATION DOCUMENTS  ONLY AFTER THE APPLICATION PERIOD IS STARTED! :

  • Fall Semester (Duration: August-December): March 1 - 31

  • Spring Semester (Duration: January-May): September 1 - 30


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 an exchange advisor/international office at your home university for details of how to obtain a nomination.

Nomination window for Academic Year 2020-2021 will be open in February 2020!!

Step Two: Required Application Documents (All documents should be typed, hand-written documents are not acceptable.)

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

NOTE: If you have a document that is not originally in English, and you need to submit it as the application document, anyone (not applicant) who is fluent both in English and that language can translate the documents. Please provide the original translation along with the typed name, date of translation, address, and the signature of translator and a sentence to prove that the document is correct and accurately translated.

  1. Copy of the Biographical Page of Your PassportYour passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the last day you plan to be in the country. If your passport expires before that date, it must be renewed BEFORE application.

  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. If you plan to enroll in graduate-level courses at UNM, you must submit either a copy of your Bachelor's Degree certificate or a letter from your exchange advisor stating that you qualify for graduate-level study.

  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.

*If you are a Guest (fee-paying) student, you will be required to have the sufficient amount as a regular international student. Please refer to the minimum Cost of Attendance including Non-resident UNM tuition, Room and Board, Textbooks, etc. here;

*Guest students are not eligible to apply for Amigo Scholarship. If you are not sure if you are nominated as an exchange student or guest students, please contact your home institution.

*Please review the following table to determine acceptable documents for proving adequate funding or financial capability. You can combine one or more Source of Funds Required Verification if necessary.

Source of Funds Required Verification:

Personal and Family Savings

Official Bank statement or letter from a bank verifying liquid assets/cash. Your bank statement should include: 1) Name of the account holder (student or student's parents or sponsor), 2) Name of bank, 3) Type(s) of account, 4) The balance at the time bank statement is issued, and 5) Date of bank statement issuance. 

Please note that an unofficial picture/screen shot of the bank account, investment portfolios, credit card monthly reports, mortgage appraisals, and similar statements are not acceptable. In addition, please note that if the funding is not from an account in your name, you will need a brief statement in English from the account holder stating that they will be supporting you for your exchange program. A sample letter is available on our online application website.


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.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Undergraduate: 6.0, Graduate: 6.5

  • Cambridge English Qualifications (CPE or CAE) – accepted with a satisfactory score of Undergraduate: 169, Graduate: 176.

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE: Academic) - Undergraduate: 47, Graduate: 53

  • UNM Law School (Graduate):  TOEFL100 on the iBT or 600 on the PBT.   *Unofficial (ITP) scores are not accepted.

​NOTES: 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. List of Courses: Please indicate Your name, University, Semester you enroll at UNM, Course titles (i.e. "ENGL XXX: Intro to English"), Course Number of each courses, and the Number of Credits. You can submit document in PDF or MS Word document. Though the course schedule is not guaranteed and might not yet confirmed for the academic year 2019-2020 during the application period, you must access to the current year's UNM Course Schedule and find your courses at least U.S. 12 credit hours per semester. Courses Restricted: PHARMACY, MEDICAL SCIENCE, AND NURSING are NOT allowed to take. LAW, NUTRITION, and ARCHITECTURE are restricted (See restrictions on "Course Registration" and "FAQ: Course Registration Errors" tab).

  2. Fees: Please refer to the website HERE and understand payment before submitting your application.

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 Due to recent changes to visa and immigration policy, we expect visa interview and processing times to be longer than in previous years for all students, no matter what country you come from. Be smart and get your visa appointment as early as possible within the 120-day window!

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. You should not open this envelope!  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.

Please do not forget to read the Pre-Arrival Information from HERE.

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 and Pre-Departure Info (Spring 2020) *UPDATED 10/4/2019

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 are not allowed to arrive more than 30 days before the start date listed on your DS-2019 form. You must plan to arrive in Albuquerque by early January. If you will not arrive before Thursday, January 16th, you must contact for special late arrival approval in advance.

January 6th: If you will live off campus, arrive in Albuquerque to find housing

January 14th: Early move-in day for on-campus housing. (Register for early move-in as indicated on the welcome letter)

January 6th - 15th: Attend a new student check-in&information session on weekdays. Arrive at UNM Global Education Office, 2120 Mesa Vista Hall (building #56), at 9:30am to complete one of the mandatory check-in sessions.

