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Exchange Handbook

Welcome Exchange Students!

Types of Programs

Preparation for Arrival

Arrival

Getting Settled/Getting Around

Health/Insurance/Safety

Academics

Campus Services and Support

Other Important Information

Checklist

Exchange Benefits


Welcome, Exchange Students!

Congratulations on your decision to study abroad at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). We in the Office of International Partnerships and Exchanges (IPE) would like to take this opportunity to welcome you. We are very excited that you have chosen our university for your American university experience. We are looking forward to meeting you very soon.

Center for International Education

The IPE is an office within the Center for International Education (CIE). The CIE is made up of seven units: the IPE, the Programs Abroad Office (PAO), the International House (I-House), the Office of International Support Services (ISS), the English Language Institute (ELI), the Confucius Institute (CI) and the Peace Corps. Though you will have the opportunity for involvement with many of these units during your time at UT, as exchange students, you will work primarily with the IPE.

The IPE is made up of the following staff:

Center for International Education

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1620 Melrose Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-3531 USA
Phone: 865-974-3177
Fax: 865-974-2985
Email: exchange@utk.edu

Useful websites

University of Tennessee: utk.edu

Center for International Education: cie.utk.edu

International House: ihouse.utk.edu

Emergency Contact Information

Emergency IPE Contact: 865-297-3228

After-hours emergency line, not to be used for regular business!

UT Police Department: 865-974-3114

USA Emergency Response: 911

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Types of Programs

To help you understand some of the information in this handbook, we would like to share our definition of the University of Tennessee’s exchange programs and the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).

UT has exchange agreements with several universities abroad. We refer to all students who come to UT on the programs below as international exchange students.

  • Australia Macquarie University, University of Canberra, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Canada College of Social Work: University of Calgary
  • Chile University of Chile
  • China Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Sichuan University, Tsinghua University, University of Nottingham, Ningbo
  • Denmark University of Aarhus—Journalism
  • Finland Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
  • France KEDGE Business School
  • Germany Duale Hochschule Baden–Wurttemberg, IAAD: Bauhaus University Architecture Program, Universität Bonn, University of Hannover
  • Ireland University College Dublin
  • Italy Politecnico di Torino
  • Japan Chuo University, International Christian University, Kansai Gaidai University, Kobe University, Toyo University, Waseda University
  • Netherlands Hogschool van Utrecht, Stenden University
  • Poland Cracow University of Technology
  • Thailand Mahidol University International College
  • United Kingdom Keele University, Robert Gordon University, University of Kent at Canterbury, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Swansea, University of Worcester

UT is also a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), based in Arlington, Virginia. Those of you who applied to and were accepted by ISEP are at UT on an ISEP exchange.

UT also has agreements for direct enrollment of students from:

  • China Jiangnan University, Shanghai University of Sport, Shenzhen University, Southeast University, Wuhan University
  • France AMOS Sport Business School

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Preparation for Arrival

Obtaining a visa

If you are coming on UT exchange programs, our office at UT will issue you the DS-2019 form, which we will mail to you approximately one month after we receive your application documents. Please be sure to complete all documents accurately and provide all requested material. If anything is missing or incomplete, it will delay issue of the DS-2019 form and thus your ability to apply for a visa. The DS-2019 form is valid for the period that you plan to study at UT, plus 30 days. This additional time will allow you to remain in the United States to travel after classes/exams end.

If you are coming to Knoxville through ISEP in Washington, DC, the ISEP central office will issue you a DS-2019 form which you take to the US embassy or consulate nearest your home in order to obtain a J-1 visa.

SEVIS fee

Prior to applying for a J-1 visa, you must pay the SEVIS fee. Visit the SEVIS fee page for more information.

Arrival

In the fall semester, you should arrive no later than Wednesday, August 15, 2018. In the spring semester, you should arrive on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. It is important that you arrive on time for the mandatory orientation, so please start booking your flights now.

You should try to fly into Knoxville, Tennessee’s McGhee Tyson Airport. Most international flights from Europe arrive in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, or Washington DC, with flights from Asia coming into Los Angeles and flights from Latin America flying into Houston and Miami. You will fly into these major airports and then take a connecting flight to Knoxville. You should expect long delays at immigration and security checkpoints in your initial arrival city, so we advise that you schedule long layovers between your flights to reduce the risk of missing your connection to Knoxville.

