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Inbound exchange students at the Cascades
Fall 2021 Inbound Exchange Group at Cascades Falls in Pembroke, Virginia.

Once a Hokie, Always a Hokie.

Blacksburg: An idyllic college town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. There's no place like it in the world. 

Phil Limberg
Photo courtesy of Phil Limberg

I chose Virginia Tech because of the unique package deal it offers. It has a beautiful campus in the countryside of Virginia. It has great professors who are eager to advance your academic success. And Blacksburg provides the feeling of life in a college town in the US. When I first saw this opportunity I fell in love with the idea of coming here, and with the warm welcome the Hokie Nation extended to me, my expectations were exceeded.

-Phil Limberg, Fall 2017 Inbound Exchange Program

Interested in an exchange experience at Virginia Tech? Visit the sections below to get started.

Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students and manages a research portfolio of more than $531 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia. Through a combination of its three missions of learning, discovery, and engagement, Virginia Tech continually strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). The Blacksburg campus is located in Montgomery County in the New River Valley.


  • 34,131 on-campus; 36,383 on and off-campus
  • 81 percent undergraduate; 19 percent graduate

View of campus via drone

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Virginia Tech has forged partnerships with 60 prestigious universities across the world that engage in reciprocal student exchange. To be eligible to participate in the exchange program, you must be a registered student at one of Virginia Tech's exchange partner institutions. Click the button to see the full list of partners.

Students participating in exchange programs pay tuition to their home universities. Tuition will not be paid to the host institution unless otherwise stated by the exchange agreement.

The Bursar’s Office generates monthly electronic billing statements. Tuition will be waived for exchange students during the first week of class. If you see these charges on your account before that time, don’t worry. Exchange students with a balance for room and board or additional class fees must pay by the invoice deadline. Invoices are sent to your Virginia Tech email address.

Expenses Website
Housing: $3700 - $5000 (rates vary depending on residence hall Housing and Residence Life
Dining: $1950 - $2300 (rates vary depending on plan) Housing and Residence Life
Medical Insurance (rates vary) Controller's Office
Exchange Student Fee: $75 This fee covers orientation, cultural and social programming throughout the semester, and transcript processing. Subject to change based on semester. It is mandatory for all exchange students.
Course Specific Fees: vary by College - these will be charged by Bursar to your account in your first weeks at Virginia Tech

Students enrolled in courses within the Pamplin College of Business will be charged the PCOB Supplemental Fee ($75 per credit hour - starting Fall 2021). See the Bursar website for more information.

Other courses may have laboratory fees or software fees that will be the student’s responsibility.

Textbook and Supplemental Materials Vary depending on classes
**Please note, costs are approximations and are subject to change. Costs including room and board rates are set by the Board of Visitors. Expenses may also vary depending on what is included in the exchange benefits agreement between institutions.

The Bursar’s Office generates monthly electronic billing statements that will be sent to your Virginia Tech email address. Tuition and mandatory/comprehensive fees will be waived for exchange students during the first week of classes. If you see these charges on your account before that time, don't worry. Exchange students with a balance for room and board or additional class fees must pay by the invoice deadline. Invoices are sent to your Virginia Tech email address.

Pay VT invoices


Blacksburg, some 12,000 acres nestled on a plateau between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, is special. Home to about 41,700 local residents, the town is considered small by most standards—but don’t let its size or location fool you. Because of the town’s award-winning services, reasonable cost of living, safety, moderate climate, and abundant leisure activities, Blacksburg is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live and has earned a reputation nationwide as a well-managed, stable, and forward-looking community. More information about the town of Blacksburg can be found at:

If you're looking to venture outside of Blacksburg, here's some useful information:
Washington, D.C. is located approximately 270 miles from Blacksburg (4.5 hours driving by car).
The Megabus, a city-to-city commercial bus company, offers daily departures to Washington, D.C. and Knoxville, Tennessee from Christiansburg, Virginia (approximately 15 minutes driving to Blacksburg).

The Town of Christiansburg and its Uptown Christiansburg Mall is less than 10 miles on Route 460 from campus. The City of Radford, home to Radford University, is about 30 minutes from campus. About 45 minutes away from campus is Roanoke, the largest city in Southwest Virginia.

Squires Student Center, the main building for student activity, contains two ballrooms, performance spaces, a food court and dining areas, activity rooms, an art gallery, the BreakZone and Venture Out Centers, and more. BreakZone offers billiards, bowling, table tennis and arcade games. For those interested in fun, safe, and educational outdoor options, Venture Out is a useful resource in planning adventures or renting equipment.