January 16th: Attend MANDATORY international orientation from 8:30am – 3:30pm

January 16th: General move-in day for on-campus housing

January 17th – 20th: Settle in and participate in fun welcome events

January 21th: Begin classes

For your information, please also find our Ten-Year-Semeser-Dates Calendar (UNM Academic Calendar) from HERE !

Note: UNM closes for the winter break at 5:00 pm on December 20th, 2019 and will re-open January 2nd, 2020.

2.      Orientation Requirements

ALL Exchange Students must attend 1) New Student Check-In Session AND 2) International Student OrientationBOTH OF THESE ORIENTATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS!!!

Orientation Schedule:

  1. CHECK-IN: Monday, January 6th - Wednesday, January 15th Check-in sessions offered weekday mornings (each session is 2-3 hours); arrive at GEO Office at 9:30am to complete the mandatory check-in session. You must come to ONE of these check-in sessions.
  2. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION: Thursday, January 16th ALL DAY– 8:30 am until 3:30 pm in Centennial Engineering Auditorium, Rm 1041 (building #112 on Campus Map) *Lunch will be provided.

Once you arrive at UNM, come into the GEO office for MANDATORY Check-in and Informaion Sessions as above. GEO is located at 2120 Mesa Vista Hall (2nd Floor), directly east of the Student Union Building (SUB) and is in Building #56. Please see the map here; UNM Central campus map.

During the check-in session at GEO above, you will be asked to upload the digital copies of the Immigration Documents and Health Insurance Certificate of Coverage on our system as below. Also, bring the original plus e-copies of your all of you immigratio documents as below. You will be provided the information of requirements you must complete before the class starts.

Things You Need for Check-In: 

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 immediately after termination of your J-1 Visa.

    3.      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 in to their room early for a fee of $30 per night if they register to move in early.  Early move-in does not begin until Tuesday, January 14th. To request early move-in, students must sign a Spring 2020 housing contract with UNM and submit a request for early arrival to UNM Residence Life and Student Housing no later than Monday, January 6th.

After creating a UNM Net ID, you will be able to sign up for on-campus housing options (including early move-in) through your UNM Housing dashboard. You will receive a confirmation of your arrival request along with instructions on where to check in to 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 Thursday, January 16th.  However, there are many dining options near campus. For housing questions, contact UNM Residence Life and Student Housing at or +1-505-277-2606. If you don’t submit a request for early arrival, you cannot move-in to campus housing until Thursday, January 16th.

  4.      How to Get to Campus

If you will not be picked up from the airport, taxis and Uber/Lyft 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 for $1 (exact change only). Ask the bus driver to let you off at UNM (the intersection of Yale and Central Avenues). Students moving in to campus housing will need to get to the SRC Commons Building (Building #89 on the UNM central campus map) If you are moving in to campus housing, make sure you arrive during move-in hours (check or email for the hours). Please also refer to our AIRPORT PICK UP AND TEMPORARY HOUSING page.

  5.      What to Do Before You Leave Your Home

1. Documents:

You should scan all of your important documents* before you come to the U.S. and have access to there copies electronically. You should also give family or friends at home access to these copies in case you need them for some reasons. Remember, you must bring the originals of most of the important documents with you. Certified original copies of your birth certificate (and its translation) may be necessary for a driver’s permit or state ID. Please find the detail at Moter Vehicle Division New Mexico or ask us during the orientation upon arrival. 

*Important documents include;

  • Welcome Letter from GEO
  • Passport
  • J-1 Visa (attached to the passport)
  • DS-2019
  • Financial information
  • Official transcripts from your home institution
  • Health insurance
  • Credit card information
  • International and home country driver’s licenses (if any)
  • Flight itinerary
  • Birth certificates
  • National ID card from your home country

      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. - you do not need to submit this proof UNLESS THERE


  • Bring prescriptions for any regular medications (plus several months’ worth of these medications).

  • Get extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses 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.

  • Buy one of the health insurance policies on the site listed above until at least March 1st to cover you for medical emergencies and then be sure to extend or buy another policy before this one expires!