It is very important that you keep your immigration documents with you and not in your checked baggage. Please see Appendix A for a suggested list of documents.

Knoxville’s weather

You cannot actually predict the weather because you really cannot tell what might happen during one 24-hour period in Knoxville.

  • Fall/Autumn—This is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Knoxville, as this is when the leaves turn and you see an amazing range of colors—red, orange, yellow, and brown. In September, it will still be very warm, and this often lasts into October. As the leaves change, the weather will get cooler, and you can expect some rain, but there might be a day or two when you can leave your sweater at home. By the end of November, winter is in the air.
  • Winter—Knoxville is not the coldest place during the winter, but it is certainly time to get out your hat, scarf, and gloves. Snow is not a common sight—we might see one or two snowstorms per season, but the snow only tends to stick around for a couple of days. However, Knoxville has been known to have blizzards and ice storms.
  • Spring—By March, the weather usually starts to improve, and the trees start to bloom. In April, the days get warmer, although this is when the temperatures can change by 25 degrees in one day. By May, the days are very warm, and summer will soon arrive.
  • Summer—Hot, hot, hot! And wet! Summer storms in Knoxville are intense— thunder and lightning and a lot of rain, all of which only lasts for about 1 hour. Then the sun comes out, and you would never know it had rained at all.

What does this mean for you? You need to be prepared for all types of weather. Do not be surprised if it is T-shirt weather one day and winter coat weather the next. It is a good idea to dress in layers!

Jeans are a big favorite on campus, but you will see everything from orange jogging suits to military uniforms. You should bring whatever you feel comfortable in, and bring clothes that you can wear in any weather, from shorts to big coats. There are plenty of places for you to go shopping for new things, so leave some room in your suitcases so you can take your purchases back home.

Packing

You do not want to pack too much as you want to avoid paying any extra baggage charges. You can buy many items here, such as hairdryers and alarm clocks, for very reasonable prices, and you will not need to bring converters to operate them. Cumberland Avenue, the street that runs parallel to campus, has stores where you can buy shampoo and soap. We recommend that you bring photographs that remind you of home as they can brighten up your room, and your new friends may ask you about your family and friends at home. You might also want to bring your favorite music as anywhere can feel like home when you listen to something familiar and reassuring. Certain items are not permitted in the residence halls, so please check the UT Housing website to learn what not to bring and review the rules and regulations for living on campus.

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Arrival

When I get to Knoxville, where do I go?

When you first arrive to campus, you will want to first get to your housing assignment in Clement Hall. During the week of international student orientation, limited shuttles will be provided for transportation from the airport to campus. More information will be provided regarding shuttle dates and times once you have registered for one of the mandatory check-in (see the Orientation page for more details about check-in). You will get an email prompting you to register after you receive your official acceptance package.

If you arrive in Knoxville at a time when shuttles are not being offered, we recommend you take a taxi to the university. You may have to call for one if you do not see one outside the airport or bus station. For the Yellow Cab Company, call 865-523-5151; for the AAA Airport Taxi Service, call 865-531-1930. Making a telephone call from a public telephone will cost 35 or 50 cents, and the taxi fare will be around $20–25. Ask the taxi driver to take you directly to your housing assignment.

NOTE: You will live in Clement Hall, 1629 West Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916. You will not be able to move into your permanent assignment until August 12 (fall) or January 1 (spring). Please complete the arrival form and return to Peggy Myers no later than the date provided on the form. We will inform the housing office of your arrival date and time. You must complete all immunization requirements to be able to move into campus housing. If you do not complete these records with the student health clinic, you will be turned away from housing.

Linens and pillows are not provided. Students can move into the residence hall immediately upon arrival as the check-in desk is open 24 hours a day.

There is no need to contact the IPE staff when you arrive, but you are welcome to stop by and say hello! Simply come to orientation as described in your acceptance letter.