The Graduate Life Center (GLC) and Johnston Student Center (GBJ) on campus are also available to students. Students are encouraged to become as involved as possible at Virginia Tech. There are over 700 student organizations of varying interests from water polo to rugby. Search organizations here:

The commitment to service is strong at Virginia Tech and examples of living out the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), are seen throughout the year. Virginia Tech is home to the largest collegiate Relay for Life (a national fundraising event for cancer research). At The Big Event students volunteer to complete projects for residents in the community. See

  • Intramural: Virginia Tech has one of the most active intramural programs in the country, serving more than 13,000 participants per year. Both recreational and competitive leagues are offered. Activities include: volleyball, dodgeball, table tennis, soccer, and more. 

Varsity: Virginia Tech is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Most sporting events are free and open to all students. Football and basketball games require tickets. Students may obtain a ticket through a lottery system. The Hokies have 16 national level athletic teams including baseball, soccer, basketball, football, volleyball. 

There are computer labs and wireless networks around campus, such as at Newman Library, the Math Emporium, and Pamplin Lab. Residence halls are equipped with high-speed internet access for students with personal computers.

Students can attend performances at The Center for the Arts; events presented by the Virginia Tech Union; the BreakZone in Squires Student Center; and more. Just a short walk from campus, Downtown Blacksburg offers restaurants and shops, as well as the historic Lyric Theatre.

The Schiffert Health Center on campus is available to students. The LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, a regional hospital providing a full scope of healthcare services, is located just over a mile from campus. Virginia Tech has two gyms, as well as a golf course. Both War Memorial and McComas Gyms have 25-yard pools, weight machines, and aerobic equipment. Exercise classes are offered for a fee.

The Virginia Tech Police Department is a full-service, nationally accredited police agency. A nighttime safety escort service known as Safe Ride is available. For an safety escort, call 540-231- SAFE (7233). Emergency telephones are located throughout the campus grounds and connect you with the police department directly.



Step by Step Application Process 

Applying to Virginia Tech

Application Checklist

Global Education Office (GEO) Email and Information At Virginia Tech, the Global Education Office serves as the primary coordinating unit for most logistical issues. All questions about the application process for exchange students should be directed to our office, and we will either answer your questions or put you in contact with other individuals or offices as necessary.
Deadlines  Please see application process for deadlines
Immigrations Checklist and PDF Steps to Getting a Visa
Student Checklist J-1 Checklist
Exchange Coordinator

For any queries or concerns regarding your visa,  please contact: 

Maureen Deisinger, ARO 

Assistant Director for Partnerships and Affiliations


On-Campus Living

Living on campus is a great way to meet new people. The on-campus community at Virginia Tech has more than 9,100 students living in the residence halls. The location and community are just a few of the benefits to living on campus. With 45 residence halls, Virginia Tech ranks as the 14th largest on-campus housing system in the nation.

If on-campus housing is not available, students can easily arrange housing at apartment complexes available in Blacksburg. On-campus housing is NOT guaranteed.

More information about on-campus housing is available at Housing and Residence Life.

Exchange Student Housing Student Process

In your application, you will request if you hope to live on campus. This process will only commence AFTER your admission notice has been generated. There are a number of spaces held for exchange students to live on campus and this process will differ from regular VT students. Please wait until we communicate with you directly regarding this process.

Dining on Campus

There are 11 conveniently-located restaurants on campus and as a student you can choose from a variety of dining plans to suit your needs.

More information about how your dining plan works, the nutritional content of on-campus foods, and each location's daily menu can be found at this website.

Off-Campus Living

Off-Campus housing is an alternative to living in the Residence Halls. Moving off campus offers greater access to town facilities, and a greater sense of self-reliance. If you are looking for a place to rent for the full-year or sublet for the semester, there are many options listed on Virginia Tech's official off-campus housing database. After registering with the database you can use the website to find roommates, buy and sell furnishings, and find more information about off-campus life. We recommend you consider distance to the closest Blacksburg Transit stop in your search for housing.

Renting an apartment in Blacksburg can range from $500 to $1200 per month for shared accommodations. This will vary depending on location.

Exchange students who wish to live off-campus (in an apartment or flat in Blacksburg) can access the services of the Off-Campus Housing office at this website.

ISEP Students

ISEP students are provided on-campus housing in a double room occupancy. Interested students will complete the housing contract. After completing the housing contract, they will log on to Star Rez to complete the housing application. 

More information about how your dining plan works, the nutritional content of on-campus foods, and each location's daily menu can be found at this website.

ISEP students are provided with a Premium Flex Plan.

Course Information

All Virginia Tech students enroll in VT classes using an online course enrollment system known as Hokie Spa.  Students must first be admitted to access their own personalized registration links.  Students will receive a student ID number with their official admission letter. Students should use this number to create a Personal ID (PID) which will be needed to register for courses. Students must also consult with a departmental adviser who will be assigned and who will assist in selecting and registering for courses.

Courses and course descriptions at Virginia Tech are found in the university catalog. 

The Undergraduate Catalog is available online at

The Graduate Catalog is available at Select the most recent year for each catalog.