​         3. Financial:

You should arrive with access to approximately $5,000 to cover initial costs either via a credit or ATM card.  It may take time to open your bank account in the U.S. For your protection, DO NOT carry more than $1,000 in cash while traveling to the U.S.


Course Registration

NOTE: Spring 2020 Registration for all new exchange students will open on November 25th (U.S. Mountain Time).

International Exchange students must register and complete at least U.S. 12 credit hours* 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 here; Online UNM Catalog and Schedule of Classes.

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 2020 does not open until the end of November 2019.  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 

How to search your courses by course title:

Open online course schedule. Find the p
ulldown “Actions”>> select ”Filter”>> set Column as ”Title”, Operator as “contains”, and type any keywords in Expression to search your courses such as Spanish, finance, design, yoga, etc.


  1. 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.  
  2. 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.
  3. Courses Restricted: PHARMACY, MEDICAL SCIENCE, and NURSING are NOT allowed to take. NUTRITION, LAW and ARCHITECTURE are restricted.

Step 2: Creating a UNM "Net ID"

After you obtain the official welcome letter, 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 (if you do not have the permanent SSN yet). Student ID# and temporary SSN are printed on your Welcome 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)  *Temporary SSN is stated on your welcome letter.
  • Make sure to pick a Net ID that you like and that is appropriate for school and work.  The system will suggest one to you.  You can change it now, but you will NOT be able to change it later!

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 at least 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 hereNote 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 & Records”

7. Click on “Registration (Add/Drop), Course Search, Check for Holds”

8. Enter "Registration Portal" at the bottom of Registration at UNM page

9. Click on "Registration for My Classes"

10. Select the term you will be here at UNM and "Continue"

11. Read the student consent and Click on “ACCEPT Financial Responsibility”

12. Click on “Class Search”

13. Pull down or enter the "Subject" and enter "Course Number", click the "Search" courses

14. If you go to advanced search, you can search for courses by their Meeting Days, Start/End Time, Keywords, etc. *You can also enter by Course Reference Numbers (CRN) numbers if you have.

15. Click "Add” to register for the course

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


18. You may add or drop courses at any time before or after 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.
  • Courses Restricted: PHARMACY, MEDICAL SCIENCE, and NURSING are not allowed to take. NUTRITION, LAW, and ARCHITECTURE are restricted.

  • Most UNM courses are 3 credits and the credit values are indicated in the Online UNM 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.

  • 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. See Course Registration Errors and Restrictions for other errors.  

  • Students need to have done the pre-requisites at basic-level for entry to the upper-level courses (i.e. 200-400 level courses for undergraduate). If there are the particular courses that you are interested in, you can reach out to the Department Academic Advisors directly, either via email or in person, before the semester starts. Please use the links below. Academic Advisors may request you to submit a transcript from your university to confirm if you have already taken the basic level courses at home university. Please explain that you are "an exchange, non-degree student" and only has a limited timeframe to take courses at UNM.

  • Find all UNM departments:
  • Find department academic advisors by name:

FAQ for Course Registration Errors and Restrictions

1. When can I start registering my courses?

You are allowed to register courses ONLY AFTER your Course Registration Date. Please see here: All new exchange students should follow the "Eligibility Requirement" of 0-14 credits because the students have not earned any UNM credits in the past.

NOTE: Spring 2020 Registration for all new exchange students will open on November 25th (U.S. Mountain Time).

2. What should I do if I receive a registration error when I attempt to enroll in courses online? What does it mean?

Please see here: for the proper action to take. 

When you get a message that you cannot register for any particular class because it is "full," please try to get yourself on the waiting list and check your UNM email regularly. Office of the Registrar may send you an email if a spot opens in the class. The system will give you 48 hours to register for the class to fill the spot open.

3. Is there any course restriction?

Yes, some specific subject areas are restricted to students in a particular major. Please see the information on Course RegistrationYou 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 (graduate only), School of Architecture and Planning, and Nutrition & Dietetics program in the Department of Individual, Family and Community Education. If you are planning to take courses in Law, Architecture, and Nutrition, please contact Study Abroad Assistant at GEO (See "Contact Us") during the application period. GEO/UNM cannot guarantee that students will get into all of the classes they request even we issued the acceptance letter as an exchange student. It is essential that you have some flexibility for the courses that interest you and for which you may get credit from your home university after completing the exchange program. 

