Skip to Content

Study Abroad Office

Banner Image

Incoming Exchange Students and Partners

Welcome to the University of South Carolina! We look forward to meeting you and helping you have a rewarding exchange student experience here in the United States. As an exchange student at USC, not only will you have the opportunity to partake in nationally ranked academic programs, but you will also enjoy the temperate weather of the South and the well-known "Southern hospitality" of the people of South Carolina. 

To study on exchange at USC, you must be nominated by your home institution. Upon applying to study abroad at USC, you will receive detailed instructions and more information from the Study Abroad Office. On this page, you will find information that will help you plan your USC exchange experience.

Application Process

Exchange students nominated to USC must submit:

  • Non-degree seeking student application (a paper copy will be provided to you)
  • English proficiency scores, if applicable
  • Official transcript
  • Immunization Record
  • Certification of Financial Support
  • Application for Immigration Document
  • Photocopy of passport identification page

Academic Calendar

The USC fall semester starts in August and ends in December, while the spring semester starts in January and ends in May. The Study Abroad Office will provide you with specific arrival and orientation dates. Exchange students are required to arrive on the designated arrival dates.


All undergraduate exchange students are guaranteed housing on-campus in residence halls that are open during semester breaks and that have kitchen facilities. USC also offers a variety of meal plans and restaurants on-campus. 

Course Selection

You are required to take a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 credit hours per semester. You are able to enroll in most undergraduate courses available in the USC course catalog, provided you meet any necessary pre-requisites and there is space available in the course. You will submit your course requests to the Study Abroad Office prior to your arrival. 

Arrival and Orientation

You are able to request free airport arrival pickup assistance via the Columbia Council for Internationals community organization. You will come directly to the Study Abroad Office for check-in and welcoming procedures. The Study Abroad Office provides orientation at the beginning of each semester for new incoming exchange students. The orientation will cover course registration, academics at USC, student safety, campus involvement, cultural differences, and more. 

Health Insurance

You are required to purchase the USC health insurance or provide proof of comparable coverage. 


As an exchange student at USC, you are required to apply for an F-1 visa (student visa) in your home country prior to arrival. You will receive necessary documents and more information in your acceptance packet.