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Getting Settled/Getting Around

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The University of Tennessee is a large but friendly campus. It has existed a long time by American standards, since 1794. However, it is a very modern campus with excellent libraries, superb wireless and internet facilities, and excellent sports facilities. Bring a good pair of walking shoes and be ready to walk once you arrive. You can also use the free bus service (the T) that runs all over campus.

The UT website provides general information about the university as well as numerous maps and directions on how to get here. Once you are here, do not be shy about asking directions or questions. People are generally very friendly and willing to help if you approach them in a polite manner.

The City of Knoxville

Knoxville is a medium-sized city that still retains the friendliness of a smaller town, yet has plenty for college students to do and see. Downtown and the adjoining Old City offer live music, coffee shops, and a host of unique shops. All of this is located one mile from campus—great to walk to or you can take the trolley bus for free if you prefer.

Knoxville hosted the 1982 World’s Fair, so it is no stranger to folks from out of town. Perhaps more impressively, Knoxville is the home for many significant blues and country artists. Today you will still find a thriving music scene.

There are the usual assortments of shopping malls and suburban sprawl for those who want to see those sorts of things up close. Knoxville is one of the cheapest cities of its size in the United States. Even things like movies and restaurants are usually cheaper than in Atlanta, Charleston, etc.

For more information, check out Visit Knoxville’s website. For local news, you can read the daily newspaper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Don’t forget to check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

As for the people, like most places, you will find all types. We think it is a good idea to get to know and appreciate as many different types of people as possible as opposed to just looking for people who are similar to you. Knoxvillians tend to be more conservative and religious than people from other parts of the country. However, it is probably not wise to automatically assume what this actually might mean or how true it really is for each individual you meet. Overall, people are usually friendly but might take a while to get to know, as is the case around the globe.

If you get bored with Knoxville, you can take comfort in the fact that the city is within a day’s drive of Washington, DC, New York City, Florida, Charleston, and New Orleans. There are eight states that border Tennessee, so you can easily explore different states and cities on weekends with the appropriate transportation.

Accommodations

The purpose of the exchange program is for you to immerse yourself in another culture, which means you will be living on campus in university housing and will not be allowed to move off campus at any time during your stay in Knoxville.

Clement Hall is suite-style accommodations. Yes, this does mean that you will be sharing a bedroom, an experience common to American college and university students. We will let you know about your housing arrangements as soon as possible, most likely in July for fall, and early December for spring.

Sheets, towels, and linens are NOT provided for you in the residence hall. You can find these items in many stores in Knoxville, and perhaps less expensively than at home, so you do not really need to bring them with you although you may want to bring a sheet and pillowcase for the first couple of nights. You should be able to purchase a bath towel, a set of sheets, a pillow, a blanket and a bedspread for about $50 to $100 USD. The International House will arrange shopping trips during orientation.

At the end of your stay at UT, you are welcome to leave items that you cannot fit in your suitcase for future exchange students.

The bus

You will be living on campus, so there are many places you can walk. Knoxville is a car lovers’ town—people love to drive around here. If you are lucky, one of your roommates will have a car, and they may offer to drive you to the grocery store or the movies. There is a bus system, the KAT (Knoxville Area Transport, that can take you out to both malls and the grocery store as well as all over the campus and to the Old City on those times you do not feel like walking. If you want to get out of Knoxville to see what else the United States has to offer, there is a Greyhound bus station and airport.

Driving in Knoxville

One option for transportation is to buy your own car. Many students buy cars to give them the freedom to travel around town and well beyond. Prices are reasonable, and one can buy a working used car for around $1,500. However, the state of Tennessee has imposed strict new laws regarding driver’s licenses. Only US citizens and permanent residents now qualify for a driver’s license. All others may apply for a temporary driver’s license. You should bring to the driver license testing station the following paperwork: passport, original I-94, DS-2019, and at least two documents showing residence in Tennessee, such as your UT housing contract, bank statement, etc. Legal issues surrounding a driver’s license in Tennessee can change. Check the Department of Safety and Homeland Security website for updates.