For the courses in the Department of Architecture or Fine Arts, you may be requested to submit following materials; your portfolio, the list of Architecture software you are familiar with, the list of classes you want to take, and UNM ID. 

For all other classes, the best advice is that you go online and try to register as soon as possible after your class registration date (see below).

4. How can I request a "prerequisite override" for entry to the upper-level courses?

It is best to contact the instructor or department advisor in advance by e-mail to get permission to enter the class. Please search online the name of department at www.unm.eduAcademic Advisors may request you to submit a letter or transcript from your university to confirm if you have already taken the basic level courses at home university. Please explain that you are an exchange student and only has a limited timeframe to take courses at UNM.

Also, students are allowed to Add/Drop their courses online without any charges during the first two weeks of classes. If you cannot register a class you want before starting the semester, you may speak to the Academic Advisors/course instructors in person about the possibility of adding the course to your schedule as soon as possible. Many exchange students get into the classes they need during the Add/Drop period. However, course schedule and modules are subject to change, and the registration in all desired courses is not guaranteed. If you have problems registering for the courses or do not know the contact of your department academic advisors, please email the Study Abroad Assistant at GEO (See "Contact Us").

5. I have issues (forgot password, cannot log-in, etc.) with my Net ID. What should I do?

Please access to the website here for Net ID-related FAQs: If you cannot find answers, you will have to either call UNM IT at 505-277-5757 or create a help ticket. The instruction to create the help ticket is as below:


University Fees/Payment

NOTE: You will not have a bill from UNM until you have registered for classes. You can pay Course Fees, UNM Visa Processing and Administration Fee (non-government fee), and housing/meal plans (if any) through myUNM after you arrive at UNM. Therefore, the only thing you have to pay BEFORE arriving in the U.S. is your International Student Insurance.

1. Course Fees by Department (Non-Tuition)

According to the exchange student agreement between your institutions and UNM, your UNM tuition will be exempt. However, you will be responsible for course fees from each department, such as Anderson School of Management, Fine Arts, or any department with laboratory (which are anywhere from US$ 25 to US$ 400 per class). The amount of each course fee will depend on the courses you register. Not all classes have special fees. If you would like to review the exact fees, please access to the Online Course Schedule for your semester and find the "Course Fees".

To understand your charges, please visit HERE.

The deadline of course fees can be found here at the "Semester Deadline" tab on Registrar's Office website.

NOTE: If you are nominated as a "Guest" (Fee-Paying) student or "Bridge Program" (CELAC + Part-time exchange) student by your institution and not sure about the tuition/fees, please ask us by email in advance (See "Contact Us" section). You have different fees/payment procedures from full-time exchange student.

2. UNM Visa Processing and Administration Fee/Exchange Student Fee

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

NOTE: All international students must also pay a mandatory SEVIS fee, which is a U.S. Government fee, NOT a university fee. Please find the Visa Requirement information from here.

3. International Student Insurance

See the "Health Insurance" tab AND here.

4. Other Mandatory Fees

Please refer to the latest information for mandatory fees at

NOTE: After Fall 2019, "Mandatory IT Fee ($50)" will be assessed to all students including exchange students. 

5. How to Pay Your Bill

You will not have a bill until you have registered for classes. The bill can be accessed by logging in to with your Net ID (See "Creating a UNM Net ID"). 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 only the courses you are taking and your UNM on-campus housing charges. There would be also 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 feesTranscripts will not be issued if any financial obligations are due to the University. You can find the Semester Deadlines from here

If an outside sponsor will pay your bill, you will need to send a copy of your financial sponsorship letter to: 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


1. UNM Student Activities (SAC)

img1UNM 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 (SAC) website at to see if this service is being offered by a group from your country. Please reference to see if there is a group from your country and take note of the contact information.

2. International Students, Inc. (ISI): Non-UNM Local Community Christian Organization
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: ISIABQ@isionline.orgISI Airport pick-up and home-stays for international students usually 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 the permanent housing.  Be sure to ask if they have a UNM student discount.


