With class sizes ranging from about 10-25 students, exchange students will have the opportunity to build relationships with their professors and classmates. Students will be assigned to a professor who will be their academic advisor and will assist them with choosing courses and supporting them throughout the semester or year.
The primary mission of Furman as a liberal arts institution is to provide a distinctive undergraduate education encompassing humanities, fine arts, social sciences, mathematics and the natural sciences, and selected professional disciplines.
Furman nurtures a commitment to independent thought and lifelong learning. By providing students with a broad exposure to the liberal arts, it seeks to produce students who are grounded in the traditional sources of knowledge yet capable of devising new solutions to problems in their chosen field. At the core of Furman’s educational mission, the curriculum is dedicated to the following ideals of liberal learning:
- Invigoration and stimulation of intellectual curiosity,
- Broad preparation in a diverse set of disciplines, including the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and the fine arts,
- Intellectual inquiry in sufficient depth to allow one to contribute to a greater body of knowledge;
- Development of expressive capabilities in writing, speaking, and the arts,
- Cultivation of world citizenship-an understanding of those not like oneself, and
- Integration of knowledge into a meaningful synthesis.
Full-time students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits each semester. The normal course load for the academic semester is 16 credits.
Review this list of courses. Courses are announced approximately 3-6 months prior to the start of the semester. Exchange students will express their interest in courses at topics during the application process, and Furman will work to put together a schedule for the exchange student. Upon arrival, the student has approximately one week to make changes to the schedule as needed.
Courses at Furman are typically identified by codes separated into three distinct parts. The first segment designates the academic subject of the course, the second component relates to the level of instruction, and the final element (when displayed) assists with the identification of the meeting times and location for individual course sections.
Credit bearing undergraduate courses typically are numbered between 100 and 599, graduate instruction is typically numbered between 600 and 999.
- 100-299 introductory courses, geared to freshmen and sophomores
- 300-499 advanced courses, designed for majors and other students with appropriate background and/or prerequisites
- 500-599 individualized instruction, including internships, research, independent study, and music performance studies
Students are assigned academic advisors with whom they will meet regularly on-campus to plan educational programs based on their interests, aptitudes, and educational goals. Advisors play an important role by offering informed advice about course selections, and by referring the student to campus support services. Students must consult with their academic advisor before registering for courses each term.
All students should be aware that the final responsibility for satisfying J visa exchange visitor program requirements solely rests on the student, not the academic advisor. Each student must be responsible for his or her own enrollment.
Immersive Living Experience
Exchange students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Furman University in Greenville, SC. Students will reside in the North Village apartment complex in either a 2 or 4 bedroom apartment with domestic students in their third or fourth year of study at Furman University. Furman University is a residential campus which means all students live on campus for all four years of study in either a residence hall or an apartment on Furman's campus. The North Village apartments feature four bedrooms in each apartment, two bathrooms, a shared kitchen, and a shared common area. Bedrooms include a bed, desk, chair and wardrobe. Furman will provide sheets and towels for exchange students upon arrival. These can be used for the duration of the semester, or exchange students can buy their own linens. The North Village apartments are a 10-minute walk to classes and the dining hall. Most exchange students will be placed in an apartment with three American students for the semester.
Furman University has many opportunities for immersion and cultural exploration outside the classroom from clubs and organizations to day or weekend trips to nearby sites of interest. Furman University is 30 minutes from the Greenville-Spartanburg airport.
You will receive information on the New Exchange Student Orientation via email before your arrival on campus. All exchange students are required to attend this orientation. Bring with you your passport, J-1 visa, and a stamped DS-2019.
Exchange students will arrive to campus in mid-August (or early January) to participate in an international student orientation program. The international student orientation is designed to acquaint international students with the academic culture of Furman University and to introduce internationals students to Furman's many resources before classes begin. The Office for Study Away and International Education will provide transportation from Greenville Spartanburg Airport (GSP) to Furman University.
Students will automatically be enrolled in our Unlimited Meal Plan which includes three meals a day in the university Dining Hall and money on a swipe card to use towards purchasing food and beverages in Furman's cafes and restaurants. Depending on the exchange agreement, students will have the opportunity to alter their meal plan once they arrive to Furman and change the number of meals they receive each week if they would like to cook for themselves. The nearest grocery store is not far away, but transportation by car or shuttle is recommended.
Exchange students will enter the United States on a J-1 exchange visitor visa. After completing the exchange student application, Furman University will generate a Form DS-2019 an mail it to each exchange student. Exchange students will take this form to their visa interview in their home country to receive a visa in their passport.
The primary website where the US government posts information for international students is called Study in the States
. Please visit this website to educate yourself about the visa application process and what you must do once you are inside the United States to maintain valid J-1 Exchange Student immigration status. It is your responsibility to learn about the requirements to apply for a visa and actively maintain the immigration category for your academic program in the United States. Staff members at Furman University will review the requirements with you once you arrive to campus.
Pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee
All new students are required to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee of approximately $180 for exchange students before scheduling a visa interview at a US Consulate or Embassy in their home country. Several payment options are available. The most convenient one is to pay online by using a credit card.
Tutorial video on how to pay SEVIS I-901 Fee
When entering the US, you will be required to present the payment receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official, in addition to your passport DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility. Therefore, make sure that you carry these three documents with you. Do not pack these documents in your checked luggage.
All exchange students are required to have valid medical insurance for use in the United States for the duration of their stay. Furman University will automatically enroll students in a comprehensive health insurance plan before arrival. The cost of the plan is approximately $800.00 per semester. Furman University has a free health clinic on campus for students with minor colds, injuries, and mental health concerns. The medical insurance plan is required for emergencies, visits to the hospital, after-hours care, and conditions requiring referrals to health care professionals in the community.
How to apply for your first student visa
After receiving your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility, read through the entire document carefully, and then sign and date on Page 1. By signing your immigration document, you agree to comply with all the terms and conditions listed there. Once you have paid the SEVIS fee, make an appointment for a visa interview as soon as possible at the US Embassy or Consulate nearest to you. Visa processing times vary widely depending on the embassy or consulate, so please visit the US Department of State website to learn about the application process at your US Consulate or Embassy. Begin preparation of the required materials as early as possible in order to ensure a timely arrival to campus in August.
You will need to take the following documents to your visa interview. Each US Embassy or Consulate may require that you provide additional documents, so check your US Embassy’s or Consulate’s website to confirm exactly which documents it will require. Usually, the following documents are required to apply for a student visa:
DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility student immigration document
Passport valid for at least six months from the day of your interview
Letter of admission from Furman University
SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
When traveling to the United States, remember that U.S. federal regulations allow international students entry to the United States no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date listed on your DS-2019. Before leaving your country, confirm that your passport and visa are still valid for entry into the United States. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay.
When you travel, make sure that you carry some specific documents with you in your hand-luggage. These include your passport (including attached envelope of immigration documents) with visa, DS-2019, evidence of financial resources, evidence of exchange visitor status (recent tuition receipts, transcripts), and the name and contact of the designated school official at your intended school or program. Do not check these in your baggage.
Make sure that you keep the DS-2019 and your passport in a safe place as these documents establish your identity as a non-immigrant student in the United States.