Cars are great for freedom but hard on the budget. Insurance is required (at least $400 per year or more), and taxes, gasoline, etc., all add to your costs. If your car breaks down, be prepared to spend more money to have it repaired. If you are thinking of getting a car, there will be an orientation session just for you called GET MOVING. Finally, do not forget that you will make friends with Americans who have cars who will probably be happy to give you a ride from time to time.

Mandatory orientation

CIE has worked hard to schedule an informative and fun orientation for you. We want to help you get settled at the University of Tennessee. At orientation, you will learn valuable information about how to remain legal in the United States; how to read the course timetable so that you go to class in the right building at the right time; meet other international students; and begin to understand some of the cultural differences that you will encounter in the South. What does “y’all” mean anyway? We will have one session designed specifically for you, the exchange student. You are required to attend this special exchange student session (for the time and location check out the orientation schedule).

Paying fees

You can check to see if you owe any money on your myUTK account. Please check the table detailing the benefits received on each program at the end of the handbook (Appendix B). Over the next few months you will receive automatic emails from UT telling you to check your fees online.

Do not pay for anything until you arrive at UT

Once you arrive on campus and we have fixed your program costs, you can pay online via credit card or PeerTransfer. The university no longer accepts cash. If you choose to pay by credit card, you will have to do so online and you will be charged an additional processing fee of 2.5 percent. Please check with your credit card company to see if there is a limit on how much you can charge each day.

You should check your UT account regularly throughout the semester to see if you owe anything such as parking tickets (if you get a car), library fines, classroom fees, or health center fees. If you do not pay on time, you will be charged late fees, and UT will not release your transcript at the end of your program.

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Health/Insurance/Safety

UT health insurance

Health insurance is essential and required by US law. Every year we have at least one student who is saved from financial ruin by having a solid health insurance policy.

Students coming to UT through ISEP are required to purchase ISEP insurance.

Those on the UT exchange will need to buy the UT health insurance policy—fall semester is approximately $800, spring semester is approximately $1,150 and full year is approximately $1,950. If you are currently covered under a policy from your home country, you may request a waiver from UT insurance. Please bring a copy of your policy in English to the student health clinic upon arrival. Waivers before arrival are not possible. If the waiver is denied, students will be required to purchase the UT insurance. Visit the Study Abroad website to learn more about UT insurance. Please note, insurance fees for the following year have not been set as of posting of this document (May 7, 2018). Changes to the waiver policy can be made at any time. The Center for International Education does not control insurance at the University of Tennessee.

Insurance for fall semester begins August 1 and lasts until December 31. Insurance for spring semester begins on January 1 and ends on July 31. You will pay for the insurance upon arrival at UT by credit card, US check, or cash. Insurance is expensive, but that does not mean it covers everything. Please be aware that dental work, for example, is not covered under the UT policy. Insurance is somewhat complicated, so we encourage you to attend the Insurance session at orientation upon arrival.

The good news is that students can use the on-campus Student Health Services for routine medical needs, usually for free. You are also covered for repatriation and evacuation. Again, at orientation you will learn what you need to know about insurance and medical services.

You will need to report your immunization history on the forms located on the Student Health Services website. You will be required to SEND information before you arrive to be allowed access to on campus housing.

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Academics

Do not be surprised if the academic structure at UT is completely different from what you are used to. The academic calendar for 2018–19 is as follows:

2018–19 Academic Calendar

Fall 2018 Semester

  • Required Arrival: August 16
  • Required Orientation: August 17
  • Classes Begin: August 22
  • Labor Day (holiday): September 3
  • Fall Break: October 4–5
  • Thanksgiving (holiday): November 22–23
  • Classes End: December 4
  • Study Day: December 5
  • Exams: December 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13
  • Last Day of Benefits (All exchange students must move out of on-campus accommodation on/by this date): December 14

Spring 2019 Semester

  • Required Arrival: January 2
  • Orientation: January 3
  • Classes Begin: January 9
  • MLK Holiday: January 21
  • Spring Break (holiday): March 18–22
  • Spring Recess: April 19
  • Classes End: April 26
  • Study Day: April 29
  • Exams: April 30, May 1, 2, 3, 6, 7
  • Last Day of Benefits (All exchange students must move out of on-campus accommodation on/by this date): May 8

Academic record/transcript

You may find that it is very helpful when signing up for classes to have a copy of your academic record or transcript from your home university. Some classes have prerequisites, and you may have to show proof that you have taken the necessary prerequisites before being allowed to take the course at UT.

