International Exchange Students

International Exchange at UNI

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) provides a high-quality and diverse educational experience, purposefully guiding students to find and develop their strengths and prepare them for success. Building on its historic excellence in teacher education, UNI has developed outstanding programs in business, humanities, arts, sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. 

The UNI Study Abroad Center assists exchange students with pre-arrival matter and advise students throughout the application process. Nominations from partner universities should be communicated to this office as well as any questions regarding exchange matters.

This page contains resources and information for inbound international exchange students who wish to attend the University of Northern Iowa from one of our partner universities. 

Quick Facts About UNI

160+ Areas of Study 26 Average Class Size
17:1 Faculty-Ratio

260+ Student Organizations

Campus and Community Life

Students can attend UNI social activities, festivals, shows, and concerts during the year and students can go to the athletic events for free. Cedar Falls is a welcoming community and has benefits of urban life in a safe, small setting. UNI was named one of the 50 safety college campuses in the U.S., according to a study done by Newsweek's the Daily Beast. We are centrally located between Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis, all within a few hours drive. 

Areas of Study

College of Business Administration |

UNIBusiness is accredited with the gold standard of business school and a distinction earned by fewer than 5% of schools worldwide. Named one of The Princeton Review’s Best Business Schools.

College of Education |

COE students have numerous opportunities for student teaching and field experiences in a wide variety of settings, including rural, urban and international schools. The student-faculty ratio is 13:1.

College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences |

CHAS is known for high placement rates in graduate schools, medical schools, and the private sector. Undergraduate science research is readily available.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences |

CSBS students present original research, exchange ideas and learn more about their areas of study during the annual Student Research Conference, which brings Midwestern graduate and undergraduate students to campus.

Applying to UNI

All students coming from an international partner university must be nominated to the UNI Study Abroad Center by a designate from their home university. Once nominated, detailed instructions on the application procedure will be emailed to the student. Below is an outline of the process. 

  1. Complete the International Student Application (instructions on completing this form will be emailed to the student)
  2. Request for Permission to Enroll as Transient Student

  3. Send Proof of English Proficiency

    • All exchange students who are not native speakers of English must submit proof of English proficiency. Accepted are the following:

  4. A copy of the student's passport

All of these documents must be uploaded to the student's online application. The online application can be found on the International Admissions page. 


Information on the Cost of Attendance: Tuition and mandatory fees are often covered by the exchange agreement between UNI and the partner university meaning the student pays this to their home university, not to UNI. Beyond this, students must consider the cost of campus housing and meals, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses. Estimates on these costs can be found on the International Admissions page

Information on Classes Offered: UNI solidifies what courses are offered for the Fall (August to December) semester in mid-March of the year and in mid-October for the Spring (January-May) semester of the next year. The schedule of classes for each term can be found on the Registrar's page. Students can use this to see a real-time schedule of the offerings. It is safe to use a previous terms schedule to get an idea of what could be offered for future terms, but it is not guaranteed the courses will continue to be on offer. For further course descriptions, students should use the Academic Catalog. This catalog shows all courses offered at UNI. If a detailed syllabus is needed to determine equivalencies for transferability, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center and we will work with faculty to obtain these. 

Information on Dates: The academic calendar can be found on the Registrar's page. This notes the start date of classes, breaks, and finals. This does not include information on arrival or orientation. Orientation is usually the week or few days prior to the start date of classes. This will be confirmed to the student via email during the application process. 

Information on Housing and Meals: Living in one of UNI's residence halls will put students in the thick of college life. Exchange students are highly encouraged to live on campus during their semester or academic year at UNI. Information on our on-campus housing and meals can be found on the University Housing and Dining page

Information on the Culture and Intensive English Program: Students who wish to enhance their English language skills should consider taking classes in the Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP). CIEP prepares students for academic studies at UNI through small classes that focus on listening and speaking, reading comprehension and vocabulary expansion, and writing/grammar. Information on the CIEP can be found on the CIEP page

Information on the International Engagement Office and Orientation: The International Engagement Office assists students with the transition from their home countries to campus and daily activities while enrolled. Students find services designed especially for them: orientation, registration, airport transportation, immigration advising, and special programs and activities. Information on their services and orientation can be found on the IEO page

Detailed Information on life at UNI as an International Student can be found in the International Prospectus.

Detailed Information for the Admitted International Student can be found in the "Now That You're Admitted" publication. This will be emailed to all admitted exchange students as well. 

UNI's Exchange Partners can be found on our Partnership List.

Contact Information

For information regarding exchange agreements, please contact the Study Abroad Director, Paula Van Zee

For information regarding nominations and exchange student needs, please contact the Senior Study Abroad Advisor, Stephanie Rojas.