Virginia Tech uses a course numbering system that indicates generally the level of knowledge that is expected in each course. Each course number has four digits (for example, 1004). The first digit typically indicates the class level and level of depth of knowledge expected in the course.

1000 and 2000 usually means first-year (introductory) level and covers breadth of a topic.

3000 and 4000 is advanced undergraduate level and indicates a depth of a topic.  Most 3000/4000 level courses will require prerequisite knowledge indicated in the course description in the catalog.

5000 means Masters level and 6000 indicates Ph.D. level. These courses are only available to students who are admitted for graduate study or occasionally, for senior undergraduates with adviser or instructor permission.

Before students are admitted to VT, they can access the timetable of classes at:

Sometimes, students can view past semesters in the Historical Timetables at to anticipate what might be offered in future terms.

You will be meeting with your adviser during orientation week in the week prior to the term beginning to edit and finalize your class schedule. Please keep in mind that 12 credits of in-person (not online) credits, or 9 credits for graduate students, are required in order to be full time for the J1 visa program.

Health Insurance & Waiver Requests

All international students are required to have health insurance either through the university’s Student Health Insurance Plan or a comparable plan that must be approved by the Student Medical Insurance Office. The annual premium cost for Aetna Student Health, the university-sanctioned health insurance, is approximately $3,200 per year for single students. It is possible to add spouses and/or dependent children to the plan for an additional cost. The cost is not included in tuition. For more information about the requirements and coverage options, go to the Office of Risk Management.

If you have alternative insurance coverage that meets the university’s requirements, you may submit a waiver request to the university’s Student Medical Insurance Office.

Working in the USA

J-1 students are permitted to work on-campus and are eligible for Academic Training during or upon completion of their studies at VT. J-1 students are not authorized to work off-campus. Students are required to obtain authorization prior to beginning employment or academic training. Consult with your immigration advisor at the Global Education Office to obtain this authorization. 

Academic Training is a benefit that J-1 Exchange Visitor Program participants use for employment training or practical experience and must directly relate to the participant’s major area of study. Academic training is available at any stage of one’s academic program, either while enrolled or upon completion of the academic program as long as one maintains valid J-1 status.  

On-campus employment is available to J1 Exchange Visitor Program participants for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the semester and a maximum of 40 hours per week during official university breaks (winter break, spring break, summer break). 

After you are authorized to work on campus, you need to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number. Reference this document on the process.

One position you can consider is working as a peer advisor at the Global Education Office. Every semester/year we try to have an exchange student on our staff. Your application process is a little different from VT students, so we will automatically reach out to you in the semester prior to your arrival to see if you are interested in the position. We will then give you details on how you can apply.

J1 Academic Training Request Form
J1 On-Campus Employment Request Form

Welcome Week & Orientation  Details will be provided each semester

Your orientation will consist of practical information sessions, immigration check-in, on-campus move-in, meetings with your academic advisor, shopping trips and social activities. In order to attend all required orientation sessions, undergraduate exchange students are required to arrive in Blacksburg prior to the published orientation dates.

  • Fall 2021 Orientation Dates: August 16–20

  • Spring 2022 Orientation Dates: January 10-14

  • Fall 2022 Orientation Dates: August 15-19

  • Spring 2023 Orientation Dates: January 9-13

Airport Pick-up

Airport and train (from Roanoke, VA) pick up will be provided the weekend before orientation week between specific times. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance to Virginia Tech. You will be required to fill in your arrival information on a Google Form, this information will be sent to you closer to your arrival.

Should you arrive at Virginia Tech outside of the designated pick-up times, you will need to make your own way to Blacksburg. Directions from ROA to VT and IAD to VT

Most students fly into the regional airport in Roanoke, Virginia (airport code ROA), which is 45 minutes from the Virginia Tech main campus.

There is a Smart Way bus shuttle to Blacksburg that is $4 (cash only) and will drop you off right in the center of campus at Squires Student Center. Please note, the Smart Way shuttle does not run on Sundays. 

Washington, D.C. is located approximately 270 miles from Blacksburg (4.5 hours driving by car). Flights can arrive in Washington, D.C., but please be aware that you will need to arrange for additional transportation to Blacksburg. Please see Amtrak for trains to Roanoke.

The Virginia Breeze leaves daily from Squires Student Center at 8 a.m. and arrives at Union Station in Washington D.C. at 2:30 p.m with stops in Christiansburg, Lexington, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Front Royal, Dulles Airport and Arlington. 

You may also arrange for an Uber/Lyft.

Pre-Arrival Materials - Canvas Site After your acceptance to Virginia Tech, you will be given access to an online platform called Canvas through your VT email. Here will be provided in-depth details regarding arrival, immigration, your time at VT, and information on orientation.
WhatsApp Group Every semester, a new WhatsApp group will be created to connect you with fellow exchange students and with Global Education staff. This link will be communicated to you via your Virginia Tech email.