Classes

As a student at the University of Tennessee, you are required by the US Immigration Service to take a full course load, which is defined for undergraduates as a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester, which typically equates to four courses.

Lectures are one form of undergraduate instruction. There may be as many as 300 students or as few as 20 in a lecture class.

You must attend the first day of class. Professors usually discuss their attendance policies and other expectations in the first meeting of each course. If you are not there, you will probably be dropped from the class, and it will be very difficult to convince the professor to add you to the roster again. Regular attendance throughout the semester is often counted as part of your grade, and in some cases, you will be dropped from the class if you have more than three unexcused absences.

The typical undergraduate class, depending on subject, may involve three hours of lectures per week, an additional lab or discussion section, reading assignments, quizzes and tests, a mid-term exam, a final exam, and one or more research papers or projects. Be prepared for continuous testing throughout the semester and homework assignments for each class.

In discussion-based classes, the material presented in a lecture is reviewed and discussed. Discussion is often an important element of American education and may be factored into your grade, so you will be expected to speak up in class and may be called on to share your views. Do not be shy about speaking out. Your instructor and classmates will be very excited to hear an international perspective. If you are worried or shy about your language skills, please speak to your instructors after class so they can give you advice on how to make contributions in class.

Most UT instructors will not accept handwritten assignments except for in-class exams and tests. You will be expected to complete all other assignments on a computer. If you have a laptop or computer, you should bring it with you. More and more departments are requiring laptop use in class.

UT professors do have office hours that are posted and provided on the first day of classes. UT instructors are very approachable and are more than happy to offer advice on how you can achieve success in their course.

Plagiarism is the use of another’s words or ideas without acknowledging the source. Americans take plagiarism very seriously, so do not even think about doing it. If you are having difficulty or are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, see your instructor and/or read about other plagiarism resources available on campus.

Students typically must make a grade of C or better for courses to count towards the major or minor at UT. Your official academic transcript will have letter grades. If you receive percentage grades in class and are not sure what your letter grade will be, make sure to talk with your professor before leaving campus. More information about the grading scale can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website. You must discuss credit and grade transfer with your home institution.

You will be required to purchase textbooks for your classes. With a student body of 26,000, the university cannot provide all of the books that students need, so you are expected to buy them yourself. This, unfortunately, can be a very expensive endeavor.

The estimate the university uses for textbooks is about $500 per semester. The best way to save as much money as possible is to buy used books from the campus bookstore or other shops as this will be considerably cheaper than buying new books. At the end of the semester, you may be able to sell your books back but only for a fraction of the price that you paid for them; the bookstore only purchases books they know will be used for a course again.

Another option is to check out a textbook for free at the Black Cultural Center on Melrose Avenue. Inquire about the proper date to check out books because their supplies are limited.

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Campus Services and Support

Eating on campus

You can use UT’s dining facilities. UT has a range of meal plan options. To review the options, go to the UT Dining website.

For students on some exchanges, the unlimited access plan is included as part of the exchange. You do have the option of selecting another plan or not participating and receiving the money instead. Once you have made a commitment to the plan, you must stay with it; you cannot drop out. We will discuss the options at orientation, so you can decide what to do after arriving at UT.

NOTE: If you are here for the entire academic year and you purchase the meal plan during fall semester, you are obliged to buy it for spring semester, too. You will not be able to change your choice in the middle of the year.

If you do not choose a meal plan, a Flex Meals plan will automatically be added to your account. As of May 7, 2018 the flex meal amount for a semester was $300.

Eating off campus

It has been said that there are more restaurants per person in Knoxville than New York City, and that might not be too far from the truth. Knoxville has a fantastic array of places to eat, from fast food places to gourmet restaurants. We have all kinds of international cuisine to choose from including Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern—you name it, Knoxville probably has it. There are several great local restaurants within walking distance of campus that you should take the time to visit, such as Sunspot and Tomato Head. More information will be made available when you get here.