1) Living On-Campus

You can find all the information about housing options by visiting the UNM Residence Life and Student Housing webpage here: or contacting your hall coordinator directly (See below). 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 may need to find a person who can re-let your contract for the second semester or pay the fees for breaking the contract.

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.).

On-campus housing rates and payments information can be found here: 

Moving-in date and more FAQ:


To view UNM campus housing options, visit and sign up as soon as possible to have the best chance at getting your first choice after you are officially accepted. You need to introduce yourself with 1) First and Last Name, 2) UNM Net ID (after accepted as exchange students), 3) Your student status at UNM (i.e. I am an exchange student who will be staying at UNM only in Fall/Spring 20XX.), 4) Semester enroll, and 5) Housing option you applied or are interested to apply. You can also contact students from your home country or department about a temporary home-stay.

2) Living Off-Campus

If you will not live in UNM campus housing, OR you will arrive before August 10th, you will have to find temporary housing off campus by yourself. After reviewing process of your application is completed, the GEO will send you a Welcome Letter with the housing handout list of local hotels where you can stay before campus housing opens or before you find permanent housing. Make sure to ask if the hotel has a UNM student discount. The ISI (see above) offers transportation and resources to international students who are trying to find off-campus housing.


Health 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:

You MUST choose one of the 4 plans from the International Student Insurance (ISI) website here: 

Every exchange student must buy one of the plans from the website aboveno 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 (if you have health insurance from home, this policy will only pay after that policy pays). 

All four plans on the website meet the minimum requirements for J-1 Exchange Students, and you can choose the plan that is best for you. Make sure to read through the plan descriptions carefully to find out what the insurance does and does NOT cover!  Remember that all of the plans on this site have a waiting period of at least 6 months before they will cover you for pre-existing conditions (sicknesses for which you have already been treated). You should bring with you to the United States any prescription medications that you already know you will need.

Buy your insurance policy before you come to the U.S. and make sure that it starts for the day that you will arrive in the country. For example, if your program will end in Spring 2020, you must buy insurance that ends AFTER May 10, 2020 or the date you leave the US (whichever is later). For J-1 students, your permission to stay ends within 30 days of completion of the last requirement. If you are not sure if you will stay for one or two semesters, buy the policy until May 11, 2020 and then extend your policy once you know you will stay. Please remember that this is a REQUIREMENT by the U.S. federal regulations. All J1 visa holders (exchange students) need to have insurance that meets the specific requirements, and this International Student Insurance policy above is being implemented to ensure compliance with U.S. federal requirements. 

Dental and vision care are not covered by medical insurance in the U.S., so it is recommended that you take care of any vision or dental needs before you come to UNM.  More information about insurance and health care will be provided during orientation.  You can also visit the UNM Student Health and Counseling Center website for current information about health care services for students.


1) At the GEO Check-in Session, you must present a proof of ISI insurance coverage for fall semester or longer. If not, we will place a hold on your UNM account, and you will be unable to register for classes, modify your class schedule, or have credit transfer back to your home institution until you show appropriate proof of coverage !!

2) If you are a U.S. Citizen and a U.S. Permanent Resident (or a Green Card holder), please contact us. 


Contact Us

Nao Fukami (Ms.)

Exchange (Inbound) / Study Abroad Graduate Assistant, Education Abroad

Global Education Office

University of New Mexico

Mesa Vista Hall 2120

Phone: +1 (505) 277-4032

Fax: +1 (505) 277-1867

Email: (all exchange related questions including application, late arrivals, course registration, housing)

Walk-in Hours for exchange questions: M/T/TH/F 1-3pm

Facebook: UNMGlobal


  1. As we experience a very high volume of incoming e-mails, please allow us to take up to three (3) business days to reply your email. If you are an incoming student or an applicant for our exchange program, please indicate the following things in your email; 1) Your First and Last Name, 2) Your Home Institution and Country, 3) Expected Exchange Semester at UNM, and 4) UNM ID (if you have created UNM Net ID after officially admitted). Thank you very much for your understanding.
  2. If you need any assistance with immigration and work-related questions, please contact GEO International Advisors at Their walk-in advisement hours are Monday – Friday, 1pm – 3pm AND Monday, Thursday 10am – 12pm.
  3. Please see our UNM Education Abroad Team in the UNM Global Educaion Office HERE!