A J-1 college or university student is a nonimmigrant who is admitted to a degree program at an “accredited educational institution” for a “full course of study” or is engaged full-time in a non-degree “prescribed course of study.”; College and university students are eligible for the Exchange Visitor Program only if at any time during their educational program in the United States they meet one of the following four criteria:
- They or their program are financed directly or indirectly by the U.S. Government, the student’s home government, or an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute; or
- The exchange program is carried out pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. Government and a foreign government; or
- The exchange program is carried out pursuant to a written agreement between:
- An American and foreign educational institution
- An American educational institution and a foreign government
- A U.S. state or local government and a foreign government; or
- The exchange visitor student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds.
A student acquires J-1 status using Form DS-2019, issued by a DHS/DOS-approved school through SEVIS. Status is acquired in one of two ways: 1) if the student is abroad, by entering the United States with the DS-2019 and a J-1 visa obtained at a US consulate (although citizens of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement); or 2) if the student is already in the United States, by sending theDS-2019 to USCIS with an application for change of nonimmigrant status.
The spouse and dependent children of a J-1 student are eligible for J-2 visa status. Those in J-2 status may study without restriction in the United States. In addition, they may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for an employment authorization document that will allow them to work in the United States.
Ramapo College welcomes and values international students on our campus and we encourage you to apply for admissions. We are currently accepting applications for all levels of study including undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree) and graduate (Masters degree). We also welcome inquiries from Exchange Students who wish to study for one or two semesters and then return to their home country universities.
In order to apply as a visiting student to Ramapo College, interested students must be nominated by your home institutions. Once your home institution has selected you for study at Ramapo College of New Jersey, all students must complete the application packet and submit it to their home institution. Your institution will forward your application packet to the Roukema Center for International Education at Ramapo College once it is complete and contains all supporting documents.
When we receive your application packet, it will be processed with the respective offices. You should check the email address you listed on your application frequently, as that is the way Ramapo College will communicate with you. If any documents are missing or incomplete you will be notified. We will do our best to keep you informed every step of the way, and you should contact ISSS if you have any questions.
- Identify your institution’s exchange program, by visiting our exchange program directory. You will then click ‘Apply Now’ and complete all required application components. They include:
- TOEFL/IELTS Scores:
- Internet based: 79
- IELTS: 6.0
- ELS – Completion of Intensive English Program Level 112
- The English language requirement may be waived if the applicant is a native of or studied in full-time status for at least one academic year within the last five years in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or English medium universities in Canada or South Africa. Students who studied in English in other countries, for example, Mexico, India, Pakistan, etc., are not exempt from the English language requirement.
- Transcript from their current school (translated in English)
- Financial Documents/Original bank statements (in English)
- Financial Proof of at least $18,000/semester; if tuition is waived $8,00 for room, board and miscellaneous/semester
- Official Immunization Records https://www.ramapo.edu/health/files/2013/07/Immunization-Form-2013.pdf
- Proof of insurance that covers
- medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
- medical evacuation to the home country in the amount of $50,000
- a deductible (the amount for which you are responsible before insurance coverage becomes effective) not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
After compiling and completing the above mentioned requirements, you are ready to apply to Ramapo College of NJ. Submit the requirements, and you will hear back from the ISSS.
Applying for J-1 Visa
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Students must be accepted to attend Ramapo College of NJ through the International Student and Scholar Services BEFORE going into the process of applying and obtaining a J-1 visa.
- DS-2019 Application for the J-1 Student Visa ;
- Most Visiting International students enter the United States on the J-1 Student Visa. There are also other visa types that are allowed to study in the United States. If you have another visa and wish to know whether you can study full-time or part-time with that type of visa, contact ISSS.
- In order to obtain the DS-2019 Form necessary to apply for the J-1 visa, a student must show that they have sufficient financial support to cover all expenses during their semester or year at Ramapo College.