International House

One of the great things you will find at UT is the International House, which is located directly across the street from the Programs Abroad Office on Melrose Avenue. Consider this as your home away from home. The I-House, as it is called, is a comfortable place to relax, study or meet other interesting people. The I-House serves free coffee and tea several times a day. It also has several study rooms, a large kitchen, free newspapers, musical instruments, and best of all, lots of friendly folks from around the world, including the United States. Numerous cultural events, seminars and even free cooking/tasting demonstrations are offered each semester. Check out the International House website for more information.

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Other Important Information

Here is some information about topics that previous international students wished they had known before they arrived at UT.

Exchange students home countries

Each semester, UT hosts about 50 exchange students who come from many countries including, but not limited to: Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Austria, China, UK, Japan, Estonia, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, South Korea, and South Africa.

Shopping

Knoxville has two malls, West Town Mall and Knoxville Center Mall. West Town Mall is about eight miles from campus going west on Kingston Pike, and Knoxville Center Mall is 10–11 miles northeast of campus. There are movie theaters and food courts in both places. Besides the malls, there are plenty of stores for all tastes—new and used books, music, sports, crafts and anything else you can think of—as well as Walmart and Target superstores. Turkey Creek shopping center offers movies, restaurants, shops, and bars, but it is 15 miles from campus.

Sports at UT

Sports are important at UT. They are not only a significant part of the campus culture, but also the culture of the entire country, especially in the South. Have no fear if you do not understand American football. You will soon realize many people attend the games for the atmosphere as well as the actual game. When the stadium is full, it becomes the fourth largest “city” in the state of Tennessee! Tickets to all UT sporting events (except football) are free for students. In the case of a really important game, be prepared to wait in line. The Lady Vols women’s basketball team is especially good and usually plays in the national championship series. Information about the athletic teams, schedules, and tickets can be found on the UT Sports website.

You can see or participate in volleyball, soccer, rugby, golf, tennis, sailing, swimming, horseshoes, badminton, wall climbing, hiking, camping, skiing, and more. You can join a campus team or take a class in many sports and activities. Whatever you do, be sure to visit the student recreation center, TRecs. For more information about sports and recreation facilities and opportunities, please visit the RecSports website.

And what is a Vol? Vol is an abbreviation for “Volunteer.” Tennessee is nicknamed the Volunteer State, and orange is the color of choice for Vol fans.

Alcohol

You cannot legally consume alcohol in Tennessee or any other US state unless you are over 21—no exceptions. Be prepared to show a photo ID if you order alcohol at a bar or restaurant or try to buy it at a store. Your student identification card, either UT or ISIC, is very rarely accepted as a valid form of ID, even if you are 21. The preferred ID is your passport or a temporary Tennessee driver’s license. In order to avoid problems (and so you do not have to carry your passport everywhere), you may wish to purchase a state ID card from the local government offices when you get to Knoxville. Please note that UT is a dry campus. This means that no alcohol under any circumstances is allowed on UT property even if you are over 21. If you are caught violating this alcohol policy, you will be reported to Student Judicial Affairs and will receive any consequences which they determine.

Please note also that no drugs are permitted, on campus or in general, and serious penalties result if you are found in possession of narcotics.

Sales Tax

Tennessee has a 9.25 percent sales tax on most items including clothes, food (both at the store and at restaurants), and medicines. Unlike many countries, this is not always included in the actual price, so if you want to buy a candy bar for 99 cents, it will actually cost you $1.08. Exceptions to sales tax tend to be at the gas pumps and at the movie theaters where the tax has already been included in the price. When you travel, you will notice that different states have different sales tax rates.

Great Smoky Mountains

During the semester, the Center for International Education may offer inexpensive or free excursions to the surrounding area. Previous trips have included hiking and camping activities in the glorious East Tennessee mountains. Be sure to check for more details once you arrive. You could also join a hiking club at UT that regularly goes to the mountains or participate in one of the trips offered by the UT Outdoor Program (UTOP). Visit the UTOP website to view their trip and event offerings.

