Current Students

Current Students

The IPO and the UMass Amherst community are committed to ensuring that exchange students have a fulfilling and successful experience throughout their exchange program. To accomplish this, we have established several essential campus support systems and compiled important information below regarding final exams, transcripts, healthcare, and more.

Exchange Students - Current Students

UMass Amherst and IPO organize several support networks to help exchange students succeed academically and enjoy their time while on studying abroad.

IPO offers regular walk-in hours for student advising on a number of topics, including visa issues. Visit the IPO website for more information about hours. The International Exchange Advisor is available by appointment or during regular zoom hours to assist students with course enrollment, cultural adjustment, and connecting with campus resources. Email IPOexchange[at]umass[dot]edu for the booking link.

The UMass Amherst Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring and assistance for any academic genre and stage of the writing process. The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program offers courses that help English learners improve their academic writing and speaking skills.

UMass Disability Services offers a wide range of services to support students with disabilities, including accommodations for documented physical, medical, and learning disabilities.

Additional Resources

University Health Services (UHS) provides comprehensive primary care, walk-in care, mental health services, referral, and educational services, with a special focus on the health needs and concerns of students. There are no out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles, for medical services provided at UHS for students enrolled in the (required) Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

List of UHS Services

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) offers a community of care to UMass Amherst students to help cope with stress or anxiety, find strategies to overcome challenges, promote mental wellbeing, and succeed in college life and beyond. Confidential services include crisis intervention, short-term psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families, support and therapy groups, psychological assessment, behavioral medicine, psychiatric services and eating disorders consultations.

Exchange students on J-1 visas are allowed to work while studying at UMass Amherst. However, there are specific parameters and steps to follow in order to obtain proper work authorization.

For example:

  1. To seek work authorization, students should visit the ISS J-1 Employment website, follow the instructions, and complete the J-1 Student Employment Authorization Form.
  2. During their program, exchange students must work on the UMass Amherst campus. On-campus positions can be found on the Student Job Board.
  3. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week (including assistantships) while school is in session and 40 hours a week during vacation periods (Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, Spring Break, Summer).
  4. Students must report assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, and on-campus employment to the International Programs Office.
  5. Exchange students are eligible to extend their program dates and work off-campus with Academic Training authorization (under Off Campus Employment).

A Social Security Number (SSN) is used by employers and employees for the purpose of reporting individual employee earnings for tax purposes. It is also useful in a number of other situations related to day-to-day living in the United States. All exchange students are encouraged to apply for an SSN regardless of employment status. However, those who choose to work on campus must secure a SSN before the end of their program.

For more information visit the IPO SSN website.

Final exams take place during the last weeks of the semester. For details on the exam schedule for the current semester, students can visit the Final Exams website or login into their SPIRE account and select “Final Exam Schedule”.

Academic Training (AT) is off-campus training related to a J-1 student's field of study at UMass Amherst.

AT is designed to provide J-1 students with employment experience to complement their program of study in the United States. Therefore, the work done during AT must be directly related to the student's field of study, and it must be commensurate with their level of education.

Students may complete AT during their academic program and/or after the completion of the program as long as the total amount of training does not exceed the prescribed time limitations.

For more information, attend an Academic Training workshop and read about off-campus employment on the J-1 Employment webpage.

Partner universities will receive an official electronic UMass Amherst transcript via email once students’ grades have been posted in SPIRE.

Students who would like to order additional copies can request them from the UMass Amherst Registrar’s Office following these instructions.

Exchange Students can access their UMass accounts for six months after ending program. We recommend students save syllabi and other course-related information in an external location.