- For more information on J-1 visas and the application process, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1267.html
Entering the U.S. (DS-2019 and J-1 Visa)
As a J-1 exchange visitor, you will need a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitors and a valid J-1 visa (the visa stamp in a passport) issued by the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad to enter the U.S. Canadian citizens need a DS-2019 but do not need a U.S. visa. You must also carry the receipt of your paying the SEVIS fee. Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the begin date on your DS-2019 and not later than 15 days after the begin date.
Helpful Hints from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for your arrival in the U.S.:
- Do not plan to arrive in the United States any more than thirty days before the program start date on your DS-2019. ;If you arrive too early, you will most likely be denied entry to the U.S.
- Always carry your passport & DS-2019 on your person. Do not put these documents in your luggage.
- In addition; to the above documents, USICE recommends that you bring with you:
- Evidence of financial resources;
- Name and contact information for your International Student Advisor at your school.
For more detailed information about your arrival in the U.S., please review this fact sheet on the ICE website:
Directions To Ramapo
Transportation options from the airport to the college are:
Air Brook Limousine Service or Bus
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road (also called Route #202)
Mahwah, New Jersey
Please read the following carefully.
1. Kennedy International Airport
Most overseas flights to this region use Kennedy International Airport. However, if you are able to arrange to arrive at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, your trip will be considerably shorter and less complicated.
Air Brook Limousine Service:
Be prepared to pay in US currency or Traveler’s Checks. (212) 244-7250.
By Bus: the most inexpensive way to get to Ramapo College from Kennedy International Airport is by bus. At Kennedy Airport, inquire at the Gray Line Bus Line counter which will take you to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The telephone number is 1-800-451-0455. This service is located near baggage claims. Upon arriving at the Port Authority Terminal, do not be discouraged by its large size. Ask a police officer to direct you to the Short Line Bus Line counter. Buy a bus ticket to the bus terminal in Mahwah, New Jersey. At the bus terminal in Mahwah, phone Ramsey Taxi Company at (201) 327-0147. After 10:00PM, it is necessary to phone the Ridgewood Taxi Company at 1-800-445-8294.
2. LaGuardia Airport
Follow the instructions for Kennedy Airport in Making reservations. Phone Air Brook Limousine Service at 1-(212)-244-7250. Follow the directions to Mahwah described above to take the bus to Mahwah, New Jersey. Be prepared to pay in US currency or Traveler’s Checks.
3. Newark Airport
Phone (201)-379-6900. Your destination is Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road (also called Route #202), Mahwah, New Jersey, off of Route #17. Be prepared to pay the driver in US currency or Traveler’s Checks.
4. Air Brook Express offers convenient, low cost shuttle between Ridgewood, N.J. and Newark Airport with up to 54 trips daily. More Info
This shuttle will bring you to a location on Route 17, close to campus. From there you can call a cab, or arrange for a friend or International Education Staff member or orientation leader to pick you up.
We strongly urge International Students to live on-campus!!
Unless arrangements have been made to live with relatives or friends, finding off-campus housing at a reasonable price in Bergen County is very difficult. Ramapo College does not arrange off-campus housing. In addition, living off-campus will require the purchase of an automobile. Transportation to and from the campus is available but sparse; i.e. only from places like the train station and local malls.
To make arrangements for on-campus housing, contact our Office of Residence Life.
Money Issues and Bank Accounts
During International Student Orientation and before registration for classes, international students will be taken to a local bank to open accounts and convert currency. As an alternative, students can arrange for a transfer of funds directly to a local bank. The most convenient bank is TD Bank in the Interstate Shopping Center on Route 17, Ramsey,
It is very important that students have at least $500.00 in US currency or traveler’s checks to use for the first two weeks of their stay. Students may use Visa, Master Chard, Discovery card or check or cash to pay for tuition and on-campus housing. There can be no deferment of payments.
You will need a variety of clothing while living in New Jersey, because temperatures vary from 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) during the summer months to 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C) during the winter months.
In June, July, and August, very light clothing is needed (shorts, skirts, t-shirts, sandals). However, you should bring at least one sweater and/or light coat.
From September until late November, we experience moderate temperatures. Students usually wear pants, sweaters and a light coat. A raincoat and umbrella is also needed.
