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Southern Oregon University | Ashland, OR, USA Southern Oregon University (SOU): Southern Oregon University is a...

Southern Oregon University | Ashland, OR, USA

Southern Oregon University (SOU): Southern Oregon University is a contemporary public liberal arts and sciences university. SOU’s main campus is located in Ashland, Oregon, an ideal college town with its own rich heritage of culture and outdoor activities that complement life on campus. Located in a mountain valley, Ashland is a safe community with a small-town feel. Students can easily walk to downtown shops and enjoy Ashland’s rich variety of multicultural restaurants. 

SOU Academic Programs: Undergraduate / Graduate 

This program is ONLY open to international students who are currently a registered student at one of our partner institutions and have been nominated by their home institution to participate in the IE3 Global reciprocal exchange program. All applications should be sent with the endorsement of your home institution. Any applications sent independently will not be considered. Exchange students will be admitted as non-degree students which permits students to enroll in graduate or undergraduate courses of their choice (but without a level, i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior).

Academic years consist of three terms:

  • Fall: September – December
  • Winter: January – March
  • Spring: April – June

Fall: March 15th
Winter: October 15th
Spring: October 15th

Must complete the IE3 Global online application

Proof of English Proficiency*

Accepted forms of proof:

    • iBT: 68 for undergrads; 76 for grads
  • IELTS: 5.5 for undergrads (5 or higher on each section); 6.0 for grads (5.5 or higher on each section)

Official transcripts, degrees, and certificates from all colleges/universities (in English)

  • If one year of university has been completed: A minimum GPA of 2.25 is required
  • Freshmen: high school transcripts are required with a current GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • For graduate students: An equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree. Special consideration is given to students from Germany who have completed the Vordiplom or Zwischenprüfung (following 7 years at a Gymnasium) and for students from France who have completed the license.

Adequate financial documentation that shows sufficient funds to pay for the length of your program (1 term, 2 terms, 3 terms - pricing shown below). You must include either an Award Letter (original or certified copies), a Loan Letter, a Bank Statement, or a Bank Letter signed by a bank official indicating sufficient funds and verification that the amount required above is available for your use. All proof of funding needs to be in English or accompanied by an English translation and be dated within 9 months of the program start date (not the application due date). We cannot accept/use investment account statements for this purpose.

*NOTE: Some graduate departments may have higher English proficiency requirements and extra application materials. Students are expected to research the possibility of additional requirements.

STEP 1: You must be nominated by your home university.

STEP 2: Receive an email with instructions on how to create your applicant account using the unique passcode supplied and begin your application.

STEP 3: Prepare your application materials and submit them to your home university exchange coordinator by or before the deadline.

Application processing timeline: 

Upon submission of your application and ALL supporting materials, you should expect the evaluation and processing time to take at least 30 to 60 days.


Under the terms of the exchange agreement, students receive tuition waivers for 12 credits of undergraduate level courses. Summer term is not included in the tuition waiver. The remaining expenses are estimated to be:

Undergraduate 9 months
Tuition-Related Fees $2,064
Matriculation Fee (one time only) $300
Room and Board ** $12,281
Books and Supplies $1,000
Personal Expenses $1,620
Health Insurance $1,380
TOTAL $19,645

Estimated costs for:

  • 1 term = $6,549
  • 2 terms = $13,097
  • 3 terms = $19,645

**Room and Board rates are based on Residence Hall rates and off-campus housing. Cost can vary significantly depending on residence choice.

Your Declaration of Finances should demonstrate that this amount of money is available for your expenses during the entire duration of your exchange program. Be sure that your bank statements or other documents indicate an amount equal to or greater than this total. All costs are approximate and subject to change. The exchange program does not cover summer term tuition. No international travel costs are included. 

In Oregon, university classes are called "courses" and are usually listed in a "Schedule of Classes" or an "Academic Catalog" or "Course Catalog". Students need to take a combination of courses that totals 12 academic credits each term they are in Oregon in order to be considered a full-time student (in most cases students will take 4 courses worth 3 credits each). On the Course Preference form, we ask that you list as many classes as possible so that if some are not available when the time comes to register, you will still have others to fall back on. Flexibility is key.

In most cases, you will need to find the section of the catalog (if it is a PDF) that lists information about the subject you wish to study. Within that subject's section, you should be able to find a list of courses offered. Please pay attention to "prerequisite" listings - if you would like to take a class that has prerequisites, you will need to be able to prove that you have the educational background in that subject area to override or waive the prerequisites.

Please use the SOU class schedule website to look up classes by term. Just select a term and then select a subject to see what is offered (some terms may not be available, to see all terms click "advanced search"). If your academic year is not listed, use the most recent academic year to pull classes from. In many cases classes repeat themselves every year.

View the  General Catalog to see more detailed descriptions of all classes based on the subject/major.

You will need a passport from your government and a visa from the United States Embassy/Consulate to enter the United States. 

Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1)
Students receiving funding from the United States government, a foreign government, or an Oregon institution may come to the United States on a J-1 visa. To obtain a visa, you should present your Certificate of Eligibility DS-2019 to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country (see list below), along with your documents of financial support, your passport, and other required materials. The spouse and children of a J-1 student may request dependent (or J-2) visas if they are listed on the DS-2019 form.

The visa interview may include questions about your plans to study in the United States, and about your documentation for admission (acceptance letter, financial certification, language proficiency, and academic records). The visa officer may also ask about your plans to return home after your studies, since that is an expectation of a nonimmigrant student visa.

Do not enter the United States on a Visitor's Visa (B-2)!
This visa is intended for those coming as tourists to the United States. It should not be used by students or exchange visitors who have been admitted to an Oregon institution. If the B-2 visa is used by students who have not discussed their study plans with the United States Consul, it is unlikely that the immigration status will be changed to a student or exchange visitor once the student has entered the United States.

Be sure to bring your DS-2019 with you to the United States. If you wish to travel outside of the U.S. you will need to obtain a travel signature from the International Student Advisor at your Oregon institution.

Visit the U.S. Embassy search page to locate a U.S. Embassy near you and to see specific instructions on how to obtain the J-1 visa in your country.

While you are a student at SOU, you have different housing options. Many international exchange students choose to stay in the residence halls. This is a wonderful experience that allows international students to meet and get to know their American student peers while they become fully immersed in college life. Living on campus is also the more convenient option as on-campus residents live within walking distance of most, if not all, university buildings. 

Students can find more information about on-campus residence halls, available dining services, costs, application deadlines, and much more online through the SOU Housing Websites for International Students: On-Campus or Off-Campus

All international students and their accompanying dependents are required to have health insurance while enrolled at a U.S. institution.

Medical costs can be very expensive in the U.S. and it is in your best interest that you have health insurance. As part of your immigration status as a J-1 Exchange Visitor or an F-1 Student, the U.S. government has set minimum requirements for health insurance coverage. For information about health insurance at SOU please visit the SOU Health Insurance website for International Students for information about their requirements and services.

Your arrival in the United States takes very careful planning. There are several important factors to consider that range from what to bring, to transportation from the airport to campus, and so on. Each Oregon institution conducts a mandatory orientation for international students at the beginning of each term to help integrate them into the American student lifestyle. The exact days and the length of each orientation vary from year to year, thus international students should not expect to receive orientation date and location information until they have been formally acceptance to an SOU.

SOU currently does not have a website dedicated to orientation, but you can find more information about their program for international students by visiting their website for International Students & Scholars.

Traveling in Oregon:

Information on the State of Oregon:


Fall | Winter | Spring

Application Deadline

Fall: March 15th
Winter: October 15th
Spring: October 15th