Traveling around the United States

If you want to travel around the United States while at UT, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. If you are here for a full year, you will have almost a month between semesters to explore the country. If you are only here for the fall semester, you will have a few long weekends. In spring, you will have a week without classes for spring break. Of course, many students choose to travel after they finish their studies and before they go back home (your DS-2019 form is valid for up to 30 days after the last day of class).

In previous years, many international students have rented cars to travel around the United States. However, the new driver’s license laws may impact your ability to obtain a rental car. Since many rental agencies require a valid US driver’s license as proof of ID, you may wish to investigate alternative means of transportation.

The metric system

The United States does not use the metric system; instead we use miles, pounds, gallons, ounces, inches, and feet.

Work while on exchange

UT Exchange Students

Students on the UT exchange may apply for on-campus work by obtaining work permission from the Center for International Education (CIE). Some exchange students have worked up to 20 hours per week in the library, recreation center, as a tutor, or in one of the student cafeterias to make extra money to help with expenses such as books or personal travel. You can apply for academic training (internship) for four to eight months (on or off campus) as long as the position is directly to your field of study. The internship is normally completed after the end of your courses.

ISEP Students

You need to seek work permission through the ISEP office in Washington, DC, On campus work permission is relatively straightforward to obtain from ISEP and takes approximately two weeks. As an ISEP student, you can also apply for academic training for four to eight months (on or off campus) directly related to your field of study. The academic training (internship) would normally be completed at the end of your semester.

Degree from UT

Generally, the length of an exchange is for one or two semesters. While you are at UT you are considered a special nondegree-seeking student. It is the intention of the exchange program that you will return to your home country and university where you will obtain your degree. You might want to consider returning to UT later to pursue a graduate degree.

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Checklist

Carry the following items on you or in your hand luggage:

  • Passport
  • DS-2019
  • Proof of financial support
  • Acceptance letter from UT
  • Copies of all these documents(keep in your checked baggage)
  • At least $150 USD (for taxi fare, settling-in expenses, etc.)
  • Another form of picture identification
  • Personal toiletries and a change of clothes (in case you get stuck overnight at the airport or your luggage doesn’t make it to Knoxville at the same time you do)
  • Programs Abroad Office contact information:
    • 1620 Melrose Avenue
      University of Tennessee, Knoxville
      Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
    • Tel: US +1-865-974-3177 (Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • UT Police Department contact information
    • Tel: US +1-865-974-3114 (anytime)

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Exchange Benefits

On the exchange program, a UT student will leave money behind to pay for the benefits of incoming students and the same will have been done for them at their host school. Exchange benefits vary by program, which are detailed below.

Includes housing, meal stipend, tuition and fees*, university application fee, pre-semester housing and food

  • ISEP
  • Kansai Gaidai

Includes housing, tuition and fees*, classroom fees, university application fee

  • Cracow
  • Sichuan
  • Tsinghua

Includes tuition and fees*, university application fee

  • Bonn
  • Calgary
  • Canberra
  • Chinese U of Hong Kong
  • Chuo
  • City U of Hong Kong
  • Danish School of Journalism
  • DHBW Mannheim
  • Hannover
  • Helsinki Metropolia
  • IAAD Bauhaus
  • International Christian
  • KEDGE
  • Keele
  • Kent
  • Kobe
  • Liverpool
  • Macquarie
  • Mahidol
  • Manchester
  • Nottingham
  • Nottingham Ningbo
  • Politecnico di Torino
  • Robert Gordon
  • Salzburg
  • Stenden
  • Swansea
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toyo
  • UCD
  • Utrecht
  • Waseda
  • WHU
  • Worcester

*Applicable fees: Maintenance fee, programs and services fee, technology fee, campus facilities fee, and study abroad fee. All other fees will be the responsibility of the student (i.e. physical education fee, lab fee, etc.). Students may be responsible for any differential course fees in business, engineering and architecture. If a student requires any additional immunizations, the student is responsible for paying any additional costs. UT insurance may cover the cost.

NOTE: If you are applying for the 2018–19 academic year, please add an additional 10 percent to yours school’s budget sheet as the budget has not been updated for the upcoming year.

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