From November to early April, heavier clothing such as a heavy coat, gloves and boots (total cost around $150) are needed. Students wear very casual clothing on campus. Pants, blue jeans, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and parkas are worn by men and women; women also wear dresses and skirts.
Although men rarely wear suits, if you have one, it would be useful to bring for special occasions.
For on-campus housing, students will need towels, sheets, blankets, a pillow, an alarm clock, and toiletries.
Those living in an apartment (on or off-campus) and cooking their own meals will need a few utensils: pots and pans, plates, cups, glasses, and flat ware. These items may be purchased at a nearby shopping center during International Student Orientation. You should budget about $150 USD.
Textbooks can be purchased in the Campus Store in the Student Center. Cost varies, however, and students should plan on spending at least $300 USD per semester. Some laboratory courses will require a fee of from $25-$50 per semester.
Of course, students will need funds to cover expenses for personal items, transportation, and entertainment as well.
Holidays and Vacations
Fees for housing and meals do not cover the winter break between semesters or the summer vacation period. All students, including international students, must vacate their campus housing assignments by the last day of each semester, unless they have special permission to stay on campus. It is the responsibility of the student to find alternative housing over winter break and summer vacation.
International students often use this vacation period to return home, to visit with friends and relatives in the US or to travel in our country. Students are not permitted to check into housing again until the beginning of the new semester. It is important to make plans in advance and budget money to cover these additional expenses.
Transportation on Campus
- The Ramapo Shuttle– will take you to local shopping centers and train stations in the area. This service is free. To see the shuttle schedule, please go to:
- The Short line Bus-Goes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City every day. Tickets are $6 for Ramapo Students.
Please see: https://www.ramapo.edu/about/shuttlebus/#bus;
- Taxi- If no other options are available, you can always call a taxi!!
Ramsey Taxi: (201)-327-9000
Exchange Visitors in the United States are required by law to have a specific amount and type of medical insurance.; The insurance must be maintained for the duration of your program in the United States.; You may use an insurance program of your own choice as long as it adheres to the requirements. It is imperative that you take responsibility for maintaining the required medical insurance. Failure to do so will jeopardize your legal status in the United States.
NOTE:; Medical insurance policies generally do not cover pre-existing medical conditions.; If you have a pre-existing health condition that may require treatment in the U.S., you may be required to pay cash for such treatment.
Minimum Medical Insurance Required:
- Medical Benefits of at least US$100,000. per person per accident or illness;
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; and
- Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000.
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
We do not recommend or endorse any of the insurance policies but have provided this list to assist you in finding an appropriate insurance provider. Contact the insurance companies directly for more information on specific plans and their fees.
This is not a comprehensive list. You may purchase other insurance plans as long as they meet the above insurance requirements.
Compass Benefits Group
HTH Worldwide Insurance Services
International Student Health Insurance Plans
All students enrolling in Ramapo College must bring written proof in English from a doctor or health clinic of immunization for measles, mumps, rubella or written proof in English from a doctor or health clinic that you have had these diseases, as well as proof of a PPD (tuberculosis) test given within the last year. Dates must be indicated. If you do not have this written proof to present to the College’s Health Services Office, you will not be able to register for your classes. The following immunizations are required:
Measles: 2 injections after the first birthday or a “blood titer” to prove immunity.
Mumps: 1 injection after the first birthday or a “blood titer” to prove immunity.
Rubella: 1 injection after the first birthday or a “blood titer” to prove immunity.
These immunization records must be submitted to the Ramapo College Health Services Office before you will be allowed to attend class.
To read more about this topic or download an immunization form, go to:
New NJ Meningitis Law
The NJ Meningitis Law requires that specific groups of students must receive the meningitis vaccine before they can move into campus housing. Act now to secure your campus housing!
This Law applies to you if you will reside in campus housing AND you are a:
- new freshman
- new readmit
- new transfer
- new graduate student.
- Arrange with your healthcare provider to receive the meningitis vaccine.*
- Submit proof of vaccination.
Deadline: Proof of Vaccination must be received by July 1st
Center for Health and Counseling Services
Coordinator of Health Services
Ramapo College of NJ
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430-1680