Welcome to the BU Exchange Program! This Pre-departure Page is your one-stop-shop for all program related information prior to your arrival in Boston.

You’re in! This Pre-Departure Page is your primary resources for all the program-related information you will need to
prepare for your semester/year at BU.

Check this page regularly!
Information will be updated throughout the semester. To stay on track, use the self-check at the end of each phase. The “Life in Boston” section contains a wealth of information about the place you’ll be calling home for the next semester or year. Be sure to read through that section to learn about everything from cultural customs, to academic differences, to daily life.

PLEASE NOTE: The information on this page applies to exchange students that have been accepted to the exchange program administered by Boston University Study Abroad only. If you are a student participating in other exchange programs, such as those administered by the Boston University School of Law or MET International, you should contact your host school directly for more information.

[— Phase 1: First Things First (Admission – November 15)—]

[— END Phase 1 —]

[— Phase 2: Core Preparations (November 15 – December 31)—]

[— END Phase 2—]

[— Phase 3: Final Considerations (December 31 – Arrival at BU)—]

[— END Phase 3 —]

[— Life in Boston—]

1.       Get To Know Boston

2.      Daily Life

3.      Student Life

4.      Money Matters

5.      Traveling

6.      Staying Healthy

7.      Staying Safe

[— END Life in Boston —]

[— Immigration and Visas—]

The Boston University International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) administers visa documentation. The information below provides an overview of some visa information, but you should contact the ISSO directly with any specific questions. Boston University International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) 888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02215 Phone: 617-353-3565 www.bu.edu/isso

[— END Immigration and Visas —]

[— Calendar—]

Program Dates

Current Semester: Fall 2022

  • Aug 31 – Arrive at BU and check in to housing (at your designated time)
  • Aug 31-Sept 2  – Mandatory Orientation
  • September 5 – Labor Day Holiday, Classes Suspended
  • September 6 – Classes Begin
  • October 10 – Indigenous Peoples Day, Classes Suspended
  • October 22-23 – Family & Friends Weekend
  • November 23 – November 27 – Thanksgiving Recess
  • December 12 – Last Day of Classes
  • December 13-14 – Study Period
  • December 15 – 21 Final Exams

Spring 2023

  • January 17 – Arrive at BU & check-in to housing (reservation required)
  • January 17-18 – Mandatory In-Person Orientation (not for students who attended in the Fall)
  • January 19 – Classes Begin
  • February 20 – Presidents’ Day Holiday, Classes Suspended
  • March 4-12 – Spring Recess
  • April 17- Patriot’s Day, Classes Suspended
  • May 3 – Last Day of Classes
  • May 4-7 – Study Period
  • May 8-12 – Final Exams Week

The complete academic calendar can be found here.

Neither late arrivals nor early departures are permitted.
We urge students to not make any weekend or mid-semester break travel plans until they arrive on site and receive the finalized course and program schedule. During the semester, students must fulfill strict attendance requirements and will be very busy with classes, program activities, and assignments. If family and friends plan to visit, please schedule trips to take place before the start of on-site orientation, during a scheduled program break, or after the semester ends. The first and last weeks of the program are critical to students’ success and require your full attention. By timing visits to coincide with scheduled program breaks, you can meet attendance requirements and take full advantage of your exchange student experience.

[— END Calendar —]

[— Contacts—]

Program Contacts

As you prepare for and embark on your study abroad experience, you will be in contact with various staff members from BU Study Abroad, both in Boston and abroad. To avoid missing important information, please add “@bu.edu” to your address book. Please keep all emails in a folder for your reference as you prepare for your semester abroad. Here are the names and email addresses of some people who will be in touch with you this semester, and/or whom you may want to contact with questions.

Boston-Based Staff

  • Sage Suorsa, Program Manager Sage will be your primary contact during the pre-departure process and throughout your time at BU. All questions and concerns you may have should be directed to her
  • International Students & Scholarswill be your primary contact for any visa or immigration related concerns.
  • BU HousingIf you are planning to live on-campus you can contact the BU Housing Office directly with any questions regarding the housing application process or housing assignments.
  • Student Accounting Services, will be your primary point of contact for all questions about Boston University charges and payments.
  • Student Health Serviceswill be your primary contact for any health related concerns or questions about your health form compliance.

[— END Contacts —]